When I was a little girl, New Year's was my favorite time of year. The house was buzzing with activity and the sound of our mochi machine...
The whole house was filled with the smell of sweet sticky rice. My Mom would make 30 pounds of mochi and my Dad and brother would drive around our town, making the annual delivery to family and friends. My Aunt would deliver a kadomatsu, a Japanese New Year arrangement of pine, bamboo and straw rope. Our next door neighbor would deliver a platter of homemade osechi, traditional Japanese New Year's foods. We'd all help clean the house to get ready for our annual New Year party, where our entire family, friends and neighborhood were invited to eat and celebrate with us. Every year, my Mom sends us home with pounds of homemade mochi and organic miso (which I treasure like gold!) This year, I hosted my own version of a more intimate Japanese New Year's brunch when we returned home to San Francisco.