May 19, 2001: Welcome Mr. Tsukomoto from New York
Mr. Tsukamoto, one of our closest friends and a member of. Food communication group, dropped in Oita all the way on his business round trip to Japan. He arrived Oita today from Okinawa. Some group members welcomed him at a dinner party.

The party was held at a Japanese restaurant Umeno-Hana which was once attracted attentions of the group members. The restaurant boasts of its original tasty Tofu and Yuba (thin cluster that appears on the surface of warmed Tofu soup.) The restaurant sits quietly in the depth of bamboo bush with its elegant roof of Sukiya style.
In front of the entrance is a hand washer like this. A wonderful ornament welcomed us at the front hall (right.)
Mr. Seki, one of the group members, and I drove to Oita station to see Mr. Tsukamoto just arrived from Okinawa Island. We soon directed to the restaurant.

This is the first time to see him since last February.
Mr. Tsukamoto looks like very happy flanked by old friends, from right, Miss. Korenaga, Mr. Tsukamoto, and me.

From left, Mr. Shigeno, my husband Ken, and Mr. Seki.
Today's menu is of Tofu series, including many kinds of pretty ingredients. They are really lovely and colorful.

They are neatly arranged in a three-layer ceramic container like this. They are so beautiful that make me hesitate to eat. What was wonderful, in particular, was boiled asparagus and crab meat rolled with Yuba film.
An aperitif stimulates our appetite. We repeated toast with it and beer as well. Mr. Shigeno suggested that white wine match Tofu dishes very well. We ordered a bottle of Original brand wine of the restaurant.

Dry and crispy white wine is really good to Tofu and Yuba dishes.
Mr. Seki visited Takamatsu City in this consecutive holiday season and brought back unusual souvenir of "Handmade Udon noodle." He said he practiced to make it in Takamatsu. His experience became a topic of the Food chatting group. A pack of the souvenir contains Udon flower, salt, a rolling rod, and a large knife. Me. Seki explained how to make the Udon in detail.
Lovely dishes continue to appear one by one. On the table is a square Tofu boiling pod that condenses the Tofu soup to make thin film of Yuba. Yes, this is how to skim up it by chopstick. The Yuba is then put into a small cup added with ground Yuzu skin and soy sauce for eating.

This is my first experience to enjoy just-clustered-Yuba in this way.
After enjoying the tasty Yuba crust, we put bittern into the pod and boiled it for a while to make Tofu called "Scoop-out Tofu." It keeps the flavor of soybeans very well.
Many topics crisscrossed the table; Internet, radio, New York in which Mr. Tsukamoto lives, members experience in Thai, Canada, China, US, and Europe. The last orders time soon came before we knew. The closing time soon came as well while we continued to enjoy pleasant chatting. The first off-line meeting of the Food group was over in this way. I dropped off Mr. Seki and Miss. Korenaga at their homes and take Mr. Tsukamoto back to my house.

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