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.
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.
This is ‘Clementine Daifuku’. Daifuku is a ‘Mochi’ type Japanese Sweet and usually filled with Sweet Bean Paste inside the Mochi outer layer. However, the combination of it with additional fruit is great and ‘Ichigo Daifuku’, the one with strawberry, is very tasty and hugely popular. I had seen someone was making Daifuku with tangerine and wanted to try making it myself.
I made some of these Japanese Sweets with Orange coloured Mochi outer layer and some with white one (natural Mochi colour). It was not that unusual if I left the white sweet as it was, but when I placed the green part on top it looked something so unknown. It made me think it could be a round white aubergine or … what? That was how the ‘Guess What this Sweet’ Quiz started in my previous post.