When I come home, this greets me.
This is a home made smoker. sitting at the door step of my family’s house.
My parents after retirement have taken heir slow food life another level. They have a small vege farm and a beehive operation.
When I wake up my mother serves us a simple breakfast.
Home made bagel, home made yoghurt with home harvested honey, home smoked salmon. The only thing not home made is the kiwi fruit and the cheese on the bagel.
This is dinner on the first night. Salmon harakomeshi, pork miso soup, vinegared daikon and home grown persimmon.
New Year’s breakfast. Ozoni, a small osechi plate and some black beans along with a small cup of umeshu as otoso.
in Japan, you eat osechi and Ozoni on New Year’s Day. Ozoni is a mochi (glutinous rice cake) in broth. Until recent mochi was considered a luxury and saved for special days like New Years. In sendai, the Ozoni is made with roasted goby and salmon roe.
The osechi dishes are colorful bento boxes that were feasted on during the festive few days during New Years.
Each dish has a meaning.
Kamaboko (fish cakes). The red and white is always a symbol of good luck used in festive occasions.
The date maki (sweet egg omelette rolls) look like rolls of calligraphy notes so are intended to bring culture and knowledge.
Deviled eggs, are not traditional but mother wanted to make use of her handmade mayonnaise.
Nishime. Various ingredients are cooked in the same pot. Intended to keep a cheerful well connected family. The taro potato is for many children, root vegetables are good luck that they have good roots, ingredients that contain the letter “n” such as ninjin, konnayaku, intend td to bring “un” (luck).
The other three components that were pictured in the the breakfast dish kobu maki (kelp roll) for knowledge and for happiness (yorokobu), tadukuri (small sardines as they were used as fertilizers) intended to bring good rice harvest, kuromame (black beans) so we can be tedious and be good farmers.
Kelp Salad. Utilizing left overs of the stock for the Ozoni.
Steamed Chinese glutinous rice chimaki. Egg drop soup with home made chicken stock. Daikon salad, tofu with leek dressing.
Although the house made ratio has increased a it after their retirement, these are the typical things that appear on the Akimoto family table.
My mother has taught me to cook with the seasons and to enjoy the cultural celebrations. Along the way, her strong dedication for hand making and a phobia of artificial additives was passed down to me. We also hand make pretty much everything at our restaurant and my feeling it unethical to serve anything else to my customers started here.