Mochi Making (Mochitsuki) 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mochi Making 2010

On Sunday, December 26th, family and friends came over to continue our 50+ year tradition of making mochi or mochitsuki. I was talking to my dad and he said one of our mochi machines is over 50 years old. He was trying to figure out the timeline based on his service in the Air Force during the Korean War. Yeah...let's just say my family has been doing this forever.

Mochi 2010 Collage 2
Mochi making starts with washing the rice. My mom washed 150 pounds of the special sweet mochigome rice from Koda Farms (that is 15 bags of rice!!!). It soaks overnight, then small batches are placed in steamers. Yes, we've taken the gas line from the dryer in the garage to make these outdoor steamers.

Mochi Making 2010
The hot rice is placed in the mochi machine. It's ground up and comes out piping hot!

Mochi 2010 Collage 3
Each mochi is cut off the machine and handed to the catcher who forms it into a ball and places it onto a full sheet tray (photo on right). Friends and first time mochi makers Alison and Nicole! They were awesome!

Mochi Making 2010
After sitting on a cooling rack for a bit, the mochi get transferred to tables covered in mochiko flour. Then they go off and get packed up. This goes on for HOURS. Serious...we start about 9 am and end around 2 pm.

Mochi 2010 collage 4
The mochi packaging "store". We make packages for family and friends. After mochi making, the Mochi Express delivery process begins. We deliver most of it by car, but also vacuum seal some and ship it off to relatives in Vermont!

Mochi 2010 - Collage 5
Food. Food. Food. We had the typical Japanese American potluck...some sushi, rice dishes and lots of Mexican. :) See the Mochi Factory Gingerbread house? JustJenn made it and you can read the post here. I made a few food items and will be posting them soon!

Mochi Making 2010
The Japanese have been making mochi since them ancient Japan years. I'm sure the Samurai Warriors had a bouncy house too, no? Since we have lots of kids coming, the bouncy house is awesome.

Mochi Making 2010
Oh yeah, not just kids end up in the bouncy house! :)

Mochi 2010 - Cidney Collage
Finally, this was Cidney the Dog's first mochitsuki too! She was so excited to meet everyone and was very good. However, when everyone left, she whined for a few seconds, "Where did the party people go?!"...and then crashed out. Mochi making is exhausting!

Mochi Making 2010
A friend of the family came for the first time and said, "My best friend is Japanese American, my husband works for a Japanese company...and I've never heard of anyone doing this." Yeah, that's pretty much true! Some families may make very small batches, but most Japanese and Japanese Americans will buy mochi from the store. Our family is kinda crazy making 150 pounds of mochi. Ha ha. However, it's sometimes the only time I see my cousins and their kids all year...so I'm glad we have this tradition!

Mochi 2010 collage 1
Happy New Year everyone! I'm looking forward to heading over to JustJenn's New Year celebration where she makes all the traditional Japanese New Year's food and puts a toasted mochi in a bowl of special soup called ozoni...bringing you luck and good health in the new year.

Links: JustJenn's recap of my family's mochi making
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15 comments:

Divya Kudua said... [Reply to comment]

Wow..this is too good,so much Mochis??I've never heard of the same..glad to read about it in detail!!

Anna M. said... [Reply to comment]

Incredible!!!

Karen said... [Reply to comment]

What an excellent family tradition. I could only wish for quality family time like that. It looks like a busy but fantastic day!

Ravenous Couple said... [Reply to comment]

simply amazing and wonderful family tradition!

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

never ever heard of mochi but wow, what fun!! My name is Tineke, I live in the Netherlands and was impressed by the tradition, happy newyear form the Netherlands

Gumbo Lily said... [Reply to comment]

I know nothing about mochi, but I think your family is incredible! Are you sure you're not THE Incredibles??

Jody

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! So fun....I want to learn at some point....this is now on my culinary bucket list!

LM said... [Reply to comment]

I just want to say thanks so much for writing about this - I LOVE to read something I have not come across before.

TeaLady said... [Reply to comment]

How interesting. I've never heard of mochi. Looks like a fun way to spend the day.

Loree said... [Reply to comment]

What an incredible family tradition -- I have only done it once w/ family, but we used my cousin's electric machine! The churches around here still do it the "old" way, but i don't know of any families that do.

Thank you for sharing your family tradition -- now I want toasted mochi w/ shoyu & sugar!! :)

Mary at n00bcakes said... [Reply to comment]

I love mochi! How very cool that this is such a tradition in your family. I wish this was something I could make at home on a smaller scale. ^_^

Grace said... [Reply to comment]

Oishiiiiii!! We just made our annual batch of mochi using a mochi machine we've had in our family for a long time. I blogged about it in my blog in the past... this yr I forgot to take pictures - got too busy and wrapped up cleaning up after Christmas and getting ready for Osechi time!!

Maria said... [Reply to comment]

How fun! Happy New Year!

Vivian said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my god. Can I be friends with you? *Drooooool* Love your family's dedication!

Jessica H said... [Reply to comment]

This looks like such a wonderful tradition! I am trying to make some Korean style rice cakes here in Greece this year... but just enough for two people :)
Happy new year!

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