Foto do autor

Nancy Singleton Hachisu

Autor(a) de Japanese Farm Food

6 Works 570 Membros 4 Reviews

About the Author

Obras de Nancy Singleton Hachisu


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th Century
Locais de residência



I am working my way through two Japanese cookbooks right now, both of which are filled with insight and craft (my review of Sonoko Sakai's Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors coming soon!).

Nancy Singleton Hachisu's Japanese Farm Food is, as advertised, very much about farm life in Japan and the food that grows there. For that reason, it resonates more as a narrative for me than a cookbook, as many of the ingredients are specific and connected to the life of the farm. She is not as free with the substitutions as Sonoko Sakai, but there are a few (blackstrap molasses for kuromitsu, for example). To call her a purist wouldn't seem totally correct, and that's largely because of the beautiful narrative she constructs about life on the farm and learning how to acculturate in meaningful ways. In truth it is inspiring, if somewhat a bit daunting at times.

In addition to spending massive amounts of time preparing food (most of it grown on the family farm), Hachisu also runs an English-immersion pre-school/kindergarten, adorably called "Sunny-Side Up!" Her anecdotes about the children and the photographs (by Kenji Miura) of their wonderful joy are one of the best parts of the book.

Originally from Northern California (Bay Area), Hachisu describes herself as a "town girl" (182), and one gets the sense that everything is indeed relative. She advocates buying local, and one might find themselves frustrated on that front if "local" isn't Japan. As with most cookbooks, the book suffers a bit from inconsistent cross-referencing and incomplete indexing: If a recipe calls for dashi, it often includes the page reference for making the dashi. However, I'm still waiting for the cookbook that indexes ALL the recipes that use dashi (or any other distinctive ingredient to that cuisine). Sometimes the recipes are helpfully grouped together, as is the case with the kaeshi on p. 310, which is necessary for flavoring the dashi of the following recipe, "noodle dipping sauce." But these are nitpicky quibbles. Many of the recipes, particularly some of the salads and vegetable dishes, are accessible for novices, and require only basic staples such as soy sauce and miso. The majority of the dessert recipes are for ice cream (mostly adapted from Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse recipes), and you'll want to have an ice cream maker (although the patient internet searcher can likely come up with alternative methods). I am curious to try her method for making anko (the sweetened paste made with azuki beans) since I made Sonoko Sakai's version, which was wonderful, but time-intensive.

One of the most valuable parts of the book--and here I'm considering photocopying the pages and laminating them since I suspect I shall return to them often--are the charts and glossaries in the back. The "Vegetables by method" and "Fish and Seafood by Method" charts motivate the cook to actually understand, not just follow, the recipe. It is also very useful should one have to decide based on what's available/in season.

The whole book is beautifully produced, from the lovely "matte" finish of the photography, the easy-to-read font, and the overall design. Her stories--interspersed and as prefaces to recipes--are wonderful to read, and tinged here and there with the wistful and nostalgic, but also the pragmatic sensibility of living and eating in communion with the earth. As I explore the recipes I may make a substitution here or there that Hachisu might frown upon, but I will at least try to approach my cooking with the reverence and sincerity she seems to bring to her craft.
… (mais)
rebcamuse | outras 3 resenhas | Aug 4, 2022 |
This is a beautiful book. It is a joy to look through and the recipes are great, too! The photography is inspiring. Makes me want to get up and cook!
njcur | outras 3 resenhas | Feb 13, 2014 |
This is the real deal - this is the food we learned to love while living in rural Japan (Shikoku) in the late 80s.
Tobyann | outras 3 resenhas | Apr 25, 2013 |
A great introduction to Japanese cooking and the quiet lifestyle of the Japanese farming communities, foods, and lifestyle.
midgeworld | outras 3 resenhas | Apr 3, 2013 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Jennifer May Photographer
Kenta Izumi Photographer
Marion Richard Translator
Ameline Néreaud Translator



Tabelas & Gráficos