Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Here we all are at our
New Year's Eve
dinner last night!
I came up to Sasebo to spend Oshougatsu with a really nice family (though Masa-chan, who's looking over my shoulder now, says that I should write a "really crazy family") that adopted me at the Saga Balloon festival. Yoko-san prepared an amazing dinner last night and a wonderful breakfast this morning.

The food that is prepared for the New Year's holiday is called "osechi-ryouri"

On the table here you see several dishes. We started with a soba noodle soup, and then helped ourselves to samples from all the dishes you see there. It's almost like being at a tapas restaurant. Besides the soba, there was also a type of fried chicken in garlic/vinegar/sugar sauce, pickled radishes, cabbage salad with sesame dressing, sashimi (tai, hirasu, & tako - octopus), veggies, and kamaboko (that best translates to fish paste cakes, but they taste much better than they sound)

Here is a closeup of the soba and kamaboko. In the soup there are homemade soba noodles (buckwheat, I think), grilled meat, mushrooms, and pink kamaboko & green scallions for color. The pink and white kamaboko on the plate has a kanji in it that says "kotobuki" which roughly translates to celebration.

Next to the kamaboko you see some lemon (that was for the oysters from the neighbors), and on the other side is the sashimi and daikon. The boiled vegetables on the plate were healthy and edible "good luck charms" of sorts for the new year include carrot, gobo (long veggie for long life), konyaku, renkon (has holes so that you can "see" well), konbu, and mushrooms.

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