Another cold, windy and cloudy weekend. Sunday evening we had “kasu jiru” – a warming stew, based on “saka gasu” which is what you have left over after fermenting rice and squeezing out the sake. I wonder if Marmite is something similar from yeast after making beer? Anyway the brewery whose sake we stock in Raffles, Takagi Shuzo, also sell sakagasu and it’s better than what you’d buy in the supermarket – comes in a firm but pliable lump and apart from using it in soups and stews you can make a sort of sweet dessert or flatten it out a bit, grill it and nibble it with sake (or beer, but maybe not wine?). I think it would go with cheese too but haven’t tried that yet. Kasu Jiru’s pretty good – apart from the sakagasu base, you put in chunks of salmon, carrot, leeks, “konnyaku”, soy sauce… a very nice winter dish.
A bit nearer Nagoya the “ume” (plum?) blossoms are out already, but up here our trees only have one or two so far. One year our ume were so late they came out together with the cherry blossom, which is usually several weeks later. Even so, Spring is on its way, sort of.
Finished digging up the chilli field, which I should have done last Autumn of course, so the frost could break up the soil and kill the pests. Now it’s time to put the indoor greenhouse together in Nagoya so I can plant the seeds. Chillis need 25°C or so to germinate, which they wouldn’t get till the end of April normally, so to give them a long enough growing season they need some artificial heat to get them started.
Min temp -0.5°C, max 16°C (!)