Monday, January 19, 2009

Bigger is better?

Sometimes when I take friends and family from New Zealand to the supermarket here they look at the prices in the fruit and vegetable section and say "That's not so expensive". And then I explain to them that the prices on the fruit are not for 1kg (as they are in New Zealand", but for ONE piece. ONE kiwifruit averages about 99 yen ($NZ 1.80) and ONE apple is about 150 yen ($NZ 2.80) or more in the supermarkets near me. Having said that it is often difficult to compare the fruits in Japan to New Zealand fruits due to the size difference. Big definitely seems to be better here. The apples are about 3 times the standard size in New Zealand and now strawberries seem to be heading the same way. The other day one of my friends brought me some punnets of strawberries - they were the biggest strawberries I have ever seen. The heaviest one was about 44 grams..... although they are not the perfect strawberries for making jam they definitely make taking the tops off them fast!
In other news.... our chickens seem to be going through a very rebellious stage at the moment. The other day I went outside after making some strawberry jam from very big strawberries to find that one of the chickens had somehow managed to push their way out of their "cage" and was wandering around my garden. A bit of chasing and a few anxious minutes as it looked like it was going to make a break for freedom by jumping into the stream behind our house (a long drop....) and it was back into its pen with all its other friends. They also seem to be breaking all the "rules" of my chicken bible too. The bible said that they lay on a 25 hour cycle and that seemed to be the case for the first while. It also said that as the winter sets in they will lay less. This morning I went to collect the eggs at 7am after making my daughter's lunch (yes it has been a long day) and found 2 eggs. Not so unusual if the hens hadn't been laying the day before, but...... there were 4 eggs the day before (for anyone new to this blog we only have 5 hens) and for the week prior to that we had 5 eggs every day. Today there were a total of 5 eggs too - with the last ones being laid before 11am. If you do the calculations my chicken bible just doesn't work! Not that I am complaining. I have been making lots more tofu so that I can reward them with the bi-product - the munched up soybeans. They love them! I've also been trying out a bit more cheese making - this time with a milk and lime mixture which made a fantastic cross between cottage and cream cheese. Mixed with honey and spices it is delicious! The hens then slurp up the whey.
I have been enjoying a little bit of extra time lately due to the fact that all the schools I am teaching at seem to have been struck down by influenza. It spreads fast here and at the school I am supposed to be going to tomorrow an entire class has been sent home for 2 days to help them recover. Here's hoping our family some how manage to avoid it...


  1. Wow. That's a strawberry! Was it sweet? I was given some of the gift-size ones last year and was disappointed that they seemed to be all looks, no flavour. :(

    In Australia they say soy is good for women, maybe it's good for women chooks, too? ;P

    Hope you escape the flu, sounds like a nasty one this year.

  2. Hello thefukases.... sweet... not really. As you said they seem to be all looks and not much flavour. I also know a few strawberry farmers and most of them have two separate patches - one for strawberries that they will sell and one for those that they will eat. The amount of chemicals that goes onto each is VASTLY different.... enough said!