"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: tuna sashimi

‘reward’ dinner notes . . .

reward dinner photo 1

This morning (Saturday of Labor Day weekend,) I made good progress in the living area. I hauled out all of the piles of things sitting around the room and grouped ‘like to like’: magazines, writing drafts, books, bills to be paid, etc. I consolidated the trash and moved the bins closer to the table. Cleared off all the extra stuff on our handsome pride-of-place soapstone countertop. Had a little more of a challenge figuring out where to put all the stuff that was being cleared away but that’s the way it always seems to be. And I don’t want to give it away either!

Second, I did two rounds of 30 minutes each and took a five minute break in between. Then, I decided to write checks, pay bills and prepare a package for mailing. Went to the post office, looked at a few things at TJ Maxx but decided to order online at Amazon instead. And finally wound my way back up to the fish market. The first piece a girl behind the counter cut for me was not big enough and still had the thick black skin of the tuna weighing it down. The second piece she cut for me was gorgeous. That’s the only word for it. tuna sashimi

On the way home, I thought the piece of yellowfin tuna was so fresh that I debated about whether to ‘dress it up’ and make one of the recipes for “Hawaiian Poke” (pronounced po-kay) with two kinds of onions (sweet and scallions), sesame seeds, nori and wakame seaweed, soy, sesame and a little honey for dressing. . . or serve it up straight and unadorned as a modest tuna sashimi with rice and cucumber salad on the side. I think I’ll let George be the arbiter of this difficult decision!

So, here’s the verdict and a photo of our meal: we both preferred to have the tuna sashimi-style with Ohsawha organic soy sauce and wasabi paste.

I cooked a pot of short-grain and brown rice in some dashi broth with a little soy added. (A teaspoon of instant dashi, a teaspoon of soy stirred into a cup of mixed rice (shortgrain white, sweet rice and shortgrain brown rice) with a cup and a half spring water in a rice cooker.)

cucumber wakame saladThis is what we have gotten used to eating and I call it “sticky rice” because of the sweet rice that’s included with the other rice. On the side, I’ll slice some English cucumber thinly and toss with some Japanese seasoned gourmet vinegar, soy, sesame and some wakame seaweed and a dab of sweetener. Yum!

Tomorrow, I’m going to tackle one of the bedroom areas and the plant room where the birds used to reside but are much happier being closer to us in the living room where they warble away every night around 7:10 p.m. right after the evening news. Go figure!



dogwood . . .

miniature dwarf red dogwoodI went to an event in a nearby town today and walked by a series of dwarf dogwood trees with unusual small reddish flowers. I picked a small sprig, feeling guilty, because I wanted to research the species when I got home so that we might find a tree or two to plant in our garden.

Dogwood is one of my favorite Spring flowering trees. I grew up in Northern Virginia, and as you may know, dogwood is the official state flower of Virginia. The classic white ones, called Cornus Florida, can be very majestic. We had a very old one with its trunk branching out in the courtyard of an old cottage that we once owned up in Rockport, a seaside town near Gloucester. I don’t care that much for the popular Kousa dogwood because it seems more like an untidy, overgrown shrub rather than a tree with a trunk, and the flowers look like flat petals that just came off an ironing board!

It’s been an interesting week. I am reminded once again how there are lessons to be learned and perspective to be transformed when one tests one’s assumptions amongst unfamiliar people. In the I-Ching, there is a saying where one finally realizes that someone we think is our worst enemy “covered with dirt,” is proven instead to be a friend and not an antagonist after all. Quite a profound realization, especially when it comes from within.

Tonight for dinner, we had sticky rice, tuna sashimi, dipped in a cooled sauce containing organic soy, tamari, sake, mirin and a little dashi. A small thimble of finely grated fresh ginger root and another small thimble of wasabi stood in opposite corners of the sauce dish. Some daikon (white radish) thinly sliced provided a cleansing crunch to the salt. I had some fine leafed kale (lacinato variety) that I chopped into large pieces after removing the center stem. Heated up some rapeseed oil (that I read about in my Japanese Farm house cookery book) sauteed some chopped scallions, added the kale and then turned off the heat so that the kale would not wilt and shrink. A couple of drops of Ohsawa soy and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice dressed the kale as I scraped it out into a bowl. Although it was a simple meal of rice, fish and kale–the condiments added complexity and made all the difference. The piquancy of the finely grated fresh ginger along with the hot wasabi in the fragrant dipping sauce made the tuna sashimi delectable to eat. Not very much of anything really, but a meal that was so good, I could eat it just about every night.

After dinner, I finished sewing on the buttons to the cable cardigan in a sky blue Rowan tweed aran yarn with white flecks that remind me of clouds in the sky or froth on the ocean for my granddaughter, A. I’ll put it in the mail after I wrap it up. I think that’s the seventh sweater or vest I’ve knitted since mid-January.

All in all, not a bad end to a couple of stressful weeks.

red dogwood 2