Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Monday, December 19

We've been needing some more kuma (tongs to move the hot stones on and off the motu) in our outside kitchen.
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Saturday afternoon, I asked around until I found somebody who could show me how to make them: my next door neighbor, Nancy. She pointed me to the right place to ask for the proper bamboo, and we made plans to get together today to make several pairs.
Just as our lunch was ready to go on the table, we got word that Nancy had started a roaring fire and was ready for us to come over with the bamboo. All of our kids came, too.
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Nancy's family is one of our favorites, and her kids are absolutely precious. In fact, Annie turned three today.
Nancy quickly split the bamboo in half, then continued to cut it into smaller pieces until each piece was the perfect width for the kuma.
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Then she showed us how to trim off the unwanted pieces, smoothing both sides and the edges.

Sarah and Benjamin took turns following Nancy's example, and she guided them through the process.
When each bamboo piece was smooth and ready, it was laid on the glowing coals and gently heated.
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Then the soft piece of bamboo was folded over a stick, and the two ends of the kuma were tied together to cool in place.

I loved watching each of my kids find their niche of service, whether it was watching little ones or chipping away with a bush knife.
The whole process took only an hour, and we were back home with several new pairs of kuma, ready to cook for the big Christmas extravaganza this weekend.
As we were walking home, Nancy requested some laundry detergent, and I happily filled her container as a thank you for the skills she had just generously shared with us.

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