When Los Poblanos hosted Nancy Singleton Hachisu , who was then on her book tour for Japanese Farm Food, (click here for the earlier post) I thought it was an extraordinary event that would not be repeated in my lifetime. Some smart student of Zen will point out that no event can be repeated; each moment is unique.Yes ,grasshopper that is true, but what was repeated was a visit from the delightful Nancy Singleton Hachisu.
This time she was promoting her new book, Preserving the Japanese Way. Traditions of Salting, Fermenting,and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen. It's a clever title, for this book is as much about preserving the traditional methods of preservation as it it is about recipes and techniques for the English-speaking cook. Like its predecessor, this is a beautiful book with gorgeous pictures and intriguing stories about the Japanese people who make these traditional foods. This is a book to savor with all of your senses, even if you never use a single recipe from it. I think, however, it would be a shame if one didn't cook from it.
Nancy's energy is amazing. Just watching her prepare the dishes for the lunch we would enjoy left me a bit breathless. It's inspiring to watch someone who so clearly loves her subject and the work that flows from that love.
Shio Koji Grilled Boneless Pork Butt Chops, Fall Greens Salad with Figs and Soy Sauce Vinaigrette
Salt-Massaged Baby Turnips and their greens, Cucumber pickles with Umeboshi and Katsuobushi, Celery pickled in Dashi and Fish Sauce
I hope the pictures give you some idea of the beauty and the pure goodness of this food. Using first-rate ingredients and treating them with respect and impeccable technique made for a truly memorable meal.
If you have any interest at all in things Japanese, you should read this book.