About six years after the Meiji Restoriation in 1867 (end of the Tokugawa Shogunate), Japan made the switch from a calendar based on the Chinese lunar calendar to the Gregorian one. Though for nearly 140 years the celebrations have been on a slightly different date, the New Year’s traditions of Japan are no less steeped in rich tradition. One particularly notable food-festivity pertains to the glutinous goodness that is mochi [so gooey in fact, that it’s “the top culprit” of Japans 4,407 choking deaths reported in 2006 (as reported by The Japan Times)].
On Tuesday (December 29), master mochi (OK, you won’t actually master this most excellent dessert, but you’ll get a most excellent overview) with the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui, which extends an invitation to the public to attend their quarterly meeting. Post-meeting is “a presentation of Japanese traditions observed during New Year,” and a make-your-own kadomatsu or “gate pine” decoration. Plus, again, “everyone will learn to make mochi… for decorative purposes (kazari mochi) and for dessert (an – filling inside).” A light dinner will be served along with a mochi sampling, which includes ozoni (soup containing mochi cakes) and various mochi dishes such as fried and kinako (soybean flour based). Additionally, “for those adventurous to try,” experience traditional mochi pounding, using huge wooden mallets in a heavy usu bowl. Because the only thing more dangerous than eating mochi is making it. RSVP required. Wailuku Hongwanji Mission, 5:30-8pm, $5-$10, 283-9999.
Mou Ichido Links:
I’ll unabashedly admit that I consume mochi with startlingly velocity, leaving little to none left to share with family and friends. Considering that Gourmet is, um, folding, I wonder if this link to “Mad for Mochi” by Joe Distefano will be available for as short a time?