New Year's Eve

Sunday, December 31, 2001
Back in the Flatlands 

New Year's Eve Greetings,

As we say goodby to 2001, we wish you and yours 
a safe and happy 2002!

This morning, we drove down to Torrance to King's Restaurant and Bakery, just in time for our brunch of loco moco -- an original island dish with all the food basics, which was invented in Hilo on our home island of Hawai`i, made up of two hamburger patties, hot rice and two over easy eggs, smothered with brown gravy.  I made sure I had my vegetable food group by dowsing it with a tomato red sauce (catsup) and liberally sprinkling it with red pepper sauce (Tabasco).   

>> Want to make your own loco moco?  
Here's Sam Choy's recipe

As usual, the place was teeming with island people.  "Dis place mo' Hawai`i den Hawai`i, no joke" -- This place is more Hawa`i than Hawai`i, no kidding.

Fortified with hearty island food, we picked up our all-Hawaiian desserts for tomorrow:  haupi`a (coconut cream) cake; paradise cake (liliko`i -- passion fruit, guava, and lime layers); my favorite, chocolate dobash cake; and DH's favorite, guava chiffon cake.  Hands down, the best cakes are Hawaiian cakes. Not too sweet on the frosting, and very light on the cake.  And oh, so 'ono (delicious).

Sheer, unadulterated torture is knowing that all that lusciousness must remain untouched in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  The little kid in me is dying to take a finger swipe to that dobash frosting.  

But I am a good girl...

On the way back, we stopped to pick up a few last-minute items at Mitsuwa, a Japanese department store, but first, we stopped outside to admire their kadomatsu, a New Year's decoration made of three pieces of bamboo tied together with pine and plum branches, at the entrance, which is said to welcome the new year god who brings good luck. 

>> Honolulu Star-Bulletin's article on kadomatsu

>>  Honolulu Advertiser's article on kadomatsu symbology

The place was abuzz with year-end shoppers like us. We bought our stacked mochi (rice cakes) and a tangerine with leaves. We got into the spirit of New Year's with a bag of roasted kuri -- sweet chestnuts, as well as admiring a display of paper kites.  We remembered with fondness the Buddha kites of our childhoods in Hawai`i

We returned home home for full-on chopping, slicing, boiling, simmering and cooking.  DH was busy most of the afternoon preparing the traditional morning soup, ozoni, while I worked on the boiling the noodles for the somen salad and chopping its condiments; slicing the cucumbers paper-thin -- well, as thin as my unaccustomed fingers and hands allowed for the namasu, and morimono (dessert) plate.

The menu, so far:


  • Ozoni, a traditional soup, eaten once a year, fraught with symbolism in a chicken and scallop broth; mochi -- rounded cakes made out of pounded glutinous rice -- for strength, enoki and shiitake mushrooms, mizuna: feathery, delicate greens, clams, and mochi for strength.

  • Char siu - Chinese barbecued pork ribs.

  • Honey-baked, spiral-cut ham.

  • Sushi platter.

  • Sashimi platter.

  • Yakitori -- chicken and vegetables on skewers.

  • Korean-style chicken drumettes.

  • Morimono:  sliced oranges, grape clusters, red and green yokan, kanten (Japanese lemon-flavored red jello), kamaboko (Japanese fishcakes) 

  • Rice.

  • Somen salad:  noodles that represent longevity with a bed of lettuce, topped with sliced char siu meat slices, slivered kamaboko - fishcake, sliced cucumbers, and green onions, drizzled with dressing.

  • Namasu (Cucumber salad) with long rice, one of the oldest Japanese dishes, meaning "celebration".

  • Desserts:  Hawaiian cakes

  • Drinks:  BYOB and Hawaiian punch.

Everything was done by early evening, and DH surprised me with our own private New Year's Eve celebration:

  • A bottle of Brut champagne served in flutes

  • Lobster on a bed of finely sliced cabbage with his delicious homemade Thousand Island dressing

  • And a sampling of tomorrow's fare:
    slices of char siu, drumettes, and somen salad.

What a sweetheart he is...and I cannot think of a better way to say goodby to 2001, and greet in the new year, 2002.  With DH by my side, 2002 promises to be the very best year ever.

A New Year's Ecard to You!

"Life is a Gift."

Wishing you a bright new day and year, tomorrow,
Author Unknown

P.S.  If you would like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to this journal entry, you may do it here.  

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn 2001