image from kitchensinkzen
our christmas celebrations were lovely. the night before was spent with the irishman’s mom and christmas day, i drove to san diego for a scrumptious japanese lunch with my parents, then back to the irishman’s mom’s house for evening festivities. i was tired, no doubt, but filled with the joy of the season…
i have to say, out of all the holidays, new year’s day is my absolute favorite. so this year, with delicious memories of my japanese lunch fresh in my mind, i am going to try this recipe from kitchen sink zen’s blog and make a vegetarian version of an all-time favorite: ozoni.
since no dish will ever be as good as my mom’s cooking, i am curious to see how this traditional mochi soup holds up without the dashi. ozoni features a simple broth, usually made with dashi (dried bonito flakes), soy sauce and sugar. my mom always adds mizuno (a delicious green) and fish cakes. the mochi is toasted on the outside and gooey and chewy on the inside – it is beyond!
new year’s day is huge in japanese culture and growing up, we always looked forward to reflecting on the year that has passed and thinking of all the upcoming year would bring. we always had to clean the house from top to bottom so we wouldn’t bring old dirt into the new year (don’t know if that is tradition in other japanese households or a genius move on my mom’s part to get us to clean?!). since this year was especially brutal for my friends and me, i can think of no better way to ring in 2011 than enjoying what is true comfort food for me. how funny (and sad) to go back one year to the beginnings of this blog and read how optimistic i was way back in january of 2010…
but i may have to cheat on my meatless monday because the other dish i make for myself each new year’s day is buckwheat noodles (for longevity)…i’m wondering if a kombu or mushroom broth would work? it isn’t a soup you drink, it is meant to be super concentrated and you dip the noodles in quickly and then slurp, slurp, slurp! i have a few days to experiment, but in the meantime, feast your eyes on (and see the recipe for) the little foodie’s recipe for happy new year soba.
image from the little foodie
and finally, here is good news on food trends for the new year…according to an article by epicurious, meatless mondays and tofu tuesdays are really taking hold!
While it’s hip to go whole hog, with butchers gaining star power and roasts as the focus of many a dinner party, there is a concurrent trend of eating less meat. As we recently pointed out in Back to the Future: 10 Food Trends to Watch Over the Next Decade, the proportion of people eating no meat or less meat is growing, and the nonprofit Meatless Monday initiative no doubt has been one motivator. Meatless Monday’s goal is to encourage U.S. consumers to cut their meat consumption by 15 percent for the betterment of our health and the planet. School districts from Baltimore to New Haven, Santa Barbara to Syracuse, have embraced the cause, as have more than 20 public health organizations, not to mention prominent chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson. We’re forecasting that eating meat-free will be on the calendar more than once a week.
so, here’s to 2011!