I remember being a little girl barely able to see over the floured table that my mom, her friend [Mrs S], and Mrs S’s sister in law working quickly and efficiently rolling balls of mochi. I tried to “help” by making a mess of everything I touched [ahhh…some things never change].
Over the years, I had gotten quite good at rolling the mochi but began to hate going. The thought of having to stand and work from 6:30am to the late afternoon nearly sucked the life out of my body. I stopped going from college years through to…well, this year. My mom asked me if I could come in the morning to give them a hand. Selfish brat that I am, all I could think of was, “I guess I could add that to my blog!”
I laughed when I got there and saw a girl who was a little younger than I was when I first started to help, tearing and pulling the mochi. I recognized that boredom that was beginning to set in. I also saw her throwing some un-prepared mochi on to the prepared table. I silently and stealthily pulled them off the table to redo while she wasn’t looking.
The mochi that we made today will be used for the New Year’s Ozoni which I will be posting a little later. I’m still in a mad dash for Christmas cookies and stuff. I forgot how much work it was. I have to give Mrs S’ sons, Jack and Jesse a lot of credit. They’ve been doing this every year for about 40 years without fail, helping their dad. Now that their dad’s gone, it’s fully their responsibility to take it over.
Step 1: wash the rice and then set it in a steamer:
Step 2: Either pound or set the cooked rice through the machine [we’re old…pounding mochi is WAY too much work for us]. On average, they have to run the rice through the machine abour 3 times:
Step 3: Bring the mochi in to the house, dump on the well floured [with mochiko] table:
Step 4: Knead the mochi [much like bread dough]:
Step 5: Pull off large golf ball sized balls of mochi.
Step 6: take mochi and start pulling from outside edges, leaving the center are thicker than the edges. Burn fingers on the heat of the mochi, playing hot potato with it. The mochi is hot but still stretchable while it is hot…once it cools down it’s a lot harder and stickier to work with.
Step 7: If you are making mochi with Anko, take a ball of an and place it in the center. Pull the edges together and twist the mochi together. Sorry- i really wish I had taken photos of this but my mom & mrs S, while hysterically funny, are taskmasters and they don’t have time for my photo snapping nonsense.
Two other types of mochi: one with beans:
and one with yomogi [mugwort] from my backyard:
Ok, i have to admit, I was tired, my back was sore, but I really had a great time talking about the past with my mom, Mrs S, Sharon [PTA mom from my elementary school…mother of 2 of the meanest boys EVER], along with the future generation of mochi kids!