Today is the Seventh of January which is the traditional day to eat nanakusagayu (七種粥・七草粥). Seven Spring greens are gathered and cooked into a rice porridge. Traditionally these greens are:
- seri (芹・セリ) – Japanese parsley, dropwort
- nazuna (薺・ナズナ) – Shepherd’s purse
- gogyo (御形・五形・ゴギョウ), also called hahakogusa (ハハコグサ)
- hakobera (繁縷・ハコベラ) or hakobe (ハコベ) – Chickweed
- hotokenoza (仏の座・ホトケノザ) – from the Chrysanthemum family
- suzuna (菘・スズナ) – Turnip greens
- suzushiro (蘿蔔・清白・スズシロ) – Japanese radish greens
As I wrote last year, the flavor is very grassy and not so popular with children. I think this is one tradition that is slowly vanishing. Even my wife, who had to maintain these traditions for the children under her care, has forgotten it this year.
Perhaps we really need to find ourselves a plot of land to grow things. Had I been preparing these in the garden and talking about them, surely it would be on her mind.