Ringing in the New Year with Tradition & Fusion

Last yoga class this year was the unexpected Vinyasa/Hatha Flow subbing at a local club.  Glad to be of service to close the year; now onto the tasks of service for the family and friends – it’s New Year’s Eve tradition fusing the old with the new.

Toshikoshi Soba (Ringing in the New Year Buckwheat noodles) was pre-ordered as they are limited hand-crafted by a local chef. Tempura is homemade, an assortment made to Vegetarian and Pescatarian tastes … It’s a tradition to eat the soba at midnight at the dawn of New Year …Eating of Soba at start of the year is supposed to bring about prosperity and longevity while letting go the past year’s regrets, so we all eagerly dipped and slurped in this perfectly al-dente noodles.

Preparations – Soaked Red Azuki Beans overnight … To simmer the soaked red beans with yes, you see the orange peel and lotus seeds … to make Oshiruko or sweet red bean soup for the auspicious occasion. Forgoing processed sugar in sweetening the soup by using stewed dates …

Meanwhile the American sect of the family baked POPOVERS !

While Daikon radishes for savory Oden is prepared in Umami rich broth:)

Last 2-3 years, realizing that I had been in Japan for New Year’s but this year, here in California, did not prepare or purchase Osechi (elaborate traditional Japanese New Year feast that came about so that the women of the household can be relieved from having to cook for 3 days so that they can start out the new year, well rested !) My grandmother used to make each dish, probably spending 3-5 full days working up to New Year’s Day.  Sorry, this is modern American Japanese-ish New Year celebration. Thank you for the Sweetened Black Beans – “Kuromame” made by a dear friend who makes a whole pot and shares to spread the good luck around.  Black beans is said to bring you health and vitality so that you can work for success.  Thank you K:)

Happy New Year !

Thank Goodness for Friends

Who really know how to cook and bake !

Who brought the salad – Delicious ! Thank you K !

& the desserts !  Wow, beautiful strawberry cheesecake tart & OMG my fav, Tiramisu.

Thank you, Lovely F & Chic as always M:)

Crazy actual Christmas Day dinner was yes, that Chinese as Christmas host sadly treated at ICU. Maybe not the traditional Christmas dinner initially planned … but grateful for the company … anything tastes good after waiting for hours at ICU and met with relatively good news – a relief sets off the hunger pangs. We are human.

Reasons people hit the gym in January?

Trip to Fentons as now an out-of-towner, really really craved their sandwich and milkshakes … oh, and Onion Rings. What indulgences. 

Making Chirashi sushi American style …

Bakers in the family are nice to have … convinced with this light and flakey rolls … Thank you R – you are a talented baker ! I mean, who bakes these from scratch these days?  Warm and Fresh out of the oven … they are irresistible.

Gratitude … in spite of missing some people I hold dear to my heart, we remained PRESENT and in the NOW to share and connect … ah, yes, food helps, lol:)