Wednesday, 4 March 2009

All dolled up

Yesterday was Hina Matsuri (girls' festival, hina is a small doll). Strangely, it's not a national holiday (as the boys' festival is), but there are special traditions to mark the event. Namely dolls. Not your average Barbie, but fancy ornamental dolls that cost an absolute fortune and are displayed for a few weeks leading up to the festival. W's kindergarten marked the day by organising a mochizuki taikai (a special event pounding rice to make bean-filled chewy cakes) for grandparents. I knew that they had the most amazing display set up on the stage, so I sneaked in to get a good photo... but they'd packed it away! You'd think they'd leave it up at least for the day of the festival, especially as they had visitors. But W told me that they had to pack it up so that they can practise for the graduation ceremony (stand up straight, hold the certificate with arms out just so, bow at this angle... don't get me started), so I've borrowed a picture for here:

Baa-chan came for the day, I think she was feeling pretty chuffed to have been invited. I made chirashizushi for dinner (a traditional dish for this festival, basically rice prepared as for sushi but with veggies (lotus root, carrot, shiitake and bamboo) stirred in and various toppings (finely shredded sweet egg, shiso leaves and crab) sprinkled over the top), amongst other things. Was slightly nervous as this was the first time I have cooked a proper Japanese meal for MIL. K didn't think I'd get it right but later gave the thumbs up:

W was very proud of his mochi (the plate of pink, green and white balls in the middle) and couldn't wait for us to eat them. In order to get first pick, he wolfed his way through the sushi, karaage (chunks of marinaded and fried chicken), japanese-style potato salad and a bowl of sumashijiru (soup with tofu) - yes, this is the same W who would only eat rice six months ago!


  1. Wow- impressed! Impressed at your amazing hina-matsuri feast, at cooking Japanese for your MIL and at turning your sons eating habits around!

    I *think* girl's day used to be a holiday too but there was a culling of holidays as it was felt Japan had too many and they combined the two on Boy's day and renamed it Children's Day.

    That mochi sure looks impressive- kudos to W!

  2. Hi there A! OH I love the Mochi.. YUM, and I like green grass mochi, my fav, the dishes look so yummy, gosh how do you have the time to prep all these wonderful foods!!!

    This was our FIRST Time ... no way.. it all looks wonderful... rekon is my fav (lotus root) and gobo salad.. YUM YUM.. can I come for dinner.. hehe

  3. What a legend for cooking all that. I have never ventured into chirashizushi because plates of it usually seem to appear on our bench on festive days.

    What a good daughter in law you are!! I would love a MIL that lived far enough away to get excited about being invited round for dinner.

  4. Wow, what a fantastic spread! I really like Chirashizushi and mochi. In fact I more than like them, I adore them! And isn't it just like a kid to wolf down the mains in order to get to the dessert :P