Maggie May’s Magical Garden
Maggie May’s Magical Garden
One is fortunate to have grown up in Central British Columbia, and having living one’s adult life in Japan.
Indeed, when first arriving in the Land Of The Rising Son, it was charming to see the small local supermarkets and the classic speciality mom-and-pop shops dotting the landscape of Japan, mostly filled with fresh food.
Often their wares were piled high to the ceilings through the narrow isles, boxes strewn about.
Traditionally, the Japanese housewife would go out daily to forge for fresh food and prepare it for the family that day—this is the tradition way of Japanese life.
Living in Japan has lead to many foods experiences when travelling throughout Asia.
This has lead to a deep respect for food culture and and understanding of how it will always play a critical role in communal bonding in almost all cultures.
Seeing these traditional shops when first coming to Japan in the late 80s brought back fond memories of days growing up in central Central British Columbia in the 60s and 70s—ahh, the aroma of fresh alpine mountain air!
Five decades ago, logistics systems were still in infancy—during the long months of Grandfather Winter—sometime hovering around -30°—the fresh vegetable deliveries were non-existent over the long winters for many years.
Those were certainly different time.
One saw Mother Maggie May growing her own garden every year during the short summers, and canning the fruits of her labour in anticipation of the long icy winter ahead.
Also, one had the privilege to live in an immaculate fruit belt in the Okanagan Valley during one’s formative years.
A fun summer activity was picking fruit and helping can these delightful treats to eat as morning food throughout the frigid winters—peaches, pears, apricots, cherries, and an assortment of berries.
During the food gathering season, one’s Clan Patriarch would purchase 1/2 a cow and 2 pigs on the hoof from the local butcher.
The merry butcher would then bring back wheelbarrows full of freshly processed meat—bound for the massive freezer in the ancestral home basement to last the chilly winter months.
In the autumn, chickens were butchered and shared among friends as our families gathered and did the hard work to secure sustenance fortifying our clans against the long, cold, harsh British Columbia winters.
An excellent baker extraordinaire from the beginning—Matriarch Maggie May would get piles done—butter tarts, apple pie, among other delectable pastries—she also delivered big-time on lots of bread—sourdough and rye among her specialties—the was no-end to the goodies in Maggie’s Marvellous Magic freezer.
The massive freezer also had plenty of room for dozens upon dozens of plump rainbow trout caught throughout the summer inside the nooks and crannies of the pristine lakes and river in what is commonly referred to as … paradise.
Alas, as all time must pass, these thing to fade away, into the modern future, which has some how turned into today, and these arduous task of yesterday have been rendered for the most part unnecessary today.
In the name of convenience and indeed in practically, Japanese agricultural products are being slowly manipulated with sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives.
Convenient to be sure, but what will the long term consequences of eating highly preserved foods bring to the Japanese.
Judging by the abject failure of the American dietary model, consuming such highly-processed products may be worthy of reconsideration, or to avoid all together.
Surely in this time of change and uncertainty, one’s own personal health and wellness must be of primary concern each day.
Maggie May’s Magical Garden reminded one of the now slowly-fading-away Japanese Way of Food of old.
The Japanese with the highest life expectancy in the world have a rich food tradition of fresh seasonal vegetable, incredible offerings from the sea, and sticky Japonica rice.
Make sure to take the time away from busy modern food—taste fresh and delectable delicacies—farmed with tender loving care—by the dedicated Japanese farmers throughout the regions of agrarian Japan.