Gardening After Retirement: Yoshizou Sugiyama (1)

I have been observing my neighbour for quite some time, always exchanging daily greetings and a chat now and then for the last 17 years. It seems that all the time I had entertained the wrong impressions about his life past and present although the gentleman had alway been extremely civil with me.

I thought it was about time to have a “real” chat with him. After all, the gentleman had woken me up a few times in the past as early as 6:30 a.m. to offer me some products of his garden, especially red shizo/perilla leaves I’m so fond of!


Spinach

Mr. Yoshizou Sugiyama/杉山芳造 (70) retired at the early age of 53 after scouring the whole of Japan working for Sumitomo Life Insurance. He certainly could afford to retire as he bought land for his new house near my abode.


Just a very few of mr. Sugiyama’s bonsai!

Being born in a local farming family and having an older brother growing rice and tea (he still occasionally gives him a hand), it was only natural that he expanded on his bonsai hobby he had pursued for the last 45 years.


Sato imo/Taro

He first borrowed land from a neighbour to indulge into his gardening hobby as his collection of bonsai did not leave hime any place.
A few ago he finally managed to buy some land next to his home from the local rice grower who had decided to change his field into a much-needed car-park.


Eggplants

The land area is 60 tsubo/~200 square metres. Not much by Western standards, but quite a bit for the Japanese, especially in towns.


Green shiso, leeks, brocoli and more bonsai!

He justly pointed out that real gardening is vastly different from a verandah hobby. He has to use pesticides, although sparingly as he tries to fend off pests with very thin mesh nets.


Fine mesh netting

As for fertilizers, which are unavoidale, he works with a mixture of artificial fertilizer and home-made compost.


The pest trap!

He has also devised his own brand of trap for night pests!


Taiwan tororo

He grows all kinds of vegetables all year round and according to season.
Presently he is tackling Brocoli, Satoimo/Taro, Eggplants, Ha Negi/Leeks, Daikon, Cabbage, Ha Shoga/Stick Ginger, Spinach, Green and Red Shiso/Perilla and a strange kind of Yama Imo/Yam called Taiwan Tororo.


Mukago

He even grows “Mukago”, the fruit of the Yamaimo/Yam!
These do ot come cheap in markets. You can eat them raw, fried, or boiled.

Otherwise you will see him busy at impossibly early hours tending Tomatoes, String beans, Green peas, Lettuce, and what else!

The gentleman has actually proved, in his own poker faced humour, a great source of information that I will have impart into coming articles.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Advertisements

Italian Cuisine: Cozze e Gamberi Salsa al Pomodoro at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City

Service: Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: clean
Prices: reasonable
Specialty: Central and south Italian-style cuisine. Home-made pasta. Very reasonables prices
no-smoking-logo1 Non-smoking!

On Sundays, if I don’t any cricket to attend to nor an interview to conduct, I ususally make a point to take lunch at Il Castagno in Shizuoka City.
It is unpretentious and very welcoming, but the food, reasonably priced, is authentic and definitely worth a firs and second visit.
The specialties are mainly from the South, especially the Puglia area where the chef and his partner have recently visited some old friends.

Yesterday I opeted for a different type of pasta: Olechiette, typical of South Puglia. Incidentally all pasta at Il Castagno is home-nade fresh Pasta!

The past was accompanied with mussles and large prawns.
The sauce was prepared with tomatoes and finely chopped zucchini.
The whole was delicately presented in an oval deep plate with fresh Italian parsley.

Simple and so sophisticated at the same time!

IL CASTAGNO
420-0843 Shizuoka Shi, Aoi Ku, Tomoe Cho, 48 (along Kitakaido Street)
Tel. & Fax: 054-247-0709
Business hours: 11:45~14:00, 17:30~21:00
Closed on Mondays and second Tuesdays
Lunch: 1,260 and 1,860 yen
Dinner: 4,000 and 5,000 yen
A la Carte menu and wine list available. Wine by the glass ok
Reservations recommended.
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Shizuoka Sake Tasting: Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Takasago Yamahai Junmai Hiyaoroshi

It’s been some time since I tasted a sake from Fuji-Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City.
Since September is the time to taste the Hiyaoroshi sake/sake taht has been sterelized only once, it is such an embarrssment of choices, but I opted for this brewery as it is slightly unusual in Shizuoka refecture.

The real title for this particular sake is “Takasago Yamahai Shikomi Junmai Shu Hiyaoroshi Namatsume”!
Meaning: Takasago (main name) Yamahai Shikomi (old style brewing) Junmai Shu (Junmai=no alcohol added) Hitaoroshi Namatsume (bottled without a second sterilization.
On top of this it is a genshu/no water added!

Fuji-Takasago Brewery/Takasago Yamahai Junmai Hiyaoroshi

Rice: Yamada Nishiki 100% (Hyogo Prefecture)
Riced milled down to 55% (extravagant!)
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (genshu)
Dryness: -3 (sweet for Shizuoka)
Bottled in September 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: Faint golden hue
Aroma: Strong, very fruity: bananas, vanilla, sweet ornages
Body: Fluid
Taste: Strong attack with a lot of junmai “petillant”, sweetish.
Complex: Macadamia nuts, bananas, oranges, vanilla.
Warms back of the palate for some time. Lingers for a while with very dry almonds backed up by oranges and vanilla.
Sweet by Shizuoka standards at first approach but dries up quickly.

Overall: A sake that can be greatly enjoyed chilled or at room temperature.
Great as a sweetish aperitif or in lieu of a port wine.
Strikes a great marriage with choclate or blue cheese.
Chilled, can be drunk as a dessert drink! Would do excellently poured over ice-cream!

Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
——————————–
Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

Vegan Sushi at Sushi Ko (2010/09/16)

For once, thatis last Thursday, the heat has somewhat abated.
We even had welcome rain almost all day long.
The Missus and I did not need more encouragement to pay a belated visit to our favourite sushi Restaurant in Shizuoka Cyt, Sushi Ko.
We did have a lot I will describe in the next posting but I thought my vegan and vegetarian friends would like to see a separate article about vegan/vegetarian sushi!

Mr. Oda seved us 5 different types.
The first two are menegi/芽葱 or thin leeks sprouts topped with a little yuzukoshio paste.
The second one is himesoba/姫蕎麦 or buckwheat sprouts secured with a small band of nori/dry seaweed.
Both were serve raw.

The third one was kaiwaredaikon/貝割れ大根 or daikon sprous, boiled and topped with some umeboshi/梅干 pickled Japanese plum paste.
The fourth was raw mitsuba/三つ葉 or Japanese Honeywort secured with a thin band of nori/dry seaweed.

The fifth was mitsuba/三つ葉 or Japanese Honeywort again but slightly boiled and served as gunkan shushi/軍艦寿司 style.

Looking forward to the next visit!

Sushi Ko
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryogae-cho. 2-3-1 (Aoba Koen)
Tel.: 054-2512898
Business Hours: 17:00~25:00. 17:00~23:00 (Sundays)
Closed on Wednesdays
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2010/09/16)

Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin
bryan-sayuri.gif

10-Year Commemorative Fall Seasonal Release

Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Our ten year business anniversary has provided our brewery added incentive for creative experimentation. Yet another of the fruits of this experimental brewing is being released on Friday, September 17: Berry Big 10-Year Brown Ale.

New Seasonal Release:
*Berry Big 10-Year Brown Ale (ABV 7%):

The idea here is simple: combine the big, rich, luxuriant taste of malt with the piquant, tart flavor of fresh strawberries. A fairly high gravity Brown Ale grist provides the former and hand-picked Shizuoka strawberries from the Nirayama fields of our friends at Serizawa Saketen the latter. A berry-like fruitiness from English East Kent Golding and New Zealand Motueka hops helps to round out the flavor profile.

For more on the brewing of this fabulous ale, please check out our official Brewer’s Blog: http://bairdbeer.com/en/blog_numazu/. Berry Big 10-Year Brown Ale is available both on draught and in bottles (633 ml) through the fine family of Baird Beer retailers in Japan (including our own Taproom pubs). Individual consumers can purchase bottles direct from the brewery via our online E-Shop: http://bairdbeer.com/en/shop/.

Special New Beers on Tap:
Lambics are spontaneously fermented ales terrifically tart and sour in character which are brewed by artisanal breweries in an area of Belgian near Brussels. We have long admired these traditional ales and thanks to the fancy footwork of beer importer Andrew Balmuth, we are featuring several unique varieties on tap at our Nakameguro and Numazu Fishmarket Taprooms.

The Lambics which we are featuring were brewed in Belgian by the noted 3 Fonteinen brewery, then shipped on to Rome, Italy where innovative brewer Alex Liberati of Revelation Cat Craft Beer has dry-hopped them with various European and American hop varieties. We will be serving the following Single Dry-Hopped Lambics over the coming days and weeks:

*Nakameguro Taproom (Hallertau Tradition and Centennial)

*Fishmarket Taproom (Styrian Golding and Amarillo)

You also will not want to miss our latest small-batch, handpump-dispensed Real Ale on tap exclusively at our Taproom pubs: American Dream Red Ale. This is a lovely fall season ale rich in malt character and redolent with American hop flavor and aroma.

Cheers,

Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


The Japan Blog List

———————————
Must-see tasting websites:
-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery
——————————–
Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

—————————————-
日本語のブログ
—————————————-

French Dessert: Roasted Figs, Vanilla Ice Cream & Blue Cheese Sauce at Pissenlit

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products.
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

We are about to enter the best season to savour figs and there are plenty available in our Prefecture and City as the climate is particularly propitious for grwoing ll kinds of fruit here.

Figs come in many gusise from small and black to enormous and violet (there also green ones here. I mean green and ripe!).

Tooru Arima at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City came up with an interesting concept in this seasonal dessert.

He first siced the large figs chosen amon still a little green spcimen and roasted them.

He served them with a spoon of vanilla sauce and Roquefort Blue Cheese sauce. There werestill small intact pieces of blue chees inside the sauce.
The combination of sweet, sugared, salty, sweet and sour and others was incredible, especially in regards to the apparent simplicty of the dish!
Too many taste and nusaces to describe, but certainly heaven for sweet teeth woorying about one’s health!

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

French Gastronomy: Pacific Saury and Potato Terrine with Aioli at Pissenlit

Service: excellent and very friendly
Facilities: great washroom, great cleanliness overall
Prices: reasonable, good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products.
no-smoking-logoentirely non-smoking!

Pacific Saury. or sanma/秋刀魚 (Atumn Sword Fish in Japanese) is very much in season right now when it is fat and easily prepared.
The Japanese love it as sashimi or grilled directly over a fire.

Tooru Arima at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City came up with a typically French creation: terrine!

The organic potatoes had been first boiled and seasoned and then sieved before being laid and seasoned again with ground black pepper in a kind of almost solid puree intersped with very thin slices of Pacific saury. Cutting/slicing the fish can be done only with the proper Japanes knife and skills.

The terrine was then gently cooked in bain-marie and cooled down completely before being served at room temperature.

A succulent aioli mayonnaise and organic greens from Mishima City completed this simple dish but so beutiful in balance and taste!

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
Homepage (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope; Jacqueline Church; The Foodonymph (in Dubai!); Alchemy, Simple Ingredients, magical Food (in Ireland!); Curious Foodie; Mr. Foodie (London/UK)

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi