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.
So officially or perhaps unofficially ‘yet’ it is spring here in London. By following my previous post with ‘Ealy Spring Field’ I am going to introduce another early spring flower that you can find right now.
They are Daffodils. Both Daffodil and Crocus are bulbous plants so they use energy stocked up in their bulbs to spread out the leaves from the ground even in the toughest season and try to be ready for opening flowers just on time when the sun warms up the air. I have to say their timing this year was perfect.
I created yellow Daffodils last year so this year’s ones are pure White flowers.
This is my Ghost sweet for this Halloween in 2018. I have been making Ghost shaped Japanese sweets for the last three years. I created this one as the example of one of the sweets that I was planning to make in the Wagashi, Japanese Sweet, Workshop with participants. However, we changed the theme for the event in the end and I did not have a chance to make this Ghost in the event. I liked how the shape and the charming face of this ghost came out, so I hope I can create it in another workshop maybe next year.
Happy Halloween 🎃
At the end of June a place called Japan House opened up in the West part of London. I only knew its name and I didn’t know anything about it. So, one week after the grand opening I visited the place without any expectation. With their own introduction Japan House “is a project which aims to nurture a deeper understanding and appreciation of Japan in the international community, by creating a number of hubs from which to showcase and communicate Japan as a country of countless charms, able to enrich the rest of the world”.
From the entrance the ground floor level is spaced for the display of many different types of items such as a Bonsai plant, books, arty figures, unusual looking teapots and rubbish bin and then one particular thing on the window sill attracted my attention. It is a wooden object that comes with two parts as a set. One side has some carving on it and the other side has a hole. I wonder if anybody knows what this is.
Here is another sight of my British Bulldog. I made him to support England in World Cup and he certainly created a miracle in the last England match (really?). Because England is going to face Sweden this afternoon in the quarter-final, I post him here again in the hope that he might create another miracle this afternoon!
Have a happy Football viewing!!
It is the time for another World Cup (Football)! I don’t normally watch or support any professional Football teams but I like watching national teams playing especially in The World Cup. When I watch The World Cup I must admit that I become quite nationalist. I mean of course I support the team Japan very much. Yesterday, both Japan and England had a match and went through the group matches to the knock out tournament. England narrowly avoided playing Japan.
Since I live in London, I support the England team too. As one of the two seasonal Japanese sweets I wanted to create a sweet in this World Cup theme. In order to show some solidarity to British people what might be the a suitable design? My mind had run though some ideas. England flag is a little too simple as a design. Could it be a Lion? Or maybe a Dragon? I had to widen the area from England to Britain and then the idea came to me of the British Bulldog?!
British Bulldog, Japanese Sweet
For the last Halloween I created a Black Cat sweet. Although I haven’t shown any other designs on my blog, I actually have been working on some other animal designs and this is a great opportunity to introduce one of my Dog shaped sweets.
I thought it was just yesterday that I had introduced sixteen of Japanese sweets I had made in 2016. Today, the 16th of June, is another ‘Wagashi’ (Japanese Sweet) Day that people place sixteen sweets as an offering to the God and wish for good health and happiness. I am not going to explain about the custom this year so if you are interested to know about the Wagashi Day, please read my post last year.
Since the Wagashi Day in last year a lot of unfortunate sad incidents have happened in the world. I just really wish we will have a safer and happier world by the Wagashi Day next year.
These are the sixteen Japanese sweets out of all the sweets I made in year 2017.
Have a Happy 🍡 Wagashi Day!!
Apparently it is National Tea Day in the UK today. Britain is officially one of the biggest tea drinking countries. People’s day starts from having a cup of tea for breakfast, morning and afternoon breaks and even after an evening meal. Any film or TV drama located in the UK will always have one or more scenes drinking tea with the famous phrase “Would you like to have a cup of tea?”.
Although more people have started having a taste for coffee, people’s love of tea will never dissappear in this country.
There are many types of tea around these days. What kind of Tea do you like? I wonder which tea should I have for this special day?
What I matched with this Rose Japanese Wagashi sweet is this herbal Tea. It is a Wild Berry herbal tea which has a wonderful rosy red colour and full of fruity fragrance.
Have a lovery Teatime ☕ on this special day!!
I made Yomogi Mochi for April. I don’t know why I feel like having Yomogi Mochi especially in spring but I made Yomogi Mochi and posted about it last year too. Maybe because ‘Yomogi’ is wild leaves you can find in a field and we are in the season now that lots of plants are just coming out after being under a cold weather. My Yomogi Mochi this year looks quite similar to the last years. So what is the difference?
Yomogi Mochi, 2018
The outer layer is a ‘Mochi’ type of Japanese sweet with Yomogi leaves mixed in. It has a slightly bitter leafy taste but with sweetness and a bouncy and gooey Texture. As the centre I used ‘Tsubu-An’ Sweet Azuki Beans paste without skin removed during the process. Yomogi and Tsubu-An are just a great combination and I could not think of using any other bean paste for Yomogi flavour.
After I introduced my Matcha Swirl Mochi in my previous post with a hope that the arrival of warm sunny spring is nearer we had another snow in London, but yesterday turned out to be a very sunny day. In Japan we say that it is ‘San-kan-shi-on’ (三寒四温/ 3 cold and 4 warm) which means “the weather moves onto Spring by having three cold days and four warm days”. It is describing the weather condition particularly in East Asian countries, however, I feel it is the same here in London.
The sunshine outside looked so welcoming yesterday and I could not resist stepping out into the garden. My garden has been messy during winter time and I did the first gardening of this year. I hope good weather stays so I can do some tidying up bit by bit before the real spring arrives here.
Spring is a season of new life. I created some sweets in this ‘New Life’ theme which is also the theory of Easter that comes next week. I wonder whether you can see what it is supposed to be?