Onigiri, illuminations and birthday cake…

I had a lovely day on Sunday.  I went to a friend’s family home in Anjo, where I was shown how to make onigiri (something I have attempted and failed before!).  It’s actually a lot easier than I thought – once you know how!

First you make a ball of rice.  Then you make a hole in it with your finger and stick the filling in (maybe salmon, or bonito or something).  Then you shape them into sort of triangular shapes, like this:

Then you wrap them in seaweed (nori) like this:

See the ones with the tempura prawns sticking out?  They’re ‘tenmusu’ – a Nagoya speciality.

After a gorgeous home-cooked lunch, we all went off to Laguna Gamagori to see the winter illuminations.  First we went on a ferris wheel to enjoy the view.  Then, we took a short boat cruise around the harbour, and saw the boats all dressed-up for Christmas.  It was really pretty!  (And very cold!)

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After returning to Anjo, I was surprised with a beautiful birthday cake and a whole family singing ‘happy birthday’ to me!  My birthday is next Saturday, but I didn’t expect anything like this!

The cake was really delicious!  So light and fluffy!

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Here’s the Yamamoto family – they were so kind to me!

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I was also lucky enough to receive a gift – my first ‘yutanpo’.  A ‘yutanpo’ is a Japanese style hot water bottle – something I really need at the moment!  And mine is Rilakuma shaped!!

You just fill the orange bottle with boiling water and zip it into the back of Rilakuma’s head, then enjoy a cozy sleep.  So… if I’m blogging less at the moment, you can blame Rilakuma!  I never want to get out of bed again!  The amazing thing is, it stays warm through until the morning!  You gotta love Japanese inventions!  😀

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