New Month, New Bowl

Yesterday was the perfect, sunny spring day filled with flea markets and patios. I got super lucky and found this white matcha bowl! I’ve been keeping an eye out for a white one for a while and I’m just over the moon with it. Today was in sharp contrast, rainy and grey but its always nice to get to use a new bowl for the first time. My snack is just a simple red bean daifuku. My collection is growing and I couldn’t be happier!

Kintsugi・金継ぎ・Take your broken bowl (💖) and turn it into art

Kintsugi, which means golden joinery, is a traditional pottery mending technique. Broken pieces are put back together using golden lacquer, its flaws and cracks strengthened and highlighted and turned into a new, stronger piece with its own beauty. It’s not hard to extend the metaphor. Sometimes bowls get broken, sometimes hearts get broken (sometimes by the same person) but embracing imperfections helps to see different kinds of potential.

With sakura season almost over, I got an amazing sakura paste dorayaki from Rabbit Moon. I’ve had a couple already and been lucky enough to chat with the store owner again. It’s been an absolutely lovely spring, with the blossoms and exploring Fukuoka and my neighborhood and I’m so excited for the rest of the year.

New Year Upgrade

Today I get to try out some new toys. I got a new chasen ・茶筅 yesterday in Kurume after looking around for a little while. Here’s my 1.5 year old chasen, I got a very cheap one in Kyoto when I first thought to start making matcha at home. For about a week, little bamboo pieces started falling out. It looks so sad! Not sure what I’ll do with the old one yet…

I’m really happy to start “re-investing” in these products. Making conscious purchasing decisions with these items is really important to me. I really wanted to wait until I could make a connection with the item, seller and environment and was so happy with the little shop I got it from.

In Kurume I wandered around the park (it snowed a lot) and went to the department store sweet shops. Minamoto Kitchoan・宗家 源吉兆庵 has some truly beautiful sweets so I splurged a bit. Also last weekend I finally restocked on matcha at Ohori Terrace, just in time.

First up is this little kumquat, white bean sweet. Really soft and delicate, juicy and tart kumquat. Excited to try their other products! I don’t often go to department stores, for sweets or anything, but I went twice this week. Department stores in Japan can be extremely fancy and luxurious, definitely more Holt Renfrew than Canadian Tire.

New Year’s Eve snackies

I got these from Dazaifu Baien while I was in Dazaifu last week. This little eggy, dried sweet is called Yorotsuyo・よろつよ and it is sort of like a meringue but with gelatin added in. The texture and mix of salty/sweet is really nice. I can’t think of anything I’ve had just like it. I was in Yanagawa for a couple days and I found a local pottery shop and got a shiny new matcha bowl. The shop owner was very sweet and gave me this little charm as a gift. Ready for the year of the ox to begin, tomorrow!

For the first day of 2021 and I’ll be hiking in Kanoudake. I cannot wait for the new years sweets to begin. And, like everyone else alive on earth, for this awful year to be over. I will eat the traditional end of year toshi-koshi soba tonight and osechi tomorrow after hiking.