ForeverMissed
Her Life

お料理上手の母

母はお料理するのは自分の生きがいだと言ってました。
和食から中華、洋食、お菓子作りまでいつでも何でも美味しく作るお料理は、私の自慢でもありました。小さい時、特別な日は完璧レアに焼きあがったローストビーフが大好きでした。小、中学校の頃、毎週土曜日は母と一緒にさかな屋に行って、ハワイとローカルのマグロやサーモン、ウニなどのお寿司のネタを買ってきて、母が一人で5人分のお寿司を丁寧に握っている姿が今でも目に浮かびます。そして、その握り寿司を食べながら、家族そろって水戸黄門、ザベストテン、連続ドラマなど日本のテレビをビデオで観るのがいつも楽しみでした。
お誕生日は欠かさず手作りチョコレートケーキ。カナダにいてもお正月は必ず手作りおせちとおもちを年末から一生懸命作ってました。サブレーやチーズケーキなどのお菓子、ちまき、レモンチキンやビーフブロッコリーなどの中華料理、毎年ジューシーに出来上がったタ
ーキーも自慢でした。本当に幅広いレパートリーがあったからこそ、お料理の先生としても活躍できたのだと思います。
私が今、料理好きなのも母のおかげだと思ってます。


The Chef/Cook

Our mother was amazing in the kitchen! She loved to eat of course, like everyone in our family, but her cooking and organizational skills in the kitchen were something else. When we kids were little, before a guest like a colleague of my father’s would come to visit our home, she would sit with her cookbooks and a pen and paper and write down ideas for the perfect menu. Then she would create a timeline schedule so she could get all the cooking and house cleaning done so that everything was pristine and prepared just so in order that she would be the ultimate hostess for her dinner.
Our special meals she would prepare for the family on Christmas or birthdays would be her always perfectly oven roasted rare to medium rare roast beef. Our Saturday ritual when I was in grade school would be she and I would go to rent some Japanese videos and then to the Japanese fish market. She would then by hand make enough nigiri sushi rice for the five of us (which would have been probably making 100 nigiri!) and delicately place all the pieces in individual sushi containers. Everything was always so perfect!
In later years, after I had left home, I know she spent a lot of time giving free cooking classes to her Japanese friends and I’m sure they appreciated her wisdom as well.
Even today, I particularly enjoy making her specialties: cheesecake, Chocolate roll cake, chicken teba, sanshoku gohan (with green peas).

Her Kindness

Our mother was one of the kindest and most generous people in the world. She always made that extra effort to make our birthdays extra special from coming up with unique party themes (like a fashion show for one when I was about 8 years old) to making our favorite dishes and baking and decorating the birthday cake herself. She always remembered all our special days and passed that on as a family tradition that we continue and will continue. And I always appreciated her handwritten birthday cards that she would always include with the neatly wrapped present. I remember the countless number of gifts she gave over the years to friends and family as well. Winters always were a time she would buy, package and send all our relatives in Japan a goodie package of cod roe for the special New Year’s meals. And for her friends in Vancouver, she would spend days making omochi for them for their New Year’s and taking them to their houses. She was a very giving person with both her time and gifts.

The Golfer

Mom spent a lot of days in Vancouver playing (one of her) favorite pastimes: golf. She was a member of the Point Grey Golf Club for many years, where she forged many friendships and got in more exercise than your average middle-aged woman. I remember she’d sometimes golf four days a week or get in two rounds in a day. Although she wasn’t always so outwardly concerned with golf fashion and staying up to date with the latest technology, she did have a countless number of golf shirts that she liked to coordinate with her entire outfit, head to toe. Although she never achieved a super low handicap, she always strived to do better each time, and her precise nature showed itself in her consistent fairway drives. The golf clubs I have to this day were given to me by her and we went on a few golfing vacations together to Hawaii, Scottsdale and Florida so golf always reminds me of my time with her on the greens.

Arts & Crafts

She also loved arts and crafts and my memories from childhood are filled with her going to classes and coming home with elaborate crafts she had made like intricate embroidery of flowers, elaborately painted hangers again of flowers, realistic fabric flower arrangements and adorable paper toile shadow boxes. She really loved flowers and knew the names of many.

Music

My mother loved the arts, both as a spectator and as a participant. She’d talk about loving classical music like Chopin and I remember she was proud when I took piano lessons. I recall she also took it up for a short time while we had the gorgeous upright in the living room of our home in Richmond. Before the piano, I remember as a small child watching and hearing her play the koto in our living room, especially when colleagues of my father’s would come over for a dinner.
I also remember that I was so happy when she would say she liked the Japanese pop music we kids loved to listen to instead of the “stuffy” enka. One memorable trip that she, my sister Kuniko and I took to Vegas by car was particularly enjoyable as we put our one and only “Off Course” Japanese folk band cassette tape on a loop for almost the entire road trip. That’s more than 20 hours of the same album on repeat. And then again more of the same on the way back! And she didn’t complain once!

Her Fashion

Although she didn’t spend a lot on her wardrobe, what she did buy was always of a certain caliber. Her favorite store in Vancouver was Edward Chapman with that British influence. Although she liked a well made blouse or pants, her preferred daily wear was choosing from her many colorful golf shirts.