Archive

Monthly Archives: August 2012

Handcrafted tops, more styles available from Momosan Shop, price ranges from £4.50 to £16.

The spinning top is one of the oldest recognizable toys found. Many types of tops exist independently in cultures all over the world.

When I was curating a collection under the theme of “Objects for Learning”, spinning tops were one of the objects to include. After an extend research of wooden tops all over the world, I found a small run factory in Austria. It was started by a family man whose obsessions with the tops began when he turned a small top for his wife’s birthday. Since then, he has developed numerous types of wooden tops and establishes a factory in 1991. Their tops are all handcrafted, manually painted and marked in burned-in stripes. A great deal of work is put into a small object like these tops. Watching each piece spins differently in characteristic ways is a quit pleasant moment.

Advertisements

All of these are harvested today from the garden I share with other housemates. Fig trees are planted by our Greek landlady in 70’s, plum trees hanging from neighbour’s garden, and giant beetroots have grown from seeds I planted a few months ago. All happening in London N7. This is the future!

Now, my challenge is preserving all these fruits that we can not consume right away. My friend Thomas suggested to have “Preserve Exchange” in autumn. So, keep that in your mind if you would like to swap your own preserve with creations of others.

Barter system can work brilliantly that way.

Bathing with yuzu / Hinoki Bath Spa: Each bag contains highly aromatic wood shavings of Hinoki, Japanese Cypress. Made entirely from recovered material from forestry management and timber production. Simply place the bag into a hot bath and enjoy the calming and rejuvenating effects of a Japanese forest

Yuzu is a very aromatic citrus fruit originated from China but widely cultivates and consumed in Japan. It is rarely eaten as a fruit, but we use its aromatic zest and juice in many ways as a condiment in Japanese cuisine.

Last time I was back in Japan, my grandma gave me a bag full of yuzu from her garden. Since I never seen fresh yuzu sold in the UK, I brought some back to London. That was nearly half an year ago and yesterday I found three yuzu left at the bottom of my food basket, completely dried out. They are no good to be used in cooking anymore, but then I remembered what my grandma told me “yuzu is good for bathing”.

Because of its characteristic aroma and the oil from its skin, yuzu is often used as a fragrance. In Japan, it is a custom to bath with yuzu on the winter solstice and is believed that it helps to prevent against colds by accelerating the circulation and warm the body.

Yesterday was a fine summer day, but I took a long yuzu bath anyway, thinking about my grandma who passed away one month after she gave me these yuzu. Then, I had the best sleep since long.

There are certain smells that bring you back a sense of place or memories. For me, yuzu is one of them and Hinoki is another.

Hinoki is Japanese Cypress, highly aromatic wood widely used in home interior, furniture and as fragrance. Like yuzu, I found Hinoki’s aroma very pleasant.

The manufacture for cherry wood washboards that I sell in the shop happens to work with hinoki, too. The shavings left from the manufacturing process are strongly scented and are enclosed in a cloth bag, releasing their aroma. Another simple yet clever product discovered.

Like yuzu, the aroma of hinoki take me back to my parent’s bathroom which are build with hinoki wood.

Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz / Fermenting Pot available at the Momosan Shop

“The science and art of fermentation is, in fact, the basis of human culture; without culturing, there is no culture.”

by Sally Fallon (in Wild Fermentation)

One of the customers whom I talked about food fermentations previously kindly brought a brilliant book called Wild Fermentation last week. Very next day, a Korean friend brought me a jar of Kimchi she had made 4 days before. It was the best Kimchi I ever tasted.

Reading this book, I realise how much of our food we consume are actually treasure results of fermentation process by microorganisms invisible to us. Yogurt was my breakfast this morning. I had cheese melted on my sourdough bread for lunch and miso soup for dinner yesterday. Not only tasty, they are all incredibly beneficial to our body.

I own a fermenting pot and even sell them in my shop. But now, with the guidance of this book, the possibility of home fermentation extends even more. I totally recommend it!