Matsuyani is pine sap.
Back in February, I harvested some from a wisened old pine tree.
Next I gently melted the pieces of hard sap in a pot. I've never done this before.
(Yes, I was very cautious about fumes and used a mask, and an exhaust fan)
This substance is like candy- hard when cool, very runny and sticky when hot.
I added a little plaster to the mix, for extra body, and a dash of vegetable oil for extra plasticity.
Almost the traditional Japanese recipe... which also calls for soot to make it black.
Possibly because my harvest was so impure- it came out glossy black all on its own.
There was quite a bit of bark and other dross in the molten mix.
So I 'borrowed' a nice sieve from Alice to strain it.
Being, as it was, around mid-morning– not the generally accepted time for sieving, you'll agree– I was most suprised when Alice poked her head in and said:
"...David?! Have you seen my sieve anywhere?"
"...Err.." was the reply.
Yep, tarred it up real good. Like Noah's Ark.
There is now some doubt as to weather Alice will ever be making blancmange for me.
Unperturbed, and cool-headed (as ever) I poured the runny goop into a stone motar, and let it set.
Next episode, I will see if I can actually use it...