To symbolize the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days instead of one, Hanukkah foods are fried in oil. Fried foods can often taste really heavy, so I like to swap out all purpose flour with mochi flour (Japanese glutenous rice flour)…
To start the Sukkot meal, I’m making a comforting bowl of chicken kreplach (dumpling) soup. I’ve read that kreplach is a symbolic new year food in some Jewish communities, because the filling is sealed in the noodle like judgement is sealed in the Book of Life on Yom Kippur. But my first thought as a Japanese American Jew was: “It sounds like gyoza soup!”
The most famous dish of all on Rosh Hashanah is perhaps the simplest; apples dipped in honey, an edible prayer for a sweet year. Here's my updated take on a classic apple and honey cake for dessert: Light and airy Japanese sponge cake with whipped cream, spiced apples and honey rolled in. The end result is an unexpected take on a classic with a beautiful presentation and just a touch of sweetness to last all year.
From my conversion to our Japanese and Jewish wedding to my bat mitzvah at 33, I’ve been fortunate to have celebrated many happy lifecycle events in a few short years. While my life has only seemed to get fuller and go by faster in the last couple of years, I’ve found that there are fewer lifecycle events and therefore seemingly fewer rituals to write about here post-wedding…
When I was growing up as a Japanese-American-Californian, matcha was not as popular as it is today. But when I stopped drinking coffee a few years ago, a matcha craze was beginning to brew. I rediscovered matcha (like many of you) in the form of matcha lattes…
While a trip to Montgomery may not be high on your list of places to visit (it wasn't on mine), I found it incredibly healing to visit in our current political climate. It's the heart of where so many of the divisions in our country started, and visiting is an empowering way in which we can begin to take ownership and responsibility for our shared history.
How do we get to the core of racism and begin to heal? I think it's through confronting and acknowledging our history. Bryan and I recently visited Montgomery, Alabama- the heart of where so many divisions in our country started. I found it surprisingly healing to visit in our current political climate, and I came back a different person. I know Montgomery is not high on most people's travel lists, but I really encourage everyone to visit.
This is a photo of my place of worship. The thought of a gunman opening fire on us while we are at our most vulnerable, in prayer, terrifies me and breaks my heart into a million pieces to even fathom. Here 11 suggestions of actions to take in the coming weeks, so we can hold each other up during this frightening time in our history.
These days, our lives are filled with so much extra... stuff. You know, the extra stuff filling our social media feeds and inboxes, the extra stuff in our food, the extra stuff taking up time in the day, stuff that eventually becomes waste. Reducing our household waste, especially plastic waste is something we've been passionate about for a while now. I thought I'd share the best tips I've discovered to save you some time, the one non-renewable resource!
January 1st is the most important holiday on the Japanese calendar. New Year's Day in Japan is spent with family celebrating traditions, many of which are centuries old and deeply rooted in Japanese culture.