I took this earlier this week at Chuck Kayser’s organic farm, O.K.Fields in Kutsuki, Shiga. Memories of Edward Weston! These are destined for the Tomato sauce at Cafe Foodelica. これから美味しいオーガニックトマトソースになります！
Deep Kyoto Walks E-book Now Available on Amazon, with Ramblings by Yours Truly in “Gods, Monks, Secrets, Fish”
Edited by Michael Lambe and Ted Taylor, it’s a great collection of meditative strolls by long-term residents of Kyoto, and all-round cool people. And me. It sez ‘ere: “Deep Kyoto: Walks is a new anthology of 18 meditative strolls in Japan’s ancient cultural capital. Independently produced by 16 writers who have made their home in Kyoto, this book is both a tribute to life in the city of “Purple Hills and Crystal Streams”, and a testament to the art of contemplative city walking. In a series of rambles that express each writer’s intimate relationship with the city, they take you not only to the most famous shrines and temples, but also to those backstreets of memory where personal history and the greater story of the city intersect. Join Pico Iyer, Judith Clancy, Chris Rowthorn, John Dougill, Robert Yellin, John Ashburne and more as they explore markets and mountains, bars and gardens, palaces and pagodas and show us Kyoto afresh through the eyes of those who call it “home”.
My walk, entitled “Gods, Monks, Secrets, Fish” starts at the place where this fellow, Zen-Patriarch and proto-Foodie Dogen, (pictured left) ‘left the building’, and finishes at the sacred well in Nishiki Tenmangu. En route I stop off for some fine seafood at Daiyasu, and sample some of the great foodstuffs that are available in the Nishiki Market Arcade. At some point I go on seemingly unconnected asides about the French, the Vikings, Locusts, etc. If you’d like a wee taster, please pardon the pun, Michael has kindly put up this link on his Deep Kyoto website. The full kit and caboodle can be purchased for a very reasonable fee at that well-known purveyor of words named after a large rainforest, here. And here, for you patient readers who kindly got this far, is a bit of Dogen that didn’t make it into my walk:
“Through one word, or seven words, or three times five, even if you investigate thoroughly myriad forms, nothing can be depended upon. Night advances, the moon glows and falls into the ocean. The black dragon jewel you have been searching for, is everywhere”
These wee fellers are springing up in my garden in a frenzy of wholly unanticipated early autumnal action (My history of coriander sativa cultivation has been patchy to say the least).
So I decided to make up some coriander oil, an all-purpose beauty that serves well as a dressing or for cooking with. Coriander seems to have as many detractors as fans (that’s cilantro for my transatlantic buddies) but I can’t get enough of the stuff.
Here’s a swift how-to: Prepare a pan of boiling water, and a bowl of ice water. Plunge the coriander into the boiling water for all of eight seconds, then put it immediately into the ice water, then strain off the water. This ensures that the coriander retains its bright green colour.
You can just pat off the excess water now, but I prefer to sun-dry it when the weather permits (as it did this morning).
Then combine equal amounts of extra-virgin olive oil and a lighter vegetable oil of your choice. As I happened to have some lying around, I used safflower oil. Quantities depend on how much coriander you have; around 50ml of each did me fine. The less oil you use, the stronger the resultant taste. There is the option to strain it through a sieve, but I can never be bothered.
Store in a cold place and it should be ready for use after about a week. A little goes quite a long way. Nice with eggs, poultry, fish, and in onion raita and other Indian dishes. Mix it with coconut for a very South Indian taste. In the hot summer months consider upping the ratio of lighter oil, and including mint. It serves as the basis of a great vinaigrette.
今年も床瀬にいきました！ 「ふる里」でしんそば食べました！ We went to Tokose again this year to eat Soba at my friend’s place, ’Furusato’.
It’s a four-hour drive from Kyoto. All that way, just to eat soba? Not only the soba… Read on and drool.
なすのわさび和え、そば茶 Eggplant pickled in wasabi, with Soba-cha tea.
野菜の煮物 Slowly-simmered vegetable ‘nimono’.
山女（やまめ）の塩焼き Charcoal-grilled and salted river fish, ‘yamame’ (the name means ‘mountain woman’).
ゆうこちゃんが喜ぶ！ Yuko-chan getting excited.
やまめがもうそろそろ死んでいます The yamame are still alive… just.
へへへ～！山女殺しやたちが深い反省を示さない No remorse for the yamame assassins, Sasha, Fumio and Yumiko.
自家製こんやく Freshly-made ‘devils tongue’ with ‘yuzu’ citron sauce.
鶏の「まつば」Mountain-chicken on the wishbone. It is called ‘matsuba’ as the bone shape resembles ‘matsu no ha’, pine-tree leaves.
ゆうこちゃんが食べます！Yuko gets stuck in.
なおみちゃんとTopherも Naomi and Toph too.
ふみふみとゆみこさん Fumio and Yumiko.
満願寺唐辛子、どんこ椎茸、やまめ Manganji green peppers, the best shiitake mushrooms and yamame.
山の幸が凄い It was quite a spread that the mountain had laid on (with some assistance from my friend Taniguchi-san).
「ふる里」の床瀬そばだ Finally we turned to… Tokose Soba. Taniguchi-san made the buckwheat noodles freshly for us (as always). They were magnificent (as always).
そばとやくみ、最高！Served with grated wasabi, yuzu citron and negi welsh onions. Perfect.
Aaronと私は「7」ちゃんで行った。皆さんお疲れさまでした Aaron and I went up in the Seven. As you may well imagine, it was a lot of fun.
Aaronが撮った写真はここでござんす Aaron’s far superior photos are, I have just realised, here: http://f.hatena.ne.jp/aaron/Toyooka/
やっぱ、山男が出ってきました Here is one of aaron’s photos of the Lesser-Spotted Tokose Mountain Baboon.. Notice the unusual hair-styling, and the wild bulging eyes that indicate that the wild creature is about to devour something.
営業時間: 11:00～24:00 ランチ営業、夜10時以降入店可
Good Chuka Soba noodles at Manpuku. it is on the SW corner of the traffic signal just to the West of Citibank (facing onto Shijo). Inexpensive. A little too salty for some tastes, be we think it’s great.