Her name is Atsuko and she is from Saporro, Japan.
We met thru a program where you can meet up with people who speak different languages in your city.
I help Atsuko with her conversational English (her English is AMAZING) and she teaches me a few Japanese phrases. I am such a beginner when it comes to Japanese but it has been fun learning and retaining more words.
Atsuko and I hit it off right away and have grown into fast friends.
She is such a cool lady and even made me a bento box lunch the other day.
The bento box wrapping was so beautiful.
She handmade me some onigiri with different seasonings and fillings. One was filled with tuna and the other with salmon. I made a special request for these because I haven't had them since the last time I was in Japan in 2010. They were absolutely delicious.
The second level of the bento box contained pork that had been marinated in ginger and Japanese tomago egg. The pork was very tender and flavorful and the tomago was the best I have ever had. She sweetened the egg batter with a little sugar which made it different and special.
Lastly she included some homemade ratatouille which was also so good. I'd never had it before.
Last weekend Atsuko, her husband Masa, Jeff and I went to a Japanese festival here in Chicago.
We had fun looking at the ikebana arrangements, listening to people play different Japanese drums and eating chicken teriyaki.
I'm so glad I have a new friend in Atsuko. She is keeping my obsession for all things Japanese alive!