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Senior Missionaries

Ruth Lynne Snow's Japanese Dinner

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Peter and Ruth Lynne Snow served in Japan from 2005 to 2007 where Peter was Executive Secretary to the Asia North Mission Presidency. Ruth-Lynne teaches Seminary in Colorado Springs. Here is her report about a Japanese dinner for her students.

Our Japanese dinner Friday evening was really fun.  We used, with permission, the 2 short nursery tables from the Church and put them end to end in our living room.  Three electric pancake griddles and one electric wok were plugged into different circuits so as not to blow a fuse.  When the 14 young people arrived, they took off their shoes and had a piece construction paper pinned to their backs.  On these they were supposed to write nice things about each other.  Meanwhile, Peter and I were getting things ready for dinner.   

First we handed each one a warm moist towel at the beginning to wash their faces and hands, one of my very favorite things about eating out in Japan.  (I also washed them and handed them out again at the end.) They started miso soup that included tofu cubes.  (What worked was 1 c. miso paste in a large pan of water. They used the spoons that you return missionaries said were really Chinese; we bought them at an Asian market in SLC.

Next was sticky rice ("sweet" rice) along with beef, pork, chicken strips that the youth grilled on the skillets and wok.  (By the way, these really heated up the room, so we opened the front door.)  Miso soup that included tofu cubes was the first course.  (What worked was 1 c. miso paste in a large pan of water.  The woman at the Asiana market insisted that I get dashi to season it with.)  They used the spoons we bought at an Asian market in SLC; you returned missionaries said these were really Chinese.)

We had also purchased cute little dishes into which we had them pour one of the sauces—garlic ginger, tonkatsu, teriyaki marinade.  The young men and young women were really good at using chopsticks.  They spent quite a bit of time cooking and eating.  Toward the end in the kitchen I stir-fried a package of squid (which had been frozen) and took it out for each of them to try without telling them what it was.  Surprisingly, most of them enjoyed it.  Actually, Americans are probably some of the few in the world who donft normally eat squid.  We told them that they had to try some of the goma we had found, so we sliced up cabbage (with our mezza luna Christmas gift) and added edamame and gave them each a small plateful over which they put the goma.  We also had a plate of sushi bought at Asiana; it was fun to watch them eat it, many for the first time.  We cut the two red bean-filled mochi Peter bought at a Korean market into tiny pieces so they could each have a taste.  The meal was finished off with sherbet with Pocky sticks, which are popular here in the States, too.  Our guests arrived at 6:30 and left by 9:30. 

It really was amazing what good sports the youth were to try new things. What fun the evening was!  .  One of the young women brought us a potted plant, which we told her was something Japanese would also.

Now that we have the equipment and have done it once, we can do it here for our daughter Suzy and Mark and their family and also for other friends and neighbors.
Love, Ruth Lynne and Peter