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Showing posts from January, 2018

A Review of Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest

Original Local by Heid E. Erdrich Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society Press. Good books help readers see the world in a new way. Often, what we thought we knew or understood so completely is revealed in a different and fascinating light. We look up from the page with fresh eyes at a world transformed. Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest by Heid E. Erdrich is exactly that kind of book. Poet, scholar and now cookbook author, Erdrich provides a classic Midwestern menu of casseroles, breads and salads akin to but different from those found in church suppers across the region. Using familiar indigenous ingredients (maple, corn, cranberries, walleye, and turkey) as well as the somewhat unfamiliar (sumac, chokecherries, sunflowers, rabbit, and quail eggs), she not only brings the Great Lakes landscape to life in a whole new way, but escorts it into the kitchen where it makes itself right at home and starts cooking up a storm. Erdr

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28

Nagano vegetables at the Yurakucho Farmers Market. Recent snow means chill winds coming down from the North and the mountains to officially bring that feeling of winter to Tokyo and Yokohama areas. Never fear, though, as growers and producers will brave these conditions to bring their wares to markets. Head on out to one of these lovely markets this weekend to find tasty ingredients for a good hot soup or other delightful taste of the season! Kamome Marche Saturday, January 27 Set on the upper level of the Yokohama Bay Quarter, this little market offers nice variety given its size. Vendors from Yamanashi, Yokohama, and other parts of Kanagawa brave the steady ocean breeze and offer everything up from fruit to wine to fresh vegetables. 11am - 5pm Map Earth Day Market Sunday, January 28 I could wax on forever about how great this market is and how important it is for the future of Japanese farming and global food security. However, I'll just insist that folks go and see

January Garden Update

Long view of the garden in January. This time of year it is always strange for me to wander down to the garden. Despite living in Japan for nine years, I still suffer from what I call seasonal jet lag. A part of me still expects to wake to snow and ice , a garden covered in white where garlic cloves dream in a bed of compost, and I peruse seed catalogs wearing a thick, wool sweater.  Instead, winter mornings are more akin to this one. I'm still perusing seed catalogs, but the sun shines brightly in a clear blue sky. Winter in Japan is a dry and bright season. The only thing in my region wearing a coat of white is Mount Fuji glittering in the west. My garden is not as busy or full as it is in summer, but things are growing there and there is always a chore to be done. You'll have to peer closely to catch site of the red onion seedlings, but they are there. My red onions were planted in November and surrounded by a wara  (rice straw) mulch shortly thereafter. They ar

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21

Fukushima winter vegetables at the Yurakucho Farmers Market. A lovely mid-January weekend of markets is soon underway! Head on out to one of these lovelies to stock up on winter vegetables, tasty bread, tea, or even a little treat offered by a fun food truck. Never lacking for surprising delights or table mainstays, these markets are sure to offer something for everyone! See you at the market! Kichijoji Harmonica Yokocho Asaichi Sunday, January 21 Early birds on Tokyo's west side should count themselves lucky to find  this little market  in the warren of shops just north of the station. While fruits and veg are a bit lacking, the market is big on craftsmen and women doing interesting work, excellent baked goods, miso, rice, and other tasty treats. It's worth noting that a number of places offer breakfast deals in the market! Look for my review in  Outdoor Japan's Spring Traveler ! 7am - 10am Koenji Farmers Market Saturday, January 20* Spotted a handful of y

Tokyo and Yokohama Regional Farmers Markets: Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14

A pretty display of seasonal treats at Onomichi Daidokoro . A quiet weekend for markets, but there is still plenty to explore. Head on out to one of these lovelies to see what exciting things growers and producers have on hand in January. There should be plenty of winter greens and vegetables , and let's just say that citrus are really kicking it these days. Fend off a cold or other illness with one of the gazillion tasty varieties ripening on hillsides everywhere. See you at the market! Market of the Sun Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14 One of Tokyo's newer markets,  Market of the Sun (a.k.a. Taiyo Marche) , professes to be one of the largest. A short walk from Tsukiji Market and its wonderful surrounds, this market is worth a visit for its lovely selection of foodly and crafty items that rivals the goodies found at the UNU Market. 10am to 4pm Step out of Kachidoke Station at Exits A4a or A4b and look for the tents. Kamakura Farmers Market Ever

January Farmers Markets in Tokyo and Yokohama

Sweet stuff always to be discovered at the Nippori Marche! Welcome to a brand new year and all the exciting foodly fun it promises! As always, a good resolution is to shop at farmers markets whenever possible or buy from a nearby chokubaijo (direct sale stand). Doing so means fresh healthy food lands on the table or in the pot, and it means direct support for the growers and producers all around. Have fun and see you at the market! Greenmarket Sumida *Closed until March!* Just over the bridge from Senso-ji is the newest market in the heart of the city. A collaborative effort between the local government and the same folks who manage Market of the Sun and Yokohama's Kitanaka Marche,  Greenmarket Sumida  aims to fill the supermarket gap in this old neighborhood. An excellent selection of food trucks nourish weary shoppers while the Beer Truck is often on hand to slake their thirst. 10am to 4pm Asakusa Station Exit the station and cross the river towards the Asahi Buildi