Kyoko Hirosawa

Preparations for the New Year

IMG_0922 And here we are, only 3 days to the end of the year.
As every year, this time is a busy one.
The other day I went to visit the event “Wakariyasui Shogatsu” organized by Permanent at D&Department.
How is the “Toso” (New Year’s sake) at your home?
I’m from Kanto region, and in my home, the Toso is just sake, rice wine.
When I tried the Toso in Fukuoka, I was surprised about what there was inside.
After putting a mix of Chinese herbs and sugar in rice wine, the Toso is drunk after 3-5 days. It really warms you up and it was delicious. Like hot wine, I think it must be very good also when warmed. The next year I’ll prepare it in advance and I’ll make it my winter special drink.

For the New Year, the differences between Japanese regions come out clearly: Zoni (New Year’s soup), decorations, Toso, etc.

I think that talking about the New Year’s traditions is interesting, like asking about how Zoni is made in other families (every mum shows her own roots in that recipe).

I always think I want to make a trip to try many Zoni in many places.

For instance, in my home Zoni is made with round mochi (rice cake), roasted mochi, bonito broth, chicken and spinach: a strong Kanto accent Zoni, with a bit of Fukuoka inside.

My grandmother used to run a rice shop, and in this time of the year, the mochi were pounded, wrapped, put in bags and sold. Then, in every home, they were cut square with a knife. When I told this story to friends from Fukuoka, they can’t even imagine it. That’s why the different traditions for the New Year are so interesting.

Well, I want to wish a happy New year to everybody.