My first lesson in the art of cooking Japanese and learning about the culture: offer a prayer of thanksgiving and delight. If you are joining me for first time or since I have started this blog 11 years ago, you know our family prays over a country’s contributions to our food table.
Just two words – they begin and end the meal with expressions of appreciation and respect. From my Japanese Cookbook “The Japanese Kitchen” by Hiroko Shimbo says that the word “Itadakimasu” basically means “We are going to receive the meal” and implies great respect for everyone from the farmer to the truck driver to the shopkeeper and the cook who helped make the meal happen. “Itadakimasu” is an even shorter prayer than “Rub a dub dub, thanks for the Grub.” The second word “Gochisosama” means “I have feasted” and everyone says that at the conclusion of the meal. I like it.
However you choose to express your delight and thanksgiving over a meal, it is never a bad thing to say thank you… and that folks is a pretty darn short phrase that carries thoughtfulness and appreciation. I am glad you will be following me in this next adventure of Japanese cooking and culture. I have been researching and reading about Japanese cooking techniques and the tools I might need. I have made sure that a knife that is coming in the mail (included within a set of knives which my husband ordered) could be used to cut fish for sushi. I have not even looked at a recipe yet. There is a lot to learn, but I am in it so thank you for sticking with me! heiwa – 平和 Peace