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she who eats

Updated: 2018-03-08T05:04:41.564-10:00


fruit tarts to make now (3): spring


...In other words, as I always seem to be implying, fruit tarts to make a liiiiiitle before now.  Or, tarts with strawberries and/or rhubarb of some sorts. After two installments of what I started as the "fruit tarts to make now" series in editions Autumn and Winter, I fully intend on posting you what should obviously follow - Spring.   Hopefully while it is still, well, spring.  As I write

fruit tarts to make now (2): winter


living in the world with little color and sound as the woods stand still, deep in sleep over the coldest mounts of the year... why not add some color and a little whimsy to your treats. As of the end of February / beginning of March, it is decidedly still winter in our neck of the woods (literally) here in Nagano, and I feel amply justified to do a post about winter foods at this

fruit tarts to make now (1): autumn


The season of harvest, fruits or otherwise.  But mostly fruits. One of the things I greatly appreciate about Nagano here is a bounty of fresh local produce.  It is particularly gratifying that certain kinds of fruits, such as apricots, nectarines, Italian plums, and rhubarb (technically not a fruit, but still) that would be hard to come by or pretty expensive when I was in Tokyo, are

freshy, fruity, and crumbly


Summer may be slipping away, but I am still holding firm on summer fruits - or what I can have of them, at least. There are a lot of things I like about summer in Nagano.  One of them is the solid fact that it is a lot cooler and pleasant compared to what I long suffered in Tokyo.  Another is the abundance of summer fruits that are available for us throughout the season. Starting with

summer on a stick


Because sometimes only frozen treats will do on dog days of summer. ...Then again, it's not as if it gets all that hot up here in the mountains of Nagano. The ten year anniversary came and passed this humble blog of mine without many people taking notice, including yours truly (oops).  And almost every summer, I think I mentioned the fact that I have never been a summer kind of girl. 

going green


Happy 2014! Well, it may be a tad late to say New Year's greetings this late into January, but it wouldn't feel right if I didn't to begin my first entry of the year without saying something of the sort, so there. And I wouldn't even go into the question of whether or not it should feel right to leave your humble little blog in a state of near abandonment for so long. Better not say a word,

breakfast from the jar


Growing up, I was always a big breakfast eater, even when I had little time (which was often the case). I would never skip breakfast, whether it was a bowl of rice with whatever we had from the previous supper, or an occasional piece of toast or two. What I never had, though, was breakfast cereals. Cornflakes and Rice Krispies were never really part of my diet, breakfast or otherwise.

lemon yellow, from winter to spring


I don't know about you, but I have always associated lemon with summer. Fresh, vibrant, and sharp, it seemed to embody all that you crave when it's numbingly warm and sticky, as it usually is in summer in Tokyo. But as many of you know, lemon is actually a fruit of winter, just as almost all citrus fruits are - although it doesn't thrive in cold climates. And now I think about it, the

happy 2013!


Just wanted to log in to say hello to all the lovely people and wish you a very happy new year. I realize I've left this place to a state of hiatus but am hoping to come back more frequently this year. after all, 2013 marks the tenth year (!!) since i first got into the blogging thing (first in japanese... this place was born in 2004).  it's incredible to find myself still here doing this,

looking back the summer through fruits & sweets


Almost as soon as August turned into September, the cool air seemed to have mostly replaced the intense heat up here in the mountains. We had a few cold rains, and the days are getting shorter by day. Suddenly hot tea and soups are gaining their appeal back. Although it can still be hot in the sun and cicadas are doing their best to make some noise, overall, we can tell the summer has come

mostly fruit - with a bit of water and ice


With the end of August coming up and a hint of autumn in the air, it feels that the summer is almost over. Except it's not, just yet. The days are still hot and I'm still consuming quite a lot of cold drinks, mostly tea and water, but occasionally something a little more sweet and fruity. In addition to super-light flavored waters like the ones I shared in my last post, I've been having

mostly water - with a hint of summer flavors


It's mid August and the summer heat has finally hit us here up in the mountains, where you need room heating about three quarters of a year. Still, nothing compared to what I survived in Tokyo every year for most of my life, but even here it can get hotter than I'd rather like every now and then. And I find myself swapping a glass of something cold (or lukewarm) for a warm cup of tea that I

picking summer fruits and a little more...


Another month goes, and and here's another one of my futile effort to post something at least once a month (typically at the very end of one). I was going to write about how we racked up more summer fruits than we could handle this month, but I seem to be running out of time (again), so today I'm just posting some photos from a day we went berry picking earlier the month. ...But before

flavors june, from near and far


Last month chamomile, and this month, this. I might just as well change the name of my blog to she who eats flowers. Maybe. Towards the end of May, when the young, tender green of the trees becomes more intense and richer in the mountains around here, a vast part of the scenery suddenly gets a thin, cream-white veil over it. And that's acacia flowers in bloom. Known as Robinia

eating and drinking a large bouquet of small flowers...


It all started a year ago. Or perhaps two years ago, when I got a bunch of fresh chamomile and played around with it, making fresh chamomile tea and some sweets. I had great fun doing it, and I wanted to do it again last year so tried to get my hand on some fresh chamomile... unsuccessfully. This being deep in the countryside where you'd find a lot of herbs and stuff, I didn't expect it to be

a not-so-special cake with a special place in my heart...


I made a cake. Not a special cake in many ways, but a very special one for many of us here. Today you can find a huge variety of fine, exquisite patisserie in Japan, but it wasn't always like that. When I was little, cakes in general were mostly a special-day thing. A treat. They were something you'd get for an occasion, such as birthday or Christmas. There would be a decent array of

blossoms, early and late


It's time... +++ Sicily, March; Rome, March; Paris, March; Dublin, April; ...and London, April. It's been a while since I was here last. I was once again on the road, once again in Europe, for another wonderful trip of visiting so many amazing places and spending time with so many great people, about which I plan to write soon. For about a month from the mid March, I was lucky

a year.


my thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered the most, and my thanks and love to those who have supported us all. thank you. cx

uses of yuzu: marmalade and more, back to winter 2011


Another year came and another winter is about to go. So is the season of yuzu, the wonderful citrus fruit we are so fortunate to have in abundance in Japan. I've had my fair share of yuzu over the winter, but before I try to write about it here, I wanted to share something else with you. Last winter, I cooked and baked my way through using yuzu just as much as I did this year, starting

brand new year, same old standbys (and a few new things)


Happy New Year! ...well, this being the last day of January, I suspect it might be kind of wrong for one to say her New Year's greetings. That said, it would be just not right if I didn't say it in my very first entry of the year here, so that's that. I hope you all have made a good start to 2012. New Year's holidays were a very quiet, family affair for us, as we started off with a small

another year goes..


It's New Year's eve and we have less than half an hour to go before ringing in 2012 here in Japan. I have waited to write this one post for almost half a year; by July I was so ready for 2011 to be over. It hasn't been an easy year for me. As the Japanese, we suffered a shocking, life-changing event early in the year that has had, and is still having, major impacts on many aspects on our

snowy weekends


Funny how it snowed every weekend and in the weekends only (almost) this December.... Thursday the 1st of December, the first snow of the season... ...well, just a few flakes. But still. Friday the 2nd of December, woke up to the real snow... ...not really real, maybe, but more real, see. It only lasted for a few hours and was mostly gone before the end of the day, but

(re-)discovering classic fruits of autumn


Some of the typical fruits of autumn: apples, persimmons, and quinces... Well, quince. You wouldn't call it a 'typical' fruit, autumnal or otherwise, not in Japan at least. In fact, I suspect many people don't know much about it here, and most have probably never seen it. It is, however, a fairly common fruit here in this part of Nagano where they have been growing quince since the old

brown is beautiful


Making the most of the short season... Autumn in the mountains is short. (In fact, all the seasons seem to be short except for winter, but that's another story.) Autumn also happens to be my favorite time of the year, for its crisp air which is a bliss after the dreadfully hot and humid summer, days of sunshine and blue skies that we can often expect during these months, and of course, the

making up for a month that never was...


One morning in the last week of October when it was still warm enough to sit outside, if you were in the sunshine - and perhaps with a throw or blanket on the lap. And a hot cup of tea. One of those blissful autumn days. The mountains are changing their colors literally day by day, and while few trees around here have those strikingly bright red and yellow leaves that we often associate