Monday, December 9, 2013

Amazake Sunday

I may not have mentioned how much I love amazake on this blog; it's one of my favourite Japanese drinks, and it's mostly associated with winter, as shrines serve it on New Year's Day. I tasted it first last January, topped with ginger, and I've been hooked ever since. It's a thick beverage made from fermented rice, and while some recipes contain a bit of alcohol, it's so low that children can drink it. Think of it an the Japanese version of eggnog, although the ingredients are completely different. I like how thick and slightly sweet it is, and the best way to drink it is to top if off with fresh ginger. The nicest way to drink amazake is at a Japanese festival in winter to warm up, but the best quality I've had was at a sake brewery in Kyoto. In the meantime, I drink it at home from the packet I bought at the supermarket.

It suddenly became very cold, as in winter cold. My new bedtime ritual is to hit the gym later in the evening, then take full advantage of the bath and sauna facilities at the gym. I bring my pajama and get ready for bed there, then just walk home and crash. It doesn't look good to wear pajamas in public in Japan as it's usually reserved for a less sophisticated crowd, but I figure it's okay as I cover it up with a long coat.

December is the most difficult month of the year for me, I get sad and homesick so easily, but any small thing that can cheer me up is fantastic. I spent Sunday making pancakes in my tiny little kitchen, and walked around Shinjuku to see some Christmas lights. I finally found some soy yogurt at Seijo Ishii, and it's the most delicious thing. I went back to the gym after a month-long absence due to work, and the staff all asked me where I had been. My fridge broke yesterday, but I was able to quickly find a brand new, cheap one and it's pretty exciting as I've never owned a brand new fridge since I moved out  on my own.

How do you stay warm?

Soy yogurt, YUM

Canadian Maple syrup at the import shop

Friday night dinner:
Ginger biscuits, wine, pasta and canned sauce

Holiday treats at a party

Cooking in my TINY kitchen

Night cap

Ripped package of Amazake

1 comment:

Christine said...

I usually drink mulled wine, hot chocolates and tons of tea to keep myself warm. I bring a thermos with me at work.