This winter was very hard with very unusual (for DC area) heavy snow. As a result, a little like Hokkaido, all the spring flowers are blossoming at the same time. Cherry, Magnolia, and Bradford pear trees are all in bloom. We have three cherry trees in our backyard two are ornamental which we planted and one is “wild” meaning somehow rooted when the land was still pasture. In regular years, the wild variety blooms about one week after the ones we planted but this year both are in full bloom at the same time. Our trees usually bloom about 5-7 days after the trees at the tidal basin but this year they are all in full bloom at the same time. In any case, the hard winter made this eagerly awaited spring all the more enjoyable. It is time for “Hanami” 花見 or Cherry blossom gazing.
We did not have anything special ready for the occasion. So I served whatever was in the freeezer and refrigerator. We started with tuna sashimi arranged in a flower shape, Monk fish liver or “ankimo” 鮟肝 and cucumber with moromimiso.
The left is graded daikon with sweet vinegar and salmon roe or “ikura”. The right is store bought (frozen) squid and guts or “shiokara” 塩辛. For the occasion, using a very small cutting mold (from Kappabashi), I made cherry flowers from carrot, lemon peel and the skin of cucumber.
This is a small salad consisting of cooked chicken breast, seaweed salad, blanched broccoli rabe in my usual sesame dressing. Our Hanami went on until it got dark. We tunrned on the lights and then we were doing “Yozakura” 夜桜 or “night time cherry blossoms” gazing.