Hello all! June was a good month for us, despite the awful heat that struck the last week.
The fields outside our apartment were flooded and planted with rice. It was cool to watch the process!
There’s also a lovely garden owned by a neighbour in the back! It’s nice to see corn again, even if it’s not the sweeping cornfields of Kansas. (Looks like there’s beans, corn, cabbage, and taro!)
The ume (Japanese plum) season is nearly over, so I made sure to gather a few bags’ worth and washed, dried, and froze them. I can use the frozen ume to make a tasty alternative to alcoholic umeshu – ume juice! This week I’m trying a batch that has ume, lemon, and mint. (Don’t worry, Mom – I don’t drink it straight! It’s refreshing and tasty with just a little spoonful in a glass of ice water.)
I’ve also expanded my garden! We went to a Vivahome for the first time and I got some more flowers and herbs. My favourite right now are my thyme (lemon and silver) and mint (lemon balm). The plants were all in a pretty sad shape, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to coax them back into top shape.
We also ate lots of tasty food! Yuzu (Japanese lemon) and ume (Japanese plum) kakigori, Tokoton ramen, okonomiyaki and potato mochi, Nepalese food (naan in Japan is huge and amazing!), and home-made Thai beef salad.
We were also invited to a Japanese friend’s house. She used to work at one of my schools last year as a secretary, and is good friends with Paul’s past principal and vice principal, so she had us all over. We started out with beer, wine, and Matcha Chu-hai (an alcoholic beverage that was very interesting!), shumai (dumplings), shiso wakame (shiso-flavoured seaweed in wrappers, actually very tasty!), and fruit for dessert.
The main course was monjayaki, basically okonomiyaki but with less flour, so it was runnier. It’s a very nostalgic dish for lots of Japanese people who grew up in the ’50’s, because it was cheap to make and all they could afford on a kid’s allowance. It was good! They added some fish eggs (the red stuff), which was a bit strong, but after leaving it to cook for a while, it got crispy (they called it sembe) and delicious.
Other than that, it’s been a quiet month! The cats are good. We had a bit of a scare with Aster – turns out she had a bladder infection, but the vet gave us some meds and she was fine within a few days!
Until next time! あたね！