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Church’s Sukiyaki Dinner made to order

The work started last weekend as Highland Park United Methodist Church members gathered to mix, roll, cut, dry and season senbei – traditional rice crackers – for their annual dinner and bake sale.

The reward will be April 28 when the church opens its doors from noon to 7 p.m. for the 58th year to share the food and traditions of Spokane’s oldest and largest Japanese congregation.

At the Sukiyaki Dinner, each meal is made to order with beef, tofu or a combination of both. Church members also sell sushi, senbei and other bake sale items and Japanese crafts. The church is at 611 S. Garfield St.

“Before us, the first generation isseis who were born in Japan, they were doing smaller amounts. Never on the scale we do now,” said Aiko Minata, who has been making senbei for the Sukiyaki Dinner for more than 20 years.

This past Friday and Saturday more than 50 church members gathered to make senbei, a time-consuming recipe because each batch must be rolled, cut by hand and then dried in a warm oven, Minata says. They made about 35 batches of senbei each day.

Tickets to the dinner are $12 each and tend to sell out in advance. For more information or to buy tickets call (509) 535-2687.

Take a bite out of hunger

Get tickets now for the Second Harvest Inland Northwest’s largest fundraiser of the year.

On May 15th, more than 50 of the region’s chefs, vintners, brewers and others will join the Second Harvest Food Bank to share their specialties at the annual “Taking a Bite Out of Hunger” food and beverage tasting and auction. It will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Spokane Arena.

Tickets to the event are $60 each. Table sponsorships are also available for businesses. To make reservations, call (509) 252-6257. No tickets will be sold at the door.

All of the event proceeds will help Second Harvest fight hunger in the Inland Northwest. Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 14.3 million pounds of food throughout the 21 counties in Eastern Washington it serves.

For more information about the food bank go to

Nacho contest winner inside

Look inside today’s Food section for the winning recipe in this year’s Inland Northwest Ultimate Healthy Nacho Recipe Contest, Ann Yanecek’s Ceviche Nachos. The cook-off was held Saturday at the Downriver Grill.

The nachos will be featured on the Downriver Grill menu starting Saturday through Cinco de Mayo.

The recipes from runner-up Eric Olson’s Lean Pork Roast Nachos and Ann Staley’s Cowboy Caviar Chicken Nachos also can be found on page D4.