Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year

One New Year's resolution accomplished.

We have been discussing doing this for over a year now. Not that anyone is going to read this blog, outside from our parents, but we decided we ought to record some of the events in our lives - hikes we have survived, dishes H has cooked, battlefields we have toured, history books T is reading, needlework pieces H is working on, and anything else that strikes our fancy.

Now do you get the title?

So we'll start with the New Year, because that is where we are. H is Japanese and of course the New Year is a big deal. It starts off with ozoni, the traditional soup eaten on New Year's Day. Truth be told, our version is rather dull, but I have eaten it faithfully for coming up on, gulp, 40 years now. Chicken, mushrooms, greens and of course mochi (sticky rice cakes). Here is my ozoni sits next to my kagami mochi arrangement, the requisite New Year home decoration. I can't remember what it all means exactly. You have to ask my Dad (who is not Japanese).

Of near equal importance is the kadomatsu, or pine and bamboo arrangement that sits outside the front door. It is all about longevity and resoluteness - I think. The bamboo is from the local park. I scored the pine from a random house in the neighborhood the morning after a big windstorm. I impressed myself by remembering to go out in search of blow down and was not disappointed. Legend has it that when I was a young child of about 25 I forgot what it was called and went to the local supermarket in Hilo and had a complete cognitive obstruction as I was speaking to the clerk and ended up asking him for the "furikake by the door." At which point he politely led me to the kadomatsu display.

I think you have to know a bit about Japanese food to get the ridiculousness of that one. Furikake is rice seasoning...

But I digress.

Christmas was spent with T's family this year down in Eastern NC. It snowed on Boxing Day and for the first time I got to see the family property draped in white. Peaceful and lovely to look at, not much fun to drive in.

I got a pie chest for Christmas. It replaced my Ikea pressboard cookbook bookcase with the sagging shelves. I think it looks right lovely in my kitchen.

We entertained on New Years Day, just like my Grandma and Grandpa did every year. Our third year in a row hosting a New Years Day hotpot party. We again managed to steam up all the windows and break a January sweat in our chilly house.

And now we are going on a diet. We have to. If for nothing else because of this.

Chocolate blackout cake with raspberry buttercream.

On to the second New Year resolution! As soon as the cake is finished...

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