A Taste of Japan:

Sushi Tasting at Southern Trinity 

 As part of Mrs. Wheeler's study trip to Japan, she invited Miss Asako Harada to visit Van Duzen and Southern Trinity Schools on Thursday and Friday, October 21st and 22nd, 1999.  Miss Harada, while from Tokyo, Japan, is staying for 9 months in Weaverville as she is studying to be a teacher of Japanese to foreign students.
  She enlightened us with many delightful and clever ways to learn her language as well as interesting insights into the culture and life of Japan.  At least two of our students now write their names in Japanese when they turn in papers.

Mrs. Wheeler made arrangements for a sushi tasting in her room on that Friday.  There were two full trays of at least 5 varieties of the sweetened rice treats.

  Students came with various preconceived ideas.  The most universal was the expectation that sushi consisted of raw fish. "Ooew! Raw fish! I'm not gonna eat raw fish!"   This statement was heard not a few times. Fortunately, there were also several students who knew better and showed up to enjoy the smoked albacore (tuna) and the California Roll (cooked shrimp, avacado, and green onion.) Other styles were the East/West roll with almond butter, veggies and tofu and a Spicy Roll with veggie and almond butter (Mrs. Menard's favorite)


The most enjoyable were the students who were curious as well as interested and willing to try new things.  Lacy Roosa was a classic example.  With her face all puckered up and her mouth very unsure about all this, she took a tiny nibble.  It was delightful to see her light up with "Wow! That's GOOD!"  She was last seen running out the door yelling, "Hey, you guys, sushi is GOOD!"  Hooray for Lacy.  Some other open minded converts were Matt Anderson, Chris Sullivan, Ken and Crystal Neumiller, Johnathon Willburn, Mr. Maybee, Jackie Branham, John Wall, Katrina Johnsgard, Serene Maybee, Bret Maybee, Frank Cook, Cyrus Kennedy, Emilie Menard, Stefanie Marsh, Joseph Silva, and Paul Bates.

Mrs. Menard came back twice for bowls full.  She SAID she was trying to convince Bo Mietta to try one.  We never heard whether any of the eight pieces appealed to him.  It is certain, someone ate them.  Mrs. Menard professed to really enjoy the almond butter in the spicy rolls.

Many students were or became experts at chopsticks with only a little instruction.
  Marshall Boucher is even a maker of sushi himself, having done so at 4-H Favorite Foods Day.  He was very helpful explaining the hot green wasabi paste to everyone and doubtlessly saving many sinuses from certain destruction and adding to the appreciation of the experience.  Thanks, Marshall.

Mrs. Wheeler got a surprise when Miss Asako informed her that the red Japanese lantern that had been part of her wall display about Japanese culture, carried the word "Sake."  That shouldn't have surprised her since her son who works at Tomo Japanese Restaurant in Arcata had given it to her saying it had come from a vendor.  She quickly removed the lantern -- it was almost Red Ribbon Week after all.

Mrs. Wheeler leaves on November 12, for three weeks in Japan.  You are invited to check her web site for e-mail updates while she is there and a full write-up with photos when she returns.


Want to learn more about sushi?  Check these sites out:

"Rolling Your Own Sushi" at:   http://www.rain.org/~hutch/sushi.html
San Diego sushi chef Jay provides sushi information at:  http://www.stickyrice.com/

To Mrs. Wheeler's Home page               To Learning in Japan Page