Last summer, I was invited by my friend to the baking class for free trial class. Having her doing the reservation, I just went right away to the Roppongi studio of ABC, craving for Chiffone with fresh orange and mango. At the end of the class, I ended up signing membership as it’s a very tempting offer. 50% discount for student.
They have a lot of studios throughout Japan with 3 courses: cooking, cake, and bread.
After thorough consideration, I decided signing for cooking course. It would be the best for me, it will be quite applicable for daily life. Yeah, it’s too bad, I never cooked for myself. I started cooking since I came to Japan. In my childhood, my mom’s so busy so we ate catering food. And when I moved to Jakarta for the bachelor degree, a lot of cafetarias offering variety of food with affordable price. So I never really cook. f(^^
Ok, to make story short, I did enjoy the cooking class. I went there couple times and invited some friends for trial classes as well. It’s nice due to the studio atmosphere, and the class’s delivered in a small group, consists of up to 4 persons in one session. And the most important thing, it’s not a cooking demo class like in Indonesia – we are all involved for the practical cooking.
As for the cooking course, there’ll be 3 different kinds of menu each month. And last December, Inge and I attended for the Osechi ryouri-御節料理 menu. (Japanese new year’s food)
Originally, during first three days of the New Year it was a taboo to use a hearth and cook meals. That’s why Osechi was traditionally home made, prepared by the close of the previous year, as women did not cook in the New Year. ^^
Here we go..
Each of the osechi symbolizes particular meaning to celebrate the coming new year.
And the presentation may differ from one region to others. Like the shape of mochi as well, will be different from Kanto area(in my case, Tokyo) to Kansai area(Osaka, Kobe, etc)
Shrimp have long whiskers and their backs are curved, they are associated with elder people. People eat shrimp hoping to live a long life.
* Ebi (エビ), skewered prawns cooked with sake and soy sauce, symbolizes long life as the shrimp have long whiskers and curved backs which associated with elder people.
* Zouni (雑煮), a soup of mochi rice cakes in clear broth (in eastern Japan) or miso broth (in western Japan). The source of the sweetness doesn’t basically come from sugar, but rice with the natural sweetness. The vegetables in the soup symbolizes smooth human relations, having many descendants, being promoted in the world, not to become jealous or petty and to put down strong roots.
* Tazukuri (田作り), dried sardines cooked in soy sauce. The literal meaning of the kanji in tazukuri is “rice paddy maker”, as the fish were used historically to fertilize rice fields. The symbolism is of an abundant harvest.
* Toori yasai maki (鶏野菜巻き), vegetable rolled in the chicken. I don’t know the meaning, sorry.
* Kuro-mame (黒豆), black soybeans. Mame also means “health,” symbolizing a wish for health in the New Year.
I got the chance sharing about Indonesia in front of the elementary school students. And they asked me what’s the food for new year in Indonesia? As Indonesian are multicultural nation, so I just gave them example that we have different types of new year celebration. And as for the Moslem who are the majority in Indonesia, they usually eat ketupat. Am I correct? And of course, a very big big meal is waiting right? Gulai kambing, rendang, and so on..