Mrs. Ide arrived with a furoshiki wrapped box.
Do you know furoshiki? This is the traditional way to carry goods, before the custom of plastic and paper bags in Japan. The ultimate ecology-minded product! A furoshiki can be any scarf sized piece of cloth though Mrs. Ide's was made of a stretchable crepe like fabric. (And she said if she'd known I was going to take a picture of her furoshiki then she would have used her good one. This is her everyday carrying around furoshiki.
Inside the furoshiki was.... a two tiered lacquer box. Japanese will use lacquer boxes to carry and display a fancy lunch or New Year's dishes. Mrs. Ide has a real lacquer box. I have a plastic fake-lacquer box and I don't even use that very much as I don't make lunch boxes much anymore...
And inside the box? Mrs. Ide brought much more than just salmon sushi. Let's see... Salmon sushi, with cucumbers, ginger and salmon eggs. Deep-fried shrimp balls. Sweet egg omelets. Burdock root pickles. Traditional simmered vegetables... lotus root, carrots, chicken, mushrooms, green beans, konyaku.
Mrs. Okusa brought her specialty... sweet beans. Look at the size of those beans! And I made the soup. I should have made it more festive with a bit of greenery in there. Ginger and radish pickles on the side. A real feast!!
Another surprise yesterday was a Christmas bouquet of flowers from Tetsu.
"My goodness! You are getting to be so romantic! I never used to get flowers when we were younger!"
"I think I've changed. After last year's earthquake I decided to use my time and gifts differently. Do you think flowers are a waste of money?"
I'm sure not complaining!!!