Monday, May 09, 2011

Bamboo digging

Tetsu and I finished off our Golden Week with new experiences thanks to our pool friend, Mr. Takahashi (also known as Mr. Company President.) He had already given us bamboo shoots from his grove and Tetsu raved about them so much and bemoaned the fact that he didn't even know how bamboo shoots were grown, that Mr. Takahashi invited us to his bamboo grove.

"Be at my house by 6:30 am. Morning is the best time to dig for bamboo shoots." (I don't know why.)

So bright and early Sunday morning off we went to Mr. Takahashi's. We followed him a few minutes to his lovely bamboo grove. Morning light filtering in through the bamboo poles... a fresh damp smell to the earth and mulch... Birds singing far above us.

"First you have to FIND the bamboo shoots. They're here somewhere."

What fun! Much like a Japanese Easter egg hunt! Do we even know what we are looking for? Mr. Takahashi did but even so the bamboo shoots weren't so easy to find. We must have spent 20 minutes or so just watching where we tramped.

"Here's one!" Mr. Takahashi found the first shoot and he demonstrated how you dig one up.

"You've got to start quite a ways away from the shoot and dig through all the roots. The farther you get down, the more careful you have to be. And with this bamboo shoot digging tool you make a good swing and.... there you have a bamboo shoot."

It takes a good 10 minutes to dig up a shoot.

In the end Mr. Takahashi found all the shoots but Tetsu dug up the last three.

A quick lesson on how to peel a bamboo shoot to even GET to the food part. The tough leaves have to be sliced through and then opened up to reveal the softer bamboo meat inside.

A great morning workout! My job was taking pictures. And we brought home 4 bamboo shoots for me to figure out how to cook again!

But that wasn't the end of our morning.....

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