Farewell 2020, Welcome 2021!

Dear readers,

Wherever you are, I hope this post finds you well. What a year 2020 has been. I’m ready for it to be over. How about you? We’ll still have a worldwide pandemic on our hands in 2021, but with the promise of vaccines in sight, I’m beginning to feel hopeful.

Traditional osechi

I will be ringing in the new year at home with my little family: my husband, kiddo, and two cats. In Japan, New Year’s Day is akin to Thanksgiving in that it’s a national eating holiday. At my house, we skip the formal osechi (which are gorgeous but served COLD) and go straight to the mochi. Mochi, well known here in the U.S. thanks to the popularity of mochi ice cream, is traditionally associated with new years in Japan. There are community mochi-pounding events where steamed mochi rice get pounded into sticky mochi, served immediately afterwords with toppings of your choice. There probably won’t be any community events this year due to Covid-19, but Japanese supermarkets are overflowing with individually-packed mochi bricks this time of the year. And these individually-packed mochi are super convenient. You just pop one into a toaster oven, wait until it puffs up and it’s ready to serve. Can’t get easier than that.

My favorite way to eat mochi is with kinako (toasted soybean powder) mixed with sugar. I love the combination of nutty, sweet kinako flavor and the satisfying stretch of a hot, gooey mochi. Here’s a helpful video that shows three different ways to eat mochi!

You can also use kinako like matcha powder and make kinako latte. I like to make it with almond milk.

Anouck and I thank you for visiting Eat The Marshmallow this year. Though we slowed down, I hope we provided some ideas and entertainment during this tough year. Wishing you all a safe, warm, happy holidays!

 

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