When I come back from Japan my suitcase is always full, actually too full and overloaded which means sometimes I have to remove some stuff from it. It’s normally filled with Sencha green tea, sweets and some other Japanese food that are either difficult to find or too expensive in London. However, when I returned this time in February there were something different I brought back in my luggage.
They were my brand new tools for making Japanese sweets. Now I am back in London and started creating Japanese sweets. I could not wait to see if I could use them properly. I have seen that many professional sweets makers were producing beautiful sweets by using the same tools and could not wait to try out how I can use this.
This sweet is the very first trial I made as a practise, so it is far from the perfection. I realised that controlling the grip of the tool is the key to producing a great result and I need a lot of practice. One of the petals came off by cutting too deep, but I am quite pleased to see the outcome as this was my first attempt. I don’t know how it looks to you but I hope you can see this as the shape of Chrysanthemum or some kind of flower. I am going to carry on practising and hopefully I can show you the great result of a Chrysanthemum by this autumn.
During later summer there is one shrub that gets lovely bluey flowers in my garden. It is the Blue Hibiscus (Hibiscus syriacus ‘Oiseau Bleu’). As I am not good at pruning the shrub lost its shape a little but after many years of neglect it still gives us beautiful flowers every summer.
There is another thing in nature that gives me huge pleasure during this season. That is the sight of the abundant crop of Blackberries in the fields. I went to pick some and by seeing its beautiful shiny crop I thought that I should use them for my sweets. The Blue Hibiscus flowers and deep reddish black colour of blackberries combined in my mind to be my next sweet design idea…
So that is how this creation was born. It is my Blue Hibiscus as the Japanese sweet for August.
In February I created a Japanese Sweet in a Rose shape for Valentine’s Day. It was a type of sweet called ‘Nerikiri’. This month I made another rose shaped sweet and this time it is Mochi Rose. ‘Mochi’ is a sticky and gooey rice cake that is getting so popular in London but actually it is not the easiest material to make into some shape. This Mochi Rose is my second attempt in a flower shape by following the Clematis I created in May. I like trying to create something new.
Unlike the pink Rose in February for Valentine’s Day, the colour of the flowers I had in my mind for summer is orange and yellow.
This Sunday, the 13th of May, is Mother’s Day in Japan and the U.S. In the U.K it was the 11th of March this year and will be the 31st of March next year. Although it is not the fixed day in Britain, Mother’s Day in Japan is always the second Sunday of May of each year. So it will be this Sunday for the year 2018.
I guess what we do on the day is universally quite the same. We appreciate our mothers for her hard work, care and love to us. We send a card and a gift to show our appreciation. The gift can be quite often flowers. I heard that this custom originally started in the U.S as the memorial day of a woman who was a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. On her funeral her daughter gave a white carnation to all the attendants of the ceremony. So the carnations became the symbol and the flower to give on this special day for mothers.
For cereblation the Mother’s Day in Japan I created a Japanese sweet in a red Carnation design.