The holidays are always a hectic time in Sumo’s kitchen. It’s only time of the year that I bake, I get tapped to fix the sides for Christmas dinner (this year, I Iron Chef’d up a dried cranberry and pineapple juice sauce), then once Christmas is over, planning, shopping and prep work immediately begins for the REAL holiday – Japanese New Year!

My grandmother used to put out a fantastic spread for JNY, as the holiday doubled as an excuse to have a family reunion. Some of my favorite memories of her involve watching her cooking for days in advance. I wasn’t allowed to help, exactly, but I did a lot of fetching, carrying, and reaching for stuff above her head (she was short!). I also got to watch the master in action, which was almost as good as doing it myself.

Since she passed away, SumoDaddy and I have been doing a slightly scaled down version. I say slightly scaled down since there’s still a metric crapload of food, but nowhere nearly as many guests. We also tend to expand the menu a bit. As much as I love Japanese food, sometimes I find it a little bland. Usually a couple of Cantonese dishes find their way to the table. No one has complained yet.

So, a brief summary – SumoDaddy made a variety of sushi and maki, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki salmon, sweet & sour spare ribs, and chow mein. I handled the tonkatsu, tempura, spring rolls, char siu (barbecue pork), Szechuan green beans, and Mongolian beef.

In other words, I’m bloody well exhausted, and don’t have the energy to post any recipes this time around. Check back in a few days.;)

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