I have been thinking to have a ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop in London with a summer theme for a long time. Although I was trying to make a plan, there were several obstacles in front of me and it took quite a while to set up an event. I wanted to do my Workshop in July which is the school holiday time so that children can join the activity with their parents.
So, I have finally fixed the day and the venue of my next Workshop. Because I wasted so much time for sorting out the problems, the time I have until the actual day became much shorter than I wanted it to be. I’ve got just TWO WEEKS from today. I hope many people find this workshop attractive and want to join me.
Wagashi Making Workshop in London
- on: The 25th July (Thursday) 2:00-4:00pm
- at : The Crouch End Cellars (55 The Broadway, Crouch End, London N8 8DT)
It’s the ‘Tanabata’ night tonight! (Regarding Tanabata, please read my previous post😊)
Let’s hope we can see the Milky Way!!
This Sunday, the 7th of July, is a special day called ‘Tanabata’ in Japan. It’s not a national holiday but it is the day that everybody hopes to have good weather and looks up at the sky in the evening. It came from the ancient story that a young loving couple was forced to live separately each side of a river by the God. It was because they loved being together too much and neglected their work. However, the God saw that they were too saddened about the fact that they could not see each other anymore, he gave them permission that they could cross the river to meet once a year if the weather was good and the sky was clear. That one day they are allowed to see is the 7th of July. It’s an ancient story which was supposed to be happening in the sky. The lovers were actually stars and the river was the Milky way. I mentioned this story in more detail in the past so if you are interested to know more, please visit my old post of Tanabata with Cosmos sweet.
So the Tanabata day is coming tomorrow. It is known as a Star festival and a wishing day in Japan and there are some places having a festival too. Last year I made the Bamboo Japanese sweet for this occasion with ‘Sasa’ Bamboo leaf shaped sweet and the red and yellow wishing paper strips as decoration. I was wondering what sort of sweet I should make for this year’s Tanabata day. I wanted to make something quite different.
Galaxy Mizu Yokan
This one is my Tanabata sweet this year.
Oh, No! How time flies! We are already in July. Time passes so fast and it’s so difficult for me to catch up! I made these Rose sweets a little while ago but could not post it here until now.
Anyway, there are a lot of ways to express a Rose flower in a Japanese sweet. I have made several sweets in the past including the Mochi Rose last year. The one here is using the same technique for making the Mochi Rose but I used ‘Nerikiri’ sweet instead of ‘Mochi’ this time.
Clematis is one of my favourite flowers. Last year I made a Clematis sweet with a ‘Mochi’ type sweet so this year I wanted to create it in a different way. I decided to make it with a ‘Nerikiri’ sweet. The Clematis flowers are normally from white to pink or purple colour which is the colour I like the most. However, I did not want to use any food colouring this time so I used Ube Purple sweet potato/yam to colour and flavour the sweet. I like purple blue Clematis flower so that helped too.
By using the same sweet material in two colours (and flavour) of white and purple I created these two types.
I have introduced two types of my Wisteria sweets previously that I created by using two types of tools. And then I thought I could create another Wisteria sweet in a slightly different and possibly better design, so I wanted try to see if my method will work. Basically I was not satisfied with previous designs because they did not look Purple showering enough! It needed more flowers hanging down like a real shower.
So I created this sweet as an experiment. The technique is quite similar to the designs of the Wisteria I had made earlier by placing two layers in different colours and removing the top layer and revealing the bottom colour from the cut.
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!😊