Thursday, December 30, 2010

All is quiet on New Year's day

I am asian only once a year. New Year's Day I do a full blown Oshogatsu - aka Japanese New Year's Day. It's full of tradition and traditional foods and days and days of cooking. For me, I usually make between 20+ dishes all on my own.

I usually don't invite that many people - just people who might get a kick out of ALL the food or miss the tradition of it all, and who certainly don't want to cook it all themselves. Take a look at last year's HERE.

To prep for all this I do A LOT of planning. Timelines, prep and grocery shopping. Oh the shopping. The days leading up to the 1st is madness at the Japanese markets. Everyone wants their food fresh so you HAVE to wait til the last minute. Here's a look at the craziness via cameraphone:

There's stuff everywhere. All the traditional ingredients. At this market there isn't much pre-made food, their shoppers all make everything from scratch, including me.

Rice is such a staple and they've got tons of it. Literally. O.G. always insists that I only buy "NEW CROP" although I can't tell the diff of course.

Only at New Year's do they make the 'oh you fancy huh' kamabokos. Usually it's just boring pink and white, but once a year: Flowers, writing, different colors. It's a kamaboko parade.

Sweet Potato aka Satsumaimo:

Sweet Potato is important because it's the base for kurikinton, which is supposed to bring you WEALTH in the New Year if you eat it. Who couldn't use a little more cashmoney now and again.

Here's a look at what I don't buy - sashimi.
I wasn't joking when I said we are bad asians, we just don't eat raw fish. Tacos yes, sushi no. And thank goodness. Look at the the price of this:

$25 a pound. Yes this is high quality stuff, but I surely can't afford to feed peeps a $75 cut of fish. But other people were buying it like crazy. Thank goodness I take a pass on this ingredient.

Sorry, that's another thing I don't make. You see people stacking up this crazy dirty log looking things in their carts like it's going out of style, all to make their Gobo from scratch - I either make my mom bring it or I just buy it pre-made frozen. I need to draw the line somewhere.

Well you saw I just attended a mochifest to make fresh mochi, but for those who don't - you can just buy it premade in bags, and bags...and bags...

I was the third person in the store and when I turned around, I WAS SURROUNDED. It was a total madhouse. Old people jostling for space like it was the kamaboko apocalypse.

People prep and cook for three days leading up to New Year's so shopping is no joke. And this is just my FIRST stop. I have two more markets to go...

A look back at New Year's 2010, HERE.

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Anonymous Hilary said...

Gobo! I live gobo!

Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:30:00 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I'd definitely get a kick out of all the food and tradition. Wow!

Thursday, December 30, 2010 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

It's so cool that you have such a tradition! And now I think I'm craving mochi.

Thursday, December 30, 2010 7:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

Um, that should have said LOVE not LIVE. This is why I should not try to comment on blogs using my phone.

Thursday, December 30, 2010 8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous poppy said...

lol--a "kamaboko apocalypse"--classic. Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 31, 2010 8:09:00 AM  

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