New Years Chakai 2019

New Years is a special time for tea people. This year, Ryu-rei style using tables and chairs was presented. Two seki’s (groups of guests) were hosted in one day….I will never do that again. My back did not like me for a while after that. Thank the Gods for Sadler Sensei who was the head guest for the first gathering. She stayed behind and helped me fine tune the presentation for the second gathering. Kaiseki cooking has been an up hill process. But steady progress occurs with practice. Besides; it’s fun! Mei-Sui was drawn from an artisanal well at 4:00 a.m. on New Years morning 2019. The cabby thought I was very interesting…and weird for doing this. It is also getting more difficult to find willow switches in this urbanized city. Here are pictures of the event.

Horai kazari display

Special water tori awase ( utensil arrangement)

evening gathering

The guests gathered in my small waiting room to see a scroll of sparrows under heavenly bamboo with the ‘Horia Kazari’ arrangement of auspicious symbols of abundance and good luck. A negoro lacquer ‘Fuji san’ Kogo incense box was also presented. After the guests were seated, Zencha was served with dried, sweetened plums coated in powdered chocolate as the sweets attending. They were placed in an Indian raised relief bowl once owned by Gary Sensei. It had been given to him by the late great flower master from India- Sandesh. The meal was abbreviated due to there being so much presented. After the initial tray, Nimono was served, and then Osechi-ryori courses of New Years foods, with toasts of non alcoholic sparkling cider. Omogashi was served after that followed by the break (nakadachi). Koicha was served. The main scroll was written by Suga Gendo of Daitokuji temple.

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