August 18, 2011

Staying with my Parents/両親の家に泊まる

This week, my family stayed with my parents for four days.
今週は、家族で、両親の家に四日間泊まりに行きました。

My father is a great farmer. Here are just a few of the examples of fruits and vegetables he grows:
父は作物を作るのが上手です。父が育てている野菜や果物のほんの一例です。

Soy beans:
大豆:

Bunching onions:
分けつネギ:

Myoga:
茗荷:

King Delaware:
キングデラ:
Delaware:
デラウェア:
Kyoho (called the king of grapes in Japan):
巨峰(日本ではブドウの王様と言われる):
He also grows other varieties of grapes such as Pione.
他にも、ピオーネなど他のブドウの品種も育てています。

***
On our way back home, we each bought a bento in the "depachika" (department store basement) of Daimaru Department Store in Tokyo before riding the Joetsu Shinkansen.
帰りには、上越新幹線に乗る前に大丸デパートのデパチカでそれぞれお弁当を買いました。

I bought two rather expensive bento:
私はちょっと高い弁当を2つ買いました:
First-grade nigiri zushi (10 pieces)
上にぎり鮨(10貫)
Hon maguro (blue fin tuna) only sushi
本まぐろづくし寿司

After getting off the Joetsu Line at Shiozawa Station, we bought bento at Harimaya, a super market.
塩沢駅で上越線を降りてから、スーパー「はりまや」でお弁当を買いました。

I bought this one:
The okazu are a sunomono (vinegared dish) with squid and cucumber, mackerel simmered in miso, simmered kiriboshi daikon, simmered hijiki seaweed, Napolitan spaghetti, pickled cucumber.
おかずは、イカとキュウリの酢の物、サバの味噌煮、切り干し大根、ひじき、ナポリタンスパゲティー、キュウリの漬物です。
Of the three, I liked this bento the best.
3つのうち、この弁当が一番良かったです。

14 comments:

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I would love so much to be able to enjoy these wonderful bentos. The fish eggs and scallop sushi are among my favourite, but a 100% tuna sushi is something I will dream about this night. Tuna is my absolute number one in sushi. (And I have never tasted the fat tuna!).
Your father's garden looks extraordinary. I have never seen anyone in Europe protect the fruit as he does. Is it frequent in Japan? It's so intelligent!
Myoga still remains a mystery for me. I have never seen it here.
Lovely, delicious post!

Stacy said...

That just shows that expensive bento does not always mean you will like it better ;)

Personally I am sometimes happy getting a cheaper option, not because I'm frugal but it could just be a familiar dish I know I love.

Stacy said...

woops, I forgot to say that I mentioned you in a blog post I made today. I hope that is ok! :)

http://pileofsticks.com/blog/

muskrat said...

Hiroyuki-san, your father's farm looks wonderful! I didn't know that grapes were grown in Japan! The bentos look especially delicious.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: The tuna only sushi contained hon maguro o-toro (very fatty), chu-toro (medium fatty), and akami (lean) pieces of sushi (two each), as well as three pieces of akami rolls. Hon maguro (blue fin tuna) is the most expensive of all tuna species. But, I, for one, am of the opinion that the best part of tuna is akami, not o-toro.
If you want to have akami maki or donburi in Japan, remember this word: tekka (てっか, 鉄火, lit. iron fire), as in tekka maki 鉄火巻き and tekka don (鉄火丼).

It's very common to protect each bunch of grapes with a kasa (umbrella) or a fukuro (bag). My father's two vineyards have a roof to protect the grapes from rain.

I can't think of the right word to describe the flavor of myoga. I hated it when I was small, and even now, I'm not a big fan.

Hiroyuki said...

Stacy: Thanks for the link! I visted your blog and Flickr account. You seem to have taken a wonderful trip to my country!

Fridge-cold sushi can never be tasty...

Hiroyuki said...

muskrat: We do grow grapes in Japan! Most common varieties grown here in Japan have thick skin, so we usually remove the skin before eating (or have a grape whole and spit out the skin).

My father says he plans to make wine soon. He says his first attemp last year was a success.

Sissi said...

HIroyuki, thank you for the advice when I go to Japan (actually I don't think I will visit anything apart from izakayas, restaurants, sushi bars... maybe will do some shopping?). Such advice is very precious!
I think I would like to taste just once the fat tuna to see why it's so expensive.
You will be shocked, but when I make maki rolls I love having leftovers and finishing them very cold for the folowing day's breakfast. Nori is quite chewy, but there is something nice about them...
(By the way, have you seen my clumsy ground beef maki rolls? they were surprisingly good! I still must make temaki...).

Fräulein Trude said...

Hiroyuki: Your o-bentos look delicious. Sometimes I buy a bento in a small japanese restaurant next to my workplace - it is quite good but in japan it is the real thing.

Why are there only grapes with thicker peel in japan? Is it due to the climate?
Besides, my grandgrandfather had a vineyard too and made his own red wine (blauer Portugieser). The wine was called rat strangler by family members (laugh).

That reminds me: I forgot the paperbags for the nashis but next year I am going to test it.

Some times ago I read about myoga because I was thinking about growing my own. There is some saying that it is quite toxic. Maybe it is a good thing not to be so fond of it.

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: Toro is more expensive than akami because you can get less toro from a tuna.
Here are some videos showing how to cut a tuna, if you are interested:
http://hiro-shio.blogspot.com/2010/11/maguro-kaitai-tuna-cut-show.html

Toro has become popular since around 1960s, due to advances in freezing technology. In the Edo period, toro was called "neko matagi", meaning that even a cat would "step over" it ("matagu" in Japanese), and was just thrown away.

Maybe it's a good idea to reheat fridge-cold sushi in a microwave for a short time until lukewarm (hitohada 人肌 human skin temperature) and see if you like it or not.

Hiroyuki said...

Kiki: It's only that the varieties popular in Japan happen to have thick skin. I don't think that the climite has nothing to do with the thickness.

Are you talking about the saying, "Eating (too much) myogo makes you forgetful"? That's a superstition. Myoga is not toxic! On the contrary, the pungent component of myoga will stipulate your brain!

Alun said...

Your father's farm is wonderful!
I love it !

Hiroyuki said...

Alun: Thank you! My father will appreciate your comment!

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I forgot to say that I have seen your beef rolls (I subscribe to your blog). I first thought it was chopped natto (hikiwari natto)!