The new year and the sweet beans. By my count, this is the sixteenth January 1st we’ve enjoyed in the same excellent company. The formula has not changed, but the ladle has passed from grandmother to granddaughters; and as I remember it our conversation wasn’t always so focused on pregnancies.
There are more than 40 dishes on the menu requiring hundreds of ingredients. We asked, half kidding, if there was a three-ring binder detailing an execution plan for the entire operation. There is:
Tasks for days. And carefully-indexed recipes for everything, though our hostess cautioned that some of the traditional fare rely on a few unwritten touches. (But there are no secrets! she insisted). They offered to teach me a few next year, and I leapt at the chance, but my winter vacation usually is not so constructive.
After a balmy 12/31/12, it is a cold and wet 1/1/13. At the beginning of the holidays I tried a vegan pumpkin pie on Food52 and through the season the leftover coconut butter has sat on my countertop as a little thermometer: clear and runny when warm, and cloudy white when cool. Today it is like snow.
This is the 100th post on FoodisForever. The first was also about ozoni.
Snapshots and bites from January:
Spent a weekend on the water in Punaluu, to kick off our training for Merrie Monarch. In between verses I snuck into the kitchen to watch Kumu’s mom make Wow Laulau: first frying lots of garlic in the bottom of a great pot, then adding a platter of pork laulau and covering with coconut milk and stock. Good grief, it was ʻono. Here’s the moon in Punaluʻu that evening.
There’s a comment box at the bottom of every page on this blog but my family is settling into a pattern of non-verbal responses; when I wrote about substituting cayenne for a critical ingredient in Daniel Humm’s Provencal Granola, a month later half a jar of piment d’espelette arrived, bubble-wrapped, from my aunt’s own spice rack in Paris. The more recent post about Jean Troisgros prompted this keepsake from 1973 to appear at our dinner table:
A little bit of cooking. Best (and simplest) recipe I tried this month: blood oranges with green olives and red onion.
And gorgeous chioggia beets from MAʻO roasted into something that looked very much like striated ahi:
Chinese New Year came and went with little fanfare from us; the parents were in California so a friend and I celebrated at P.F. Chang’s. It was my first visit there and I thought I was being sort of funny, but food-wise the joke was really on me. Fortune-wise I think I did rather well:
And an experiment: eating unripe coriander berries, which are everywhere in a big tangle of bolted cilantro outside the lanai. They are delicious. Bright pop of cilantro and citrus.
File under: new year, mochi, long life.
Happy New Year!