We had our New Year’s tea gathering, Hatsugama, this past Sunday at the Horticultural Center in Fairmount Park. This was our first Hatsugama as a Tankokai association, and also our largest gathering ever, with 20 guests!
Here’s a photo of the group together:
We did our usual full meal, with a tenshin tray, miso soup with shrimp and mochi, jubako with more traditional New Year’s food, hashiarai (a light broth to wash off chopsticks) and hassun with lobster and gingko nuts. And, of course, hanabira mochi to kick off the thick tea!
So here’s an example of how sometimes we have to improvise when the unexpected happens . . . tenshin trays (in the photo above) are made of lacquer, and so you can’t use any kind of ceramic plates on them. We were going to use little boards made of cedar to put food on, but there was a miscommunication about who was bringing them, and at the last minute we didn’t have any. So then we thought, okay, we’re in the Horticultural Center—there’s got to be leaves somewhere we can use! Off we went to search the building. As luck would have it, they were having a plant sale that day, and we found a peace lily with leaves just the right size. Definitely not a traditional Japanese plant, but I kind of like the idea of starting the year with a piece of peace!
Here are a few more photos from the event…
It was great to see everyone, and we’re already looking forward to next year!