Sunday, August 31, 2008

back to Umai with lavender brownies

I have two days left of my 13 day break from teaching, and I could list some things I had hoped to do...

But I want to talk about doing something. Friday morning as I wrote my post Obama speech post, I was baking lavender brownies to follow up on what I wrote of two weeks ago.

I hit Umai Japanese restaurant in Lansdale with a small Tupperware of brownies and sat down at the sushi bar, another exposure for the introvert.... I could have left them on the doorstep with a note ;') But then I would have missed out on getting to know those two guys who shout out the greetings as folk walk in the door.

I was remembered, which helped, as I handed over the brownies. They smiled. I was handed a menu and saw they had lunch boxes. I smiled. I ordered the shrimp teriyaki box. They ate the brownies. The waitress ate a brownie. The waitress forced my waiter to try a bite of the brownies. My Tupperware was handed back to me. Cleaned and filled with Japanese Fish Balls. I ate one, then another, before I put the lid back on.

I chatted and watched as they made sushi. Turns out his cucumber plants also performed terribly this year. common ground. I asked where he had learned his skill. Wondering about such a thing as sushi school, but was pleased to hear his answer. "That guy (pointing to his right) and that is why he is there (in front of the seafood) and I am here."

Yes, that old fashioned way of learning a trade, apprenticeship is alive and well. I have thought about how much better teacher education would be if we were assigned to master teachers for a few years instead of sitting in classrooms more than practicing teaching. I consumed the miso soup.

The box came with the teriyaki, a green salad, some California roll, two dumplings, and a salad which I would have had to asked, "what am I consuming?" to tell you now. When the meal was over I was given an unasked for piece of deep fried banana. Have I ever told you I love bananas...

I had one last question and as a shy introvert it was eventually asked. What does Umai mean? I was told, "great." Good answer.

a web translator tells me..." delicious, appetizing, skillful, clever, expert"

an hour later rain stopped my harvest of green beans at the school, so I did another thing on my list of things needed to be done. I went through some piles of papers in my classroom, as I snacked on fish balls.


  1. Fried bananas (or plantains) are excellent--it's been a long while since I've had those.

  2. Kievas-- I am a big fan myself which made it for an excellent gift. hope you get some soon.


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