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September 12, 2009


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Preeva Tramiel

Okra in potato salad should be great!

Now that we are on the subject of potatoes, what happened to the tiny ones? From your picture, it looks like there aren't any!

Peter McCook

It's nice to see the surroundings and the crops. Love the description of Riku enjoying his potato.

Rodney Fong

I didn't think there would be a lot of potatoes in Japan. Seems like there isn't much potato in the Japanese cuisine that we have here, except for tempura, and of course potato salad. Potato salad here in Hawaii, like macaroni salad, is a religion unto its own. Very different than the "mainland" type of salad, like German-style salad, and more like the type you have in Japanese restaurants and okazu-yas. The right mayonnaise is extremely important, but I don't know if anyone here does homemade mayonnaise. That would definitely be a thing to try. It is amazing at all the different types of potatoes there are now in the markets. When I was growing up, there was your basic russet, or ugly looking brown potato, and a smooth skinned version, or salad potato. I love the kids reactions and interactions with all of the produce and foods. Can't wait for your next installment.


What you are teaching these children is admirable. I really wish we could be part of it! I just want to give it all up and head to SSU! when I see your beautiful photos.

Nancy Hachisu

Preeva: yes, raw okra is wonderful. Japanese slice it paper thin, put it in a little bowl, top it with fresh shaved katsuobushi and drizzle with soy sauce (really nice). Okra is one of my most favorite vegetables, though they are very itchy to cut off the plant. Indian okra dishes are unbelievably good. There were small potatoes, but just didn't show up in the photo. Tadaaki kept tossing the big ones and it was easier to just snap what was there. Though I think there's a little one in the back left.

Peter: The weeds along the background are ours (unfortunately). The potato area represents maybe 1/32 of the field. But I'm not good with spatial concepts. I'll try to get some better photos as I go along. Right now it's basically grab as many shots as I can while keeping a handle on the kids or the food. Riku (and his brother and sister) are pretty amazingly appreciative eaters. I hear he wants to come back to the U.S. again with us in Feb (he just turned 7). He's coming again for the food.

Rodney: there aren't a lot of varieties of potatoes in Japan, though that's changing. Until fairly recently, there were only 2 kinds of white potatoes (Danshaku and May Queen) and a very starchy not so tasty red potato. The red potatoes have gotten better, but there still isn't much choice of what we can grow. Japanese do eat potatoes, though namely in simmered dishes: niimono and nikujaga. Also potato salad. But they'll serve the potato dishes with rice as well. I don't need the double dose of starch, so I skip the rice. As for potato salad, you're right it's a bit different. I didn't include the recipe on the blog, but I think I'll go back and add it. According to Maki Itoh (Just Hungry), if you use rice vinegar instead of lemon juice and add a little sugar, you'll end up with a more "Japanese" mayo. Another big difference is they smash the potatoes before folding in the vegetables and mayonnaise.

Barb: we still miss you and hope that you and little Spence will come spend some time back in the fold. Do you recognize any faces? Koki and Mana are probably about the only ones, I guess. Koki's sister Kotone is the darling little girl in the potato photo. She screws up her face into a big smile (like me) and shouts out "Nancy" every time she sees me--she's waiting for me to answer in kind (same huge grin and a return "Kotone"). I love having the siblings.

Rodney Fong

Yes, mashing the potatoes, with some bits, along with chunks of carrots is how we like it.

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Rodney, nice to see you back. I wonder if you see a lot of mayonnaise use in Hawaii? A friend who lived in Japan for 3 years said she had never eaten so much mayonnaise in her life. Ever heard of mayonnaise on your pizza?

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Rodney, nice to see you back. I wonder if you see a lot of mayonnaise use in Hawaii? A friend who lived in Japan for 3 years said she had never eaten so much mayonnaise in her life. Ever heard of mayonnaise on your pizza?

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