We are already on December 31st here in Japan and the day has started off with a bang. The computer won't work! The heater won't work! Tetsu is overnight at the convalescent home so he gave me a hug, said he was sorry to leave me in these straits and didn't have much advice. So here I am, bundled up well thinking maybe I should go up to the sewing room and heat it with the little electric heater and sew for two days forgetting about the rest of the house and about blogging.
I don't know what we'll do about the computer. It crashed this morning and I no longer can get into Internet by normal routes. This means I have temporarily lost all blogging links unless I search for them through Google. I cannot find Bloglines! I also finally got into my own "create a post" by going through Tonya's blog and into her class blog and into my own profile etc. I hate to be so computer illiterate in some ways and so dependent on it in other ways. I feel I should have a balanced degree of computer knowledge but not so. I have sent an SOS e-mail to my son (in California!) and maybe he can give me advice or get into my computer some way.
I fixed Tetsu's mother's hanten. Tetsu took me directly from her apartment (where we determined it was really too short) to the fabric store and I bought more fabric and sewed it and tacked it on so that it doesn't look half bad! I think I got points in her book not only because I can make a hanten but also that I could fix it in a day's time. Tetsu took the longer version back to her yesterday and she says it fits perfectly now. Yeah!
And do you know what this is? This is called omochi the official food of the New Year. Omochi is made of sticky rice (a different type from what we eat normally) and it is pounded until it turns into paste. This is then shaped into balls or into a slab and in the case of the slab, it hardens and is later cut into squares. Our omochi came from three different sources. My pear farmer friends give us a huge slab at the end of every year and I've already cut it in half and taken one piece to Tetsu's mother. The other omochi pieces were given to me by English children whose parents are farmers. I see that the green one has soybeans in it and it has been colored green probably by seaweed.
Omochi itself is tasteless but on New Year's day it can be put into Japanese vegetable soup or mixed with different things for entirely different tastes. Too many to go into here! Tetsu likes it mixed with sweet soybean powder or sweet beanpaste. Sometimes we have it with seaweed, soy sauce and butter. Anyway, you can't have New Years without omochi.
Since my grandparents on my mother's side were from Japan, omochi wasn't unkown in my American home and occasionally we'd find it in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. My mother liked it but my Caucasian father thought it absolutely terrible! He used to tease my mother and say things like "Do you know why Japanese only eat omochi on New Year's day? Because it stays in the pit of your stomach for a whole year!" It is true that it is a very heavy food and we really don't need to eat much else except for omochi on New Year's Day.
Okay, I need to do some shopping since tomorrow all the stores will be closed. Then I'm spending the day sewing! Hope I can get back into the blog tomorrow.