17 December 2003

My friend Charles’ birthday by Mayouko [麻悠子], Wednesday, 17 December

After my first day of work at my new job, I went to Mayouko’s apartment. She’s wonderful. This is the second time I’ve been to her apartment when she cooked a big dinner for someone’s birthday. She said she’d been preparing all day for it, and the food was great.

There were far more vegetables than I’m used to as either American or Jew. The Japanese food had an interesting meat/non-meat relationship. In the West, meat is generally the center of attention and supplemented with non-meat (e. g., seasonings, sauces, garnish). Mayouko served big slices of daikon [大根] radishes covered with a chicken sauce reminiscent of egg drop soup. She also served an appetizer of vegetables wrapped in slices of beef. Then she cooked for us right at the table. I loved eating her cooking, but I adored listening to her laughter. (You should hear it.)

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