home-dried hoshi-gaki

home-dried hoshi-gaki

one month ago i started stringing persimmons on the drape runner and this third curtain in the setting of two linen ones is still growing. it’s the perfect spot above the heater and aside from a slightly open window. usually we have up to three dozen of persimmons there. from time to time they need a gentle massage. i call them festive garlands as they are the most beautiful and tasty decorations ever. an ancient delicacy. three autumns ago, after watching the ‘little forest’ (リトル フォレスト ), it has become our tradition.

we do not have hachiya (蜂屋柿) variety here, but large azerbaijani acorn-shaped persimmons are just perfect for such occasion. they have plenty of tannin, too and all the stringency only after one month transforms into heavenly honey sweetness. i am enjoying one right now! here are some slices from our first pair of hoshi-gaki. shaped like a paw (ah!), some alvar aalto creation and, of course, a heart. there is always a heart…

sometimes i want to go deeper and read something scientific and connect some dots with my own thoughts and speculations: ‘the fact that the tannin in persimmons becomes highly localized during the process of ripening was pointed out by the japanese investigator aso in I900 (a physiological function of oxydase in kaki-fruit. bot. mag. tokyoI4: 179. I900). he calls the cells ‘tannin sacs’, but all he mentions concerning them is that the tannin is stored in large cells, and he accredits its deposition largely to the action of an oxydase…’ now, when buying unripe and solid persimmon i am seeing these long tannin cells concentrating, then sealing themselves, lurking, restoring.

i am using thick linen thread, looping it first to insert the stem and learning new japanese expressions from the kaki-world… tsurushi-gaki (吊るし柿) – a sight of stringed persimmons and kaki-sudare (柿簾) – more like a screen or a mat or a curtain of persimmons, probably i would call that our composition at home. shibu-gaki (渋柿) – tart persimmon, the one you will peel and hang to dry…

давно было пора посвятить этой традиции отдельную главу. хошигаки, сушеная прекрасная хурма, больше вяленая, после одного месяца под карнизом у нас в комнате. теплая батарея снизу и приоткрытое окно сбоку. в этот раз они особенно вкусные. это азербайджанские, очень похожие на японский сорт хурмы хачиа (хачия) по форме и размеру, с острыми носиками. очень вяжущие, прямо как нужно. при сушке они все темнеют, оставляя яркие кончики. без белого сахарного налета, но с благородным матовым блеском. они намного слаще сахара, кажется!

sweet beets

this winter we finally visited café aalto. because it’s in the bookstore and hasn’t changed since.. we were born. pairs of wooden tables, homey coat corner with few umbrellas, menus in japanese, wealthy grey-haired ladies with desserts and fruit plates, the most attentive waitress who looks exactly like nastassja kinski in (i’m sorry) ‘one night stand’ and the beet soup.

we love beets. and i would never call it ‘it’. she is the queen and does not really need a recipe. steamed slowly and haven’t given her sweetness away to the water(if boiled), she’ll need only a pinch of salt and black pepper. we also added mozzarella. and it was a restaurant meal all the way, from the colours to the flavours…

никаких рецептов для нашей любимой свеклы! пароварка, разбавить водой, чуть нагреть, чуть соли и перца, и всё! и крыло вечернего света. какой ужин был красивый у нас. снова.