Lost Tradition, Recovered; Kagami-mochi and Matsukazari

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

This year I did not forget to do the proper welcoming- the-New-Year decorations at my home. I neglected this tradition for years after moving to America. Very bad. Welcoming-the-New-Year decorations have to be placed on a specific, auspicious and correct day. It is usually on December 28th. No later than this. Here are the decorations; one is Kagami-mochi (in a room) and the other is Matsukazar (at the entrance door). We do these decorations in order to properly welcome a...

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Are you following me to prepare Osechi ryori? Another recipe.

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

Here is another recipe of Osechi ryori. This can be prepared in advance and kept frozen. It is Kinton, sweet simmered Japanese sweet potato paste tossed with golden yellow, sweet-braised chestnut. We cook sweet potato with dry gardenia seed pod to naturally color the cooked potato into golden yellow color. If you cannot find the dried gardenia seed pot, substitute it with a little saffron. I have not tried it with saffron, but it should work. After cooling the sweet potato,...

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Very Best Conrad McEwan’s Eggnog

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Conrad learned how to make the eggnog from a bartender for whom he worked. After the bartender left the restaurant Conrad reproduced it. It was OK, but he wanted to improve the flavor of it. Conrad came up with the very perfect one which we luckily enjoyed at the Christmas Eve Party at a small island resort. Here is the rough recipe which he gave me; First steam milk with cinammon, vanila and clove for about 5 minutes; Strain the milk, discarding the spices; In a bowl whisk...

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Humble, but delicious Kobumaki

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog, Recipes

Here is another recipe, Kobumaki, in which reconstituted, dried herring is wrapped up in kelp, tied with kanpyo gourd, and simmered & flavored. The dish has very humble look but the reason why it is included in the celebration meal is the use of kelp. It is play-on-the-words. “-kobu”, which is the part of the word, “kobumaki” means congratulatory. Hence eating herring (winter fish) stuffed kelp is a symbol of auspicious occasion. It assures us...

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Again an Iron egg and Kuromame recipe

Posted on Dec 28, 2011 in Hiroko's Blog

Here is my iron egg – showing it here with a large brown egg – which I use to cook black soybeans, kuromame, for my Osechi ryori. Iron egg helps to retain the gorgeous, sleek black color which is a sing of rich anthocyanin (antioxidant) in the beans. Here is the kuromame recipe, which I am going to prepare it tomorrow. Kuromame is a dish in which black soybeans are tender simmered and flavored with sugar and little soy sauce. The reason why kuromame is a part of...

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