Christmas is for family traditions.

 



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It wouldn’t be Christmas without a massive cooking extravaganza and that’s just what it was this holiday season. I was able to have time time off from teaching to just work on tamales and pozole and hang out with my family and enjoy every minute of my time with them. I truly cherish these memories with all my loved ones and the time I was able to spend with my nieces as they enjoyed our holiday traditions. It’s completely amazing. Holidays can be a bustling time of the year, but I truly stayed present to the fun, giving, loving, community-inspired essence of the holidays that I absolutely love so much.

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I have been making tamales every year since 2008. It’s a nice way for me to work on some of the bits and pieces of my recipes and come out with a really solid tamale that my family and friends love. This year I got a beautiful new mixer from Brandon, which helped tremendously because my old one was completely worn out.  My mom had a chance to put some together herself this year and I can say that I’m pretty quick when it comes to assembly. The stocks, braising meat, making the salsa, rehydrating chiles, roasting chiles and tomatillos and everything else that goes into tamales is a labor of love. So when you taste a really good tamale, remember that it probably wasn’t fast food and take some time to truly enjoy it.

 

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We went to visit my great-aunts and great-uncles at my grandma’s childhood home. Of course, I couldn’t go there empty handed, so this year I brought them a pot of my pozole. I have to admit, the pozole was rather delicious this year, with just the right amount of spice. pozole is another recipe that is a labor of patience and practice. But soup is a soul food and it truly is a nourishing dish. There is nothing like a hot bowl of pozole with all the right toppings on Christmas morning.

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I hope whatever traditions you and your family and friends have, they are something to keep passing down to the people you love and sharing the things that make you happy, grateful and inspired. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and happy New Year! Stay tuned for my Japanese New Year annual Oshogatsu post of osechi ryori.

 

Cheers,

 

Unrivaledkitch

 

Oshogatsu and Osechi–Ryori 2013

I’ve been writing now for three years 2011 and 2012 about Oshogatsu, which is traditional Japanese New Year celebrations. Of course my family is American so we do things probably very different than in Japan, but I love these customs and I hope to keep them for a very long time. Osechi–Ryori are traditional Japanese foods cooked in soy sauce and sugar or vinegars to be prepared for future consumption. It’s taboo to cook for the 1st three days of the New Year, so the food is placed in beautiful Japanese boxes called Jūbako to preserve its freshness for the days to come. This year we had a large New Year’s celebration filled with lots of love and tons of food. I hope you started the New Year just the way you wanted.

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2013 Osechi-Ryori

Menu

Kagami Mochi

Manju (Japanese sticky rice confection)

Ozoni (Konbu, Carrot, Kamaboko, Shiitake Mushroom, Imo (taro root), Renkon (lotus root), and Mochi in Seasoned Homemade Dashi)

Jubako

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5-Sided Carrot, 5-Sided Daikon, Kombu (rolled seaweed), Shiitake Mushrooms, Satoimo(taro root), Renkon (lotus root), Takenoko (bamboo shoots)

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Kinpira (sato shoyu gobo and carrots)

Tazukri (candied, dried sardines)

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Kamaboko (pink and white Japanese pressed fish cake)

Dashi Steamed Shrimp

Tsukemono (salted cucumber)

Namasu (pickled carrots and daikon)

Umeboshi (Japanese picked plums)

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Blistered Sesame and Soy Shisito Peppers

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Sake and Mirin Grilled Shrimp

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Salmon Sashimi

Maguro (Tuna) Sashimi

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Spicy Crab and Japanese Vegetable Sushi

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California Roll

Vegetable Roll

Inari

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Japanese-Style Short Ribs

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Sweet Asian Fried Chicken Wings (mom’s contribution)

Pork Wontons (mom & dad’s contribution)

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There you have it!

Happy 2013! May it be filled with health, love, peace and happiness.

From the Fujitaki Family to you all! Thanks for sharing in our families tradition.

To see my sister in law Linh’s beautiful photos of our New Year please visit her blog here.

cheers

-Unrivaledkitch