The garden doesn’t wait…

I know it, but sometimes nature reminds it violently to me... whether it’s a roof tile broken during a typhoon by a branch we neglected to cut, an overflow of the gutter because it was filled with fallen leaves... I learn my lessons. I also now monitor more closely the plants and trees, can predict... Continue Reading →

Cheese, cheese, cheese…

In these kind of gloomy days of grey skies and new Corona virus outbreak, even very recently with the pick of new cases in Japan that starts to impede our work activities: events I was invited to got canceled, events I have been working hard to organize are going to be canceled as well... a... Continue Reading →

Ochazuke – お茶漬け

Those who are familiar with Yasujiro Ozu's movies must know "The flavor of green tea over rice" or "お茶漬けの味", while being a cinematographic beauty and a brilliant socio-cultural representation of the the Japanese society transition of the time, it also introduces to a large audience ochazuke. Literally, as in the movie, it's a dish that... Continue Reading →

Persimmons

When the season for persimmons comes it means that autumn is clearly here and with shorter days, the chilly evenings will be coming soon. And here they are. Not cold enough to tuen the heater on yet, but it's coming. While we are not big fans of raw persimmons, like pretty much everyone in Chiba... Continue Reading →

Typhoon…

Yep! The now worldwide famous typhoon 19 was passing over Tokyo last night. It rained a lot and the wind blowed hard. It's a typhoon, something we experience a few times every year between August and November in Tokyo... They said it was more powerful than usual, but from the cosiness of our Tokyo apartment,... Continue Reading →

Changing habits

Like pretty much every one we have our habits. Ours change with seasons and adapt to our agendas. And sometimes we pick up new ones and abandon those that don't fit with our philosophy or ethics anymore. There has been two major changes recently, one by choice, the second forced. We used to go swimming... Continue Reading →

Perilla – shiso

If you like Japanese food or have traveled to Japan you that green leaf for sure!! Perilla, or shiso 紫蘇, or ooba 大葉 grows very easily and spreads like weed in both planters and the garden. It requires very little maintenance and grows every year with more and more plants, only the caterpillars seems to... Continue Reading →

Pumpkin

At last... the beautiful autumn days have arrived and with them the most typical autumn vegetables (with mushrooms): the pumpkins!!! While in Tokyo supermarkets you may find only Japanese kabocha, the one with the soft dark green skin and the vibrant orange flesh, that is also found all year round... In the countryside, in farmers... Continue Reading →

Yukata

A summer classic in Japan is to wear yukata to go to a summer festival - natsu matsuri - 夏祭り. Both boys and girls can wear yukata, and besides the obi they quite comfortable to wear and it's much easier to wear it than a "full" kimono. I was lucky enough to have learned how... Continue Reading →

Tsunan – 津南町

Every once in a while we go to visit our friends and their cat in Tsunan, in the Niigata mountains. We originally planned to go for new year but the snow has stopped us: our car is not equipped for snow... so we took the opportunity of the long golden week to drive up and... Continue Reading →

Wild mountain plants

More than 10 years ago our friends K. and S. invited us to their home in the Niigata mountains to go picking wild plants - 山菜 - sansai with them, and to cook and eat them together. Of course we couldn't say no, and we had an amazing time with them walking deep in the... Continue Reading →

Golden week!!

Well, well, well... this time of the year has come again and for me golden week means first ocean bathing, the beginning of the bodyboarding season and the beach season. This year the weather has decided differently and it is so cold that I spend my evenings curled in my cashmere or under a plaid,... Continue Reading →

Hikes

Spring and fall are the perfect seasons for hiking in Japan. The temperatures are just right not to get a sweat but not to freeze or die of over heat, bugs are fewer and either the flowers and tender greens, or the crimson colors of fall make a picturesque scenery. There are plenty of options... Continue Reading →

Cheeses from Chiba

When we first settled in Isumi, and I found a cheese factory right down our valley I was really happy! Soon after that At Ohara harbor market I found Takahide farm and another Yojuemon cheese factory. This was more than enough in a country that doesn't have a strong milk and cheese culture and I... Continue Reading →

Memories

No cooking or recipe talk today... just talking about me and us. About what February 24th means... 12 years ago today A. and I got married... it took us years to find where and how we would do it, but suddenly, one day, in Tokyo, we found the place and everything was settled in less... Continue Reading →

Myoga

Now is the season for harvesting myoga, this little very fragrant plant, delicious eaten with silky tofu and soya sauce or in miso soup. Two weeks ago when I met with our old neighbor she told me that their used to be plenty of myoga in our garden, but I never found any. So after... Continue Reading →

Swordfish

When the season for swordfish starts I am always pleased to start eating some, in particular because it often arrives after several typhoons and fish options have been more than scarce in Isumi. After the long months of bonito, it is time for a change. And if I love sanma, which also marks the beginning... Continue Reading →

Making bread

In the summer 2012 when we bought our house in Isumi I never imagined how much it would be a life changer. At first it was purely a fancy project to have a Japanese house and a garden, a place to do little DIY projects (since there's nothing we can do in a rented apartment... Continue Reading →

Bosso

As planned I didn't have much time to write in the past days, busy with work: final grading, entrance exams, proposals to submit and research to supervise as usual though. And at home it's been busy too, with friends visiting and a feverish A. to take care of. But the noticeable thing of this week... Continue Reading →

Away from the heat

I am quite ok with the heat in the summer, I move slowly, plan things ahead to never have to run, carry water with me and dress lightly. And if I can swim it's perfect. I guess my body is also used to it from growing in the South of France. But little Parisian A.... Continue Reading →

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