It was January 4th, and in Japan that means many businesses are starting up again after the New Year holidays. With a birthday in her family coming up, K decided it would be a good time to head back to our favorite farmer's market, "Pocket Farm Dokidoki" to purchase some fabulously fresh and locally grown food for gifts.
Dokidoki is a special place with a large market area, gardening and flower shop, and restaurant. It features local products and so the foods are super fresh. Sometimes, in the market and the restaurant, one gets to talk directly to the grower or chef - sometimes one and the same person. Our part time crew member Martin gave it a great review after we took him there for the first time in 2009: http://martinjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/10/five-stars-for-ja-ibaraki-pocket-farm.html (was it really over three years ago?).
We don't go often, perhaps once or twice a year, as it takes an hour to get there from home. This time, the weather was beautiful, if cool, so we just enjoyed the sights along the way, even if we disagreed at times about whether or not to follow the Navi's instructions. Pulling up to the parking lot it seemed rather quiet....and that chain across the entrance...uh oh. They were still on holiday. We surmised that since Dokidoki is a food business, it takes a day of work for suppliers to gear up and get the produce to the market and restaurant, so they would reopen the next day. Sigh.
As it was past noon and I was starting to get peckish, I wondered aloud if Mama's Kitchen might be open this day. So K reprogrammed the Navi and off we went toward Mama's, which was only 20 minutes away.
As we approached, like the beacon from a light house, the signs in front of Mama's shouted "welcome home". Inside, lunch was vegetarian and on the stereo was Parisian singer Clémentine singing Bossa Nova songs, the album being "Café Aprés-midi" from 2001. Clémentine was born in France, but lives in Japan. Bossa Nova is her favorite style. Though we had not gone sailing this day, we knew were home.
The potato with veggies cakes were deep fried, a cooking technique very much not on my diet these days, but I decided to make an exception.
I also remembered that K had ordered some earrings from Mama's. Mama started making jewelry as a side line last year, and I have bought a few things for K. The earrings were originally of the clip on type, but K needed pierced type, so Mama had agreed to change them. (Such service). So K came home with a full stomach and sporting new earrings to boot. Fair compensation for Dokidoki being closed.
Along the way home we stopped at supermarket we often visit. Happily, they have a section featuring locally grown produce and would you believe it? K was able to find gifts for the birthday person in the family, and I found local veggies for "seven herb rice gruel" - a traditional New Years food in Japan. (see Martin's wonderful post on that topic here: http://martinjapan.blogspot.jp/2013/01/seven-herb-rice-gruel.html ).
Successful day all around - despite the odds. We must be blessed. And indeed, we are.
Until next, sweet sailing.
Title of this post: Celtic Church term for Spirit; lit: ‘the Wild Goose’.