A DAY IN MY LIFE: DECEMBER 25, 2017! (CHRISTMAS, MOCHI-MAKING, FAMILY)
This is Christmas Day: spending time with my parents exchanging gifts, making mochi at my mom’s friend’s place, and enjoying time with my big little and little little cousins and the chaos that comes with the family.
*I’m posting this on February 4, I realize. But I didn’t want to let these photos slip through the cracks—I look back on many holiday posts and hope you don’t mind seeing a little Christmas-related stuff a few months late.
Good morning! Love waking up at home.
Sufi tears down the hallway to say good morning.
Parents have probably been up for hours—I help myself to some coffee and say my hellos.
My dad had a fire going
The dogs love the warmth
The beautiful little Christmas tree
Let Glenn have some free wander time while I changed out his cage.
The pup’s favorite part of the day.
I look down and then back at them and suddenly they are in the cutest formation.
It’s quiet in the neighborhood
Made it back home
The cats gave me a sweater! So kind of them.
My parents opening their gifts, eeheh.
I still get gifts from Santa, I hope that never stops.
Adding the Getty Center ornament I got my mom to the tree
My dad tends to the fire. I give my mom her annual customized calendar that I fill with photos from the last year.
Tweedy gets some attention
Aw, Yoko gave me a present from dog heaven.
All cleaned up! Time to get cooking.
My mom makes her rosemary chicken wings for the mochi-making potluck
I get started on my deviled eggs.
Aw, Carol drops a gift for my mom.
Got all my eggs peeled
Parents having a quiet morning
Success! We put them in the fridge to chill.
Got ready to head out to my mom’s friend’s place for mochi-making.
It was my mom’s suggestion to bring the dogs, let it be known.
Sufi terrorizing my mom
Got a better view out the window on my dad’s lap
It’s a dog party at my mom’s friend’s house.
An! Sweet red bean paste.
First round has started
We rush to make the warm freshly pounded rice into smaller mochi balls.
Tweedy too close to the action
Mochi-making happens in rounds. First, rice steams. Then it gets pounded, then it’s shaped. But often while rice is steaming, another batch is being pounded, etc.
Mochiko Rice Flour! Made by Koda Farms, the farm has been going since 1928. You lay down the rice flour (or corn starch) and put the hot mochi on top of that. The rice flour helps control the stickiness.
Next round of hot steamed rice heads to the “usu” (traditionally made of wood, but they have improvised hah)
Meanwhile next rice goes into the steamer
All the dogs so curious
Mom’s hands and apron. If you don’t wear an apron you’ll have a front full of mochi flour
Looking the wrong way, Mochi (the dog)
The technique for pounding the rice involves skinnier baseball bat looking sticks when the rice is first put into the basin. Then when it is more sticky, a bigger mallet is used. It is hit once, and then a hand comes in to rotate. Then it is hit again. Repeat.
“What the heck!?”
From there it’s transferred to the rice flour table where we all work quickly while it is still warm to shape the mochi balls
Quick break while the next rice is pounded. My mom chats with her friend.
The best reward, eating the warm mochi (this one stuffed with sweet red bean) right away. Mmmm.
Time to go get ready for family Christmas
I’m still rocking the apron
Got home and the way we stacked the warm mochi made them squished. Noooo!
So we decided to quickly reshape them all before dividing them up and storing them.
My mom did a few and then left me to finish up.
Briefly laying down, watching a bit of Bones.
We load my car with food and presents.
Arrived at my cousin’s!
I get a review of the kid’s favorite gifts. Is this the new Furby? It is called a Hatchimal.
We play some Guess Who as family members arrive.
My big little cousins arrive.
I love the chaos of arrivals. So many hugs and hellos.
We retreat to the other room.
My big little cousins have it so easy, they can entertain the little little cousins with snapchat filters. When I was 12, 13, and 14, I had to entertain the big little cousins with games, books, movies, and running around hahah.
Time to eat!
Eating in the kid’s nook
We played a little bit of “Telephone” but with the little ones everything turned into, “poopie poop poooop!”
After dinner we went up to the play room.
Can you hear the giggling?
After a while we were called downstairs for gift exchange.
So our tradition for a few years now for the adults has been a themed white elephant. One year we did “red”, the next year we did “as seen on TV” and this year we did gifts cards.
Success! I got a giftcard to my favorite ramen place. I ended up taking my big little cousins there later that week, you can see that post here.
The kid’s exchange was next. They do secret santa style.
Then was just chill time.
A few of the kids went to the bathroom to play a game that is essentially Russian Roulette style but with eggs and ONE is full of water. Look who lost…
Snuck in a game of kid’s Clue (no murder, somebody stole cake!)
Headed back home
Took the dogs out for a walk
Had an Airbourne, the kids are always coughing in my face.
My dad then randomly told me to follow him to the neighbor’s house
We went to meet Bam Bam! Well, my parents sometimes dog sit Bam Bam for a few hours during the week and they always send me pictures. I got to meet him!
Back home, it’s only a little after 6pm but I’m exhausted.
A few hours of Internet-ing, watching Bones, and then I went to sleep early.
Much love friends!