Tuesday, August 11, 2020

8月10日(月曜日)2020
日本を留守にしている間にいつの間にか新しい祝日がカレンダーに入っていました。今日は「山の日」。「桃原(もばら)プロジェクト」の中川さんのお誘いを受けて「藍の生葉染め」体験を杉木立に囲まれた桃原の森口さんのお宅でしました。山の中の爽やかな空気は久しぶりです。まずはゴボウ畑の隣に植えられている藍の茎を切り取るところから。藍の茎が濃い茶色でなければ競い合って生えている雑草の中から見つけ出すのは難しかったでしょうが、何とか十分な藍を確保しました。次は葉だけ水と一緒にミキサーにかけ、その絞り汁に無地の絹布を数回くぐらせて、水気を切って天日に干す。それを水で洗ってもう一度干して出来上がり。淡いブルーのスカーフに仕上がりました。While I was away from Japan, a new national holiday was added in the August calendar before I knew it. Today is Mountain Day. Since I was invited to "Indigo dye workshop from fresh Indigo leaves", I participated in it at Mrs. Moriguchi's house in Mobara village which is surrounded by cedar trees in the mountain. Being in the fresh air in the mountain after a long time, I felt so good. The first step of dyeing was picking indigo plants. Someone told me that the stem of Japanese indigo plant is dark brown, so I could get the plants easily otherwise it must have been hard to find one because the field which was supposed to be planted indigo was full of weeds. After getting enough indigo plants, I separated the leaves and put them into a blender with water. After squeezing the juice, I dipped white silk cloth there several times. After drying it in the air, I rinsed with water and dried it again. Finally I could get a beautiful pale blue scarf for myself. It was a fun experience on Mountain Day.



桃原での藍刈り取り

藍刈り取り

ミキサー

浸す

干す

スカーフ





Monday, August 10, 2020

8月9日(日曜日)2020
今日も猛暑の1日。カフェの素敵なのれんを作ってくださったのは永源寺の染色家、野田浩二さんで染飾展示会も二度「多賀あさひや」で開催し大勢の方に来ていただきました。その野田さんとお別れしたのが去年。悔しい思いで一杯ですが奥様の公子(こうこ)さんがご自身のインスピレーションで工房兼ご自宅でその後も色々な展示やイベントをなさっています。少し前になりますがうちに来てくださった時にお土産に永源寺名物のコンニャクをいくつか戴きました。珍しいなあと思って冷蔵庫に入れておいた「こんにゃく麺」を今日食卓に出しました。糸こんにゃくよりもっと細くて滑らかでほんのり青のりの香りがします。タレも付いていたので生姜とわかめとゴマを加えて涼しげな夏の一品に。野田さんを偲びながら、そして公子さんの温かさに感謝しながら、美味しく、美味しく戴きました。Today was another extremely hot day. Kohji Noda was an artist in Eigenji who made the beautiful shop curtain for my cafe. He held his exhibitions for two consecutive years at my cafe and many people came. He passed away last year. It was a huge loss. His wife, Kohko got some inspiration and held interesting exhibitions and events after his death. A while ago, when Kohko came to my house, she gave me several kinds of Konnyaku (jelly made from Konnyaku yam routes) which is a famous product in Eigenji. Among them there was a "Konnyaku noodle" and it was the first time for me to get one. I kept it in the refrigerator until today. The noodles are very thin and smooth which have a subtle smell of green laver. Noodle soup was in the same pack, so I put grated ginger, seaweed and sesame seeds on top of the Konnyaku noodles. Both the looks and taste were very good. Thinking of Mr.Noda and feeling of Kohko's friendship, I finished up this nice summer lunch.









Friday, August 7, 2020

8月6日(木曜日)2020
お盆を前に散歩のかわりに裏の赤坂山へお墓掃除。7月にも草取りはしておいたものの雑草はまた顔を出しているに違いないと再びお墓へ。坂を登りながら吹き出る汗に真夏を実感します。うちへ帰ってシャワーを浴びて遅い朝食をとり風通しの良いところで本を読み始めると間も無く睡魔がやってきて素直に隣の和室でゴロン。庭からいい風が入ってきて何とも贅沢な気持ち。風鈴の音を耳に昔と同じ天井を眺めていると子供時分の夏休みがアレコレ蘇ります。ごろごろ、ゴロゴロ、仰向け、寝返り、タタミ最高!なんてしばらく目をつむっていたらお昼を知らせるサイレンの音。「よし!こんな日はひやむぎ。」と起き上がって愛知の方にいただいた金魚印の手延べひやむぎの支度。薬味たっぶり(ミョウガ、ネギ、青じそ、錦糸卵、鶏肉、生姜)でおいしくいただきました。8月6日は原爆投下の日、コロナや尖閣のニュースがYoutubeから入ってきて穏やかならぬ状況ですが、今日はうんと気儘に静かに自分だけの完全な夏休みを過ごしました。Since Bon is coming soon, I went up to the hilltop graveyard near my house to clean up instead of taking a morning walk. Bon is a Buddhism custom to welcome back the spirits of our ancestors. I took weeds off in the area in July, but it was a month ago and I thought new weeds must be coming out which I wanted to clean again. When I was walking up the hill to the graveyard, I sweat a lot and it felt like a real summer. After coming back home, I took a shower, ate a late breakfast and started reading at the spot where a nice cool breeze came. However, a short while after, I got very sleepy so I lay down on the tatami mat in the next Japanese style room. I felt so good because a nice breeze came from the garden and I was relaxed and comfortable on the Tatami mat. While I was looking at the ceiling while hearing the sound of the wind bell which is the same since I was a child, many old memories came back to my mind. When I heard the siren indicating noon, I got up and started to prepare my lunch. Today I wanted to eat cold noodles which I received from a customer from Aichi the other day. I ate them with many kinds of vegetables, egg and chicken. Aug. 6 is the memorial day of Hiroshima and our nation is in an uncomfortable situation now such as coronavirus, the Senkakus Island dispute. However, I spent all day freely and enjoyed myself very much. It was my nice summer holiday.



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

7月27日(月曜日)2020
久々の早朝散歩。雨上がりのせいか山あいに霧が立ち川面も水蒸気で白く覆われて朝ならではの美しい風景です。この間はヒョロヒョロだった竹くんたちは新しい葉を身にまとい流石の成長ぶりを見せてくれていました。その柔らかな緑にうっとり。田んぼの稲も品種によってはもう穂をつけています。これから秋の刈り取りまで、しっかり養分吸って力をつけて雨風にも耐えぬいてほしい、そう願わずにはいられません。I took an early morning walk after a long time. Maybe because it was after rain, fog had risen on the mountain side and the river was covered with white water vapor and the view which I could see only in the early morning was quite beautiful. Last time when I saw young bamboo trees, they looked so thin, but this time they have grown with new leaves. I was fascinated with the fresh soft green bamboo leaves. I could see two different types of rice plants and one of them which already had ears. May these draw water and nutrients from the soil and grow strongly to endure heavy rain and wind until the autumn harvest.










Thursday, July 23, 2020

7月22日(水曜日)2020 
小学校の読み聞かせから帰ってきて本日注文のお弁当作りに取り掛かろうとナスに包丁を入れていたら、おやっ? 面白いナスに出くわしました。これも近所の野菜市で買った地元のナスです。ヘタを切ってしまった後でしたが、私の遊び心はおさまらず料理は中断。しばらくナスを手に持って考えた末、決めたのがマスク顔。数日前に頂いたばかりの夏用の素敵な手編みのソックスを帽子に。人間ならお鼻もマスクの下でしょうが、それでは立派なナス鼻が見せられません。感染防止の厳重スタイルのおナス様が我が家の座敷におわします。After coming back from storytelling at Taga Elementary School, I was cutting eggplant for preparing box lunch which I already had an order for today, when I found an interesting eggplant. I bought it at a local vegetable market in my neighborhood which opens every Friday. I already cut the tip of the eggplant, but I couldn't help but stop my cooking to play with it. I was holding and watching the eggplant to come up with an idea and a nice inspiration came to my mind. It was a face with a mask. A couple of days ago, I received a pair of hand-made summer socks from my friend and I used it for a hat. I know we have to cover our nose for protection from coronavirus, but I didn't because I wanted to show off his wonderful nose. We have Mr. Eggplant who is protected sufficiently in our cafe and he is sitting in the guest room.





Tuesday, July 21, 2020

7月19日(日曜日)2020
トマトの美味しい季節です。昔、仕事でイタリアに行った時現地に住むガイドさんに教えてもらったパスタ料理。店頭でバジルをあまり見かけない日本ではなかなか作れなかったのですが、今年庭にバジルの種を蒔いたら瑞々しい葉っぱに成長しました。一緒に蒔いたケールは葉を全部芋虫に食べられてしまいましたがバジルは香りが芋虫を遠ざけたようです。作り方は簡単。トマトとバジルの葉をザクザクと切ります。トマトは種は取り絞って水分を出しておきます。ニンニクはみじん切り。後は塩を入れたお湯でパスタを少し歯ごたえが残る硬さ(アルダンテ)に茹でて、オリーブオイルで水分を絞った野菜と混ぜて塩コショーで味を調整。そう、火を通すのはパスタだけ。あまりに簡単なので料理とは言えないのか料理本では見たことがありません。ボストンでは近くの農場のトマトが甘くてバジルもたくさん手に入ったので1週間に一度は作ってました。友人に教えてあげたらトマト嫌いの娘さんもこの料理だけは喜んで食べると言ってくれました。トマトもバジルもどっさり。たくさん作っても家族三人でペロリと食べてしまうほどで夏バテ気味の方にはオススメです。我が家の夏の定番メニューでした。It's the best season for tomatoes. Some decades ago, when I went to Italy, I got a pasta recipe from a guide who was living in Italy. Since it was hard to find basil at Japanese supermarkets, I couldn't make this dish often in Japan, but this year I sowed basil seeds in my backyard and they grew with fresh and sweet fragrant green leaves. I sowed kale seeds, too but the leaves were all eaten by caterpillars or other insects. Probably they don't like the smell of basil and that's why only basil grew without any damage. The recipe for this pasta is very easy. First, cut tomatoes and basil roughly. Take the seeds of the tomatoes off and squeeze out the water. Chop garlic. Next, boil pasta with salt in al dente. Then, mix pasta and squeezed vegetables with olive oil. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Only pasta is needed to boil. I have never seen this recipe in a cookbook, maybe because it is too simple. When I was in Boston, I could get sweet tomatoes and fresh basils easily at the farm nearby my house. I gave this recipe to my friend and later she told me that her daughter who usually didn't like tomatoes appreciated eating this dish. I made this for my family almost once a week because all of my family members like this pasta very much . It must be good for the people who experience summer heat fatigue. I am sure you will enjoy this meal.






Friday, July 17, 2020

7月16日(木曜日)2020
中学校でも読み聞かせの機会をいただきました。「ぜつぼうの濁点」(作:原田宗典、絵:柚木沙弥郎)を選書に。「せ」につく濁点が主(あるじ)の絶望を助けたく思い悩んで様々な経緯を経て、濁点自身がもうだめだという時、水中で「きほう(気泡)」が生まれ濁点は「ほ」に付いて「きぼう」になる話。実に感動的に仕上がっています。濁点くんの自己犠牲もいとわない人の良さとメチャクチャ楽しい絵に中一の皆んなは引き込まれていました。「どうだった?」と聞くと「よかった」と口々に言う生徒たち。「聴いてくれて有難う」と返すと何とパチパチと拍手。遥かに琵琶湖が見える丘の上の多賀中学校で朝の嬉しい時間を過ごすことができました。I also had a chance to give storytelling at Taga Junior High School. I chose a picture book about a story based on a play on words involving one mark of Hiragana letters (Japanese cursive letters) titled ”ZETSUBOO no DAKUTEN (lit. voiced consonant mark of despair)" by Munenori Harada. It's a very creative and moving story. If you don't have the voiced mark attached to one particular letter combination, the meaning of the word will be "Setsuboo (longing)" and it is more positive than Zetsuboo (despair). Maybe the theme of the story is self-sacrifice and hope. Students were listening to the story very attentively. After reading, I asked them how it was. Many of them said "it was good". I said "Thank you for listening". Then all of them clapped for me. This morning I really had a good time with those students at a junior high school where I could see Lake Biwa from a distance.






正面に琵琶湖、手前は多賀大社の森。見えている建物は神社ではないような…