Hope everyone has a bright and cheery New Year's.
We will be off to another Itatani food fest in the morning but all the food has to be Japanese. There is potato salad on the menu so I know that's going to be challenged by everyone as not kosher. :) Since there isn't a lot of desserts in Japanese cooking, we are allowed to bring something non kosher, so maybe potato salad falls in that category for New Year's. We all have to eat at least one piece of mochi (pounded rice) which everyone in my family hates, for good luck. This year I got to cut them up (they go into a soup ozoni, which is the only way we can choke them down) so I made them as small as a could. I wanted to throw out the rest but the head chef caught me in mid swing to the garage can. When I was growing up we use to make mochi the old fashion way, no mochi making machines back then. Rice cooking over a wood burning fire, the cooked rice being pounded in a large stone bowl with a extra large wooden mallets. When the rice was being pounded, someone would have to turn the rice after each thump of the mallet - so timing was very important for perfect mochi and no broken fingers. I didn't like it back then either but the whole process was fun.