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Showing posts from November, 2021

Nukadoko Progress Report: pH Test Results

The garlic was blue, but the ginger looked like...ginger. Thumb and finger holding a piece of blue garlic.   As advised, I tested the pH of my nukadoko. A garlic clove and a chunk of ginger went in, and persimmon peels were set to dry soon after.  I checked the garlic and ginger chunks the next day, and there had not been much change. I did find a clove that had turned blue, but I am deeply suspicious it was one that had been loitering there for some time. The ginger, as Elizabeth wrote, looked like...ginger. This could mean the pH was off, which would account for the extreme sourness. Next steps were in order! Meanwhile, I prepared  a hearty skillet of The McFerrin in preparation!

Nukadoko Progress Report: Super Sour with Excess Liquid

Standing liquid in the nukadoko! Photo of a finger pointing at liquid on surface of nuka paste in brown pot. I was worried. I'd seen some liquid in my nukadoko, which I knew was normal based on my near constant perusal of the recipe in  Kansha , but the pickles were coming out sour. I mean the kind of sour that makes you scrunch up your face and go "Whew!"   I was worried that perhaps the pot had gone acidic or that some other issue might be at play. Live bacteria are very much like having a pet in the house. There is joy, delight, and wonder, but there is also a need to monitor behavior to understand its 'normal' state of health and well-being.  Over time, liquid accumulates in the nukadoko as you pickle ingredients in it. Vegetables are salt-rubbed before pickling, which initiates the drawing out of fluid. More fluid is drawn out as the lactobacillus present in the nukadoko set to work transforming these vegetables into tangy treats. Eventually, the fluid builds

Nukadoko Progress Report: Green Eggplant Meets Pickle Pot

Green Eggplant Meet Pickle Pot. Photo of green eggplant on wooden cutting board. After The Return of the Pickle Pot, pickling resumed as usual. It was good to be home again, my hands at work in the kitchen and at my desk. There is nothing so refreshing and orienting for me as these kinds of tasks, and invariably they are what I gravitate to if I need to recenter or settle my mind. However, since I'd left nearly twenty days prior, something had changed: the weather. Autumn was in the air. Temperatures were still rather warm (70° to 80° F/21° to 26° C), but they began dipping into the 50°F (10°C) range at night. Days were getting blessedly shorter. The Pickle Pot slowed down. A nearly 24-hour pickled cucumber came out greener, firmer, and crunchier than it did when Summer was a capital 'S' presence. (FYI, I still pickle the occasional cucumber so I can gauge how the pot changes.) Sweat still appeared on the inside of the lid, and I found some standing liquid now and again an

November Tokyo and Yokohama Farmers Regional Markets

Me staring in adoration at a display of local veg in Kanawa's Omicho Market. November is a month of bright skies, vivid leaves, and cooler temperatures. As farmers markets open again, get out and enjoy the community, the fresh produce, and the fun. Do pay attention, though, to posted precautions, and take care of yourself and your loved ones by wearing your mask (nose and mouth, thanks!), washing your hands, and being aware of social distancing protocols.  Market of the Sun A lovely and absolutely hopping market in the heart of Tokyo. Held the second weekend of each month, the Market of the Sun offers a range of fresh and prepared foods from near and far(ish). Do check their Facebook page before heading out to make sure it is still on and plan to wear a mask over your nose and mouth while there.  Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14 10am - 4pm Nearest Station: Kachidoki, Exit 4a, 4b Shishimai Marche A new-to-me market in Oiso, the Shishimai Marche is held in front of a r

Nukadoko Progress Report: The Pickle Pot Goes on Vacation

Hot weather pickling in the nukadoko! The ginger in the back is for freshening the pot.  The onion is for aesthetic purposes only, btw. In August, I decided to head home for a visit. Like many, the pandemic kept me rooted in place, and like many, I could only attend funerals, greet new babies, or fret over family members from very far away. Once I hit full immunity after my second vaccination, I donned my N95 mask and boarded a plane for home to belatedly tend to some of that in person. However, there was the Pickle Pot to consider. What to do with my little friend? Summer's heat was still well and truly with us in late August, and my partner is no pickler. He's a pickle eater but not a pickler. I considered tucking it in the refrigerator, but our refrigerator freezes things on a whim. This was not a fate I wished for my nukadoko paste. I needed to arrange orusuban , the term Elizabeth Andoh introduces in Kansha , a.k.a. a pickle pot babysitter. I messaged a friend who lives up