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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s been quite a while since I announced about my upcoming Workshop. I am happy to tell you that I am planning to have a Wagashi Making Workshop in Spring theme one more time. The Sakura Cherry Blossom season has been gone even in London but Sakura flower is the very popular shape to make amongst participants so this will be the last Workshop to make Sakura Cherry Blossom together this year. If you fancy making one yourself please join me.
One thing I want you to know is that the venue of the Workshop has been changed. It will be in North London this time so please check the address below if it is reachable for you.
Wagashi Making Workshop in London
on: The 14th May (Tuesday) 7-8:30/9pm
at: The Annexe (46 Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 8TD)
For booking your space please send me a message from Contact on this Blog or give me a direct message on Instagram/facebook/Twitter with your Email address. I will send you the details by email.
I look forward to hearing from you.💁🏻♀️
There are various ways of expressing ‘Sakura’ Cherry blossom as ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweet. When I look back at my sweets in old photos I realise that the shape and colour have changed. There is nothing wrong in any sweet but all depends on how you feel and also what types of material and technique I want to try using at that time.
Sakura 🌸 Cherry Blossom
This is one of my Sakura sweets for this year.
Yesterday, the 25th April, was World Penguin Day! I didn’t know about it until I got up and saw my social media yesterday morning. But as soon as I knew about it and also read that the number of Penguin chicks is declining due to the climate change and I thought I had to make some Penguins.
In Central London Eco Protesters have been fighting for us. It is very painful to hear that the young Swedish girl is making an appeal to people that her future has been stolen! Yes, Stolen! We all have to do something about it! Act now to make a change!
Penguins 🐧 Japanese Sweets
These are the Penguins I made for appealing the importance of Penguins in our world.
Happy Easter, Everyone! There are many Easter related food and sweets but there is one thing I make every year, which is Hot Cross Buns. I like its spicy taste and the smell filling in the kitchen while you are baking. It is just heaven! I am trying to stop using animal products these days but I love Cream or Clotted Cream on that spicy buns.
This year, however, I decided to make something similar in shape but completely different. The sweet I made was not baked→steamed, not buns→Manju. Got it? I made a Japanese steamed sweet ‘Manju’ with a cross on top.
Steamed Cross Manju
Steamed Manju is good as it is, whether it is hot as just steamed or cold with a bowl of tea or coffee. However, because I made these Manju look like Cross Buns this time I also set it out like the teatime version on Easter.
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.