Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sukiyaki Anyone?

What had been anticipated with apprehension turned out to be a charming, lovely, and altogether enjoyable evening. A while ago the Young Men's and Young Women's groups at our church held an auction fundraiser. Brian and I were going to be out of town, so we made arrangements with a friend to bid on a few things for us to show our support to the program.  One of our purchases made by proxy was a Sukiyaki Dinner for Four at a Japanese couple's home who live in our ward.

I don't think I would have bid on this; I'm absolutely certain Brian would never have bid on this.  As much as we like to see and do new things, we are admittedly a little skeptical of overly authentic foreign foods, particularly Asian cuisine. You just never know what you are going to get...  Americanized versions are usually safe enough, but real, genuine, authentic?  Kind of leaves us both quivering in our boots.

We had a wonderful time.  This lovely Japanese couple, Mitch and Reiko Taguchi, were perfect hosts.  We entered their home to find a low table all set for us with cushions to sit upon and chopsticks ready.  We learned that Sukiyaki is traditionally always cooked by the man tableside, with the wife assisting him with the preparation of the ingredients.  It was fascinating to watch as they worked together.  Everything was very methodical.

It was interesting learning about the new and unusual ingredients, imagining what the end result would taste like.

To our delight and relief, it was all very delicious and we were able to be as gracious as we had hoped to be.  We even were able to impress them in return with our chopstick skills.

The highlight of the evening was the conversation.  This is a very intimate setting and the whole process of cooking at the table invites lots of time for visiting and becoming better acquainted.  As the dinner progressed, in between the continuous filling of our plates, we came to know and love these good people in a whole new way.  I had known something of their history but this personal setting allowed us to hear more of the remarkable details of their conversion to Christianity from Buddhism many years ago in Japan and their subsequent sacrifices to raise their children in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  They shared with us their treasured first Book of Mormon which bore the sacred signatures of two prophets of the Lord, Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee. 

I will never forget my authentic Japanese dinner.  It will stay in my memory as the unique and special occasion that it was.  Will I always be so ready to try new things?  I suppose it is all a process, isn't it?  As we open our minds and hearts to new ideas, we are blessed with new experiences; experiences that hopefully make us more well-rounded, interesting, interested, accepting and full of love for a continuously enlarging circle of friends.


Nancy said...

It sounds like such a great evening!

Kim said...

I love the Taguchis ~ one of the nicest couples we have ever met! So glad you guys had a fun time and also that you enjoyed the food!

Laura said...

Wow!! What a fun evening!!