We had a quiet new year for the start of 2013 – in part it’s skipping the fireworks at the local pub back in Hitchin, but with the intense happenings of 2012 it was probably for the best. To start off with a healthier resolution the house has been going alcohol free after about 1am on the 1st with the intent to stay dry until February or March.
The new year has already brought in some changes, and I hope I can commit to a regular lunch-making routine. One of the appropriate new year foods to reflect this is namasu – a simple vinegary salad with an auspicious colour combination of white and ‘red’ (orange is close enough). One family favourite for celebrations are lumpia – in this case an unconventional but rather decadent filling of minced venison (I have no idea when the freezer can be reclaimed – hopefully within this year!), carrot, onion, cabbage and eggplant. With no sauce provided, the large serving of namasu goes well with the lumpia since the traditional dipping sauce is vinegar based.
Top tier contents: Miso vegetables garnished with primula petals and toasted sesame, namasu, tamagoyaki, venison spring roll garnished with parsley.
Bottom tier contents: Rice garnished with daikon and carrot (from the namasu), venison spring rolls garnished with parsley.
Though the garden isn’t on top form, surprisingly the garden-native primulas are fairing better than some of the hardy herbs. A few plants are still in flower – if looking a little battle-scarred – and some appear to have flower buds. Primula petals and leaves are edible so I picked off a mature flower for garnish (I couldn’t bare to pick the nicest looking one). I have my suspicions that it has appeared in a meal we had during our last Cumbria trip.