My ozoni and osechi prep usually starts on December 27 or 28, and our fridge is filled with small containers by the evening of the 31st. Large containers go to our near-freezing basement or outside shelves, and they all wait to be served on the morning of January 1st.
This year's ozoni turned out to be a bit disappointing. Tom now understands why I sometimes make a special trip to look for the best possible fish for the soup.
- Ozoni / New Year's Day soup with rice cakes
- Kuromame no fukumeni / slightly sweet soy sauce-flavored black soybeans: mame [beans] also signify health
- Kohaku namasu / daikon radish and carrot in yuzu citrus vinegar marinade: red (carrot) and white (daikon) are a celebratory combination
- Ebi no umani / prawns in light soy sauce-flavored broth: bent form for longevity
- Musubi kamaboko / fishcake in knot shape
- Datemaki / rolled seafood omelet: for intellectual enhancement and cultural appreciation
- Takiawase / assorted ingredients cooked separately and then put together, including: Warabi to ganmodoki no nimono [bracken and deep-fried tofu patties simmered in broth]; Koyadofu no fukumeni [rehydrated freeze-dried tofu simmered in light broth; Umeninjin no nimono, shoga-aji [plum-blossom cut carrot simmered in light ginger-flavored broth]: plum blossoms symbolize early spring; and Yabane kinusaya [snow peas cut in arrow-shaft feather shape]: the arrow shaft wards off evil sprints
- Gindara to hotate no saikyozuke / grilled Saikyo-miso marinated black cod and sea scallops: a standard addition to our osechi
- Surenkon / lotus root marinated in sweetened vinegar: see-through holes for a good perspective
- Kikuka kabu / Chrysanthemum-cut Japanese turnip in sweetened vinegar
Chiyozuru literally means "1,000-year cranes," which probably is from a Japanese proverb saying that cranes live for 1,000 years and turtles for 10,000 years. So that's another longevity wish.