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September 03, 2010


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Brad Fisher

I remember shopping for cucumbers in Japan and coming home, not with Zeppelin-sized American cukes, but with those thin, solid, juicy and flavorful Kyuri... and loving their flavor in everything from salads to sushi. Hard to find in the States!



wonderful post and yes, the farmer is just oozing from you! Beautiful meals too!

My son and his teaching colleagues and students at CAJ in Higashi-Kurume have been suffering and withering in the record heat too. It sounds like it has been brutal. I hope relief is in sight.

I miss seeing you in class!


Dianne Jacob

Hello Nancy,

There's so much passion and energy in this post. I love how your voice comes through so fiercely. I can imagine you here telling me the story.

And so sad about losing the baby. But your indomitable spirit keeps going through it all. I laughed out loud about you donning the bathing suit and jumping in your kid's pool.

To life, Nancy! You make me happy to be alive.


Nancy, you wrote a perfect description of hot August days in Japan. What a toll sweltering heat and humidity take when you're not accustomed to it...or simply plain hate it. Not sure how in the world you survived all these years...and this year!...but hats off to you for such a positive attitude. Not only does your indominatable spirit allow you to march on through the heat, but it's clear you are not going to give up on becoming a farmer either. Hooray! Cucumbers and miso...it makes my mouth water just looking at that photo. You'll be enjoying cooler weather soon when you come east...let's hope.


Brad: Too bad you're not on the west coast because slender Japanese cucumbers have been around there for a long time, ever since I left for Japan, in fact. Hmm...maybe the Vermont farmers are planting them now? Do you do a CSA box? That's a great way to get in touch with the local farmers, though winter must be tough. Pennsylvania, is it?

Emily: High praise coming from you...I peak in on your briarcroft site every once in a while. I'm not too tech savvy so don't know how to do feedburner, or whatever automatic thing I need to do to get announcements when you post. (Perhaps I shouldn't mention my ineptness on my blog site.) Have you continued along with the classes? I finally had to prioritize and hired my own editor (see Dianne Jacob above, food editor, extraodinaire). I got a lot out of commenting on others' work, but eventually didn't feel I got back equal time from the whole group. You of course were always super thorough. We're having a edamame cropping event on Oct 9, Saturday. Tell your son, it will be near here in the hills. Have him email me if he's interested. I wrote a post about edamame last year, also.

Dianne: As always, your positive words keep me going. Thanks. And yes, that was a funny summer in the bathing suit. I can still feel myself in the kitchen with the wet suit and the damp t-shirt. I never bothered using a towel and just drip, dripped into the house. But I can also remember just as well that turning point and the huge relief of no longer fighting the summer. Because truly it can be hell. Sweating as you go to bed, sweating as you wake up. Embrace the sweating and you're OK. Can't wait for the cooler Berkeley breeze and our lunch.

Mora: Sounds like you've been here in August. A far cry from the Belgian weather, right? One thing that keeps me going is knowing the hot weather will not last. That is why this year has been so difficult, there has been no respite. As I look at the cucumber photo, I see they are some of the bigger ones, the cucumbers are exploding this year. The "me shoga" or young ginger is what is making my mouth water. I also made some plum vinegar pickles with it last month. Yum. Looking forward to lunch at Naoko's, the boys will join us. And yes, I can't say I'm sorry for a couple weeks in cooler climes.

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