Friday, July 27, 2007


On the other day, I carried out the second step of "the making of UMEBOSHI".

At first, I prepare red leaves like a basil, we call "aka-jiso",
and I wash it well and remove soil and dust with water.

And I sprinkle salt on it and rub it well in order to take out lye.
The shiso-leaves becomes the size of a big rice ball when I strongly squeeze it.
By an effect of the salt, very dark purple lye fully appears with water.
It is a very clean and beatiful color, but I have to leave all this liquid.

*The picture is waving salt once again after having thrown away the lye.

Ah! Watch out.
hands are stained with purple unless I wear rubber gloves.

And I repeat the work which is to sprinkle salt and to rub it well, again.
Then dark purple lye appears steadily again though I so strongly squeezed it a while ago.
And this time, the rice ball becomes one size smaller than the last one when I strongly squeeze it again.
Maybe you would feel slightly a waste, but I have to leave all this liquid, again.

Anyway, this is an end of work to need some power.

Then, I take out some white plum vinegar appearing from the plums which I preserved in salt before,
we call "shiro-ume-zu", and pour into the rice ball of the leaves and untie the rice ball well.
Then a color of the vinegar changes in clean purple-red immediately. Like an experiment of chemistry.

This beautiful purple-red vinegar is called "aka-ume-zu", and it is an important by-product in the making of UMEBOSHI.

At last, I return this vinegar with shiso-leaves onto the plums, and this work is completed.

Well, as you know, ume vinegar got a color, I use the glass plate instead of one weight and the wooden drop lid from today.

Well, finally, the next work is the sun airing, After the rainy season was over.
Meanwhile, the plum is in danger of molding by then.
But now what I should do is just to wait for the rainy season to be over.
And I'm going to report this continuance at another opportunity.

HOZUKI-ICHI in Asakusa

Do you know " HOZUKI-ICHI" ?

On July 9 and 10th, "HOZUKI" fair is held every year in Tokyo, Senso-ji Temple of Asakusa.
Since Edo Period, the people have visited Senso-ji Temple on this day.

In the Temple, there was a lot of "HOZUKI" stand and it was so crowded!
And you can get an Edo wind-chime that a tone is so nice, if you buy a "HOZUKI".
It's sold any stand with about 2,500 yen and they reduce the price a little in the evening of 10th.

In addition, There was many stands of various food and toys, too.
So I could enjoy a Japanese summer festival very much.

Actually, it was the first time to come here for me, so I bought one for my memory.

I am glad if I have you feel an atmosphere a little with some photographs in here.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Three days passed since I put plums in salt.
Well, shall we check them?

This picture is today's plums.
We can see that the clear ume vinegar appears.
We call this white plum vinegar, "Shiro-ume-zu" in Japanese.

I reduce a weight to 1 today.
And I cover a container with its lid and put it in the dark, cool place again.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


It is the first how to make pickled plums this time.
The things to prepare are...

well ripe yellow plums (2kg)
salt ( 300g)
vodka (100cc)

an enamel container with the handle and its lid
two weights (2kg×2)
a wooden drop lid
a clean towel

(And I will use two pieces of glass flat dishes later.)

1: I soak the plums in water for about 1 hour.
By doing it this way, a fruit is easy to become it away from the seed later. In addition, I can pull lye.
During this time, I wash tools and dry them, and I spray vodka and sterilize it.

2: After taking plums out from water, I remove twigs with bamboo skewers carefully. (picture 1)
And I wipe plums with vodka more than 35 degrees and sterilize it.

3: I put plums in the container of the enamel
and sprinkle salt on them. (picture 2&3)

4: I add vodka to there, shake the container up and down,
and salt turns around in the whole. (picture 4)

5: I put a wooden drop lid and put two weights on the top
and cover it with a clean towel. (picture 5&6&7)

6: I put this in the dark, cool place in my house, and it is the end of the first step.

For three or four days, I should shake the container in morning and evening, twice a day.
But while I do this work, all the room is filled with the nice sweet smell of the plums and I am so happy!

And this is only just the opening of this work.(^-^)

the making of UMEBOSHI (pickled plum)!

In the morning of this Tuesday, I began the making of UMEBOSHI.

According to the another view, it is said that there is UMEBOSHI as traditional save food in Japan from the Heian period (about 1300years ago). But currently, the number of people who make UMEBOSHI may decrease because we can easily get it in supermarcket.

Well, I had not made UMEBOSHI before, but I brought myself to challenge it this year so far.
Therefore I'm going to report it from now on here.