White Daffodils

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.

Daffodil-Flower-Record-Group_0a3cc90f-7f51-4a18-bf08-a9a89bb59cb6_x2000_crop_centerThey 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.

White Daffodils

I created yellow Daffodils last year so this year’s ones are pure White flowers.

W Daffodil2

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Early Spring Field – Crocus

van-zyverden-flower-bulbs-21430-64_1000‘Spring has come!’ This is the phrase my late father, who was eager to learn English but could not complete his desire, liked to say whenever the weather was becoming warm. Even before the end of February now the weather is so mild in London, unlike the usual dark grey English weather this time of year it is very sunny with beautiful blue sky. So I go out for a walk and find some bulbous plants flowering.

Crocus

The scene with yellow and purple dots in the field made me smile. They are the flower buds of Crocus just about to open.

Spring Field Crocus 1

So this is my interpretation of the cheerful early spring field as a Japanese sweet.

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New Life – Sprouting Spring

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’ (δΈ‰ε―’ε››ζΈ©/ 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.

New Life

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?

New Life1

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Matcha Swirl Mochi for Early Spring

Comparing to the snowy weather three weeks ago it is so much more like spring now. It is not just because the temperature is higher but because the sunlight is brighter and the air is lighter. Although the forecast says there is a possibility that this weekend might become cold again, the season always moves forward by going back and forth a little. It means we are definitely getting closer to spring!

It means we are in Early Spring now. I quite often design sweets depending on which season we are in. I pick some significant signs of the season such as colour, flower or mood of the season. So what is early spring like for me? It is the season some leaves start to come out (Green) on a tree and field, but in some area it is still covered with snow (white). It is a little too early to see a view of full Sakura cherry blossom in the most places, however, but in some warmer area some trees probably starts blossoming (Pink). The smell of early spring is a grassy green smell. So what I have to do after running my imagination is put all these images together.

Matcha Swirl Mochi

I needed to assemble all the elements of green, white and pink together. I was imagining a mountain in early spring. For autumn season I made Autumn Mountain Mochi and reached up to this swirling sweet of early spring version of the mountain.

Matcha Swirl8

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Daffodil, the Early Spring Flower

Last week the whole of Britain was covered with snow even in London, Devon and Cornwall which is supposed to be the warmest area in UK. It was certainly very cold and as soon as I took my hands out from gloves they froze up. I thought those could be the coldest days I have experienced in England.

But now the severe weather has gone and the sunlight seems brighter. It means we are very closed to in Spring! When we talk about spring in Japan the first thing/flower we think about is Sakura cherry blossom, however, the most noticeable flower in early spring in the UK is the Daffodil. When the weather is warmer I start to feel desperate to go out for a walk. By walking in a park I see some gathering of bright yellow in a flowerbed. It is the unmistakable colour of Daffodils which makes me realize ‘Spring has finally come!’.

Sweet ‘Daffodil’

For the monthly sweet for March I thought there is nothing more suitable as the design than the Daffodil. The colour of this flower is very bright yellow but not too harsh on my eyes.

Daffodil 4

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Hanami-Dango for viewing Sakura Cherry Blossom

Sakura17-2

The Cherry tree for fruit in my garden is in full bloom too

We are in the middle of the full Cherry Blossom season in London. There is a traditional custom called ‘Hanami’ (‘Hana’ means flower/ blossom and ‘Mi ((Miru))’ means to look/ watch) that people picnic under a cherry tree and enjoy eating & drinking whilst viewing the beauty of Sakura.Β 

We also have a proverb ‘Hana yori Dango’ which means ‘Food comes before Flower (Beauty)’. This describes that although viewing Sakura blossom is enjoyable, it cannot beat the delight of eating delicious food.

There is a sweet during this Sakura season called ‘Hanami-Dango’. It is composed of three balls of a ‘Mochi‘ type sweet in tricolour of Green, White and Pink stuck together with a skewer. But why these colours and why in this order? There seems several theories behind this colour scheme but the one I like is like this. ‘White’ is a symbol of ‘Snow=Winter’, ‘Green’ is the ‘New Leaves’ just about coming out from under the snow and ‘Pink’ is the colour of ‘Sakura=Spring’. So all these colours together explain the season which people have longed for the arrival during the long cold winter.

Hanami-Dango

I made Hanami-Dango with Tofu this year. Why Tofu? You can use water instead but by adding Tofu the Mochi Dango becomes softer and bouncier texture and the softness lasts longer. You can make this in almost the same way as the ‘Shiratama Dango’ I introduced before.

Hanami-dango2

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🌸 Sakura, Sakura πŸŒΈ

Wow, time passes so quickly! It is already April and we are officially in Spring! This winter was so mild in England and spring has arrived early too. I heard that in several areas in Japan the symbol of Spring β€˜Sakura’ Cherry Blossom has been flowering slowly this year and still not fully opened, however, it has been flowering everywhere in London. The trees in the park where I live nearby actually lost most of the flowers and leaves are coming out already. Since I was looking forward to seeing beautiful cherry blossom, it is sad that the best season is going so quickly.

Anyway, when this season comes I have to make some sweet in the Sakura theme for April.

Sakura/ Cherry Blossom

So, this is my β€˜Sakura’ Cherry Blossom sweet this year.

Sakura 6

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