This is the latest in the Malcolm Ernst series of cartoons.
Hi, everyone, your favorite Akita bijin, Akie, here. And can I tell you how tired I am. I just finished the rice harvesting for this year’s crop and what a relief. We had a pretty warm and dry August, so I’m sure our ‘always delicious’ rice will be even more so this year!
I just love shinmai, the newly harvested rice. I always look forward to this time every year. The fields are all stubble now with the crows and sparrows pecking away at whatever is left on the ground. This is where that saying, “The early bird always gets the worm” comes in handy. And can I tell you, are there a lot of early birds. Because our rice fields are close to forest areas we get a lot of winged wildlife stopping in for daily meals.
All of this, for me, symbolizes the end of year. Winter is drawing near, and it seems as if nature is preparing herself for the frigid days ahead. Akita gets really cold in the winter, and the snow is usually out of control, but I will save that for another blog.
The days are getting shorter as the mornings and evenings become noticeably cooler and cooler. There is the arid smell of burning rice stalks hanging on the evening breeze, and the hum of rice processing machines riding on those same gusts of wind. It is a beautiful time to be in Akita!
The leaves on the trees all over the city and throughout the countryside are ever so slowly changing into their seasonal array of vivid colors. In a week or so, the reds, yellows, and oranges will be dazzling! I can’t wait to grab my camera and go out and take lots of pictures! Just about everywhere you turn you can find an interesting picture to snap. I will be sure to share them with you in my coming blogs.
But now I’m going to enjoy a local delight, kiritampo nabe, a favorite dish we just love this time of year. Basically, it’s a big pot of soup with veggies and kiritampo for main ingredients. You can be really imaginative with nabes. I love my kiritampo nabe with kimuchi.
If you want to know more about this local cuisine, check back on one of my previous blog where I introduced you to a kiritampo party with my friends.
Hey, that reminds me! I had better go and give my friends a call and invite them over for a party. Wish you were here to enjoy it with us.
So, until next time, Akie here saying ‘bon appetite!’
Hahahaha…ja mata ne!