I can't believe this was from New Year's and I'm just now posting this. I've realized that I really need to narrow down what I post on this food blog. I'll leave out the meh/gross stuff. I used to think that it's nice to include everything because life is full of goods and bads...but I just don't have the time or desire to keep posting about every little thing. SO, from now on, I'll just blog about interesting things, things that I like/love, and things about which I think you should know (like cool food events, cultural traditions, and where NOT to eat due to sanitation conditions or awful service or something).
Anyway, my family had yet another (but smaller this year; didn't invite friends this time) New Year celebration with a few Japanese traditional foods. I'm probably supposed to describe each little piece on my plate (FYI, I ate much more than what's pictured below!), so I'll try: The fried wonton is made of pork, green onion, shrimp, water chestnut, and I'm not sure what else in it. That's just a family tradition; it's not really a Japanese thing. The green thing at the tip of the fork is a tofu & spinach dish with green onions, sprouts, and a delicious garlic-y, oily, soy sauce-y sauce that my mom and my aunt (Aunt J) make. Chow mein I assume most people recognize (again not Japanese). The flat, dark green thing is nori, or dried seaweed. You usually wrap that around rice, but it's also so good in soup (I'm not sure what it's doing by itself on my plate... Maybe it's covering a tiny pile of rice). The sushi has cucumber, sweet egg, and eel in it. The orange thing is raw salmon, the roundish thing with holes that you can't really see is a renkon/lotus root slice, and that brown thing is inari sushi (pronounced "ee-nah-ree zoo-shee"), which is sweetened & vinegared rice covered by a sweet, puffy deep-fried tofu sheet called age ("ah-geh"). For the longest time I just knew inari sushi as "footballs."
Grandma H slicing the sashimi (raw fish). She doesn't really approve of others' methods of slicing, so we always have her do it to avoid the conflict/hurt feelings. heh heh
Auntie J's delicious lemon bars. I believe she made these with Meyer lemons. To lots of foodies, that's significant. I'm not quite sure what the big deal is though. I guess I'm not THAT obsessed with food. I have, however, switched from regular butter to unsalted butter when I bake. :D