72 seasons of eating
EPICUREAN IDEALS from
the HEART of JAPAN
Mirukashi is a pastoral, a gastronomic journey through the seasonal rhythms of the kitchen and the table in the heart of rural Japan.
Take a seat and read along.
Mid-afternoon I drove down the mountain, my mind turned in on itself, fully absorbed in anticipation of the meeting I was rushing towards. I came around the familiar bend at the end of the bamboo grove and drove straight into the blustering burn. It delivered me from my distraction right into the moment, what might […]
This morning I woke to the gentle patter of a steady rainfall. The sun struggled to impel its light through a sky quilted in dark clouds. The air is slowly but steadily warming and what once fell as snow now turns to rain. It saturates the earth. As the thawing soil drinks it in, moisture […]
Outside my kitchen window a party of small, cold-hardy songbirds splash about in a flooded pot of dormant water lilies. Their giddy chatter and cheerful presence never fails to brighten my day. But today is already a bright day. The sun beams from a clear sky as if to celebrate this first day of a […]
East meets west in an orange tree When I arrived in Mirukashi, untethered by words or customs to the culture, I plunged my hands into the earth in an effort to ground myself. I tried to tame the wild mountainside and to garden in the hard, red clay to little avail and so instead turned […]
Celebrating the New Year For the New Year’s holiday the fishmonger supplies plump, large red snapper. Red snapper is celebratory, with red and white flesh the symbolic colors of celebration. We always order one and savor it over a few days and in many ways. On the first we celebrate with sashimi. On the second […]
An ornamental tree There will never be a white Christmas in Mirukashi. If we get snow it comes only in flurries and dustings that don’t stick. But I consider the kaki trees my consolation. Driving the country roads, it seems the hills are dressed for the holidays, the dull winter landscape bedecked with persimmon-jeweled trees. I […]
Chasing away the chill We’ve crested the peak of autumn’s colors and outside the landscape has submitted to the inevitability of winter. Leaves have faded and fallen. Winds blow in from the North and bring with them a biting chill. When the temperatures drop I’m plagued by an internal shiver with only three potential remedies, […]
Indulging a craving for richer foods One day the air takes a turn towards cold. We pull out sweaters, install a woolen throw on the arm of the couch, and there you have it, cold weather mode begins. As the days shorten we become reacquainted with darkness and senses other than sight engage. We grow more […]
Mukago are a delicious entertainment It’s that time of year when you can bake in the sun and shiver in the shade. It’s hard to regulate our temperatures. Layers of clothing are thrown on and cast off throughout the day. A wind felt neither as warm nor cold rattles the screens and leaves flutter to […]
The body is soothed and the soul is stirred Ten months ago, after years of wise guidance by my mother-in-law, a devoted practitioner of elegant and pragmatic home cooking, I took a leap and began studying Japanese cuisine at the next level in earnest with Tsuchiya san, a family friend and former chef at Robata […]
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