Akemashite Omedetou! (Happy New Year!)
The picture on the left signals leaving the old year; the one on the right signals walking into a new one.
I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's celebration. I can hardly believe it's 2007 already.....in some ways, it makes me feel old but I suppose having that perspective isn't a positive way to start a new year, so I'll stop. I certainly hope that 2007 will be filled with as many happy times as 2006 was. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful family, good health all around, a job that I truly love, fantastic coworkers, fabulous food and this blog on which to share it all with you!
J and I celebrated New Year's Eve with friends and lots of champagne. The next day, we went over to my parents for a Japanese New Year's meal. It isn't exactly osechi ryori since it does have quite a few raw items, but it's tradition in our family and we look forward to it every year. My mom always makes a nice big batch of her famous shimesaba (which is J's favorite food), and it just gives us a chance to enjoy lots of different Japanese items.
We arrived to quite a spread- there was hamachi (yellow tail), chu toro (fatty tuna)sake (salmon), ika (squid), the aforementioned saba (mackerel) and hirame (halibut) sashimi; renkon no kimpira (sautéed lotus root), kobu maki (bundles of sweet, marinated seaweed), kuro mame with chestnuts (sweet black beans), tazukuri (small dried sardines), kamaboko (fish cake) and chawanmushi (savory egg custard). We could hardly wait to dig into all of the beautiful goodies!
Hamachi and ika
This year, my mom included a new dish- deep fried yuzu filled with crab salad. She got the recipe out of an old Japanese cookbook, and it was one of the most interesting dishes I have ever seen. After hollowing out yuzu fruit, she filled them with a crab salad, put the yuzu "lid" back on and then deep fried the entire thing. After draining, she sliced each of the two yuzu in half, drizzled each with some thickened dashi (stock) and served. It was so delicious, with the aroma or the yuzu permeating the salad. What a great idea!
Yuzu being deep fried....
The fried yuzu.......
Split and doused with dashi sauce...
We ate and ate until we could hardly eat another bite, and it was all so delightful. Your mouth never tires of any one thing since you're eating so many different flavors and textures. I'd eat like this every day if I had the time to make so many dishes!
I know there are lots of photos in this post, but it was just so beautifully done that I had to share. Thanks Mom, for a delicious meal!
And to all of you, dear readers, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here's to a delicious 2007!!!