Okazu by Gary Hongo
People's Kitchen

Volunteers at SLOBC have just completed another year of preparing hot meals and serving them to the homeless at the Prado Center. As usual, the group is headed by some of our long time members. There are a number of “younger” regular volunteers including Rev. Nakano and quite frequently, new faces who come to perform a good deed straight from the heart. As the new volunteers can attest, you don’t need any special talent to help prepare the food. Just show up at the church on the second Tuesday of each month at 9 AM and you will be put to work. At 11:30 AM, a group of 7 volunteers then head to the Prado Center to serve 80 to 100 meals. The fare of chicken stir fry, fried rice, tossed salad, bread & butter, cake and milk is “ono” (delicious). Although the Prado Center has just recently moved into a brand new and larger facility, it’s the food that the homeless people look forward to and enjoy. Interested in helping? Just show up.


Tsukemono is Japanese preserved vegetables and is a staple in the daily diet of most Japanese households. Like the American counterpart of dill pickles, tsukemono can be made from long white turnip (daikon), plum (ume), cucumber, Chinese cabbage, radish, eggplant, ginger and scallion to name a few. They can be pickled in salt, vinegar, sugar and vinegar, soybean paste (miso), soy sauce, rice bran, hot mustard or sake lees. Some of the resultant dishes as we know it are takuan, kim chee, namasu and narazuke. Because of the preserving/fermenting process, tsukemono is probiotic and good for the gut. Good tsukemono have one thing in common: they have to be crunchy. So on your next visit to a Japanese restaurant, check out what kind of tsukemono is being served and when taking your first bite, listen for the “CRUNCH.”

Old Fart Food

Now that we’ve gone through the Holiday Sea-son and feasted on all those sumptuous foods like prime rib, shrimp, ham, turkey, etc., it’s a pleasure to revert back to what I call “old fart food” for our meals. These meals are simple, easy and quick to prepare, nutritious and result in less dishes to wash. An example of an “old fart meal” is hot rice or ocha-zuke (rice with tea), tsukemono, tofu dipped in soy sauce and grated ginger, and a small portion of fish, beef or chicken (usually left overs). This light meal leaves you satisfied and not filled and of course, room for dessert. By the way, you don’t have to be an old fart to enjoy “old fart food” but I think it is natural that we tend to eat less as we age. Before you dig in, don’t forget to say, “Itadakemasu” (thanking all plants and other living things for providing for and preparing the food) and after you’re finished, “Gochisosamadeshta” (thank you again, the food was delicious).


6996 Ontario Rd., SLO
Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano Ph 805 595-2625
Significant Events...
1/13 Hoonko Service (11am)
1/15 Basics of Jodo
        Shinshu (5pm)
1/20 Intro to Buddhism (10am)
1/26 Keirokai (11am)

2/10 Nirvana Day
2/17 Intro to Buddhism (10am)
2/19 Basics of Jodo
        Shinshu (5pm)
2/23 Annual Crab Feed (5-7pm)

3/24 Ohigan Service (11am)