I'm gonna get a lesson in Osechi-ryori (New Year food) tomorrow.
THIS is one of the big benefits of having an okaasan!
We've noticed that she's been stockpiling all sorts of NY foods over the past week (rather worriedly he has also realized she has somehow burned through Y60,000 in 2 weeks) - anyway we knew that it would be good for all concerned if SHE did some traditional cooking for the festival.
So today, he cooked her midday meal and I fitted up a shelf, a shoe box, more clothes storages in okaasan's apartment. Sometimes we seem to reverse the male/female roles - he was there cooking and chatting and I was busy next door with the screwdriver and wondering how many little cute towels okaasan has in life. Maybe every time she goes shopping she buys a cute little flowery towel...there were scores of them.
In the afternoon I had to go and close up my English classroom for the year and prepare it with bedding for some Taiwanese guests who are going to stay there for 2 nights. (I'm part of a wonderful network called Couch Surfing http://www.couchsurfing.com/ which is an international system of complete strangers staying with each other, check it out!).
Late afternoon I got home and took okaasan in the car to the local supermarket, which was bursting with NY shoppers.
It was fascinating shopping with a Japanese woman of her generation. How she picked up foods and examined them for quality and origin, compared prices. Why this radish was better than that, why this bag of fish stock flakes was a good buy.
Mind you, being okaasan, it was also a constant battle to keep her on track of what she actually needed/had already bought today/had already bought last week! We seemed to circle back to the giant radishes a lot...I managed to come away with only one...I think!
This really short term memory loss is so hard, because she really doesn't remember what she has bought. Or what is already in the shopping basket. She was constantly checking. We are trying to limit her to making only simmered vegetables and chicken, because we know she's bought all sorts of other beans/seaweed/rice cake snacks.
Anyway. Very interesting to see how she shopped. And tomorrow morning she'll be in our kitchen strutting her stuff!