Chaji – a Midorikai interlude

The weather has become warmer (thank goodness!) and the plum blossoms are waning as we look forward to coming full circle and some of the early blooming cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom. I’ll be doing a lot of bike riding around the city when school is finished on my brown “Waffle” bike to go sight-seeing and check out some last minutes places and events. The official graduation is on March 17.

Chaji Preparations

All the students have been working hard, as usual, on various tasks, rehearsals and event preparations. Marian’s chaji will be this week and some of us have practiced cooking and making sweets. We need to serve many courses and to me it feels like the complexity of trying to draft a 12-course restaurant menu. I’ve been getting better at cutting with knives. I used to be very timid about it, but Tetiana has shown me new skills and I’ve been trying to practice. It helps when the knives are sharp. I will continue to work on this skill when I get back home. She is a very good cook and I enjoy watching how she figures stuff out. There is a lot of trial and repetition and refinement of the same recipe to get something that tastes (and looks) just so. Making food that also looks and smells attractive is something that is easily forgotten and it’s nice to be encouraged to make good looking and fine tasting delicacies.

Our first guest is vegetarian, so we are making vegetarian dashi along with veggie-everything-else. I can’t say anything more than that just yet. We all went to Toin-seki today for the cleaning and preparations. The three of us (Grzegorz, Tetiana and I) are in the kitchen, cooking the meal. Marian is the teishu so he will be serving our four kohai. There is nothing at this location, so we have to cart in all of the kitchen equipment, tea utensils, cleaning supplies, and more.

That’s all for now!
Karla

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