Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

on December 28, 2012

Or in my case, we’re not in the San Francisco Bay Area anymore.

grocery003

These are some of the items on sale in the local grocery store ad this week.  Pork Jowls, breakfast pork chops (Pork…it’s what’s for breakfast!!!), and a 10 pound bucket of chitlins.  Everyone’s getting ready for Southern New Year’s.  I guess pork is traditional.  Also on sale are black eyed peas, canned mustard greens, and fresh cabbage.  It’s a whole different world here.

This made me think about the many, many years that Auntie Chiyoko and Uncle Isao hosted Japanese New Year’s for family and friends.  There, we had “osechi ryori” or Japanese New Year’s.  I guess the equivalent of black eyed peas would be kuromame (simmered black soy beans (for health).  I remember everyone always having at least a bite of kurikinton (mashed sweet potato and chestnuts) for prosperity.  And there was always mochi (rice cake made of glutinous rice).  It was served as ozoni (soup) but I always liked it microwaved with either soy sauce and sugar, or kinako (roasted soybean flour) & sugar.

The rest of us sansei (third generation) would bring a hodge podge of dishes.  One cousin always brought seven layer dip and tortilla chips.  My sister became famous for her baklava.  One time I brought ginger biscotti with chocolate chips.

There were always an assortment of strangers at the gathering, many of them students from I-House (International House – kind of a dorm at Berkeley for foreign students), where Auntie Chiyoko worked.

I miss the family of that generation and the tradition.

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