Happy Birthday to Mamma 82! (but not my mamma)

New Years time in Japanese culture means a lot of things. 1) if it's the end of the year, it's a bon nen kai. It sort of means you get together and forget about the issues from last year. I saw that in some areas of the world, people schedule fist fights to settle scores. People watch. End of fight, it's a done deal. You shake hands and more on to the new year. 2) if it's after the new year, it's a shin nen kai which is a get together to start off the new year hopefully well. So meals keep flowing, even after a week or so. The good thing is, once in a while I get invited to things like this. In this case, it's for my friend Mitch's moms birthday. 82! Pictured is perfectly executed tempura above by Eriko M. who made this spread. I'm not sure if Shin nen kai's actually solve anything, except people getting together to celebrate being together, but birthdays are always cool.

Renkon (lotus root). Simple and elegant.

Mamma at 82. She still shovels snow in her backyard.

82! The cake was good. You can't have cake until you eat all the food. I did.

No, that's not brownies and mochi! That's konnyaku and imo. Look that up.

Hijiki and friends. I'd have to say, this photo looks good. It works well with rice.

Cucumber rolls. Refreshing. Not pictured are a few other dishes. Sekihan which is rice that's brown red containing beans and it even had chestnut. Gobo included yuzu koshio (yuzu pepper).

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