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!”
Kreplach soup has been known to be very time-consuming. My addition of store-bought gyoza wrappers cuts the time more than in half, so you can spend more time outside with your family and friends:
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.
When I was growing up, I looked forward to a festival at my Japanese school and local Japanese American Buddhist Church, called Obon. Very simply put, Obon is like the Japanese version of Dia de los Muertos. It’s a time when we celebrate and honor the spirit of our ancestors through dance.
Manzanar was one of many prison camps that the American government sent Japanese-Americans to during World War II, in the name of national security. I recently visited the site- here are photos and reflections of hope from the 49th annual pilgrimage.
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.
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.