kruizing with kikukat

Monday, July 29, 2013

Acting Japanese: Fast Cucumber Pickles

Chie Ike and Ayaka Kojima
For me, summer is officially over.  By the time this post hits cyberspace, I will be knee deep in student files.  Teachers in Hawaii officially begin the 2013-2014 school year tomorrow, but my department requested a stipend so teachers could go in early to divvy up students.  Most everyone else in my department will have an unfair advantage, as they know the students. 

I am likely half-dead too.  I spent the weekend hosting two nice girls from Japan. . .Chie Ike and Ayaka Kojima.  They visited Hilo as part of a Kiwanis Club of East Hawaii's involvement in Hilo's sister city exchange with the city of Sumoto (Awaji Island).

Chie and Ayaka had never been to Hawaii, so this was a very exciting trip for them.  They were here with 10 classmates from Sumoto High School and a handful of adults representing various Sumoto entities (municipal representatives and Sumoto International Association members).  During their 4-day stay in East Hawaii, they visited Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and the Hilo Farmer's Market.  The Help and I drove them out to the Hilton Waikoloa Village for Sunday brunch, as the last group of girls from Japan seemed to fall in love with that place.  Chie and Ayaka were no exception.  They loved it!

As always, the Farewell Dinner was hard on everyone.  Saying goodbye is always hard, no matter how old you are.  Emotions were running high at the Farewell Dinner.  Some of the Sumoto girls broke down as they were giving their speeches.  Ayaka actually missed dinner because she was so nervous about her speech.  If I were them, I'd have been more nervous about getting the heck outta Hilo.  We were on pins and needles on Sunday evening, waiting for more information about Tropical Storm Flossie.  I hate flying in shitty weather.

When we got home from the Farewell Dinner, Ayaka said she was very hungry.  I heated up some Beautiful Edamame Rice which I had saved in the freezer.  Kikukat Dad had given me some cut-up pineapple, so I put that on the table as well.  D1 wanted vienna sausage, so she opened a few cans and heated them.  I had some leftover Spicy Soybeans so I put that in a bowl as well.  I hesitated before serving them these Fast Cucumber Pickles because they are from Japan, the land of pickles.  I was embarrassed because I didn't think they'd want to eat them when they could get much better pickles at home.  But they did, and they loved the pickles!

Reflecting on what I did this summer, aside from the 100+ pages of pacing guides, I really busted my ass.  I was busy all summer.  If I wasn't doing my pacing guides, I was cooking.   Here is a list of things I made:

I figured my non-exhaustive list of cooking would be more interesting that Beowulf or Hamlet, but if you want my pacing guide, message me and include yours as an attachment.  I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours!

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 Japanese cucumbers (seedless)
     1 chili pepper, seeds removed
     1/2 c raw sugar
     1/2 c water
     1 tbsp salt
     2 tbsp rice vinegar

Slice cucumbers into 1/2" rounds or 1 1/2" spears.  Pack into a glass jar.  Midway through, add chili pepper.  Combine sugar, water, salt, and rice vinegar in a small saucepan.  Heat until sugar dissolves.   Pour over cucumbers.  Chill overnight before serving.

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