The last month has been a full-on whirlwind for me. Out of the blue, my husband and I decided to pack a suitcase, leave the cat with family and go on an adventure! We are extremely excited and grateful we made the decision to move to Japan for the winter of 2015/16. In fact, as you are reading this we will already be nestled in the town of Hakuba! Although this is our second time living and working in Japan, this only makes us more excited to go back and fall in love with the culture, massive amounts of powder and of course (if you know me by now) the food!
A perfect day in Japan for me is skiing bottomless powder to the point of wobbly legs, then heading into the lodge for a steaming hot bowl of ramen … I am stoked to share with you the tastiest and downright bizarre foods Japan has to offer within the next 6 months!
One thing that I remember from the last Christmas I spent in Niseko, a small ski town in Hokkaido (the northernmost of Japan’s main islands) is that Christmas is not a national holiday. In fact, it’s more like Valentines day where Christmas eve is a date night for couples. Being a very festive person, I missed the gatherings with flavours and foods of the west. So, this time around I was extremely excited to make these recipes for my column so I could give the holiday’s some homage.
The western Christmas holidays, in fact all of December, is a time where you have a full calendar and with that, a full mind and belly. Instead of more heavy meals and snacks, I wanted to keep it light so I chose to showcase the humble cranberry for it’s tart-sweetness, affordability and their antioxidant packed punch. These recipes are potluck approved, orphan-Christmas approved and of course family approved. They not only taste great but bring so much holiday colour to the table.
Your plate is not the only thing I want to keep light this Christmas. The most important thing to do this busy western holiday season is to slow down and breath. Stop, collaborate and glisten! Take a moment, and be with it. A practice in our house is when we sit down to eat together we take 3 slow deep breaths, this brings us into this moment, away from cell phones, things we need to do and expectations we need to meet. I call it a practice because it is something I constantly have to work on in order to make it a habit. These 3 little breaths are a powerful tool to signal your body it’s time to rest and digest. Digest food or the moment, whatever it may be. Take in all that is going on around you and be grateful that you are (hopefully) in the beautiful city of Fernie surrounded by family, friends and if none of those…then the mountains.
From the mountains of Japan, Happy Holidays and bring the breath of gratitude to your table.
Find this and other great articles in the Fernie Fix Magazine!