Last week I was busy decluttering my boys' bedroom as I got rid of their bunkbeds and put in 2 loft beds so they can have a space of their own. The amount of toys and books and clothes that have accumulated since we moved here 9 years ago is overwhelming and I've been giving things away online. (We have a great website where you can sell or giveaway unused items).
But there is just too many! So, I've put out a Mottainai Box on my front porch. Mottainai is a Japanese term which expresses regret in wasting things. Those of you attending my class are very welcome to rummage through the box and take home whatever you can reuse. It will release me from the guiltiness of throwing away things that can still be used.
I've been on my sewing machine last weekend to make Coasters made with Kimono fabric. This is meant to be a small Christmas present to my students who come to class in December. (While stocks last) I'm not so good at sewing, but you know what they say, it's the thought that counts. See you in class!
One of the most common wagashi tools the triangle stick and sarashi cloth (bleached cloth) are not easy to come by. Wooden triangle sticks usually costs around 3000 to 4000 yen, but I am a fan of the plastic sticks as they are cheaper and easier to clean.
The only problems is that there is only one online store that sells it and they are always out of stock.
But the other day, I found they had stock, so I grabbed a few in case anyone wants to buy them. So if anyone is interested in buying the triangle stick, let me know in class.
This triangle stick has a chrysanthemum center which comes in handy.
Triangle stick only : 1700 yen
Triangle stick + 2 sarashi cloth : 2000 yen
One sarashi Cloth :200 yen per sheet (35cm X35 cm)
Sarashi usually is sold by the roll and I had to cut and sew the ends myself. I am not a good seamstress but I don't gain any profit from these sales so appreciate your understanding!
I've always wanted a momiji (Japanese maple) on my balcony. It's very useful tree as you can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves year round and also use it as a decoration on a traditional Japanese plate, no matter what the color of the leaves are. The leaves on the place is called Ashirai （あしらい）in Japanese. I've been told that Japanese are the only people who put something that is not edible on the plate. But this ashirai is essential to completing a small universe before your eyes.
I've found a small bonsai size momiji online yesterday and decided to give it a try. Bonsai is a Japanese art form of growing trees in a pot. I hope the leaves will stay on until it turns red, and hopefully I will keep it alive till next year when it turns green.
The autumn delicacy in Japan, Kaki (Japanese Persimmon) has been in season for the past month. This fruit can be eaten before it ripens, while its still hard or you can leave it until it gets soft and ripe.
I've added 2 recipes (Kaki Smoothie for ripe ones and Kaki and Mizuna Salad for the crisp ones) in the Grocery Guide Page under Kaki. Please take a look!
The autumn wagashi has been very well received and we had a lot of fun making wagashi. My class on Tuesday was joined by a group from Singapore who insisted in coloring the autumn leaves green as the leaves do not turn brown in Singapore. They also used unconventional bright colors to make the last piece, which was very interesting.
I always say that we use things in nature as the motif for wagashi, and since nature is never perfect, you don't have to be perfect. We can use our imagination to make our own shapes and that is the beauty of making nerikiri wagashi.
We also received a visit from the writers from Via Magazine. This magazine can be found in the pockets of the airport limousines. My class will be featured in the Winter Issue to be released in January.
Following my 2 weeks of Wagashi teaching, I will be holding another one next week (Nov. 9th) Please sign up if you are interested.
I'm Miyuki and I teach Japanese Home cooking at my home in Tokyo.