Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mirror Rice Cakes


source:  google search

The host of the Carpe Diem Haiku Kai meme is taking the group through a series of New Year season words.  Having not been a student of the Japanese culture I was ignorant of the existence and  importance of 'kigo' (season words).  The way I have come to look at these words is a sound/word that brings to mind a particular season of the natural world or the cultural traditions.  In the USA farming community of old I could say butchering time.  That would typically call to mind late fall.  In the more northern parts of the USA I suspect snow shovels and tree tapping would bring seasons to mind.  Or how about income taxes?  Would that bring to mind spring and the scurry to file your taxes by April 15?  

What season do you think of with the word reindeer, rabbit, frog?  How about foods like ice cream, watermelon, pumpkin pie?  When I say biscuit to my husband or any of his first cousins there is a single response.  They are in the presence of Grandma Edith.  In a kitchen with wood stove warmth and aroma.  They are eating the unequaled biscuits made by Grandma.  In my family banana ice cream brings to mind my Mom in her kitchen mixing up the best ice cream in the world.  Daddy always got the dasher.  See how it works?

Now with the prompt of mirror rice cakes my mind went to the rice cakes that were introduced into the US market a few years back.  Those dry sort of puffed rice patties that tasted of pretty much air.  These were used by folks on a weight loss diets to replace the beloved, greasy fried potato chip.  For the Japanese the mirror rice cake is a food that is solidly connected to The New Year and surrounding traditions.  The process of making the mirror rice cakes is fascinating.  If you click here you can learn more about the tradition and process. 

traditional preparation of the mochi rice for the mirror rice cakes.
This is a video that approaches the subject from a first person sharing:


This is one of the inspiration/example haiku for the rice cake prompt.

o-fukuro ga fukude wo chigiru shinan kana
Mama's way
of shaping rice cake offerings...
a lesson 

© Issa

crisp, fluffy discs
made every day for breakfast
taste of Grandma's love
©  Janice Adcock

banana sweetness
formed in an icy brine..
summer's Sunday treat
©  Janice Adcock


Thanks to Chèvrefeuille for daily prompts on 

CARPE DIEM HAIKU KAI



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