Mochi Mochi Mochi - Mochitsuki 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Mochi Day 2011
It's that time again! My family and friends got together on December 26th for our annual mochi making day!

These unsweetened rice cakes are eaten on New Year's Day in a special soup called ozoni to bring about good fortune and health and all that jazz. Our family has been getting together since 1955 to make mochi. We have two electric machines and a bunch of gas steamers to cook the special Koda Farms Sho-Chiku-Bai sweet rice (old school method is with a pound it by hand with a mallet.)

I think this year was a record - 190 pounds of rice! That took about three hours alone just to wash and soak on Christmas day (thanks Mom for doing that!)

Mochi Making - 2011
Rice is steamed in steamers then poured into the machine. It comes out piping hot! Little bits are cut off and shaped into rounds. They are cooled on racks and then dusted with mochiko (rice flour).

Mochi Making 2011 - collage
All hands on deck for mochi making! Often, this is the one time a year we see some of our aunts, uncles, cousins and their growing children so it is a very important tradition for my family. And, of course, we have a bouncy house...just like our ancestors had I'm sure...

Mochi - Food 1 - collage
Um, we had two food tables and one salad table...making mochi definitely stirs the appetite!

Mochi - Food 2
Yum! Yum! Yum!

Mochi Day 2011
Mochi - Desserts
And this year lots of my friends dropped by!

We can't forget the desserts too! My auntie made this delicious cookie tray, JustJenn brought delicious and cute cupcakes and my cousin made these fried cookies.

Days later, my cousin and I are still cleaning the house and putting back things (we need to clear out three rooms of the house for mochi day). Of course, the benefit is that I'm eating fresh toasted mochi every day!

Looking forward to joining JustJenn's family for her annual New Year's feast...featuring our mochi for the ozoni soup! :)

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 is going to ROCK! - mary the food librarian

Other mochi-related posts: 2010, 2008, 2007 family event, sweet mochi with red beans, zunda mochi from sendai, blueberry mochi cake.
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20 comments:

Fuji Mama said... [Reply to comment]

So jealous of your family's mochitsuki tradition!! And oh boy, that ozoni is going to be incredible!

Tracey said... [Reply to comment]

I always enjoy this post every year Mary! Happy New Year :)

Nanette said... [Reply to comment]

Very cool!

So sad I won't be seeing you at JustJenn's this year. :(

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Happy new year, Mary! --Allyson

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Looks like a wonderful tradition and tons of fun for your family and friends. What a rich heritage to pass from one generation to the next!
~Karen

Mrsblocko said... [Reply to comment]

I'm always so jealous when people have traditions like this. The closest thing to any "ethnic" food for us over the holidays is my mom buys some lefsa at the store for us to eat on Xmas eve. Seems pretty sad and pathetic compared to your mochi making fiesta. I'm Green with Envy!!!!!

Dharma said... [Reply to comment]

Que maravilla. Le deseo unas feliz salida de año y que la entrada en 2012 sea maravillosa y dure cada dia del proximo año

Corriendo said... [Reply to comment]

Aw...This brings back memories! I used to make mochi every Christmas Day with a machine like this one here. I love just plain mochi with shoyu and sugar (or fresh mochi filled with a little an).

Azusa said... [Reply to comment]

All that food is amazing, Mary! Happy new year to you!!

thehungryartist said... [Reply to comment]

Wow, you guys are amazing! Your photos make me miss living in California where my family gathers with a lot of our Hawaiian friends for a big ole potluck with lots of yummy foods and lots of mochi. Happy New Year!

Rina said... [Reply to comment]

Love the energy in this post - I can't wait for 2012, either!!

illmakeitmyself said... [Reply to comment]

The mochi look lovely! I bought some from a local organic farmer but would love to try making my own someday. Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet said... [Reply to comment]

OMG that's crazily good :) with all the food and mochi!!! I don't think I've seen that much mochi in my life!!! I can't believe it 190 pounds thats more than how much i weigh ahahah

Baltic Maid said... [Reply to comment]

I have never tried mochi before. They have to be awesome if you make that many... :-) I'll just have to try some. Happy New Year!!!

Pegs said... [Reply to comment]

OMG. I am so jealous...My grandparents used to make the mochi but they have passed. So, this year I decided to give it a try. A full bag of kome later, nothing but several batches of smooshy, boogery, sticky mess. (I tried cooking the kome in a rice cooker. Steamed it 2x, one batch was "okay"... but now I have a dislike for mochi. lol. My girlfriend and I will try again come Children's day. Now that I know I need to steam the rice for about 50 minutes. I'm jealous of your machine though... Mine just kneads it. It doesn't squeeze them out in perfect portions. =) If we get it right, we'll go old school in December with the pounding. Wish us luck! I definitely will try and have a good buffet like yours to entice the pounders. =)
(My sister and I are curious. She worked at Sakuraya about 20 years ago too.. Jen Kamon. We're from Torrance...I'm Peggy. )

Pegs said... [Reply to comment]

SOOOO Jealous! I tried making mochi for the first time this year. (Since I inherited my bachan and jichan's mochi maker) Smooshy, gushy, icky messes later, I only got one small semi-decent batch. bleah. I made great an though! lol

I will definitely try and create a new tradition as we're going to try again at Children's day. Wish us luck.

And if we're succesful we'll go old school in December with the pounding. =)

Not sure if you'd remember but my sister, Jen worked at Sakuraya too...around the same time. We are the Kamons...from Torrance. Jen's a Bruin too. And she's baking now too. =) Maybe we'll start a blog soon. I've been saying that for a while... =) 2012? We'll see.

Thanks again for the inspiring post! Mochi, I will conquer you soon! =)

Eileen said... [Reply to comment]

How beautiful! I love that your family has been maintaining this tradition since 1955.

Yuri - Chef Pandita said... [Reply to comment]

Love your mochi making posts. My grandma makes mochi for us and I often help :) seeing your pics makes me want to invite myself over for those mochi making parties!

Liiitza said... [Reply to comment]

Omg....... I'm drooooooling!!!

Karyn - Pint Sized Baker said... [Reply to comment]

Was going through your site and came across THIS! WOW!! It's not too often you see a post on Mochi! I was in Hilo over Christmas and went to Two Ladies Kitchen where they had Brownie stuffed mochi and their specialty - Strawberry with black bean stuffed mochi! Love it!

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