Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Year's food

What do you do during the New Year's holidays? We seem to eat.

At one time I had thought I could blog about Japanese foods and authentic meals that could be reproduced in a kitchen outside Japan. That sure was far off the track because I'm not very good in the kitchen and I realized that most of the ingredients we use in Japan you can't get easily in America (and I assume in other parts of the world). So I just show pictures of food which I've no idea is interesting...

Basically I don't do traditional Japanese cooking. If I attempt anything I often use the premade sauces or mixes that are available. We had sukiyaki for our New Year's dinner. Well, that is thinly sliced pieces of beef (I mean paper thin! That is the most common way meat is sold in Japan) konyaku noodles (made from a glutinous potato) grilled tofu, long onions, enoki mushrooms, shunniku greens. See, I told you. What do you recognize in that list? And to make life easier I bought a bottle of sukiyaki sauce and dumped it on top of everything in our cast iron pot. It was delicious! But you really need the pot to make it authentic sukiyaki. I don't think a fry pan will do. (I mean it will but somehow it just becomes a fry pan meal rather than..... ~~SUKIYAKI~~!) And then you dip your meal in a raw egg as you eat. How many of you are going to try to serve that to your family?

Yesterday my neighbor invited me over for lunch.

"We just have left-overs so it will be simple. Don't bring anything."

Tetsu was working yesterday so I took Mrs. Yano up on the offer... And had to laugh when I got there. This is what she calls a simple lunch? I haven't eaten like that the whole year long. And then she had a laugh when I whipped out my camera and started taking pictures of her table loaded with food.

Okay. Let's see. What was there. Simmered red snapper, three types of salads, pickled Chinese cabbage (from her vegetable garden), pickled daikon radish and carrot (from her vegetable garden), simmered burdock root, grilled fish and egg rolls, sweet omelet, sweet bean gelatin, fish eggs, steamed fish cakes, candied fish, burdock seeds, burdock and carrots wrapped in sea weed, two types of simmered potato (from her vegetable garden), sweetened pickled plums, cold tofu skins and raw octopus.

Now how much of THAT are you going to be able to eat? I love it all! That's maybe why my Japanese friends feed me so much. They are surprised that I can eat their traditional food without making too many comments except for "delicious!"

This morning I'm alone (Tetsu had to stay overnight at the convalescent home last night) and I opted for more omochi with ground black sesame powder over my usual granola. Do you think I've lived too long in Japan?

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