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July 12, 2009


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Coincidentally I baked a pflaumenkucken (plum cake) yesterday. This is a traditional German mid-summer treat & being of Teutonic heritage, something I enjoyed every summer. In Germany this is the only time of the year that it's made. I hadn't had one since my Aunt passed away in 1989 & even though I had to use red plums from California (Traditionally its made with those small, navy blue Italian prune plums.) it smelled great & tasted even better.

I noticed! And it looks incredible!

Do you have it with tea or coffee? Does it smell like nutmeg? I think I told you that I did a very short translation about a German wine that is prepared warm and the wine has all these spices and is only drunk in the winter...I cannot for the life of me get it out of my mind. I love to hear about Germany's seasonal foods don't you?

Also of interest via facebook:

A Qing historian posts this op-ed NYTimes article In Search of Dignity

And I posted this Kyoto Journal Interview with Maxine Hong Kingston

Finally this from salon.com on Buying Cheap

梅雨 does have a lethargic and melancholy mood, suitable for fat plums and feelings shifting out of boredom. But the cold fine drizzle that sometimes falls between late autumn and winter feels fresher, and has a mysterious edge, especially at night; possibly because in spite of the rain, everything is dying, the leaves having fallen off the trees in Tokyo.
Can't think of any Japanese literature describing that kind of rain...

Coffee, of course!
Ideally with a generous dollop of whipped cream. This is Germany after all…

I actually took a few liberties with this one ~ the plums were, as I said, the wrong variety so instead of the usual sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg I substituted five spice powder for the nutmeg. Not particularly German but quite tasty & the aroma as it baked… The house smelled fantastic. This may have to be added to the menu for our picnic in paradise.

Boy, it always comes back to food for the two of us…
To hell with Heidegger, what's for dessert!

Hi Denske,

The long rains of autumn are a much used image in waka, tanka and haiku. Did you know there is a poem in the kokinshu wondering if it isn't because of the long and cold autumn rain that the fall leaves change their colors? I love the fall rain, but my favorite rain in Japan are summer downpours 夕立。

Have you ever seen this book? When I get back to Japan I will loan you my copy. You would not believe all the words for rain!!

Hi MW,

To hell with Heidegger, indeed. Plum cake and creme caramel for sure must be added to the menu... But you know what else we need? faloodeh

And what about no whipped cream but some drambuie in the coffee? Would that work? Or maybe both whipped cream and drambuie? I miss my drambuie... It is so terribly expensive here in LA (As you are well aware by now, I like my booze reasonably priced and watered down with soda water!)

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