Our Family Dinner Book Club selection for the month of May is The Peace Tree from Hiroshima by Sandra Moore. Here you’ll find a menu that can be prepared with the help of your children, and will hopefully be a fun and interactive activity for the whole family. Head over to Growing Book by Book for some talking points to get the conversation started as well as an idea for a family service project. Then visit Sunny Day Family for a fun craft. We invite you to share a picture from your dinner with us anytime during the month on our Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page.
The Peace Tree from Hiroshima is a true story about a bonzai tree that had been in the family for 300 years, and was donated as a gift to America as a sign of peace and friendship between Japan and America. It is a very sweet story that had me wiping my eyes a few times while reading.
When planning today’s menu, I kept reflecting on my own visit to Japan and all the foods we had there. Like the bonsai tree in this book, we had tofu in Japan that had been made using a 300 year old recipe. You will find tofu in your miso soup. We’re enjoying a vegetarian meal today because that is common in Japan. You absolutely can find many meat dishes in Japan, especially fish, but those have only become more popular as Western travelers have become more frequent.
The rolled omelet, or dashimaki tamago, in our menu is something I learned to make during our cooking class in Japan. They use a special pan to make it, so if you can get your hands on one of those, that could be a fun addition to your kitchen.
Sushi making is a time honored tradition in Japan. Sushi chefs spends years learning to perfect rice before they ever get to cut the fish, or assemble a sushi. For this reason, I do not plan to share a recipe on my blog. I learned to make sushi in culinary school, and do make it at home from time to time. However, I believe there is no substitute for the real thing. When someone spends a lifetime learning a craft, that is a beautiful thing, and you can taste the beauty in their food. You can order a vegetable roll from any local sushi joint. You can even have it with no seaweed if that is easier on the palate for the younger kids.