My time on the internet is pretty much limited to 2 minutes here and 3 minutes there unless I call my parents. Eric took our laptop to a local computer repair shop and he mentioned that he understood one word in particular, "motherboard" and that it would cost about 3 man en to fix (about $350) not including shipping. So for now, we'll hold onto our beloved notebook until we return to the US sometime this summer before actually getting it fixed. However, the thought of not having a laptop for my use until then as well as while on the move was a little daunting, so Eric ordered a new Dell which we'll see when Eric's parents arrive in April. So, until then you'll see very few posts from me. Sorry!
Back to takenoko, bamboo shoots. We befriended a family from Etta's preschool thanks to the other American family here. We were invited to go on a bamboo shoot dig with them near their friends' place. We decided to skip Etta's gymnastic class today for this one. We made the 40 minute drive to their friends' home and from there they took us up a nearby mountain to a bamboo forest. Think of bamboo as tall as pine trees and pretty dense. I had no idea what we were looking for until the first one was found. You push your foot around until you feel something hard and partially protruding from the ground, then check to see if it's a bamboo shoot. I of course didn't find any, I was too busy keeping Chloe from jumping off any steep inclines (which there were lots of in the bamboo forest) or taking pictures. Here are a few pictures of our time in the forest.
Chloe is carrying a tiny bamboo shoot, we later found out that this size has no flavor. We needed to set our sites on BIG.
While having a mikan for a snack, Eric found this one...can you see it??????
Happy Eric. Turns out there was another one right next to it.
We returned to our friends' friends' home (confusing huh?) to be served lunch. Our friends brought stuff to make takoyaki. I'm not going to try explaining that one, check out the link if you'd like. There was also tempura made with plants from the garden (one flowering plant and another similar to leeks), onigiri (the girls' favorite), caprese salad, and chicken. It was a feast. I picked up some local strawberries to bring with us as well as my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. After lunch they showed us their garden which was full of local fruit trees and bushes. They also planted potatoes while we were there and had the kids help out. It was quite an experience today. The husband had mentioned he was the 28th generation to live on that property. That house was over 50 years old plus a two year old addition to it. The grandfather also lived there (very common here in Japan).
What an interesting day! We came home with about a pound of boiled and peeled bamboo shoots. I made takenoko gohan (bamboo shoot rice) for dinner tonight and it was quite tasty. I still have about half a pound of bamboo shoots left so I think I'll try tempura which was recommended. As for the taste, completely different than the canned version. I think I'll have a hard time eating the canned version from now on. They are soft (not stringy or chewy) and have a very light flavor. I'll take a picture of tempura when I make it. Hope you enjoyed our little adventure today in real Japan life!