Gyotaku is a traditional form of Japanese art that began over 100 years ago as a way for fishermen to keep a record of the fish they caught. They would apply sumi ink to one side of a freshly caught fish, then cover the fish with rice paper and rub to create an exact image of the fish. The ink was non-toxic and allowed for the fish to be processed for eating, while preserving records of fish species and sizes.
These utilitarian prints were incredibly life like. When done properly they retained even subtle patterns and textures of the fish. The relatively simple black ink prints later developed into an art form that added rich colors and environmental details.
– SMITHSONIAN: Education Uses of Gyotaku or Fish Printing
Last week while Larry and i were off on a trip celebrating his birthday, I came across a beautiful book on fish printing in a state park bookstore.
Last week when Larry and I were celebrating his birthday, we spent a lot of time outdoors in wild habitats on the beach and nearby habitats. I loved that we had enough knowledge to identify edibles as we walked.
One memorable trail was very narrow, flanked on both side by tickets of wild raspberry in bloom. How wonderful it will be to hike that trail in June and forage the raspberries!
Over the years one of the things I have discovered is that it is much easier to make meals and recipes from fresh ingredients if those fresh ingredients are prepped in advance and ready to go into a pot or pan or on a plate.
For the past couple of months, I have been making a point for Larry and I to each green salad each day, as many days as it is possible, given our busy schedule. Even though we miss some days each week, overall, we have both seen an improvement in our health and energy and our blood sugar is falling even though we are not strictly on our Rice Diet Revival diet. As a result of this Larry has had to lower the amount of insulin he is taking because he wakes up with his blood sugar too low.
my morning brown-rice-and-fruit and then I realized, “Of course! The sap in the maple trees must be rising!” And I was right on time. I just looked it up online and just about that time there was a flurry of news reports that the maple sap was running.
Though it won’t fully be spring until the Spring Equinox this weekend, we are in a period of time where winter is ending and spring is coming, thus the trees are exacting expressing the activity going on in Nature at this time. I love this.
While almost everyone has eaten the industrial imitation “pancake syrup” made from corn syrup, artificial maple flavor and preservatives, real maple syrup is quite a different thing.
I wrote this some years ago, but I thought of it as I was writing about Spring Equinox. Birds in the wild don’t lay eggs over the winter because it’s too cold for the chicks to survive when they hatch. So finding bird eggs is one of the first signs of spring. I don’t eat many eggs nowadays but in the past I would celebrate spring by eating things like strawberry and ricotta omelets and other egg dishes for a good week after the equinox.
I had been buying local, natural, free-range eggs at the natural food store down the street. They came in a plain white paper carton, with a simple label pasted on. “Hunt and Peck Farms,” read the label. “These ungraded FREE RANGE eggs are hand polished and not washed with detergent. No hormones, antibiotics or animal by-products are added to feed.”
These eggs were delicious, with big bright yellow yolks.
But what was really wonderful for me was that the eggs went into the carton just the way they came from the hen.
On Saturday morning Larry and I went to one of my local farmer’s markets and one farmer had a box of kumquats.
“Larry!” i shrieked. “Come buy these kumquats!” He was holding the two-for-one farmer’s market coupons he receives because he is disabled. Not only does he get money on an account but if we present it at the farmer’s market, we get coupons worth $2 for every $1 he takes from this account.
They reminded me of when I fell in love with kumquats when we live in Florida. I came to love kumquats so much that one year I even went to our local Kumquat Festival in nearby Dade City, which is known as “The Kumquat Capital of the World.” Lucky me!
You may have never even heard of a kumquat if you don’t live in Florida or California. I’m not sure how far and wide they are shipped.