Well my spell back in Britain meant a month since the last trip up to our place in Gifu, and Spring has well and truly arrived. Paddy fields in the area are already filled with water ready for the rice seedlings to be planted. This really has to be my favourite season out here. From late March to early May all kinds of flowers come out one after another and on a warm sunny afternoon it feels like a yet undiscovered corner of paradise. This time, unfortunately, the weather wasn’t with us – wet, cloudy and chilly. Ah well. Maybe better luck next week.
The first warabi (fern shoots) of the season are up, and they’re delicious, although possibly poisonous and carcinogenic… You put wood ash on them, pour on boiling water and leave them overnight. This gets out some of the bitterness. Then just rinse and eat them with a drop of soy sauce, some dried fish flakes and a dab of wasabi. Good. T likes to stew them with chunks of fried tofu, which is OK too. Someone else shares our appreciation for these wild vegetables, and had already picked quite a few before we arrived on Sunday. This annoys T no end, and she put up some notices warning tresspassers and warabi-thieves away. We’ll see if they do any good.
Min. temp. -4°C, max. 20°C (over the last four weeks, remember).