Family and Food

Because my Tuesday class is the least troublesome and doesn’t leave me completely wiped out, I took the opportunity to visit my aunt after school. She’s temporarily in a care home while recuperating from the series of back operations. She had five or six back operations in a span of as many years, three of which were in the past five months. None of the operations did anything about her pain, if anything, they made things worse. There’s a reason I’m skeptical about the medical profession.

The last time I visited my aunt, she was in a bad shape, but thankfully she seems to be getting back to her old self. I’m very grateful about this, because I was seriously worried about her, at a time when I was dealing with pain issues of my own.

On the way home, I stopped at a supermarket for some grocery shopping. One thing I’ve noticed recently is that supermarket sushi has been getting much better. Used to be that the very big supermarket in urban areas (if you happened to shop in a rural or suburban area, forget it) would sometimes offer plastic boxes of fairly unremarkable sushi. They were okay, if you were in the mood for sushi, but couldn’t go to a sushi bar, but they were nothing special (mostly salmon and cucumber plus some surimi). The presentation was lacking as well – for example, there was usually a big blob of wasabi that would sometimes get all over the sushi.

In the past two months or so, however, supermarket sushi have been getting a lot better in both presentation and taste. They’re almost proper bentos by now. They didn’t have just sushi either, there were also boxes with spring rolls, precooked pasta with sauce (not for me, I cook my own), prepared sandwiches (not for me either), etc… Everything looked very nice. It seems that there is a new supplier, since I’ve seen boxes in the same style in a different supermarket chain as well. I’m not big on prepared food, but when I’m in the mood for sushi, I’ll stick with those.

While sushi is becoming more available in German grocery stores, fortified wine seems to be going out of fashion. I spent several minutes searching the whole wine and liquor department for sherry and finally found a few totally overpriced bottles of sherry and port on the bottom shelf with about fifty different varieties of cream or fruit liqueur towering above it. Marsala, which used to be available at bigger grocery stores, has vanished from the supermarket shelves altogether and seems relegated to specialty shops. Red port is so uncommon that even most restaurants don’t have it. Only Vermouth is still going strong. I have no idea why this is. Apparently, the majority of people are going for different drinks now. Perhaps the decline of home cooking also has something to do with this, because fortified wines are also frequently used as cooking ingredients. But whatever the reason, it sucks.

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