Jan 1

Happy Moo Year!

in Uncategorized

As we say goodbye to the year of the rat and usher in the year of the ox, I hope you don’t mind if I reflect back on 2008 and then wax a bit philosophical about 2009.

2008 was a big year for the Fuji family. I could say much, but to keep it simple I think 2008 can be distilled down into 2 words: CHANGE and FOOD.

– Little Squirrel embodied the word change this year as she went from a 1-year old to a 2-year old, always changing and surprising us, sometimes frustrating us, but constantly filling our lives with joy.
– The Fuji family made the big move across the pond from Tokyo, Japan, to Southern California.

– I chopped off (a lot) of my hair.

– We said goodbye to Mr. Fuji’s dear sweet grandmother.

– The Fuji family went from a tiny rented Japanese apartment to buying a more spacious home.

– The Fuji family discovered they would be welcoming a new Fuji into the family!

– The Fujis embraced culinary adventurism and tried all kinds of interesting and unusual foods: from hachinoko and zazamushi (black wasp larvae and stonefly larvae) to sakuraniku (horse sashimi) and fugu (pufferfish), to crocodile, python and yak.
– I joined the Daring Bakers with my first challenge in February 2008 (baking a French Baguette using Julia Child’s recipe).
February 2008: French Baguette
March 2008: The Perfect Party Cake
April 2008: Little Fuji Cheesecake Pops
May 2008: Opéra Cake
June 2008: Danish Braid–was not able to participate in this challenge due to a butter shortage in Japan (no joke!)
July 2008: Pecan Gateau with Praline Buttercream
August 2008: Pierre Hermé Chocolate Eclairs
September 2008: Lavash Crackers & Mango Salsa
October 2008: Pizza
November 2008: Caramel Cake with Caramelized Butter Frosting
December 2008: Buche de Noel–a growing belly and too much travel prohibited this month’s participation!

– This blog morphed into a blog that is now primarily a food blog. I’ve had a blast doing things like exploring the joys of cooking with pumpkin, learning more about theobroma cacao, committing to baking more bread, meeting Sandra Lee, and appreciating my culinary heritage.

– In September 2008 I joined the Foodbuzz community as a Featured Publisher. I have loved being connected to a community of fellow gourmands and have received much inspiration and encouragement from new foodie friends over the past few months.
– The most popular post of the year here on LFM was: Chocolat Chaud–Hot Chocolate the French Way

Now how about 2009? I love the start of a new year, the chance to start fresh with a new beginning. I recently stumbled across an idea of Alie Edwards on her blog–the idea of One Little Word. She explains that “the idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year.” In her newsletter back in January 2007 she wrote, “A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.” She went on to challenge her readers to identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2009. She explained that the word “can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you.” As I look forward into 2009 this idea really resonates with me.

My word for 2009? LIVE.

verb {intr.}
-to be alive; exist
-to maintain or support one’s existence; provide for oneself

verb {trans.}
-to go through, to experience or enjoy life to the full

-full of life, energy or activity
-vivid or bright, as color

I find this word appropriate as we look forward to welcoming new life into our family this month. I also find it particularly appropriate to this blog, as we depend on food to nurture and maintain life. I love the quote by Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience …”

So here’s to 2009–to living life deliberately and not passively, to welcoming new life, and to nurturing life.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Aunt Doris January 1, 2009 at 2:14 pm

I enjoyed your year’s summary. So much happening! How about posting a photo of the famous baby bump?? We hear about it from your Mom but you know what they say about pictures!


Aunt Doris January 1, 2009 at 2:17 pm

oops…I just read farther…and there it is! I bet you are looking forward to finishing up that little project!!!


Bob January 1, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Happy New Year to you! You’ve had a busy year, huh? Hope the next year has nothing but good things for you. :)


The Food Librarian January 1, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Wonderful post and I love your theme! Happy New Year to you and your growing family!


Joie de vivre January 1, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Happy New Year, I hope your word inspires you to live life to the fullest and live it well! I think my word would be growth. I want to try new things and grow as a person.

On a totally different note, horse sashimi? Is it raw horse? Crazy crazy stuff. May this year be filled with lots of good food for you too.


Fuji Mama January 1, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Thank you everyone!

Joie de vivre– Growth is a wonderful word! One of the reasons I chose “Live” was because of the words that it can embody, one of which could definitely be growth! Yes, horse sashimi is raw horse–crazy is right! :-)


augus January 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm

I have seen with pleasure your blog, I invite you to watch and if you like as a follower of mine, which would be a pleasure, I hope that we continue to press releases, kisses and congratulations


Bobbi January 1, 2009 at 6:37 pm

2009…time to get rid of the “rat” and embrace my word: happiness!!!


cookienurse January 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Joy and blessings to you in the new year! thanks for sharing with us in your blog!


LollyChops January 2, 2009 at 8:07 am



Melissa Hodgen January 2, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Love the recap. Happy New Year. My 2009 word…relish.


Hannah January 2, 2009 at 10:21 pm

Happy new year! Can’t wait to see what delicious things 2009 will bring. :)


K and S January 3, 2009 at 1:08 am

what a great post! will be exciting to hear about your adventures in 2009, Happy New Year!


gleek January 3, 2009 at 9:41 am

2008 was such a landmark year for you! i can hardly believe all the changes :) i’m sure 2009 is going to be amazing. can’t wait to see what happens! happy new year!


Mrs. LC January 3, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I love your outlook for 2009! Deliberate, welcoming and nurturing living is such a great attitude to have, I think I may adapt that for myself. :)


Jamaipanese January 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm

happy moo year to you too :D

all the best for 2009


Melissa Hodgen January 4, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Ok, before you give birth I need that recipe that you made for us when we had dinner at your house YEARS ago. It was a chicken dish, covered with ham and I think cheese in some yellowish sauce. I know that narrows it down to about a thousand, but if you can remember it, I would love it.


Denise P January 4, 2009 at 9:05 pm

happy new year… and now you’ve got me thinking about my word, I don’t know yet, but I’m thinking…


Tartelette January 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Great year recap! Thank you for including me so much in your blog visits. Looking forward for your 2009 adventures!

P.S: could you send me your newest mailing address?


Misha January 5, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Good idea for an end of year summary! May this year be filled with more food (though hopefully not anymore of those wasps!), no moving, new baby, more Savvy, more of Mr. Fuji’s cooking (you’re going to need it once that little one comes!) and all other wonderful things for you!


dianeinjapan January 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Horse sashimi, huh? I haven’t been brave (?) enough to try it! Haven’t eaten any insects, either, besides crickets in Vietnam.

Anyway, Happy New Year, and I hope you have a beautiful birth experience. Oh, and may I just say that you are a baking goddess!


dianeinjapan January 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm

Oh, and I like your word for the year! I think mine might be “renewal”–maybe I’ll blog about that.


[email protected]: a food blog January 9, 2009 at 11:31 am

That’s so inspiring. I have to come up with a word too — like yours! Very appropriate with a little life inside you!


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