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.
We are in March now and going to have one of the Japanese customs tomorrow on the 3rd of March. It is Girl’s Day called ‘Hinamatsuri’ and we pray for the health and happiness of girls by decorating special Hina Dolls in our houses on the day. This day is also called ‘Momo no Sekku’ which means Peach Festival and we place peach flower in a room or eat peach fruit or peach flower shaped sweets. I have created some sweets in a shape of Hina dolls in the past but I made a simple dessert for the coming event this year.
Momo-Mochi Matcha Zenzai
I created ‘Momo’ (Peach) flower shape in a bowl and had it with Matcha tea in ‘Zenzai’ style. Zenzai is a sweet soup type dessert that we normally make with sweet Azuki (Red) bean paste during a cold season. I created this Matcha version to make it suitable for spring. It is very easy to make at home so I am going to share how to prepare this dessert.
We have just stood at the beginning of the year 2019. Everything starts from a beginning and the things have an end.
I have been making ‘Wagashi’ Japanese sweets in London for several years now and particularly in the last three years my sweets were served to paying customers. It was at the ‘Matcha’ Bar of a Kimono shop, Wasoukan, that was located in Notting Hill. It all started three years ago when I entered a ‘Sake’ Cooking competition and won second prize. At the same time Wasoukan was looking for someone who would provide Japanese sweets for them and the manager of the shop at that time heard about me and my Wagashi making skill from the organizer of the cooking competition. They contacted me soon and the following month and since then I had been supplying two types of seasonal Japanese sweets to Wasoukan every month.
and The Ending
Now nearly three years have past since then. Although Wasoukan has been doing well and especially gained many loving customers, they decided to close their London branch and the last December was their last month. It was very sad news for me, not because from my business point of view but it was because I really liked the shop and all the staff who were working there. They seemed to get on very well together. During this three year period of my serving sweets to them I have met many of their customers and I can tell that they all loved the shop. Everybody was so sadden by this closing news and wonder where they would get good Matcha tea from in London after the shop is gone.
So one evening before the shop was closed some of the present and ex-staff of the shop as well as their great customers gathered to hold a surprise farewell party for the manager who was going back to Japan.
The Hot Summer is back to London!☀️☀️☀️☀️☀️
I chilled out with a bowl of Iced Matcha Tea at Wasoukan.
After a few cool days the summer is back in London. ☀️☀️☀️💦 I wonder what makes people feel we are in summer. For me one of those things is Watermelons. When I see Watermelons laid down in front of groceries shops, I feel the season has arrived. Watermelons are one of the popular summer fruits in Japan and I have many childhood memories of it. Two years ago I made a Japanese sweet in Watermelon shape. It was made with the Japanese sweet ‘Nerikiri’.
This summer I made a Japanese sweet in a Watermelon shape again, however, this time I wanted to make it slight differently from the last one. I chose ‘Mochi’ as the material and that is because I see many Nerikiri Watermelons on Social Media but none in Mochi type so far. You see I like a challenge!
So my Mochi type Watermelons were born.
It seems like when June comes (it means when summer comes to England) I always think about Strawberries & Cream. It may be because it is the month that Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is coming nearer which is famous for ‘Strawberries & Cream’. Last year I made ‘Strawberries & Cream Cup‘ as a Japanese sweet and I made another version of it for this June.
Strawberry & Cream Mochi
They might look like cupcakes but these are Mochi type ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweets. This is a Japanese Sweet that goes as close to a Western sweet as it can get. This time I received good revue from the people who tasted this sweet. They said that “it tastes exactly like Strawberries & Cream!”.