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Showing posts from April, 2016

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st

Delightful baked goods at Kathmandu's 1905 Organic Farmers Market. As things get greener and lusher every day, Spring is clearly making it's presence known. Gardens and fields are filling up with seedlings that get a little fatter everyday, and the potatoes are working themselves up to a good bloom any day now. All of that and the start of the Golden Week holidays make this a perfect weekend to wander off to one of these great regular markets and see what delectables are available. Kamakura Farmers Market Every day A small local affair featuring Kamakura heirloom fruits and vegetables raised in yet another former capital city, the Kamakura Market is a small but wonderful venue. Head in early to get the best selection and pick up a loaf of Paradise Alley's charcoal infused bread while you're there. 7am until sold out Map Ebisu Market Every Sunday Ebisu Market management are going all-out this month and hosting a market every Sunday. They've been

My Tsukemono article up at Metropolis

Umeboshi, one of the classic tsukemono, ready to dry. Tsukemono are one of my most favorite things in Japan. They come in such a wide variety of textures and flavors that reflect not just the season but also the region. Hida Takayama is famous for their red kabu pickles while Chichibu is famous for their shakushina pickles. A recent article of mine in Metropolis covers the basic types of tsukemono and how they are made.  For those interested in going deep into pickle culture, I'd recommend Quick and Easy Tsukemono by Ikuko Hisamatsu or one of Elizabeth Andoh's great cookbooks . (Andoh also regularly offers a tsukemono class that looks fantastically comprehensive and fun.) For those searching for online recipes, check out Just Bento . Makiko Itoh writes wonderfully about Japanese food and offers terrific recipes. Her cookbooks also look tantalizing. 

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Markets: Saturday, April 23rd and Sunday, April 24th

Cheese and ceramics - a perfect combination at Kathmandu's 1905 Farmers Market. Markets abound this weekend despite predictions of inclement weather. Don’t be shy about venturing out in search of early spring delights. Look for fresh sansai like warabi, fuki, and even udo may be on offer, so snap them up while you can. These usually appear in their wonderful pickled forms, but it grand to sample them freshly harvested and in season. In lieu of that check out early greens and late season citrus. I might suggest making a version of amanatsu shu (same recipe as umeshu, just sub in amanatsu) or experimenting with mixing them in salad. Science never tasted so good. Kamakura Farmers Market Every day A small local affair featuring Kamakura heirloom fruits and vegetables raised in yet another former capital city, the Kamakura Market is a small but wonderful venue. Head in early to get the best selection and pick up a loaf of Paradise Alley's charcoal infu

Thursday Snapshot: Night Fruit Seller in Kathmandu

Night fruit seller in Kathmandu. Photo by R. Bailey We spotted this fruit vendor on a walk back to Sunrise Farm from Swayambhunath (the Monkey Temple). What was most impressive about these vendors was their ability to turn a simple bicycle or cart into a full-fledged fresh fruit stand complete with scales, lights, and a lovely display. We couldn’t eat much, but they never failed to dazzle our eyes and tempt our tastebuds.

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, April 16th and Sunday, April 17th

Organic farmer at Kathmandu's 1905 Farmers Market with heirloom pumpkin.  This weekend promises a healthy mix of Spring sunshine and rain, but don’t let that be a deterrent from heading out to one of the lovely markets listed below. Seedlings of summer vegetables and herbs will be available along with a nice variety of early greens, the first onions (enterprising growers got them in quite early), and more of the first true-season strawberries. Thankfully, the usual round of pickles, jams, grains and breads will be on hand, too. Gather all the ingredients you need for a rainy evening or afternoon feast! Koenji Farmer's Market Saturday, April 16th A new market I spotted while riding the train a few years ago on a Saturday morning into the city center is still going strong. That circle of red awnings in front of the  Za-Koenji Public Theatre  could only mean one thing! Sure enough, I found a small group of area growers and producers, and the bounty sur

Thursday Snapshot: Nuns on the Stairs

Nuns at a monastery just outside Kathmandu. It already seems like a hundred years ago, but just last month we were in Nepal. While there I took a day hike with Social Tours to get out of the city and get some exercise. Their Lunch with Nuns Tour found me and my guide walking the trails in Shivapuri National Park. Our steps carried us through dry hillsides desperately awaiting the rainy season, past monkeys who eyeballed my backpack even as they scampered away, and finally up to a monastery. It was here that I snapped this photo, settled down to a lovely lunch (not with the nuns, but prepared by and near them), before hiking back down through a series of small villages. It was easily one of my best days on the trip.