I purchased the Sansho tree 20 years ago. It was about 60 cm high, but now it grows higher than our roof. This year, because of many sunny days, I got a plenty of harvest. I boiled them with salt and pickled them. Sansho leaves give aloma when you add it into Yakitori sauce.
I order fresh fish from Tsukiji market once a month and recently I bought Seki Mackerel, which is mackerel from Saganoseki. The fish is considered the best example of saba available. Just as the way the Chef Shiro from Shiro's taught me, I filleted the fish, sprinkled salt like snow, and left the fish for 2-3 hours. After leaving the fish for 20 minutes in water, I cut the skin off and left it another 1-2 hours in rice vinegar. It turned out to be wonderful!!
For Chakaiseki January, I served those homemade Wagashi (Japanese sweet). One is Apricot stuffed with sweetened white beans, sprinkled Gold. The other is Persimmon stuffed with sweetened white beans. Both are easy to make and delicious. However, this special persimmon was sent from Kanazawa and is called “Korogaki”, one of the speciality of the region. I must say thanks to my friend, Yoko Shirai who also send me all the necessary Japanese ingredients such as Kombu and Katsuobushi for making stock, called “Dashi”, which is essential for Japanese cooking.