cherry blossom forecast: (Japanese version only) version only) (Japanese version only)  

when and where to see cherry blossoms (Japanese version only):

1-30 April Miyako Odori(Cherry Dance), Kyoto
Maiko and geiko dance performances
Advance tickets are available from overseas at:
The performances wil be done at Kyoto Art Theater “Shunjuza”( again this year.

seasonal flowers:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

winter confections

People living in Niigata City have the heaviest snowfall in 26 years during the past few days. The hard part was over.

fubuki-manjyuu(吹雪饅頭) :
steamed bean paste bun. It's called "snowstorm" from its resemblance to a light fall of snow.

kangori(寒氷:cold ice)
Of course ice is cold. Although they look cool, are not actually.

saka-manjyu(酒饅頭) (left):
They are often sold as souvenirs at hot-spring spa resorts. Steamed bean paste buns with sake lees. I recommend to eat them soon after steaming.

These are sandwiched buns between two leaves of camellia. This confection come into the story "The Tale of Genji" that had written about 1,000 years ago. However, it was not sweet because of sugar-free.

Many strawberries are in the marketplace now. it is shaped into a small silk wrapper(袱紗) used in tea ceremony.

awayuki(泡雪) means "a light snowfall in spring".
awayukikan(泡雪羹) is a mixture of whipped egg whites, sugar and kanten(vegetable gelatin). It's like firmer jelly.

This is an article on the market.
rice cake stuffed with bean paste and a strawberry.

This is sort of like soup stock cube.
This confection uses wafers of monaka. Monaka are bean-paste-filled wafers that are made of rice cakes pressed into shapes.
This is wafers filled with powdered bean paste and sugar. It's ready after putting this in the soup bowl, adding boiling water to it and stiring it well after wafers become soft.
Shiruko(汁粉) is a sweet bean paste soup.

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