Today, the 16th of June, is the Wagashi Day (please read the article about this day that I posted in 2017). It started as the day that the emperor made sixteen of ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets as the offering to the God when the plague took place and destroyed people’s lives in the Heian period. Although the day was set as the Wagashi Day since then, the custom of the offering almost died down. However, just recently people started bringing this Memorial day back.
By following the custom of offering, I re-introduce sixteen sweets of my Wagashi I had created in the previous year here.
16 My Wagashi in 2018
Here are the sixteen sweets from all Wagashi Japanese sweets I have created in the year 2018.
With these sixteen sweets offering/photos I just hope our world is going to reshift towards a better direction. Happy Wagashi Day!
One of the magnificent shrubs that has a brilliant colour and scent in early spring is Lilac. I made a sweet in a shape of Lilac flowers a little earlier, however, could not manage to write and edit it until now. Its flower comes out around at the beginning of May, so this post is basically one month late. I am sorry about that. Once the spring season starts everything in a garden grows so quickly. When you have some events and engagements it is very difficult to catch up and that is my excuse for delaying to publish this article.
Anyway, it’s the exactly same case as my recent post of Choisya that I wanted to make a sweet of Lilac every spring. It produces such a wonderful scent at the front of my garden and I really had to create it into a sweet. I have two types of Lilac in my garden. The one near my back door has white flowers and the other shrub gets purple flowers so it took a while to decide how I was going to produce the design of Lilac flowers and which colour I should use. I probably love white flower shrub more. Thit is because white flowers have the sweeter smell and the purple one (Syringa vulgaris) is quite vigorous. However, when one says ‘Lilac colour’ it means light purple colour so I had to go for the purple one this time.
Here is my Lilac sweet in Lilac colour.
The Food Market that I had suddenly decided to have a stall has ended three days ago. In the last three years since I started making Japanese sweet for Kimono shop I have heard that so many people saying ‘I looove Mochi!’. As I said in my posts in the past I had believed that Western people didn’t like Mochi and I was wondering ‘is it really true that these people love Mochi?’ So, my mission was finding out ‘How much do people looove Mochi’!
It is always hard work to prepare food for selling but Making Japanese sweets is very time consuming work and I wasn’t sure I how could be ready until the actual Market day. When I have a stall in a food market I normally prepare all kinds of Japanese sweets but this time I could concentrate on creating different flavours for Mochi and that was a good thing for me.
‘Mochi Heaven’ Stall in a Food Market
These sweets in the photo were the main line-ups on my stall.
I have an announcement. This became rather short notice but I have just decided to have a stall in a local Market this Sunday.
Never Too ‘Mochi’ Stall in Crouch End
My stall will be in the Food Market as a part of the Crouch End Festival. The Crouch End Festival is actually the biggest community festival in the whole Britain which lasts over a week in this villege-like community of North London. It consists of all sorts of entertainment such as music, open air films, art and even a Zombie walk as well as all kinds of food. This year we are going to have a performance of the world famous Crouch End Festival Chorus too. The Food Market is normally held in the Green square in front of the ‘secretly famous’ Hornsey Town Hall (this special building has been used as a film/TV location for such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Killing Eve’) which is the central part of this community, but this year the venue will be set in a nearby ‘Stationers Park’ due to the building development work.
I had a stall in this festival several years ago serving all sorts of Japanese sweets. However, this time I wanted to try serving mainly ‘Mochi’ as it has recently became one of the most favourite Japanese sweets for British people lately. I hear so many people saying ‘I love Mochi!’ but I don’t know how much they love it. Although I am a little anxious whether many Mochi lovers would turn up to my stall, I am going to bet it will be great.
Heavenly Mochi Stall in the Food Market
- at : Stationers Park, Mayfield Rd, London N8 9LP
- on: the 9th of June (Sun), 11:30 –
I know the venue is not the easiest location to reach if you are not from this area but if you love Mochi, please come to try mine at my stall.
I have been planning to make Mochi in several different flavours and this Polar Bear below is one of the Mochi which is likely to be on the Mochi Stall. If you readers can tell me what your favourite flavour for Mochi is it will be a great help to me!
Hope to see many people turn up there on the 9th of June. See you on Sunday!😊
Choisya ternata is the shrub which flowers the earliest every spring in my garden. It gets numerous number of tiny white flowers which have marvellous orange blossom like scent. No wonder it’s called Mexican Orange Blossom as the common name. Every spring when I see and smell the flowers I wanted to make ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet of Choisya as the design, however, the timing of their flowering season is somehow always wrong for me and before I decided what kind of design I should make, the flowers were. This spring, I finally managed making one design before all the flowers’ disappeared, however, the problem this year was that I did not have time to write my article about the sweet until now.
So, this is the Choisya sweet I finally managed to make.
It is so great that my ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop is becoming almost a monthly event. This time it was at a new venue that was in an interior shop with a beautifully setting located in a quiet courtyard in North London.
Wagashi Making Workshop (May/19)
I had five participants who were willing to join me for this workshop. They are three female and two male, two of which were Japanese. I was very pleased to have this wonderfully mixed group of people.
When you make a Japanese sweet in a flower shape or some decorative pattern ‘Nerikiri’ sweet is the most suitable material. It has a soft marzipan like texture and you can colour or flavour it into anything you like. On the other hand ‘Mochi’ type sweet is more for wrapping up a filling so it’s used for something like a ‘Daifuku’ kind of sweet.
That is why I wanted to try making a flower with Mochi type sweet. It was just a quick experiment so this is not meant to be a finalised precise work but as the spring season is coming I tried making a flower with a Mochi kind of sweet.
So this is the result of my little experiment. I don’t know whether it is clearly seen but it’s supposed to be a Tulip flower made with a Mochi type sweet. I had the image of a pure white colour Tulip with a big green leaf. I wanted to create it as a Japanese sweet.
The “Purple Shower”! This is what people call it. You find it on a pergola, trellis or just above a house porch or fence. You see hundreds of flower pendants in white to bluey purple hanging down during middle to early summer. It has a wonderful scent and attracts lots of bees. They are the flowers of Wisteria.
Although this flower is quite a traditional design as a Japanese sweet, this was my first time that I have tried making a Wisteria sweet. I tried several ways for making Wisteria sweet and these are the two of them. I used a technique called ‘See though’ which is basically two layers of sweet in different colours are placed on top of each other and the bottom colour comes out being viewed by removing some parts of the top layer.
Here is another sweet in the spring theme.
Have a wonderful Weekend!
It is a phenomenon to me that there are so many western people who likes ‘Mochi’ these days. Mochi is Rice Cake and usually we make it by pounding glutinous sweet rice. When I looked back at the time when I started making Japanese food and sweet to friends in England many years ago, everybody disliked Mochi. It could be to do with the gooey texture or quite blank taste I don’t know, but even when Mochi was hot or cold, sweet or savoury it didn’t go well. However, now so many people like it or even love Mochi!
I have introduced you Clementine Daifuku two weeks ago. It is a very good version of fruity ‘Mochi’ type sweet. Mochi goes well with Sweet Bean Paste and fresh Fruit. But the most known fruity Mochi sweet is this Strawberry Daifuku.