January 2012 Archives

Making Ginger-Syrup

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ginger1.jpgMy father gave me a bundle of fresh ginger he grew last autumn. I used some and gave friends some, but there still remains a lot. The other day I found a recipe for ginger-syrup. As it is off today, I decided to try.
First, I washed the ginger with a toothbrush carefully. The ginger wrapped in mud was as fresh as just after the harvesting. The weight was precisely 300g. Then I sliced it thinly, put the slices into a bowl. I measured the same amount of sugar, added it to the slices and mixed them well by hand. Then leave them alone for more than 30 minutes. A large quantity of juice came from the sliced ginger. Then put the ginger into an enamel pan together with the juice and sugar. Do not add any water. Stew it slowly, skimming the scum. Put out the fire after 30 minutes and add some squeezed lemon juice. Leave until it cool down, filter it, and put it in a sterilized bottle.
ginger2.jpgThere! This is my first handmade ginger-syrup! I can enjoy it with tea. I can also make ginger-ale with some cider.
They say you can use the remaining ginger for sugar preserves. Or you can cook it with soy sauce, and kelp or sesame. Sweets made from ginger are very attractive to me. So I save it in the freezer now, and will try another recipe next time.

A News

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I got a postcard this evening. It says that one of the old acquaintances of mine died on December 11.
I first met her nearly 20 years ago. In those days I was involved in a certain group, and we both stayed for a workshop. She was perhaps seven or eight years older than me. She was beautiful, elegant, and quiet. She was always calm. She had a certain dignity and everybody liked and respected her. She was running a boutique with her husband in Kochi. I remember that she and I alone had breakfast on the same table. Though we did not have much time, she was eating the complete, Japanese style of dishes without changing her pace. Others went away hastily, but I did not want to leave her. She was putting on very beautiful arm bands made of pale pink chiffon cloth. I had never seen such elegant arm bands then. So her fashion sense became one of my models.

Afterward, her family and I exchanged New Year's greeting cards every year. They always sent us postcards of their family. At first, the family members were five; the couple and three kids. It grew bigger gradually when the children got married one by one. Then their grandchildren joined in. Such warm and friendly pictures of a family made me happy, while mine has been changing a lot.
Last year, seeing the picture of the year, I felt she looked tired. I thought she had gotten old. Of course, as I got old, even she could get old. I did not know she was ill.
On the postcard I received today, she was sitting at the center of her family: her children, children's spouses, grandchildren and her husband. They are all smiling happily. She is holding a bouquet and smiling, though it is apparent that she is suffering from a fatal illness. Her husband writes: "She chose this picture for the greeting card. It was taken on October 30. She discharged on 27 and could attend our grandson's birthday party. We started from two. It has become 13. Now she has gone, and our second daughter is expecting. It will be her reincarnated. We will keep what she created and protected with love and care."
I couldn't help crying.

The Secret Statue

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Last Sunday I went to the Shitennoji temple, which is said to be the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, built in 593. One of my young Adlerian friends will take a qualifying examination in a week, so I wanted to get a lucky charm for him.
Shitennoji was erected by Shotoku-Taishi (Prince Shotoku), who is known to be the cleverest noble man in Japan. There are about six stations by bus from my house to the Shitennoji temple. I would have the Tibetan Buddhism lessons from 11 o'clock that day, and I decided to go to the temple in the morning.

shotokutaishi.jpgI took the bus at 9:25 and got off near the west gate of the temple. I had once visited this temple, but I completely forgot the map of the yard. The temple was vast! I lost my way to find the office where I could buy the lucky charm. Before I found the office, I happened to find a notice which said they were showing us a treasured Buddhist statue of Shotoku-Taishi. The statue is forbidden to the public eyes except January 22, 10 am - 3 pm. Today! How lucky I was! I felt I should see the statue.
shitennoji-map.jpgI wandered the vast yard and managed to arrive at the Taishi-Okuden (Inmost Hall). It was 10 o'clock, then, a group of Buddhist monks was reciting the sutras and the forbidden doors were open. It was the statue of Prince Shotoku when he was 49 years old. The color on the wooden statue was vivid and impressive. Prince Shotoku was known for his profound faith in Buddhism when it was minor religion in Japan. Today I can learn Buddhism in Japan owing to Prince's virtue. Worshiping in front of the statue, I meditated on this rare chance.
After saying good-bye to the secret statue, I went to Potala College on foot for the lessons. It took near 30 minutes, but I walked happily. The lessons were extremely impressive that day! I am really happy. It is because perhaps I am on the right track of the spiritual path ... on the path of Buddhism.

Sun Catcher

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A happy new year to my friends! as this is the first blog article this year. I have been lazy near a month. I have several topics I want to share, but once I stopped, it was difficult to start again...as always.

suncatcher.jpgAnyway, today I want to talk about a birthday present one of my best friends gave to me. It is a sun-catcher made of crystal. I can hang the chain to the iron stand. Unfortunately, it has been cold and cloudy since I set it by the window. My room is open to the east, so it is necessary to catch the sun ray in the morning. I longed for the warm sunny morning. At last it came. Although the winter sun's rays are still weak, can you see the small sparkles of the sun under the crystal? They spread to the walls and ceiling in my room, and when I slightly touch the crystal, all rays of rainbow colors shake and sway. It is fun to see! I have another crystal of round polygon which produces different pattern of rainbow rays. The sun-catcher has become one of my favorite accessories for my room.
The black bird sitting beside the sun-catcher is made of wax; a candle. If you come to my house, you will be surprised to find many fake birds. As I bought a new digital camera last week, I think I can introduce them by and by.

suncatcher3.jpg

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

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