As we see the tail of tiger retreating and the twitching nose of the rabbit waiting in the wings we know that 2011 is upon us. We're preparing food to take to a New Year's eve party but a year ago I was in Hawaii with my family preparing our traditional New Year foods: soba, ozoni, pig's feet soup, konbu maki, nishime, yokan (homemade this year), namasu and sekihan. Alas, I'm on the east coast and the nearest shinto shrine is over 200 miles away. So I participate in my new traditions: spending time with my friends, black eyed peas and Scotch whiskey (not necessarily a New Year's thing but it seems to happen when we get together). I hope that you and yours have a safe and happy New Year. Proceed with diplomacy. Be calm and gentle, but persistent.
Photo by Otodana "Decorating for new year."