Sunday, December 23, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #13, Millionaire as he is

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day has passed by. Our Earth has survived the Mayan Calendar and we live right on, maybe there is something changed, but I think it's more something of the mind and our connected consciousness. As we can see all around the globe ... people become stronger and speak out their feelings on governements and politics and so on. Maybe you have heard from the Pakistan outrage on assaulting a young girl by a group of young guys. That's something never heard of in the last decennia. And what to think of all the changes in the Middle East ... well enough on that ... Today we have a Carpe Diem Special written by our Haiku Master for this month Yosa Buson.

Enjoying three bowls of zoni  (*)
At the New Year's breakfast;
Millionaire as he is!

(*) 'Zoni' is a soup containing mochi (rice cakes), vegetables and other ingredients. To cook zoni was very expensive for the common people in the Edo period (1603-1868). To eat three bowls of 'zoni' at a time for breakfast was beyond all imagination of theirs.
Credits: Selfportrait by Yosa Buson 1771

Some information on Zoni:
Many cultures have certain foods traditionally eaten at the new year, believed to bring luck to the next 365 days. In the American south, it's Hoppin' John made with black-eyed peas; Spaniards eat a dozen grapes for every strike of the clock at midnight; and other cultures consider pork, greens, or lentils lucky, the last because of the way the legumes swell when cooked, symbolizing prosperity.

Japan has a whole set of ritual foods for the new year, called osechi. These dishes are often arranged together in bento boxes and include herring roe, brightly colored boiled fish paste, various fruits and vegetables, and red sea bream.

One of the most important osechi dishes is o-zoni, hot broth floating with mochi cakes.

Zoni (Kansai "sumashi" style)
Ingredients: (for 4 servings)

4 pieces of cut mochi, 100 g chicken leg meat, 1/4 bunch komatsuna, 3-4 cm carrots, 3 cups of dashi (ichiban dashi), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon usukuchi (light flavored) soy sauce, yuzu (citron).
How to make:

Mix and heat up dashi, salt and soy sauce.
Wash komatsuna, boil stems down, cut into 3 cm pieces.

Divide meat into 4 pieces.
Lightly peel carrots. In intervals cut 5 triangular pieces out of the carrot lengthwise. Slice into 7-8 mm flower-shaped pieces.

Grill mochi on broiler net until toasted and inside is puffy.
Gently pour dashi over mochi, meat, and komatsuna and carrots. Garnish with yuzu peel.

Well ... enjoy the read and I hope you are inspired by the haiku of Buson. I however couldn't find the inspiration to write a haiku inspired on the one given. Unique? I don't know, maybe it's the tiredness of the nightshift in which I am when I write this post.

This Special will stay on 'till December 25th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode later on around 10.00 PM (CET). The prompt for December 25th (Christmasday) will be 'frost (shimo)'


  1. Thank you for the wonderful lessons. Get some rest my friend !

  2. You have done so much for everyone with this daily haiku series - it is beautiful work.

  3. Really I'd like to add another thanks for everything, the haiku, the explanations, your craft. Well done, and great team here!

  4. Great information on our prompt, as always. Thanks for doing this. It's one of the things I look forward to doing--reading, writing, and learning more about haiku.

    Thanks a million, Kristjaan

  5. May you have a very Merry Christmas and a fruitful New Year.
    Thank you for facilitating the nourishment of my Soul :)

  6. You are forgiven for not writing a haiku based on Buson. After all, it's Christmas! Have a merry one, you and your loved ones. And may you find strength in the new year to continue Carpe Diem. It is one of my favorite places to visit daily, even if I don't always contribute a haiku.

  7. host in haste
    thanks for your nice work
    take a rest!
    Merry Christmas in company of your loved ones.

  8. May the Spirit of Christmas infuse every particle of your life with blessings of joy and peace!! Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!