©Ingrid Booz Morejohn
When I went to Japan in the mid 1990s I was taken by friends to a ceramics workshop where you could paint your own bowls, plates etc. There I was introduced to the concept of the hashi-oki, the chopstick rest. At that time I hadn't seen anyone use these in China but they have become quite common now in fancier restaurants. As we live in the Panda capital of China it's only fitting that I post a panda hashi-oki. (Found them at the newly opened panda souvenir store at Jinli the other day.) I would not usually use things this "cute" (much prefer my blue and white fish-shaped ones from Vietnam) but they're also good for resting sticky butter and jam knifes that would otherwise be left stuck to the table by my daughter.