June 27, 2000: A funny steering committee for the 26th YMF@
Today, we visited Yufuin through the continuous rain to join a "steering committee" for the 26th YMF.

The meeting place was Kotokot-ya tearoom. The tearoom is closed today, but we were welcomed. In a large shallow flower container are evergreen magnolia flowers, a symbol of the rainy season in Japan.
We have worked out an elaborate plan today. We brought-in a large Chinese frying pan and a cooking spoon with us from Oita We also carried a dish of sliced squid fish marinated with cucumber and sea grass. A dish of boiled bean was another option from us. The large boiling pods for jam production are sleeping in the kitchen tonight. I found some good smelling foods, however.
Yes, we will have a "Cooking class for men" before the steering committee.

Mrs. Misako Fuchino of Kotokoto-ya and Mr. Masakuni Kato, the general secretariat of Yufuin Music Festival, have already purchased foods and pre-cooked them.

My husband joined the cooking soon. Mrs. Makiko Kato has appeared as well.
Mr. Sato, who suggested the funny committee tonight, joined us together with a large Chinese frying pod, a spoon, and a bottle of lard.

To tell the truth, "How to make Chahan (Chinese fried rice) beautifully" became a topic of conversation after the last time meeting. Then three males (Mr. Sato, Mr. Kato, and my husband) became the victims of preparing the food for the ladies. The three males have their own theories and wanted to verify them. This is why we are here tonight with expectation and anxiety.
Mr. Kato first demonstrated his time-tested excellent skill.

His hands dance beautifully over well heat-controlled frying pod with good timing of adding the seasonings.
In a very large dish are beautiful an hors d'oeuvres. He also prepared very quickly roasted beef and lettuce fried with oyster sauce.
Here we go, Toast! All the foods, cooled jerry fish, cold chicken, ham, and hot beef roasted with oyster oil are really tasty. The cuttlefish salad prepared by my husband and beans I cooked were also welcomed. I was very delighted.
This is the member who joined the special steering committee tonight. The master of Kotokoto-ya and his son Keita joined the chatting. A guest came in. Mr. Itoh the representative of Yufuin Movie Festival. He also enjoyed the chatting.
Now, Chahan making competition starts. The top batter is my husband. He arranged all the ingredients around him and started frying the rice with his favorite frying deep pan and spoon.

Next to my husband, Mr. Kato cooks egg-and tomato soup.
The ingredients of Chahan are rice, egg, roast pork, and leek. My husband was happy because he could cook very well thanks to the strong gas burner. The product was very crispy and good. He cleared the first test. The Chinese soup prepared by Mr. Kato was very soft and rich.
The next challenger is Mr. Kato. That's Kato all over. His Chahan is a real dish.

The last runner was Mr. Sato. He first insisted on just looking and eating today. But he finally stood up. Mr. Kato advises salting.

He was cheered by all because he could prepare wonderful Chahan ever he made. He fully gained self-confidence tonight.
After the pleasant Chahan making competition, we discussed the actual schedule of the coming Festival over the aroma of coffee and dessert of sweet melon.
We were engaged in a heated discussion of the artists who joined the Festival, or child rearing until late in night.

We went home in the torrential rain and thick fog. The drive to home was terrible but arrived safely.

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