Kaiseki for March 3rd ( Japanese food for doll’s festival )

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

 

March 3rd is doll’s festival. It is said to be a festival for girls. In the families with girls, Hina dolls are often display. In some areas , they celebrate this festival in April. Japanese hold festivals at the transitions of seasons.

A long time ago, on march 3rd, people touched their bodies with human-shaped paper and put them in rivers or oceans. The human-shaped paper was meant to take evil spirits away from our body. It must have been a kind of purification. When I was a child, in the year of my mother’s unlucky year so called “ yakudoshi “, a Shinto priest came to my house and explained to her how to purify herself. The Shinto priest left a human-shaped small white paper. A few hours later, my mother was going to do that, but she couldn’t find the paper. She asked us if we knew where it was. My sister confessed that she did it for herself as the Shinto priest said. I’m still curious why she had done such a thing and asked her about it a few years ago, but she didn’t remember it. People often forget inconvenient things easily. Anyway both my mother and sister have been super healthy, probably it worked.

 

 

 

In Kaiseki, seasons or festivals are very important factor.

A few days ago I went to a cooking class, we made a set of dishes for March 3rd.

We added a few pink things. They represent peach blossoms.

In this season, peach blossoms start to bloom. Peaches are said to drive evil spirits away. Peaches are considered to protect us from evils.  Do you know the story of Momotarou or “ A peach boy” ?

 

In Kaiseki lesson, we divide our roles. I made this soup called “ sumashi jiru

With white and red dumplings, green vegetable, and yuzu peel are in it.

Making “ dashi “ or soup stock with kelp and dried bonito was a little difficult. Making dumplings was fun. My teacher showed me how to place things in the bowl. It looked good and tasted very good. I was very happy.

Other dishes are lozenge-shaped sushi, boiled spinach with apple, dried persimmon, tofu and sesame with dressing, Japanese omelet, grilled yellowtail, deep fried lotus and shrimp.

 

It took about two hours to make and took only 20 minutes to finish.