I pickled plums

I pickled plums. Since I harvested the garden plums (called‐ koume), I made plum pickles. Plum is a food that has been popular as preserved food in Japan from ancient times. Plums harvested in June can be eaten throughout the year as Umeboshi, plum pickles, plum juice and plum wine. This time, I tried to pickled sugar-base plum which my grandmother made every year. I harvested plums and soak it in water. mix salt and soak in water again After draining the water well, I put it in a bottle with candy, vinegar and shiso(Japanese basil). It will be eaten in about a week. Too much deliciousness, I can’t stop eating plum pickled!

The apple ‘s work has entered the busy season

The apple flower bloom earlier this month. Apple farmers entered the busy season. In Japan, most flowers are nipped off to grow apple big. When the flowers fall, the trees bear fruit. But we also nip off most of them. We leave just big ones and round ones. It requires a lot of work for growing big and sweet apple.

I made Miso!

We made Miso at friend’s restaurant. Miso is made with soybeans, koji(malted rice) and salt. First, Soak the soybeans in water. overnight. Soybeans contains water,  to swell and become bigger twofold. Then cook for about 3 hours in a pot. Even in this state it is also tasty! crush soybeans   Mix soybeans with koji and salt pack it in pot while drawing out the air. It will be miso in about half a year. Save in pickle cottage If it is delicious, I will use for dishes such as miso soup and simmered dishes! I also use it for miso soup to serve guests. I am looking forward to it after six months!!

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom at Matsumoto City

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom at Matsumoto City. Yesterday, there was a cherry – blossom party(Hanami) in my district. We ate Yakiniku and Yakisoba under cherry blossoms. We feel comfortable outside in this season ! We are looking forward to seeing the cherry blossoms blooming every year. Cherry blossoms will be scattered in about a week. We Japanese love the cherry blossom tree which does bloom for only 2 weeks.]    

Spring has begun

Spring comes to our house! Ume begin to bloom, and many spring flowers are flowering prettily in the garden. The temperature has become warmer in the daytime. It is very comfortable temperature for me.  

A gardener pruned garden trees and shrubs

I asked a professional gardener to prun garden trees and shrubs around my house. It is difficult for us to prun beautify. There are many garden trees in my garden, so this work takes 5 days!! In Japan, A gardener needs to prun so that you can see tree branches because pepope enjoy viewing tree branches of various shapes.    

My daughter’s birthday party and Doll’s Festival party

Today is my daughter’s frist birthday! She became one year old. March 3 is Dolls ‘Festival in Japan. The day is an occasion to pray for young girls’ growth and happiness. So We held a party for my daughter. For this day, I made a lot of dishes. I use to make many type of sushi when I worked at a supermarket, so I was able to use my past experience and skills. In Japan, a baby of one year old carry a Mochi (rice cakes) on the back in birthday. My husband pounding mochi yesterday for this day. My parents also invited me and celebrated her birthday together.

We make a walking map

We decided to make a walking map of house and surrounding streets for guest who come to stay at Yokoya Farm. We asked Ms. Mika Takada to draw the map. I think the map become very cute. When flowers bloom, vegetables grow, and apple trees bear fruit, I add these  with colored pencils to black-and-white map. I wish that it would be like a welcome card for each guest. 

I displayed Hina dolls ♡♡

March 3 is the day of the hina dolls’ Festival. That festival is centering on younggirls’growth and happiness. I displayed hina dolls at a tatami room. This hina dolls is my daughter’s one. My mother bought her that dolls. In Japan, there is a custom that grandparents buy hina dolls for a granddaughter when the first hina festival by her. Hina dolls supposedly take away the bad fortune of the girl who owned them. It is said that it’s better to have your own set of hina dolls rather than take over a set from your mom or ancestors. I need put hina dolls away by April 3 because tradition says that when you forget to put away, your daughter can’t marry(>_<)

Pruning of Ume trees

Ume (= Japanese plam) is need pruning in winter season. I pruned some Ume trees in my garden, and I brought the cut branches into the room. Two weeks later, Ume blossoms began blooming because the room is warm !!   Ume blossoms is very pretty ♡ The blossome of the real Ume trees blooms in March. Ume blossom tells us spring.