Thursday, December 4, 2008

Last Three Weeks In Japan: Keepin' It Real

In case you missed the email shout-out, we're headed back to the U. S. of A. Dec 29th.

Funny thing about knowing you only have so much time left in a place, suddenly everyone relaxes, communication is easier, things are more fun. This time last year Nova and I felt anxious about Mochi Fest at her hoyksho. Today we cut loose and really let that steamed rice have it! Go girl.

One of the few events involving both mothers and fathers.

They are the muscle behind the mallets and the eye behind the cameras.

Mochi anyone? An improvement in form from last year's attempt, don't you think?

Wakkava is Queen Mochi Cheeks in my book. She demonstrates the proper placement of anko inside the pulverized rice.
Why yes that is a Cupcake Royale shirt Aki is wearing. I'm getting that girl to Seattle one way or another!
After the mochi madness we sat down to soup.....with mochi of course. Aki tells me that every year in Japan, around the holidays, old men and children choke to death on mochi. After that heartwarming tale, I was sure to chew very slowly and thoroughly.Chinoske has a bit of a cold and was resisting wearing his surgical mask during lunch.
Pickled veggies, commonly eaten with meals. Like miso, anko, sashimi, mochi, and shrimp flavored chips, I've acquired a taste for these since we've been here.
Thursday cooking class. Possibly the last.
Here's a typical scene; me trying to teach the "English" cooking class which inevitably devolves into lots of giggling and rapid fire talking...... in Japanese. But like Michelle, the teacher before us said, this is a two year long lesson in letting go. Luckily I've felt the loosening effects in the year and a half we've spent here.
Group shot for a successfully made Sweet Potato and Spicy Peanut Stew. Oishikatta!
Nova and Sora enjoy one of Chizuko's homemade curry rolls. Seriously woman, start a bakery already!
Had a blender-drink party at my house last week. First time I've had the English class ladies over for social hour. Juneau ladies, you would have been proud of me.... I unloaded a ton of clothes on them, old school clothing-exchange style.
In turn they prepared a major feast of super-oishi J-food. I'm going to be hitting up the Asian market on a regular basis when I get home.

Documenting more fun in our last weeks in Hokkaido. Kiotskete everyone! xxoo