Friday, November 9, 2007

Making Dango At Hamagawa Elementary School

One of the many reasons we decided to leave half of our crap in storage and come out to this island is to have experiences like we did yesterday. Asako (seen here next to Mia on the left) is a teacher at Hamagawa Elementary, down the road from where we live. We met her through Michelle & Scott - (Scott was my dive buddy -the one who made Chief in the Navy recently). She emailed me last month to tell me about the cooking class they were going to hold at 3:15 yesterday afternoon that some Marines and friends attend to help the children learn & practice English. I jumped at the chance. (Side note - she also attended UCSD for a year a while back and lived in Claremont, so she asked if everyone was ok during the fires too - she is so sweet!)

She sent me a sheet with the recipe for Dango, a sweet gummy little ball of happiness that is very popular here. (the Three Brothers Dango, a song and video was so popular here it was a best-selling CD! Video is here, lyrics are translated here.)

ANYway- also on the sheet were the words and phrases the kids were to practice. "What is your name?" "What do you like to do?" (hobbies) "Where are you from?" etc. And we all practice and we all cooked and we all had fun with it. The kids were adorable, and LOVED Mia to death every time she talked and shared in the fun. (Kawaii=cute in Japanese - we hear that a lot. But be careful - "kowaii"=scary! haha)

Here are a few of the best shots besides the total class picture with the other American helpers up top.

One of the instructions was to add water to the rice flour until it was "earlobe consistency". I thought that was funny. The kids just thought it was gooey and FUN!

Then we rolled them into small balls. Well, most couldn't resist the GIANT dango - like the giant cookie that doesn't bake!
Have you noticed it's rather difficult to get pictures of kids here without them giving you the "peace" sign? Mia caught on fast, as you can see.

Then you boil them (at a stove in the counter that was the perfect height for Mia) and after a few minutes you take them out and put them into cold water.
Then roll them in soybean flour/sugar.
Then use that toothpick to skewer and EAT! Mia wasn't too sure....
But afterward she said she liked them. She also washed dishes in the sink of the same low counter. She could've been there all night washing and having fun. She didn't want to leave. I told her she can wash dishes at home as much as she'd like.

The rest of the photos can be found here. Oishii desu!

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