Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« back to work | Main | yuletide greetings »
Saturday
Dec261998

boxing day

Happy Boxing Day! Did Christmas dinner with my family last night, doing the Christmas dinner thing with Jeff's family tonight. I feel like all I've been doing is EATING lately. :-)


My family Christmas dinner was sukiyaki, with the cooking done in a common pan in the middle of the table. Ingredients consisted of whatever you felt like throwing in the pot...thinly sliced meat, vermicelli noodles, mushrooms, sliced mountain potato (that's what my dad called it, was sort of rubbery and pale yellow), bean sprouts, spinach, cubed tofu, all cooked in a thin soy-based sauce, with steamed rice on the side.


Traditionally, my family used to make something called mochi on New Year's Day. My grandfather would add water to rice flour (there may have been other ingredients, but I can't remember), then mix it thoroughly using an electric drill with mixing attachment (!). The drill was poked through a hole in a cutting board, which covered the mochi pot to keep the mochi from escaping during the mixing process. We kids got the job of holding down the board while my grandfather did the mixing.


After the paste was smooth and thoroughly mixed, Grandpa would pour the hot mixture out in thin slabs on waxed paper that had been spread out on the table and sprinkled with flour by my mom and my grandmother. When the mochi slabs had cooled, they were cut into squares. At that point, you could prepare/eat the mochi in a number of different ways...fried, boiled, added to soups, etc. My favourite way was to have a square of mochi fried so that it puffed up in the middle and the edges crisped a bit. Then you could take it and dip it into a mixture of sugar and soy sauce (sounds healthy, doesn't it? :)) and yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


After my Grandpa died, we stopped making mochi on a regular basis. I think my mom did it once or twice, but after she died we had to rely on store-bought mochi, which isn't nearly as good. :-)


Ok, so now I wanna hear about any of YOUR holiday or New Year's rituals!

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