Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A windy weekend in Japan

Vicious gales scraped past the Japanese archipelago over last weekend, howling and screaming... Wind velocities of over 80 kph (in Kyushu) killed people, stopped trains, cancelled flights, and blew away my precious layer of leaf mulch in the vegetable garden. The serene Japan Inland Sea saw waves of up to 3 meters when it is 0.5 meters on a normal day as ferries remained docked and fishermen were reduced to watching television at home. 

Along with the winds came the yellow sand clouds all the way from the deserts in northwestern Chinese and Mongolian deserts. Visibility was reduced to about 3 to 4 kilometers, and the islands off the beaches seemed to have disappeared from view... 

With a three-day weekend, still managed to do quite a bit despite the less than friendly weather... such as going to an 'environmentally-friendly' jersey cow dairy farm to collect a few bagfuls of cow dung for the vegetable garden. It was not well fermented yet so handling was a bit messy though. Then, along with some fellow villagers, we went collecting rubbish in the hills as part of the regular community service activity. After which, planted tens and tens of geranium into pots big and small. I plan to 'strategically' place these potted geraniums on the vegetable beds as part of companion planting, hoping to confuse the pests-insects. 

And on a windy, better-to-stay-indoors like this past weekend, we looked up some recipes on the net. With potatoes from the last harvest, why not do something with them, we asked ourselves. We have been eating potato salad almost everyday, but still several kilos remain and 'eyes' are appearing on the potatoes. 

Aha, why not Mee Rebus from PigPig's Corner? With no prior shopping for ingredients, we made do with what we have in the house... There was no bean sprouts, no chicken stock... Overall, it turned out to be an interesting first experiment and although the taste was of course far from what we would expect from Mee Abu of Alor Star, it was delicious enough. As we were very generous with potatoes, the gravy turned out to be very thick. 

Good reference for experimenting on the next windy day...