So, I worked hard from 7:30 am today, cooking and getting things ready for my one-day-late New Year celrebration with traditional Japanese feast called osechi and zoni. I was hoping to finish everything around lunchtime, but it was past 2 pm when the food and decorations were ready. Then I spent some time shooting photos of my creations, as usual. Now I'm finally "digging in," sipping my favorite sake from time to time.
I hear the cold wind roaring outside. But here, I'm at my kotatsu heater, feeling warm, relaxed, happy and lazy...
Two tiers of osechi food was all I could manage this year. But it was more than enough.
Oh no, I didn't fake the above photo with an empty soup bowl with a lid. I really made the soup. See? Honestly, I could start a new year without osechi but never without this soup.
Store-bought mochi (rice cakes)
I guess, in the enlarged version of this photo, you can see the cracks in the surface.
(Hey, you already know that almost all photos on this blog can be enlarged by clicking on them, right?) It's only half a day since I took them out of the package. My room must be a real dry place.
Second Tier with Ryugan-age (back left), Kamaboko (back right)
Tataki-gobo (front left) and Kuromame (front right)
Those on the right were store-bought but I made the two kinds of food on the left myself. Are you wondering how the ryugan-age was made? You boil quail eggs and wrap them with nori (dried seaweed) and seasoned chicken fillet, then deep-fry them. Tataki-gobo is slightly pounded burdock with sweet 'n sour seasoning and good flavor of sesame seeds.
The paddle-like things in the back are made from ground chicken and called matsukaze-yaki. My favorite food. BTW, I never expected to find an English recipe for this, but I found one here. It's pretty close to Japanese typical matsukaze-yaki recipes, except that we sprinkle white poppy seeds on top.
About the decorations: The leaves and berries were from roadside (Shhhh! Don't tell anyone) .
Everything else was from DAISO 100 yen shop except the ornament with pink 'n white balls.