The Simple Things: Autumn's Bounty

I'm really starting to appreciate the simple things in life. Such as the turning seasons. The kids are taught a great deal about seasonal food, plants, stars and cultural activities at school. I think it's great.

lovely spades from the dollar shop
Rice, apples, chestnuts and sweet potatoes. All harvested in Autumn and making their way into our home. We have so many apples we've had to give some away. Our neighbour wondered if it would be OK to give us some chestnuts ..."oh and take these sweet potatoes", she said. "We have so many!"

This week Little Guy will go on his Autumn Field Trip - Mandarin Picking and Sweet Potato Digging. A new spade was needed. We couldn't resist the lovely colours, so at 100 yen each we got three. One each?

Have you ever roasted your own chestnuts? or even eaten them? They're not something we have in New Zealand, as far as I know. I am going to give it a go following this detailed tutorial: How to Roast Chestnuts.

Next month at kindergarten Little Guy will be making his own mochi. That's when new-season rice is pounded with a special mallet until it turns into a doughy paste. It is then rolled into balls to eat 'raw' or to cook. Check out jojoebi's little guy having a go last year!

So across the nation we celebrate the season with all this bounty. I dare say picking mandarin, digging up potatoes and pounding mochi are considered rites of passage at kindergarten.


  1. Down by the Hamilton Lake there is a row of trees that drop these prickly little pods. You've probably seen them while in NZ but never really known what they were (like me). It wasn't until I had Korean flatmates that I found out the inside of them were edible. From memory they used to boiled them like potatoes.

  2. Sounds like fun, I remember going to my teachers' fathers orchard when in standard 2, we had a memorable day, my teacher was Mr Slade who also taught us to tell the time, no digitals back then more like Tip Tops Watches, have fun.

  3. I didn't have roast chestnuts until I grew up and moved to Canberra in Australia, where we had very cold winters. In the freezing cold they warm your hands and then warm your tummy as you eat them. I thought they'd be crunchy but they weren't..more like a new potato with a nuttier flavour!


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