Saturday, December 26, 2015

Tis the Season ...

Tis the season, as they say.  I’m taking a little holiday break but wanted to share a quick pairing with you using the magic of auto posting.  Many of us are either enjoying the gifts we received during Hannukah a few weeks ago or have just cleaned up the wrapping paper from Christmas.  The luckiest among us may have received a seasonal treat from Japan as well, known as the Karakuri Christmas presents.  This annual delivery arrives at the end of the year (customs issues aside) from the workshops of the amazing Karakuri Creation Group, whose artisans are often featured here.   Many members of the group have a clever sense of humor which they impart into their puzzle box designs.  

Wrapping Box by Kyoko Hoshino

A great example of one of these annual puzzle box treats with a sense of humor is the “Wrapping Box” by Kyoko Hoshino.  It was created to resemble an actual present, wrapping paper and all, complete with a ribbon and little bells.  Hoshino likes to incorporate cloth and other unusual materials into her designs.  In this case, the puzzle box is all wrapped up in festive cloth.  You can feel the box inside, but you can’t unwrap it.  How will you open it?  Using your sense of touch and a basic understanding of how many Japanese puzzle boxes work will help you open this present.  Hoshino thought it would be fun to design something in which all the elements were literally hidden, rather than hidden in plain sight.  It was a great idea, and this box is a lot of fun to solve, despite the fact that you can’t see what you are doing!

Simple flavors combine perfectly for a light winter sipper

Keeping with the festive spirit I present a light, refreshing and colorful holiday smash created by David Kwiatkowski from Detroit’s Sugar House.  This Cranberry Smash muddles together fresh cranberries with lemons, fresh rosemary sprigs and demerara sugar, then shakes it all up with cranberry infused gin.  The result is bright, merry and cheerful.  I added more sugar to mine, you can adjust for yourself as well.  Mash and mix, there’s nothing to it.  Now go enjoy the rest of the holidays – that shouldn't be too puzzling.  Cheers!

Cranberry Smash by David Kwiatkowski

For more about Kyoko Hoshino:

For the Cranberry Smash by David Kwiatkowski:

Some presents are meant to stay wrapped up

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