Aki no kaori

Three pieces of pine mushroom. I washed them carefully as I brought dashi to simmer. When I cook these seasonal foods I phone my mother for advice. She still likes to teach me things and these are lessons I hear with pleasure. A connection through traditional foods, over a thousand kilometres away.

Mirin, konbu, sake, shoyu, salt, two ladles of dashi and water. Three cups of short grain rice and one cup of mochi rice. And sliced matsutake on top.

When the steam began billowing from the cooker, my daughter wandered into the kitchen. She stood beside the cooking rice to inhale the rich autumn savour.

My ex husband and daughter and I ate our dinner in the living room, around the low table, sitting on little cushions on the floor. The light from the room cast a trapezoid onto the night balcony. As we lifted bowls of matsutake gohan, a rat dashed past along the edges of the light.