【October 2018 No.399】Church Topics “Somenkai”: Seminar on Making Udon and Soba Noodles

 by Ushiki Keiichi, member  Kakamigahara Church, Chubu District

A men’s fellowship meets at our church every month. Seven years ago, we considered starting an event we could do throughout the year, and one of our members suggested holding a class on making noodles from scratch. As a result, we decided to form what we called a “somenkai” (noodle fellowship) separate from our sonenkai (men’s fellowship). [Ed. note: The character for “noodle,” pronounced “men,” was used instead of “nen” (year or age) to form this made-up word for a play-on-words effect.]

We generally hold our event on the third Sunday of the month, and from June to August we make soba noodles, while the rest of the year we make udon. [Ed. note: Soba noodles are thin and made of buckwheat flour, while udon noodles are thick and made of wheat flour.] Two of our members were experienced noodle-makers, so they serve as teachers, while the 6 “somenkai” members make noodles for 30 to 40 people each time.

For udon noodles, we gather an hour before the worship service to first knead the flour and press it down to the right thickness to let it set for awhile. After the service, we do the additional work of folding and cutting the dough to make the noodles. The children then take the noodles to the kitchen, where the women do the final preparation for the meal. For soba noodles, the process is a bit different, and we take about one hour after the service to make those. We eat the udon noodles hot in a soup with various toppings, and serve the soba noodles cold.

We now make the noodles more efficiently than when we began seven years ago, and the pastor and church members along with any guests enjoy the meal after church. As soba noodles are rather thin and difficult to cut properly, taking quite a bit of time, the church purchased a special cutting board for making noodles. We store it at the church, and various members contribute to provide the ingredients each week. Thus, the “somenkai” exists with the help and cooperation of the pastor and church members. It has been a great encouragement to our team for everyone to say how delicious the noodles are.

Through this activity, the fellowship of our sonenkai as a whole has certainly deepened, and from February 2017, we added a new activity, which is to hold a cooking class for men on the third Wednesday of every month. It’s entitled, “Let’s prepare a simple meal and eat together.” We’d like to continue to increase our activities in the future. (Tr. TB)

From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), May, 2018 issue


うどんとそばの麺打ち講習会 壮麺会

岐阜・各務原教会員 牛木恵一








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