Saying the New Year’s greeting in the past tense must be Hokkadio dialect. My father used to say it this way and my wife somehow picked this up as the correct way to say Happy New Year. Most people, however, will say the greeting in the present tense “明けましてお目出度う御座います”.
It seems I have made excuses concerning the New Year feast for 2 years running. Last year, I said I had to work until December 31 and could not make the New Year Boxes or “Juubako” 重箱. This time, I have two major excuses both of which led to a paucity of food products; First one of our favorite Japanese grocery stores closed unexpectedly this year and second because of the recent package bomb scare, my mother’s annual New Year’s “care package” exceeded the new restrictions to be sent by air–it had to be sent by sea and even though it was sent over a month ago it did not arrive in time. In addtion, we are remodeling our house and the Japanese tea room we usually use to celebrate is not available. In any case, I essentially made everthing in one day on December 31. Although I had to “punt” and use frozen premade vegetables for “Umani” New Year stew (left upper) and used a boiled packaged lotus root “renkon” 蓮根 for sweet vinegared renkon 酢蓮根, the rest is homemade (except the fish cakes and black beans).
Here is our new year soup or “ozouni” お雑煮. We used a hybrid broth of vegetable chicken broth my wife made and kelp and bonito stock.
In any case, we started the new year with a good new year breakfast. Happy New Year!