Hello! I’m Nanako and I’m a member of IPP. I’m a Computer Science and Math double-major sophomore from Yokohama, Japan, and my IPP partner is Elisabeth.
Since Elisabeth has studied abroad for a year in Japan, she’s much more familiar with Japanese culture than the average American person. Since I love talking about my own culture (I’m a student ambassador representing Japan and a member of ASiA, an organization that hosts events celebrating Asian culture and holidays), we’ve been a good match. We also both love cooking and baking, so last semester we cooked soba noodles and baked apple pie.
Elisabeth is a senior from Ohio (I think she’ll introduce herself in our next blog post), so she’s been a kind of mentor to me. I spent my elementary school years in California so I had the experience of living in US prior to coming to Wooster, but there still are a lot of things I don’t know about American culture and living in the US, especially because I spent all of my teenage years in Japan. So far we’ve gotten together three times – we cooked soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles), baked apple pie, and made a semi-Japanese teriyaki chicken dinner – and all three times we ended up talking for several hours about everything, from life in Japan and in Ohio to other really random things.
Baking apple pies the day before finals! (and sharing them with friends!)
Yesterday we got together for the first time this semester (we both got through our first week — woo!), and we tried to cook a teriyaki chicken dinner. We cooked white sticky rice, had some instant miso soup and sencha green tea in Elisabeth’s tea pot (it’s from a 100-yen store, the equivalent of a dollar store here, but it’s cute), and then we were supposed to have some delicious teriyaki chicken using a Japanese recipe — but for some reason it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be. It ended up looking more like a Chinese dish and it didn’t quite taste like Japanese teriyaki. But it was still good, so I guess it worked out.
Looks much much more like Chinese food than Japanese food…
After our meal we also had really good tea. I brought the sencha green tea, but Elisabeth had lots of different flavored teas. I think we tried the strawberry-lemon black tea. It was fruity and delicious. I don’t really like sweet things in general (I’m picky when it comes to desserts — I don’t like normal cakes and cupcakes but I like cheesecake, I only like brownies when they’re super rich so you can really taste the dark chocolate), and I don’t like chocolate-flavored tea, but I enjoy drinking fruity teas.
Our next meeting will probably be next weekend – we’re planning a spa night and tea-tasting. Elisabeth will be writing our next post!