One Sunday after church, one of the youth asked me how to use chopsticks. I showed him how and said the best way to learn is practice, and maybe I would have to have him over sometime and make something for lunch that he could practice on. It wasn't long until I happened upon a recipe for sukiyaki that was in a cookbook a friend of mine had given to me. This particular cookbook is a collection of her recipes that she had compiled over the years and was given to me as a gift after I had spent several summers working with her in the camp kitchen. She was in charge of the kitchen during family camp and her job was to use up what was left in stock in the kitchen after several weeks of summer camp. I learned a lot from her on looking what you have and incorporating it into something new to feed those that came to the kitchen to eat on those summer nights. Several of the recipes we made in the camp kitchen are in that cookbook and she had it wrapped up in a tea towel that I use to cover bread dough while it is rising. The main flour I use in all my cooking and baking is Thesco flour and that stems back to those days too, as she is the one that introduced me to it.
Well, now, back to Sukiyaki. The recipe was one that came from her mother-in-law, Mary, who I also knew. She was a dear lady who had spent time as a missionary in China, I have no idea if this was a recipe that she acquired while she was in Asia (it is Japanese not Chinese) or if she got it somewhere else, but it was neatly laid out in this recipe with everything you needed, right down to an extra fuse. You prep all the veggies and meat ahead, arrange it on plates and your guests cook it right at the table. I decided this would be an excellent meal to practice using chopsticks and set about planning to invite the youth over for lunch on a Sunday after church. However, when my mother heard my plans - I had to borrow her electric skillet, she said I should feel free to practice on them since I hadn't made it before. Needless to say, I ended up having two Sukiyaki dinners and both were great fun. It is an excellent meal to get your guests interacting together, although it is best if they are not starved when they arrive, because it takes a little bit to get going.
|The trial dinner with Mom, Dad, and the Colonel Mustard.|
|Take two - the youth from church.|
|Working those chopsticks.|
|A tableful, requiring two electric skillets...glad we didn't need the extra fuse.|