Happy New Year!
In the U.S., we say "Happy New Year" before New Year's Eve and also after New Year's Eve. So how did you spend yours? I had a good time asking the guests about what they have been up to.
I knew about Osechi, but today I could learn some more about it. We talked a little bit about how each item in Osechi has some special meaning. For example, there are beans in Osechi to mean "mame ni hataraku". But, there are so many things in Osechi and I couldn't ask about everything, so please tell me about it some more sometime.
In America, we often have New Year's Day dinner, but actually.... I like the New Year's Eve snacks even more! At my house, my mom makes some delicious chex mix. To make this snack, she buys a few ingredients, like small pretzles, cereal, crackers, and so on. At home, she mixes them in a big bowl with some spices, some oil or butter, and then puts them on a baking sheet. The baking sheet is put in the oven for a short time, and then when the time is finished, she puts all of those snacks back into the large bowl. Then, we can munch on the chex mix, drink champaigne, and watch fireworks on TV.
These days, you can buy chex mix in a bag at the grocery store, but I think my mom's chex mix is much, much better!
Here are some words and phrases we used in today's free talk:
been up to: This is a phrase we often use along with a greeting, like this:
"Hi, good to see you! What have you been up to?"
"I haven't seen your sister in a awhile, what has she been up to?"
This is a way to ask what someone has been doing recently, like work, hobbies, or events. We often ask this kind of question in the U.S.! Many Japanese people know "How are you?", but let's try and ask "What have you been up to?" sometimes, too!
chex mix: A delcious, crunchy snack made by mixing many other snacks together with spices, oil or butter, and baked in the oven.
munch: This is a verb that means to eat, but it is usually used with snacks (especially crunchy snacks), or for foods that aren't usually a breakfast/lunch/dinner type of meal. For example, you can munch on jagariko, but it sounds strange to say "munch on yakisoba".