Madelyn's fascination with Japan spilled over onto her birthday.
We went to a Japanese Grill -- the four of us plus Aunt Becca and Uncle Andy. Good thing for reservations as the place was packed, turning away people at the door. We sat at the edge of a round grill while a chef clanged and slapped his way through appetizers, vegetables, fried rice, and meats. He wasn't Japanese, but Korean-born ("South Korea, so you know I'm not crazy" he added).
He doused the food in oil and lit it on fire, earning Nathan's unbroken gaze and admiration.
Madelyn was prim, eyes wide and glistening with her internal smile.
There was no cake, but she was presented with a candle-holding ceramic Buddha and two pineapple chunks sliced to look like gondolas, shaded on the end by paper and toothpick umbrellas. Beside each was a blood red cherry hugged by an orange slice, skewered onto a plastic sword. The staff sang "Happy Birthday" and then the "Happy Japan Song." We only know how to count to ten and the words for "left" and "right" in Japanese, so it could have been about anything. (You stupid Americans paid five dollars for this song...).
Madelyn later told Gramma the dinner "was magical." Maybe it was all that fire or maybe it was the delectable yolk sauce on the shrimp, but I think she's onto something. Now--how to work in a round grill on a future kitchen remodel...
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