The rainy season has finished at last and the hot summer has started in Japan.
I’m sure many are relieved now as the rainy season was longer and more persistent than usual years.
My favorite farmers market which is held at the open space in the mountain was carried out despite of drizzling last Sunday and many turned out as it was the first time since last November. (It is closed during winter.)
This farmers market is designed more for kids with handmade swings, climbing lopes, trampoline, play house kits with old pots, spatulas and so on. I love this space surrounded by nature and often tell people that it is the place where the forest fairies reside.
This occasion became the debut of my newly made Kamishibai story.
I made this story to encourage people to be compassionate for the insects.
I have read that it is a Japanese unique culture that people show the interests in insects and enjoy the sounds they make. I think it is true. Japanese people show more interests in insects compared with other nations, know the names of insects, the boys love to collect them and observe, people get the relaxation or feel the nostalgia from the sounds of insects.
However, there’s one thing I have been very uncomfortable about it.
Catching the insects with the net and putting them in the tiny cage, and then bringing them back home to keep them at their home in order to observe them are common sites during summer season. It is often promoted by adults and is often assigned to kids as a summer holiday homework from the teachers.
My heart always goes to those innocent insects.
I can hear their voices saying wanna get out of there.
Veganism should include all creatures, also insects.
Is it important to know about insects like how many legs they have, how long their antennae are, what they like to eat, how fast they grow, all by sacrificing their lives ?
I had an intention to let people be aware that insects belong to the nature not to the cages and that you can also learn these facts from books.
I got the impression the children got something from the Kamishibai I read, which I titled “Wanna Go Back Home”.
I want to read it to more people during this summer season. Insects deserve compassion and should be more included in veganism.
Today’s recipe is just suitable for coming hot summer.
It is super easy to make, may be too simple to teach.
Sooo delicious that you’ll probably eat up all you made even though you meant for the next few days.
Other recipes can also be found on our blog.
Simple Crispy Summer Vegetable Pickles
What you need are fresh and powerful summer vegetables from where you are, and also a good quality of white soy sauce for seasoning.
Every summer the tiny cherry tomatoes grow by themselves without seeding in my yard.
The cucumbers never grow straight in nice shape like commercial ones.
10 cherry tomatoes
50ml white soy sauce
1Tbsp kombu strings
1/2 chili paddy – remove seeds and cut to rings
1. Cut the cucumber to bite sizes, not too thin not too thick.
2. Prick the cherry tomatoes with a tooth pick.
3. Combine all the ingredients for seasoning in the container and add in the vegetables.
4. Keep in the fridge for 1 ~ 7 days.
You can enjoy with the other summer vegetables, such as zucchini and lady’s finger/okra.
The first 1~3 days are fresh and crispy. With the days passed by, it starts fermentation which gives the sourness and the change of color of the vegetables. The fermented vegetables create the probiotics which is beneficial for your guts and body. So it may be a good idea that you make lots of it at a time and enjoy the different taste and texture day by day.
This is about a week later, you can see the color of the cucumber changed by fermentation.
I use this brand white soy sauce. This is genuine without any additives and has very pleasant umami.
Never discard the left-over liquid. You can dilute with water and drink it as soup or use it as a vegetable stock for miso soup or other types of soup.
My favorite combination of the dishes during the summer, the sweet corn onigiri/rice ball, boiled edamame/green soy beans and hiyayakko/chilled tofu.
Happy cooking! And make sure to leave some wild flowers in your garden, so insects can rest and be included in your veganism.