Sunday, September 19, 2004

Weekend at My Parents'

I visited my parents’ house over the weekend and spent some time with my mom in the vegetable garden and my father’s orchard. My parents grow vegetables in the garden right behind their house, and several kinds of citrus fruits in the orchard which is a bit far.

Well, I guess I could describe my family as basically easygoing, or carefree (or careless). Here’s an example. My mom had told me several times this summer that birds were eating almost all figs on the fig tree. Then she said she put a net over the fig tree to protect figs from the birds.
Yeah, I see the net.

Mom, if I were a bird, I wouldn’t give up eating the figs on this tree.

Most of summer vegetables (tomatoes, okuras, eggplants, bitter gourds, cucumbers, etc.) were already gone and instead, I saw sprouts of spinach, Japanese horseradish (Daikon) and some other vegetables. This was the only one that had something ready to pick.

Later, mom wanted to pick some lemons, so we went to the orchard. It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from my parents’ house, UPHILL.
The oranges look like this now.

Ponkan oranges: a very popular kind in my hometown.

We picked some lemons, and mom also picked some leaves of Japanese anise for the Buddhist service of the equinoctial week. In Japan, the leaves of this plant are usually offered on the family alter and grave. The Japanese name of the plant is ”Shikibi,” but in my hometown people call it “hanaeda.”

Japanese anise and mom

There are too many mosquitoes in the orchard. Long sleeve shirts are the must-have.

Oh, you want to know what I ate at my parents' house? Sliced raw bonito. Fresh from the ocean. Believe me, it tastes very good when it's fresh --- so good that I forgot to take a photo of it.