Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Omochi Pounding

Tara Grace's class did Omochi pounding today. It is sticky rice that is soaked in water over night. The they put it in these big wooden "bowls" and literally pound it. It is a tradition early in the new year. When it is done it is like a dough--kind of....It is really thick and sticky.
The kids traditionally dressed for some omochi pounding.
In between poudning they soak the mallets in water.
Then when it is done, they eat it. It may be wrapped in seaweed like sushi or rolled in something that looks like corn meal, but tastes more like peanutbutter. One had some kind of tiny rasin-looking beans and was a bit sweet tasting (Tara, I am sure it had NO sugar in it!!! so don' worry about me!!!)
It does not really look tastey, but it is pretty good. The kids really like it!!
The tradition is to welcome good luck and happiness into the new year. Everyone is yelling something like "Yusho" over and over again. I asked one of the Japanese moms what it means. She said something like "cheer up". So have a look at Tara Grace giving it a try....

Below is the professional demonstration...I keep waiting for that man on the side to get wacked with that big o' mallet...

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