The secret ingredient is TIME

To me, the tastiest foods are those prepared by hand with love and TIME.

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This green salad with the pretty edible flowers was prepared by Gergely, a Hungarian organic farmer now living in my very rural village of Higashiawakura (Japan) with his beautiful Japanese wife Ryoko and their sweet sweet girl Viola. Everything in it is natural and organic.

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Two types of curry (and handmade naan) prepared by two very cool parents Taka and Kaori (Tokyoites now residing in the countryside). One, a traditional Khmer curry called amok – the spices for which I brought back as omiyage (souvenir) from Cambodia and the other, butter chicken.

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Minako said she’d prepare a “light” meal for us but she ended up serving pumpkin soup (just pumpkin and herbs), sautéed mix veg, sautéed potatoes, organic bread, brown rice, home-made salsa, cheese and crackers. I hope her husband goes away more often so I can be invited over for more “light” dinners.

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There is something so cosy and welcoming about a picnic. Here, it was the crumbed carrots and courgettes calling my name. “Anisa, Anisa, eat me,” they said. If you look to the left,  you can see half of an upside down apple and sweet potato frying pan cake and to the top of the photograph, a variety of onigiri (triangular rice balls) invented for picnicking. And of course, salad. That day we harvested organic rice by hand. It was incredible.

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We (Kaori, her baby Emma and I) stayed at Kaori’s parents house in Nara (photos 2 posts back) over the weekend. Her mother lovingly prepared this delicious make-your-own temaki sushi bar for us. Kind of like a Mexican taco bar but with seaweed and seafood. She also served clam miso soup. Oishikata! 

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Breakfast was just as adorable. We had fresh persimmons with yoghurt and raisins, boiled broccoli and edamame beans (from the local farmers market), egg, cherry tomatoes (from Kaori’s garden back in Higashiawakura) and typical Japanese bakery bread.

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Another salad by Gergely. This time, topped with boiled quail eggs, carrots and walnuts. Again, all organic.

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