⟨ Food ⟩

Fallen flower, let it sink to the bottom of the sea

Cherry Blossoms & Daikon Pickle

Words & Photography / Jo

農曆新年前得到兩枝櫻花,花蕾探枝開遍,店家說今年暖着呢,沒幾天花就會開,能趕及大年初一。才沒有,忘記家裡開着暖氣,隔天就開了大半。把花移到窗邊去,吹點冷風,花卻不理世事,如期盛開,只是慢了點。白色小花在日光下透着淡粉紅,鼻子湊過去,幽香似有還無。

每天早上,我都去看看花兒。當花開盡時,輕風一拂,花瓣散落一地。滿地落櫻,卻不忍以帚子掃去,用手將撥成小山,掃到掌心裡,放在旁邊檸檬小樹的泥土上。沒有葬花,只是想把細白落花送更好的地方。幾周殘花未盡,南枝一端已冒出嫩芽,綠豆般大小,顏色如青蔥,在乾皺啡黑的枝椏上份外鮮明,數天後,已長成片片小葉,與開到荼蘼的櫻花共生。

最近讀到一篇關於鯨魚死亡的文章,說鯨魚死了,會一直墜落,直至沉到海床上。不同類型的海洋生物會先後來吃牠,當吃光殆盡,骨頭裡的脂肪油份會續以滋養海中的細菌。「鯨落」是生命終結裡的一章,也是生命在大海裡循環不息的開端。

枯榮有時,生死有時,悲喜有時,散聚有時。

沒有永垂不朽,一切,只是以別個形式再見面。

Budding all along the branches, two branches of Japanese cherry blossoms were brought home not long before Lunar New Year. It’s warm this year and the flowers will be blooming soon – just in time to catch the first day of Lunar New Year, said the florist. Instead they bloomed all over in two days’ time because I forgot the heater was running all night long. I moved the branches to the window side for a refreshing chilly breeze, yet, slowly they kept blooming regardless. Under daylight, there was a faded hue of pink seen on the petals, and fainted fragrance when I sniffed the flowers.

Every morning, I took a look at the flowers. Upon the cusp of wither, even the lightest breeze could make the petals fall, covering the floor. I couldn’t bring myself to clean them up with a broom; I swept them into my palm and put them onto the soil of the tiny lemon tree next to the vase. I wasn’t burying the petals. I merely wished the fallen blooms could end up in a better place. For weeks on end, they withered on. However, The tip of a twig facing the sunlight was found budding. Size of a mung bean, colour of green scallion, the tender sprout stood out on the dry and wrinkled branch, and in just a few days, grew into small leaves co-living with the wilted cherry blossoms.

I recently read about an article on the death of whales. When a whale dies, its carcass continues to fall until it reaches the bottom of the sea. Different oceanic species will consume the mammal, and when it is left to detritus, the fat and oil in the bones will continue to feed the bacteria in the water. “Whale fall” is a chapter where life ends, as well as the beginning of a cycle of life in the blue ocean. 

There is a time for growth and decay,
life and death,
sorrow and joy,
separation and reunion. 

Nothing lasts forever; they will all meet again in another form of existence. 

櫻花大根漬

材料:
大根 500克
鹽漬櫻花* 15朵
鹽漬櫻葉* 3片
米醋 3湯匙
食用水 250毫升

做法:

  1. 消毒一個玻璃瓶:玻璃瓶蒸5分鐘後,取出放涼瀝乾。
  2. 大根洗淨去皮,切成尾指般大小。
  3. 在玻璃瓶底放一片櫻葉,舖上大根,撒以櫻花數朵。重覆直至裝滿瓶子。
  4. 將米醋加進水裡,拌勻。
  5. 將醋水倒滿玻璃瓶裡,關好瓶蓋,醃漬一夜即可。

* 不要洗走鹽粒。


Cherry Blossoms & Daikon Pickle

Ingredients:

Daikon 500g
Salted Cherry Blossoms* 15 pieces
Preserved Cherry Blossom Leaves* 3 pieces
Rice Vinegar 3 tablespoons
Drinking Water 250ml

Steps:

  1. Prepare a sterilized glass jar. Steam the container for 5 minutes. Let cool and dry.
  2. Wash and peel the daikon. Cut it into the size of a pinky finger. 
  3. Place a cherry blossom leaf flat in the jar bottom, layer it over with daikon and a few cherry blossoms. Repeat until the jar is full. 
  4. Add the rice vinegar to water. Stir well. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the jar until it is full. Seal the jar tight. Marinade overnight. 

* Do not wash away the salt.


Jo Liu

It’s raining outside, crisp and bleak. Three chubby sparrows took shelter on my balcony and I gave them the baguette bits left on my breakfast plate but they flew away. I stayed in, played Damien Rice on vinyl and made apple crumble. Repeat.

Instagram: foodialoguehk