Banana waffles

I made waffles for breakfast this morning (well, there’s only one in the house now, so it’s looking like lunch as well). It’s a simple thing, here’s the recipe, transcribed from my late wife’s hand. Dry ingredients 2 cups flour 3 tsp baking powder Liquid mix 1 1/2 cups milk 3 tbsp shortening (or oil) 2 tbsp sugar 3/4 tsp salt Slush mashed banana Sift flour, measure and resift twice with the other dry ingredients.

Sandwich loaf

If you once “go on your travels,” it’s likely that some habitual comfort foods won’t be available in the place where you land. For me, one of those items1 is sourdough bread. Several years ago, I worked up a recipe based on one published by FoodGeek. Mieko was not a fan. She wasn’t fond of tart flavors, but she was tolerant because of my love of them. No, the sticking point with the recipe was the time it required.

Shimano Nexus 3-speed for hills

In March this year (2024), I’ll be making a journey to visit friends further to the west, beyond bicycle distance. They are cyclists, so I’ll be keen to take along a bike for local use, and that poses a thread-the-needle problem for my current stable of four steeds. The Dahon K3 is a tiny folding bike that can be taken on the train with no problem, but it’s not meant to carry loads, and it’s not geared for hills.

Backpack zipper headache

Today I followed through on a fix that I’ve thought about every single time I’ve used the day pack I’ve been carrying around for at least the last twenty years. Whether empty or full, the bag is a repository of memories, as I realize in setting down to write around the photos below. So we’ll start with memories, and go on from there. I have a rough idea of the backpack’s age because I remember buying it at the “Big 1” (ビッグワン) discount store on the road between Hirabari station and the University family residence that was our first home here in Nagoya.

TOTO Faucet repair

Kitchen-sink cartridge faucets seem to have about a ten-year life span. When we bought the house, it was a bit over ten years old, and the faucet was shot, and replaced in the course of remodelling the kitchen. I was wondering lately whether we maybe had stumbled into a more durable unit, but sure enough it recently began needing a little tap on the handle to keep it from dripping.

Shiikuasa harvest

There are six varieties of citrus in the back garden: mikan; yuzu; lime; lemon; hassaku; and shiikuasa. If you aren’t familiar with it, the last in that list is commonly grown in Okinawa and southern regions of Japan. It’s so common in Okinawa that, during the visit for Mieko’s last rights, I was hard put to find orange juice on the shelves of a local market, until I realized that shiikuasa was in plentiful supply.

Moka Maintenance

[30 January 2024] Coffee-loving friends recently gifted me a Bialetti Fiammetta coffee maker, suitable for solo consumption of the black nectar. I’d long admired stove-top espresso makers from afar, but never owned one myself, so this ranked pretty well up there on the wish-fulfillment scale. The unit had seen years of service, with the accretions and scorches to prove it. The “before” view is withheld to protect the innocent, but if you’re a coffee drinker, you’re well equipped to fill that gap in the narrative.

Spinach soufflé

[24 January 2024] There was light snow on the ground this morning. Sunrise hasn’t burned off the clouds, it’s still wafting down out there. I’m nearly out of coffee filters, so there will be a shopping run a bit later. Could be an interesting ride if the weather doesn’t clear. As luck would have it, the bread hamper is empty, and I’m out of oatmeal. Not really in the mood for a cold ride to the store to pick up things for breakfast.

Nisshin Library

[23 January 2024] As retired staff, I have access to the Nagoya University library, but the campus is an hour away by bike or train, so I recently signed up for a card at the Nisshin City Library. It’s for than 15 minutes’ ride away (oh no!), but as it’s located a few hundred meters from the local recycle center, it’s “marginally close by” as they say in the accounting biz.

Sasado Onsen trip #1 (Toyota City)

[1-2 January 2024] A belated Happy New Year to all! Returned yesterday from a NYD ride to a public campground, mentioned by the owner of the local bike shop. The plan was to visit a temple in a historic village then push on to the camp site. Things didn’t go quite as intended! Here’s a desultory thread on this tiny adventure, with the usual smattering of poorly composed photographs. For starters, a countryside meeting point for students walking to school, passed early in the trip.