Ume flowers and ume-boshi

On a ume tree most exposed to sun in the garden, the buds of flowers are growing. Small parts of the petals are almost uncovering the buds.

Within a couple of weeks, they start to bloom at the same time. Red ume will follow these white ume. Spring will be fully blown by that time.

As often mentioned, these trees were planted by my father almost 40 years ago. My mother as well as father has loved these plants.

Late in spring, these flowers would turn to ume fruits. They have made ume-
boshi, that is, pickled plum. It is not really pickled. Ume has a variety of acids as constituents. It contains 4 or 5 times of citric acid more than lemon. When ume fruits, salted, are dried in sunray for a week or two, the variety of acids are concentrated and produce particular sour taste of ume-boshi. It has been used in various kinds of dishes in Japanese style. Being against growth of bacteria, it is used as a kind of preservative for foods. Rice ball has ume-boshi in its center, which preserves it for a day or two.

I and my wife have made ume-boshi for the past several years like my parents used to. Ume juice as well. I wonder if we should do that this year. It takes much time to dry the ume fruits avoiding rain fall.

Maybe, yes, we will repeat it recalling of what my parents did in the spring. 

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