|REWIND: Mochitsuki, December 2006
||[Jul. 22nd, 2007|10:54 pm]
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Mochi, or pounded rice, is one of my all-time desert-island top-five Japanese foods. Its light taste and marshmellowy texture make it a versatile treat, and so it comes in many sweet and savoury forms. Right now, for instance, I'm enjoying skewers of mochi with black sugar syrup and a cup of sencha. Nothing suits green tea better than a sweet made from mochi.
The traditional time to make mochi is New Year, and the traditional method consists of a great big hammer, a giant mortar, and hungry brute strength. In December, a group of us attended a mochitsuki organized by an international society in Ise. We got a chance to pound the rice, which was difficult but nonetheless satisfying, and then we ate fresh mochi all day. Mochi in ozoni, the New Year soup, mochi with nori, mochi topped with anko (red bean paste), and mochi dusted with delicious, nutty kinako (soybean powder).
The woman on the right flipped the rice in between hammer hits; she was impressively swift.
Cheet beat out his sorrow and pining for Molly, who was partaking in Thanksgiving feasts on the far side of the world.
With anko and kinako.
Kagamimochi crowned by a mikan, a typical New Year decoration.
What a wholesome, well-fed group.