hello, brand new year!

corn leis
Thanks for the beautiful lei, Cobi!

Hello, Cutie Pies, and Happy New Year. We’re baaaaack!

Yes, well, mostly. Still battling the jet lag . . . lag . . . lag . . .

Hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that Santa was extra good to you. I must say, you’re as good looking as ever and none the worse for the wear (are those cookie crumbs I see on your face?). Mr. Cornelius and I had fun visiting friends and relatives in Hawai’i, where the operative word is FOOD. Enjoyed Christmas at my brother’s, some great restaurant outings, and of course, the ultimate New Year’s Korean Feast at my parents’ home (details in a separate post).

edwards soup (2)Yay! It’s a brand new year and a brand new month. January is a particular favorite because it’s National Soup Month and Hot Tea Month. I’m looking forward to welcoming some cool guests to Alphabet Soup in the coming weeks, not only authors and illustrators talking about their new books, but also folks who create some fabulous arts and crafts. Look for, “Indie Artist Spotlight,” a new interview series featuring some immensely talented artisans and their work. I’ve always loved unique, heartmade, handcrafted goods, and try to support independent artists whenever possible. I can’t wait to learn more about their inspirations and processes!

For now, check out some of our Hawai’i adventures. As usual, Mr. Cornelius ate more than anyone else and loved having his picture taken. (He asks that you hold your applause until the end.) 🙂

corn and santa 500
Who’s your daddy? (photo by Julia)
corn and hedgehog
A new friend (photo by Julia).
corn and green men hands up
Self-appointed Leader of the Little Green Men Cult
corn and green men
corn and green men 2
corn and candy
For me?
corn and beef
Yum — Tenderloin Beef with Mushrooms at Asia Manoa.
corn and beans
String Beans with Ground Pork, anyone?
corn and shrimp
Crispy Walnut Shrimp — my favorite!
miso butterfish
I always have the Misoyaki Butterfish when we go to Gyotaku Japanese Restaurant.
gyotaku tempura
My nephew Jared had a nice variety of tempura, teriyaki and sushi!
My Dad was craving Sweet Potato Haupia Pie for a long time.
seafood wrap
Fish Wrap at Nico’s, Pier 38 — my first spinach tortilla. Very green and delish!
museum front
Stopped by the art museum specifically to see the paintings of ‘Iao Valley Georgia O’Keeffe created when she visited Hawai’i in 1939.

georgia three

georgia two

georgia one

corn wishing well
Cornelius takes a ride on Julia’s homemade wishing well (photo by Julia).
shave ice cornelius
Of course Matsumoto Shave Ice is a required stop. Always loved the lemon with ice cream. Swear they changed the syrup, though. Not quite the same. Sigh.
corn gingerbread boy
Cornelius presented Gingerbread Boys to the Golden Olive Harmonicats, seven senior church members who stopped by Christmas Eve to serenade my Dad, who was a harmonica champion at age 14.

Stay tuned for more sipping, slurping, chewing and crunching!

Have a great week!!

*thunderous applause*


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

33 thoughts on “hello, brand new year!

  1. I’m raising my cup of hot tea to you in honor of National Hot Tea Month and in thanks for all the comfort foods and words you bring us through your blog. Wishing you a bright and bountiful new year.


    1. All we did in Hawai’i was EAT — you know how it is :). Didn’t have time for saimin or ramen, though. Next time. January is a good month!!


    1. Cornelius’s new friend is as yet unnamed — actually Cornelius gave the hedgehog to my niece Julia for Christmas, so it doesn’t live with us here in Virginia. Still waiting for Julia to do a guest post — maybe “Hedgie” will make a surprise appearance??!!

      Downton, Downton, how I love thee — SIGH.


  2. Happy New Year, Miss Jama! So glad to have you back, happy, gorgeous, and well-fed, if a bit jet-lagged. I, too, love the handcrafted and “heartmade” — so looking forward to your Indie Artist Spotlight!


    1. Happy New Year, Linda! So nice to be back, especially with good friends like you greeting me :). Let’s all have a happy, healthy, productive, safe, and creative 2013!


  3. I LOVE your photos. The aliens-holding-Bear photo cracked me up, and then there were the “food porn” photos and ohhh, I am hungry. 🙂 Wishing you and Len a very happy new year!


  4. Your dad was a harmonica champion?! Too cool!

    That walnut shrimp looks yummy. Reminds me of something I’ve had at the Panda Inn in San Diego.

    I’m glad you had fun with your family in Hawaii. Happy New Year, Jama!


    1. Happy New Year, Barb!

      Yes, he was a very good harmonica player — he owned different sized harmonicas in different keys, and sometimes I’d accompany him on the piano. 🙂


  5. This is wonderful,Jama.
    Thanks for the beautiful
    O’keeffe photos.
    I’m so hungry for crispy walnut shrimp right now. Maybe I’ll put that on my food list for Chinese New Year.
    I surprised myself by making gingerbread boys this holiday too.


  6. Mr. Cornelius does look good for the new year, doesn’t he! Glad you and he had such a good time with family. Welcome back.


    1. Thanks, Kathleen. Mr. Cornelius is getting big-headed with your compliment :). Hope 2013 is the best year yet for you and your family.


    1. Oh, I do hope you get to visit there sometime soon, maybe this year! Then you could write another list poem about everything you eat :).


    1. Aloha back! I remember you saw her work too :). I was inspired to look for her Hawaii paintings because of Amy Novesky’s picture book, Georgia in Hawaii. I think these came in a series of 4, but only 3 were on exhibit. Happy 2013, Erik!


    1. Thanks for the welcome back. I’m excited about finding out more about the creative process 🙂 . . .

      ~ jama, who will love your email when she receives it


  7. Happy New Year, Jama. Wow, the trip looks delicious (in many ways). I love all the photos, but especially those by O’Keefe. How beautiful they are! Have you been to that place, Iao Valley? I looked it up & the pictures they show are also lovely.


    1. Happy New Year, Linda.

      Yes, I’ve been to ‘Iao Valley but only once, and that was a long time ago. The waterfalls are like thin ribbons down the mountainside. Being in the presence of such natural beauty is a spiritual experience. I always feel a “presence” when I get close to mountains, as we did on Oahu driving through a couple of tunnels.


  8. Cornelius must be still napping! I do love all the food (though sorry about the lemon shaved ice) but so cool to see those O’Keefe pictures. I have not yet managed to get my hands on that O’Keefe in Hawaii picture book, but I had one student give a most enthusiastic report — I must remember to get hold of this! Glad you had such a wonderful trip.


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