I never liked to eat osechi ryori. My late mother prepared things a few days before the New Years and forced us to eat it the first three days of the new year. She would say that the use of ‘fire’ for those first three days was bad luck so she would cook absolutely the minimum. My father in other hand, would order my mother to warm up his sake and make some snacks for sake (酒のつまみ）all the time. He really knew how to irritate my mother. My brothers and I had to eat those osech ryori cold and the only thing warm was mochi soup (雑煮) in the morning. We could hardly wait for those days to be over.
I really don’t know what posessed me to cook osechi ryori but I was intrigued by the process of cooking and the symbolism of each ingredients. The Japanese food market where I purchased the ingredients were full of people and osech ryori items were way over priced. I started questioning my motives; why I’m doing this?, is it worth my time and money? That thinking came at the end of shopping and my cart was full. It seems to me that to put everything back was too much of a hassle. I pushed the cart straight to cashier. I could have abandoned it yet I never had the courage to walk away… I should have.
Pink and red fishcake (kamaboko かまぼこ) – good luck colors. Japanese use these colors in celebrations.
Rolled sweet egg (datemaki 伊達巻き) – gorgeous
Cooked chestnuts (kurikinton 栗金団) – good fortune
Hope you had a Happy New Year! And that your joy of cooking will continue.