Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mochi Fest

If beating the crap out of steamed rice with a giant wooden mallet sounds like a good time, check out these photos of Nova's preschool Mochi making party.
God, Wakkava, can you and your buddies get any cuter?! I love how the girls at Nova's school try to teach me Japanese. Today it was 'parts of the body'. Love them!
The Mochi was flying as the big strong guys of the village kicked things off in a preliminary pulverization.
Students patiently wait to put some muscle into it.
Go kid go! Beat that Mochi! I think I was a bit too boisterous in my audience participation but that's usually the case no matter where I am. This little dude was having too much fun.
In case you've forgotten what the three of us look like together. Here we are in all our pasty gaijin glory. By the way, this is Shawn's hair after a month of grow-out. I kept telling him I don't cut hair! His insistence resulted in getting clippers from the neighbors to shave off the atrocity I had created. Not bad now though eh?
Nova's work station. Azuki bean balls, Mochi and flour.
Children work the Mochi into a small flat pancake, encase an azuki bean ball in the center, and then enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Me and Novie ringside.

The preschool PTA mom's really busted out the aprons and bandannas for this one. A lot of hard work went into preparing for the party and running it smoothly. Yesterday, they were busy rolling 300 azuki bean balls. Awesome job ladies! I really enjoy being around this group.
If you don't have a mallet handy at home, this Mochi spinning machine will produce the same glutenagenous result in half the time!
Attention to detail and presentation are very important in food preparation here. I've helped the PTA group make hot lunch for the kids before. Actions are not made without careful consideration and group consensus. How to slice a carrot just so into a soup is no light decision. Though it takes more time, in the end there is much satisfaction in the result and how it was achieved. I swear the food tastes better when prepared this way too! Machiko explained that this soup is made in honor of the New Year but ingredients and presentation vary according to region.
Parents, teachers and students sit down to a Mochi themed lunch after the festivities.