Saturday, April 12, 2014

I can't really say...

Today’s coffee: Kona (yay!)

It’s Saturday night, and I’m at home. Keith, having finished his sermon preparations for tomorrow, is watching some stupid variety show on TV. I’ve been busy with various cooking projects today; currently in progress is a revamp of a couple of our takuanzuke (daikon radish that's been pickling in rice bran since mid-November). Did I mention that they were a success? Third try!

I said last week that I was going to write about something other than shamisen, food, and tea ceremony… and I’m sorry, but that’s not going to happen. I have a lot of stuff that I want to write about, but it’s not stuff I can publicly post on my blog. One of the stories I want to write will probably end up in an upcoming prayer letter, and the other I will probably call up a friend and vent about. We’re fine; neither of the situations directly involve us. However, they involve people I care about. It’s hard, but learning how to appropriately be involved or not involved in difficult situations is also an important part of our training. We’re thankful that we have people we trust around to help us process what we see and hear and to begin to think about how we will deal with such situations in the future.

So, that’s why the “heartfelt reflective posts” haven’t really been coming lately. Instead, enjoy some pictures of takuanzuke. Maybe I’ll post pictures of my miso-making adventures soon.

First step: dried daikon! They were hanging outside until it started snowing; then we brought them in.
Next we pack them tight in a bucket and fill in the gaps with dried leaves.
Add some kombu and dried persimmon peel for flavor. More leaves are packed in around the outside.
Cover the top with seasoned nuka (rice bran).
Fold down the leaves so the nuka is completely covered.
After moving the bucket to the entryway, which isn't heated, I put a couple of gigantic weights on top... 10 kg each. Then they hung out for a couple of months while we ate some other pickles (in the buckets in the foreground).
Opening up the bucket in early March...
... and success! But really, we should have started eating them sooner. Then I wouldn't have had nightmares about them getting moldy, perhaps.
Let me know if you want more details, since it's not exactly a recipe. Also, I'll probably tweak some things for next time.

Also, it was my birthday this week, and I had cake with my April-birthday buddies at Tea ceremony. Yay, cake!

April 3, April 9, April 8! Don't worry, we shared with Keith.

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