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.
I have an announcement. This became rather short notice but I have just decided to have a stall in a local Market this Sunday.
Never Too ‘Mochi’ Stall in Crouch End
My stall will be in the Food Market as a part of the Crouch End Festival. The Crouch End Festival is actually the biggest community festival in the whole Britain which lasts over a week in this villege-like community of North London. It consists of all sorts of entertainment such as music, open air films, art and even a Zombie walk as well as all kinds of food. This year we are going to have a performance of the world famous Crouch End Festival Chorus too. The Food Market is normally held in the Green square in front of the ‘secretly famous’ Hornsey Town Hall (this special building has been used as a film/TV location for such as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Killing Eve’) which is the central part of this community, but this year the venue will be set in a nearby ‘Stationers Park’ due to the building development work.
I had a stall in this festival several years ago serving all sorts of Japanese sweets. However, this time I wanted to try serving mainly ‘Mochi’ as it has recently became one of the most favourite Japanese sweets for British people lately. I hear so many people saying ‘I love Mochi!’ but I don’t know how much they love it. Although I am a little anxious whether many Mochi lovers would turn up to my stall, I am going to bet it will be great.
Heavenly Mochi Stall in the Food Market
- at : Stationers Park, Mayfield Rd, London N8 9LP
- on: the 9th of June (Sun), 11:30 –
I know the venue is not the easiest location to reach if you are not from this area but if you love Mochi, please come to try mine at my stall.
I have been planning to make Mochi in several different flavours and this Polar Bear below is one of the Mochi which is likely to be on the Mochi Stall. If you readers can tell me what your favourite flavour for Mochi is it will be a great help to me!
Hope to see many people turn up there on the 9th of June. See you on Sunday!😊
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.
It is so great that my ‘Wagashi’ Japanese Sweet Making Workshop is becoming almost a monthly event. This time it was at a new venue that was in an interior shop with a beautifully setting located in a quiet courtyard in North London.
Wagashi Making Workshop (May/19)
I had five participants who were willing to join me for this workshop. They are three female and two male, two of which were Japanese. I was very pleased to have this wonderfully mixed group of people.
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.
How was your Easter? It was very nice that we had great weather for this Bank Holiday weekend. About one week before Easter time six people gathered in a Tea shop in Soho London and my Workshop in April finished successfully. It’s great the daytime is becoming longer now and when we started the Workshop at 7pm the outside is still bright.
Wagashi Making Workshop (April/19)
This time all the participants had tasted my sweets before and we had two workshop repeaters amongst them.
Look how smiley everybody in the workshop is. Of course they looked very serious when they had to concentrate on making the shape of the sweet but quite often we all went in bursting a laughter! It was such a relaxed great atmosphere. It’s great to see everyone was enjoying the time being there.
Here is a Japanese sweet ‘Two Petals’. It is a ‘Wagashi’ in the shape of two petals of Sakura Cherry blossom half covering each other. Sakura season seems to be coming to the end in Japan but blossom of some Cherry trees is still hanging on luckily in the UK, maybe because the weather is quite chilly these days.
The greatest thing about Sakura blossom is its colour. Particularly in a mild but bright spring sunlight it gives such a warmth into people’s mind. I wanted to create the gentle gradation on the petal from very light pink to almost white colour.
I made this. It is a sweet. It’s a kind of Japanese Sweet. Can you guess what it is?
Clue: Something juicy is hidden inside.
It will be a great dessert!
Any idea what kind of sweet it is?
I am so pleased that although the season started a little earlier this year Sakura Cherry blossom is still flowering well. I can see one Cherry tree in my garden in full bloom right at the moment. Some petals started falling down with a breeze but it is creating a beautiful ‘Fuzei’ (pleasantly aesthetic) moment to your mind too. On top of the privilege of enjoying the view of next door’s Cherry blossom, this tree also produces tasty cherry fruit. I hope it will be a great summer for cherries.
So we are in Cherry blossom time. As a Japanese sweet creator I have made several Sakura sweets this spring and this one is the first one I created.
I made this design for a Tea specialty shop in London.