ThanksGiving 2012

warm thanksgiving in michiganWhere did the time go? I’m writing this post in August 2013, on a cool summer afternoon not unlike the warm Thanksgiving day last November when Mr. Tess took a long sunny-morning bike ride, and Little Tess prepared a feast. It was a beautiful day, and memory makes it more perfect.

The philosopher Martin Heidegger observed that time “persists merely as a consequence of the events taking place in it.” Our brains understand the passage of time by the things we experience. A year has passed with little evidence that anything of note happened. At least not on this blog…

Looking through photo albums proves otherwise.

New Year’s Soba with Duck
We shared our lucky-long New Year’s soba and duck with my sister and brother and his wife. The dish is a tradition at our house for the holiday, and this year we ate at her house.
I cooked the food in my own kitchen and brought it over. With a little planning, the meal made the trip without a problem. I made some carrot tsukemono, bought some pickled onions, and matcha ice cream. My sister-in-law provided some very nice champange.
After a hard day of New Year’s Eve shopping at Ikea, I was too tired to stay for toasting with more champange at midnight—
I was lucky and long asleep when the old year ended…

Kamo no Jibuni: Duck Prepared in Kaga-style
Jibuni is an unusual nabe (hot pot) dish among the many versions favored during winter in Japan. It comes from Kanazawa city and is the capital of Ishikawq Prefecture, located on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Duck is sliced then coated with a mixture of wheat and buckwheat flours, then added to a salty-sweet broth. Seasonal vegetables are also added to the broth. Quite a nice meal!

Kamo Nanban Soba

This year we missed the toshikoshi soba noodles crossing over to the next year. There are a few who claim that this is the beginning of a new decade, though I am not one of them. I start counting with “1” not “0.” Twenty-ten, “2010,” does look more exciting and significant than “2011,” just as “Y-2K,” was celebrated as the beginning of a new century in the sexy-looking year “2000” and not in “2001.” But “one” is the first number, so the first year is “one.” There is some logic to thinking that nothing (0) comes before something (1), so then zero would come before one…

Duck Breast with Mustard-Miso Dressing

Duck with Miso-Mustard DressingThe duck breasts I bought for our toshikoshi soba came frozen solid in a large package, so there were plenty left to make another meal. This recipe came from Ms. Shimbo’s mother who prepared it for a special treat. When I made this recipe in 2007 it was summer-time, and my daughter was visiting then too. She’s living in Madrid and has mentioned that much of Spanish home-cooking involves a lot of greasy, oily foods, so I have modified the recipe to avoid excess fatiness. Ducks really do have fat skin! This method of steaming the duck in broth makes the meat tender and juicy.