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Friday, January 15, 2021

"Service"

Today is bright, brisk and significantly warmer than it has been. While this is changing, as I combine my gas and electric bills into a single bill and will put it on auto-pay, right now I pay those bills as any convenience store. I wanted some good bread, and there is a bakery I like adjacent to a convenience store,  and on the way home from there is a liquor store.

Since the rewrite is going well, this is a time when I will read something I haven't already read six times and I get interested in cooking something new. Because of the cold, and because I can't now go out and meet a friend for the kind of ramen I can eat, I decided to make it. 

I copied five recipes. Broccolini and bok choy were required, the noodles, tofu and also sake. I had everything else I needed. Yesterday, with my kind and charming shopping helper, I got noodles, broccoli (broccolini not being available) and bok choy, which isn't called that here, and everything else I would need for the next week. But I didn't get sake. There's a liquor store that carries magnums of a kind of sake I like at a very reasonable price. So, today, off I went.

So did everybody else, it seems. PLEASE STAY HOME AGAIN doesn't seem to be going over very well, at least not on a brilliant Saturday afternoon. I hope that won't be the rule. Yesterday, the streets on the way to the regular grocery store were empty and the store itself was uncommonly quiet. We need to do this; we better do this. COVID hasn't given up and neither can we.

At the convenience store, I saw Setsubon roasted soy beans with a cute oni mask. I couldn't pass that up, so I got those when I paid the bills. I picked up some bread from LaPan, which manages to be a pun in French, no less. See the cute little bunny on the end of the loaf of bread? Then I went to the liquor store.

Generous neighborhood liquor store

There's a custom in Japan called "service." Stores sometimes give a gift to customers as "service." This liquor store I enjoy for its wide variety of liquor, and its wide variety of gifts. Sometimes it's canned tea, or perhaps canned coffee. Often it is for some unknown reason produce. I've been the proud recipient of daikon and naga-negi, or long, large green onions, which are not exactly leeks but can be cooked like leeks, and more.

My haul. See the beans? The oni? The bunny? The sake? And, as "service"...

Today, it was a huge chunk of napa cabbage. 

Do recall that I went to the regular grocery store yesterday and came home with a couple of bags of salad, another bag of bok choy, a couple of heads of broccoli, and assorted other veg for the purposes of making ramen. My very small refrigerator was already bursting at the seams.

I guess I'm going to make kimchi. And thank them kindly for their "service."