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Welcome to Debbi Michiko Florence's Holiday Newsletter!
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Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the very best of the holidays!  

What's New
To celebrate the upcoming holidays, I'm giving away a bound galley (uncorrected proof) of Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen to one lucky winner.

To enter the drawing, you must be a subscriber to this newsletter (sign up here). Then, email me your favorite holiday tradition at justkidink@yahoo.com by December 30 midnight EST. The winner will be drawn at random on New Year's Day and contacted soon after. The winner will also be announced in the January newsletter. Good luck and happy reading!
To Do
Each month I'll share a fun craft or activity.
Quick & Easy Soba Recipe
New Year's Day is an important day of celebration in Japan. There are many traditions associated with this holiday, and one is to eat soba (buckwheat noodles) on the evening of December 31. The long, thin noodles symbolize long life, and buckwheat is a resilient plant and symbolizes strength. Make sure you eat the soba the evening before New Year's, though, as it's considered bad luck to eat it after midnight. Watch that clock! 

What You Need:
6-oz package dried soba noodles (available at most grocery stores)
8 cups water
soba noodle soup base (available in Asian markets, see picture)
2 tbsp chopped scallion
1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds

What To Do:
1. Boil 6 cups of water in a large saucepan.
2. Add soba noodles to water and cook for approximately 5 minutes, until noodles are al dente.
3. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop cooking, and set aside.
4. In small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup soba noodle soup base and 2 cups water. Stir to mix. (NOTE: Follow dilution instructions on the soup base bottle if they differ from this. Some soup bases are 1:8 instead of my suggested 1:4)
5. Pour soup into four small bowls and divide soba noodles evenly between bowls.
6. Top with chopped scallions and roasted sesame seeds.
7. Serve and enjoy!
Omakase
A Japanese meal consisting of dishes chosen by the chef. Like a chef, I will choose a tidbit on Japanese culture to share with you each month.
 
Some other New Year's traditions in Japan:
  • Eat black beans (kuromame) for good health.
  • Observe the sunrise to start off the new year and pray for good health and luck for the coming year.
  • Display bamboo and pine (kadomatsu) decorations symbolizing prosperity and long life.
And, of course,
  • Eat mochi for good luck!
Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu! (Happy New Year!)

Year of the Rooster, 2017
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Copyright © 2016 Debbi Michiko Florence, All rights reserved.


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