Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Preparing the Kitchen, Utensils & Table

Today I got out all my serving dishes and cooking utensils and started setting up for my Tampopo Dinner & a Movie. I set up my long table for sitting on the floor, dressed it with a tablecloth and table runner, both in Japanese patterns, and arranged all the empty serving dishes, just so I know where I want to put everything when the time comes to serve dinner. With all the various dishes on my menu, it's going to be a tight fit, so I didn't want to leave anything to chance. This way, with the help of my son Will, he will know exactly where I want him to put each dish so we can all sit down to dinner together while everything is still perfectly chilled or piping hot. My living room now looks like a Japanese restaurant.

I emptied the fridge of all the things that don't absolutely have to be refrigerated (I keep a lot of my grains and cereals in the fridge to ward off grain moths). But they're okay on the countertop for a day or two until I'm done with my dinner prep. This way, I have plenty of empty space in the fridge to store the chilled stuff until time to serve dinner.

And all my new kitchen utensils are standing poised and ready like a surgeon's tools: a sharp new sushi knife, a cleaver, kitchen shears, and a mandolin for uniform slicing. Can't wait to try them out.