Mochi Mochi?

December 31, 2009

Yesterday I spent the day at the house of one of my co-workers.   He had called me the day before to set everything up, and at that time he said he’d call me the next day before coming in to town to get me, and that he planned to get to my place by 9:00AM.  He showed up at my apartment forty minutes early and called me twenty seconds before arriving at my door.  Heh.  Anyway, he and his family live out in the hills, sandwiched between a cow farm and a pig farm. They have their own vegetable gardens and rice paddies, and they grow mushrooms in the cedar grove behind the bamboo thicket. I would love to live in a place like this someday. We made mochi (Japanese sticky rice cakes) the traditional way – pounding the hot, moist rice with a large wooden hammer in a bowl carved out of an old stump. We then grilled the mochi over hot coals, and ate it after sprinkling some soy sauce on top. It was delicious! Then we made soba. I’ve pounded mochi and made soba before, but this was the first time I’d made it for the end of the year festivities, and it was a real treat. I spent the afternoon lazing about the house with the whole family, eating tangerines and pickles and watching all sorts of crazy Japanese television. It was one of the best days I’ve had here yet.


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