Hi, members. How are you? We only have a few more days of 2015. Before 2015 ends, I wanted to send out the report from the Omochitsuki.
It took place at JCCCW, thanks to Tsuchino-san and the staffs of JCCCW on Dec. 27th. Many families with children came and enjoyed the traditional Japanese event.
In Japan, mochitsuki is usually done among close realtives at the end of December to prepare for the new years. Mochitsuki means making of rice cake. Once people make rice cakes, they decorated them throughout the house to bring in good luck during the new year's celebration.
My family in Japan used to get together at my grandparents' place and had mochitsuki. I remember that it was always cold but the taste of the fresh Mochi was unbelievable!! I especally enjoyed the daikon mochi. I miss my grandpa very much. Lately, people just buy mochi from the grocery stores and don't make mochi any more. Many kids even in Japan don't know the fresh mochi.
Did you know that the mochitsuki is actually a two-day event?!
Day 1: Preparation: Mr. Tamai and his son Jayson-san covered the floor with prastic films and cardboard boxes to prevent mochi to stick to the floor. It is very important because we can't really get rid of mochi once it sticks to the floor. Mr. and Mrs. Rigg, Uto-san, and I riced off the rice and soaked it in the water over night. The rice sucked amazing amount of water(* *) Before we left, we added water over and over again.
Day 2: Mochitsuki: Mr. Tamai, Uto-san, and the Sharmans arrived right around 9am to start to steam the rice. We set up the mochi machines and started them, too. I really didn't know how it would turn out since I wasn't sure what I was doing but the steam rice seemed ok. It tasted OK, too. Mr. and Mrs. Yoshinaga, the mochi experts came and showed us what to do. I think kids both big and small enjoyed pounding on the rice. I think it is quite therapeuic! Once rice becomes rice cake, it is veeeeery sticky. We cut them small and make them into round shape.
We all ate mochi in anko (sweet bean paste), daikon and natto. (Obviously, it was Sora-kun's favorite!!!) I am sure some of the mochi had rough texture and some were hard and not perfect, but they all tasted great!! It was good to spend time with friends and families, and enjoyed the new year's tradition.
I want to thank those who brought in non-members to join us at this event. They were all some-what Japanese, meaning they have some Japanese DNAs but they are not so familiar with the Japanese culture. It's great that they were curious. I hope our event will be a part of fun memories of Japanese culture in those people. After all, we are the Kenjinkai, serving as the bridge between the US and the Japan.
I want to thank Mr. Tamai for serving as our President for as long as 10 years. I am looking forward to seeing Tamai family in future events. I also want to thank Uto-san for helping both 26th and the 27th. Without her, we didn't know how to operate the mochi machines!
Please have a safe new years and let's have fun next year again!