Cooking Kids (or Getting Burned Again)


Got tricked into a lot of work today. Someone at the Hot Lunch Center (給食センター) told me they were thinking about starting up a series of cooking classes for kids, in English, on the weekends. My understanding was that we were discussing a business opportunity, but it turned into a free event. Since I am under contract with the Board of Education (教育委員会) and the Hot Lunch Center is under the same umbrella, I couldn’t officially be paid anyhow. Although a few factors seemed like bait and switch, I still moved ahead because:

  • it would be fun for the kids (and me)
  • it would put my face in view (and possibly in the press)
  • it could turn into a business later

We made “Mom’s Meatloaf” and “Mashed Potatoes”. They also cooked up a lot of vegetables and cut up fruit as well. My favorite potato recipe was a no go because of one ingredient problem, so we went with a more standard recipe. The hitch was buttermilk, which we replaced with butter and milk; still pretty tasty but not the same flavor. Just trying to describe what butter is, proved to be a chore. I need to find it before T-Day, so I might go up to Nagoya hunting for it.

I was really good about wearing my “Danger Men Cooking” oven mitt to protect my hand and set a good example for the kids – except that one time. Yes, the one time I didn’t don the protection, I touched the curled lip of a pan with the back of my ring finger. Minimal surface area, in good contact, maximizes heat transfer: got a good burn in an instant.

Had about 60 people from all over the area, and got one lead for a class. I really need to get on the ball about making fliers for my new school; probably could have picked up half a dozen leads. Oh well, everything in its time.

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