Thursday, September 24, 2009


Yesterday, after completing my gardening duties for the day I took an hour or so break from my intensive loafing regimen to go look for mukago, one of my favorite free foods of the sansai category, which are usually swelling to silvery abundance right about now on vines of yellowing heart-shaped leaves threading over and through the thick mountain bamboo groves. Last year was the best crop ever.

You can eat mukago raw, but the potato-like nodules are better when fried alone, boiled together with rice, stir-fried with various vegs or cooked elsewise with your choice of otherness-- but their look and general uniqueness make them perfect for some fourth-star-seeking chef to make a cuisinary miracle out of, were he-she to trek up here and ask me where the secret places are.

But said chefs can put their careers on hold for now, mukago-wise, because I went to all my favorite secret mukago harvesting spots and found only a few forlorn pea-sized nodules hanging around solo, in a mood of general mukago disappointment, which can be severe. You just had to be there. Must have been the non-stop rain and mostly dreams of sun that made up this summer.

So to do my part, with thoughts of warm summer suns and generous but perfectly distributed rains next year, I picked the few meagers that were there and scattered them to several places where no mukago are growing, and changed the universe forever.

1 comment:

Apprentice said...

Always a pleasure to catch up with your blog.
Sorry to hear about the mukago, but I guess the chestnuts worked out well this year. Amateras Omikami works in mysterious ways....
I was reminiscing with a friend on Facebook (yep) and we used to watch you do some readings at the Kyoto Connection back in the mid to late 80's. Do you remember the name of the haunt they were held at?