Sunday, April 12, 2009


Yesterday after lunch, for our hanami we went walking south among blossoming cherry trees ephemeralizing at the feet of mountains, sweeping in curves and mounds along hillsides and riverbanks of beauty beyond artistry, waning even as we watched, the petals falling in that wistful elegance the heart knows well...

Then when we got back home in midafternoon we went to gather taranome, the king of sansai, where it grows in some secret places. Last week we'd gone to check on the buds and decided to leave them for another week, which put us on a special kind tenterhook, since there's a good chance in the meanwhile that some other sansai gatherer who knows where the thorny trees are will come along with every right to take the buds - they are wild and free, after all - plus, there are mountain hikers passing near all the time who may spot and are not above even breaking the branches to get at the delicious tender buds to have with their camp dinner. But we went back and found them all untouched and got a good bagful, not taking all, the trees now so tall that I have to use my extendable pruner to reach a few meters up. Next year the upper buds will be beyond reach.

The wait was worth it. The buds were the perfect size, just beginning to open. Had them tempura for dinner, fresh as you can get, best taranome I've ever had, until next year.

How in the heart, the cherry blossoms fall...

No comments: