On this call, you will discover:
- The inspiration behind the writing of Japanese Farm Food
- How this cookbook is not just about food but about love, life and the magic of community
- Nancy’s own journey as an American who came to Japan and fell in love with a man and his country
- The simplicity of Japanese country cooking
- A few secret recipes that you can implement today in your kitchen, no matter where you live!
Who is Nancy Singleton Hachisu?
Nancy Singleton Nancy Singleton Hachisu moved from California to Japan in 1988, with the intention to stay for a year. Instead, she fell in love with a farmer,the culture, and the food, and has made the country her home. Nancy has taught cooking classes for nearly 20 years and has been a Slow Food convivium leader for more than a decade. Nancy, her husband, and their three sons live in an 80-year-old traditional farmhouse on an organic farm in rural Japan.
Her book Japanese Farm Food is the talk of the town earning some of the following accolades:
Saveur, December 2012: Season’s Readings (one of best 9 cookbooks in 2012)
Martha Stewart Living, December 2012: Lucinda’s Picks (one of best 8 cookbooks in 2012)
Food & Wine, September 2012: Editor’s Pick of Best 10
Cooking Light, December 2012: What To Give Right Now (one of best 7 cookbooks in 2012)
"Every now and then a truly outstanding book arrives. Though I have a weakness for many kinds of Asian fare, homestyle Japanese food is right there at the top. And yet I rarely make it myself, maybe because many of the ingredients are not staples in my pantry, or local supermarket. But after reading Hachisu's book, I vow to rectify that, because I've rarely seen recipes -- Asian or not -- that are so refreshing in their simplicity. Many have just three or even two ingredients. (Her teriyaki marinade uses only soy sauce, mirin and ginger.) Hachisu's message is clear: You don't need complicated recipes if you use impeccably fresh ingredients and cook them right."
"Nancy Singleton Hachisu's cookbook, Japanese Farm Food, is a celebration of Japanese cuisine with a farm-to-table focus. It features the type of food that one would encounter while wandering around the villages in the Japanese countryside; rather than typical restaurant fare, Hachisu focuses on home cooking.
Unsurprisingly, the recipes are all about simplicity — using the best ingredients and letting them shine. Hachisu says, "A small number of Japanese pantry staples and preparation techniques, and a trip to a farmers' market and fish monger, are all you need to start cooking Japanese farm food.""
The Daily Meal
"Her hefty (400 pages!) new book extolls the virtues of the Japanese produce the couple grow on their property and follows Hachisu as she transforms it, along with other traditional Japanese ingredients, into hybrid dishes with that distinctive American cook's experimental flair.
The book, incidentally, also includes great profiles of their circle of colleagues, family and friends. People like Junko and Toshiharu Saku, whom the author calls "real farmers [and], like many farm couples, they don't get out much to socialize because they are too busy running the farm." Just our cup of tea."
"From the moment you pick up this book and touch its indigo cloth spine, and feel the heft of almost 400 pages, you know there is something magical inside. Open the book and far from being disappointed, you are awed by the gentle beauty of the photos, the layout, of everything. This is a beautifully crafted work, clearly a labor of love, and reflective of a life rich in love, community, hard work, and great food."
Elise Bauer, SimplyRecipes.com
"Nancy is fearless (she says “stubborn” is a better word for it). She simply jumps in and learns. Used to the weather in temperate Northern California, where seasons change only subtly, and it never snows, she needed to change her mind-set when relocating to the Japanese countryside. Instead of year-round produce, there were harsh winters to contend with, and the concept of real seasonal farm cooking gained meaning. As she discovered, vegetables there during the warmer months are abundant, yet eating farm-to-table often means having the same vegetables for weeks on end, waiting for the next plantings’ offerings to appear.
She writes of tackling daily tasks: pickle-making, rice-planting and the hard labor of harvesting, and joining in seasonal rituals. There’s a lovely description of the communal celebratory pounding of mochi (glutinous rice) for the Japanese New Year to make traditional sweet rice cakes. (Of course, being stubborn as well as foreign, Nancy also insists on her own tradition of Champagne and French gougères for Christmas.)
The book offers a breadth of information, with lessons about Japanese products and techniques, and instructions for everything from homemade tofu to udon noodles. But for me, the recipes for simple vegetable dishes, often flavored with only a bit of miso or a splash of sake, are the most fascinating."
David Tanis, New York Times