Even though it was her birthday, my mom did all the cooking. What? You thought I was going to hang out in the kitchen chopping and dicing? Not a chance. Besides, I brought tulips.
The only time my mom took a break was to watch the Japanese amateur singing show on NHK followed by the news. Otherwise, she was busy with her favorite hobby--busting out them pots and pans.
Happily, she planned the menu. Proud that it had such an international flavor, she announced each item: Japanese miso (soup) with nori (seaweed), inarizushi (sushi rice stuffed inside fried tofu pouches), barbecued chicken for her husband and vegan barbecued riblets for me, New Orleans style black-eyed peas and rice, and Mexican succotash (which she later waived in favor of steamed spinach). And, the capper--a lemon-flavored birthday cake. That's right, the woman baked her own birthday cake. And, why not? She might as well since she also baked the bread we ate as toast for breakfast earlier.
I guess if you love cooking, it's no big. I just happen to hate being in the kitchen. Even though I'm a capable cook and I like to eat, I just can't stand wasting time doing something that just doesn't last. I figure if I took that same amount of effort it takes to prepare a meal and wrote a book or created some artwork instead, I'd end up with products that could be around for some time. But cooking? Okay. You spend about two hours washing and slicing and stirring and serving. Then, you eat it all in about 10 minutes. After that, you get to clean up the kitchen which could take at least half an hour. It just doesn't seem to be worth it to me. But I'm thankful my mom loves doing it. And, the icing on the cake, as it were, is that she's an incredible cook.
HAPA birthday, Yuriko. Don't worry. I won't reveal your age. Wink!
Here are some photos taken by her husband. The flags on the cake were her own clever, artistic idea.
Your Hip Hapa,