Friday, March 23, 2012

Paia Mantokuji Mission's Spring Bazaar

Children's taiko drum performance at the Paia Mantokuji Mission March 18th.
The taiko drums are bigger than the children.

I don't have a burning reason to go to the spring bazaar hosted by the Paia Mantokuji Mission, (like I really need more stuff?) but I like to go to their bazaars, which are, if memory serves right, held in the spring and fall around the equinox.  It's a community event and I get to run into people I know. This past spring bazaar was held on March 18th.  The Paia Mission also hosts a kick-butt Bon Dance, although maybe that's not the most judicious choice of words, in July.   It is a pretty cool event. Although I'm not a member, maybe they'll let me buy a lantern to honor my mom's passing earlier this year. 

The spring bazaar starts at 7 am and winds up by 10:30 am. The food goes quickly, and often, so does the produce, which usually includes locally grown head cabbage, daikon radish, romaine and green leaf lettuce, and Napa cabbage. I remember one time I bought a large bag of ginger, maybe 2 lbs, and turned around and DH had also bought a large bag of ginger. Oops. I spent the next week making an insane amount of candied ginger, using agave nectar instead of sugar. 

The bazaar is a great place to try some lesser known Japanese foods and some local favorites, like boiled peanuts (just like in Georgia or Florida) and Portuguese sweet bread.  There's a rummage sale (of course), plant sale, and crafts sale, all with an island touch. 

Ok, chow fun and pickled mango are not Japanese, but the other items are.  
The nishime and ohagi ran out but there was still shiso rice at 10:30 am. 

Shiso rice, using shiso (perilla) leaves, mushrooms, and green peas.
Perilla leaves are also used in Korean food. 

Takuan, Japanese pickled daikon radish, an intensely bright yellow-orange color.  I've heard that when takuan is being made, everyone in the neighborhood  can smell it.  I don't know if this is true. 

Not a Japanese item: Ho'olawa Sweet Bread, which is of Portuguese descent. Next to this are manju, although hard to see - like little round pastries usually stuffed with sweet lima beans or azuki beans. 

Handmade items at the bazaar - cozies, rugs, dish scrubbers -
the stuff that a Japanese grandma would make. 
The rummage sale - there may be some interesting Japanese items.  Clothing is very inexpensive, like 50 cents apiece. Volunteers wearing over-the-head aprons help fold clothes and keep the place neat. 


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