Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Last weekend. Pumpkin spice bread. Cheap meat shopping specials. More Christmas movie watching, Elf and The Grinch

Saturday was super cold in our neck of the woods.  The weather has been so on and off rainy these days. The boys played Wii and in the afternoon we 3 baked some pumpkin spice bread. Noah was in charge of reading the directions. And Branden was the egg cracker and measuring cup filler. And they both mixed the bowl.  We listened to Christmas music from Denver and it was just really nice.
It smelled really good.  We saved it though and had it for dessert Saturday evening.
Just a little whip cream and it was pretty good.
Sunday morning I left the house on a mission. A yuzu mikan mission that is!  : ) My regular grocery store is totally out of these. I blame me, I think I've slowly bought all they had the past couple weeks. Hmm, hope they restock them. Then I ran to store #2. They had only 16 bottles, so I asked the man working the drink aisle, he was stocking canned sweet bean drink at the time. I said, "Hi, holding up one of the yuzu drinks, do you happen to have a case of this?" Let me go check. So he ran to the back and came back a couple minutes later. He said "no we don't I'm sorry, however it's a new drink and so we might be getting some more in soon." Okay, good to know, thanks. And I left, threw all 16 in my cart and checked out. A very heavy thing to lift into the car but I managed okay and went home.  Meanwhile.....
Noboru has this male coworker who loves turkey sandwich. he mentioned it years ago. Anyway I've been making this guy the best turkey sandwich every single year. Good bread, nice lettuce delicious cheese. I wrap it nicely and I send Noboru with 2, knowing in advance this guy will be so happy to receive one. Anyway just never thought too much about it.  Anyway, Noboru brought this home, he said, this is for you, from the "turkey sandwich guy"  For me? : ) Okay, thank him for me. : )
In the plaid bag was this blue bag on the right in this picture and inside that was a gold paper bag and something wrapped really well on the left.
One huge bottle of wine and 2 cans of something exactly like Spam.  Okay, I admit, I don't drink. And it's not because I'm an angel or anything. I don't drink because I just have never liked the taste or flavor of alcohol.  Seriously, not to get too off topic but I was watching the lead singer of Kiss, his reality show, sorry the name escapes me now. Anyway when he finally got married. The mother of his children and who he married tried to find alcohol that he could drink. Seriously it made me laugh because he said, admitted "I don't drink because it tastes like poison." He told his wife Shannon if you can find something that doesn't taste like poison you can get me drunk! So she tried at the wedding after party, they gave him long island iced teas., he took a sip and said "blech tastes like tea with cough syrup!" Anyway, made me laugh because that's me exactly. I can't stand the taste at all. Anyway...I think I suffer from whatever Gene Simmons has. So yeah anyways.... that's why I don't drink. That's one of my main #1 reasons.  But that said....I thought that was a really sweet  and thoughtful gift. And I know it's just me...I know I'm weird that I don't drink. And that's okay. But yeah....I still did appreciate the wine gesture and the meat gesture too. I thought that was totally cool.
I thought the label was really pretty. What a really cool guy to give these gifts.  And I really was never expecting anything at all. So it was a surprise.  A thoughtful surprise.
Have you ever been involved in a shopping frenzy? I have many times. Having grown up with Black Friday, obviously it's something I've experienced before.  I recall a story years ago where a woman was trampled after the Walmart store opened in Florida for Black Friday. I think she later died. You know, it's bring out a sign that says cheap or half off and people come unglued! They can't help themselves.  Human nature maybe, I don't know. Anyway, when we first moved to Japan. Where we originally lived in Chiba someplace else. There was a very cheap supermarket. And it happened to me twice. Once was. How many mikans you can stuff into a little clear bag you would get for 100 yen. It was for a limited time. The man working there had a microphone and when he shouted "start" it was on. There I was meekly putting my mikans in there, 1 potato, 2 potato...3 potato 4. Etc etc. Meanwhile other peoples mikan bags... they were packed to the gills the plastic was bulging at the seams.  The second time was the same shop. And they had bags out again but in the meat department. However many chicken wings you could throw in a bag you would get for the said price. Women went nuts! I tried again, a little faster this time. An I got a great deal. Then we moved to the inaka.  Anyway there is a really good meat store fair prices and there's 2 butchers back there always cutting meat freshly every day. I shop there about twice a month for meat deals. And I have seen this sign. It says, every Saturday and Sunday, between 3 and 5pm the meat will be on sale, cheaper then usual. Now I have gotten those deals before. No frenzy for that. However the sign also says, from 5pm for 10 minutes *only* they will pass out 20% off stickers for all meat and all frozen foods.  So basically, it's cheaper on Saturdays and Sundays anyway. But for those 10 minute it's even cheaper with that additional 20% off. So even cheaper. Last Sunday since Noboru mentioned yakiniku.  The 4 of us all went to the meat shop. We arrived at 4:30pm.  No frenzy at all happening in there in fact I could have been the only person in the meat area at that time. I slowly picked my meats. Just what we'd eat for the next 2 weeks meat wise. And after I picked my meats, we waited until 5pm.  In this pic is, 9 super thick pork chops, 20% off 1000 yen. 1 pack of miso pork, this place makes the best flavor around our area of miso pork. Noboru had that for obento one day. And the other 2 packs were chicken breast but packs of 3 breasts each pack.
Here is, 1 beef loin, roast beef type meat perfect to become beef curry. 2 pork loins, 1 could be niku jaga easily. And 2 packs of chicken breast with 2 breasts in each package and 1 pack of frozen broccoli also 20% off since it was in the freezer section.
1 pack of mince cutlets breaded, Noboru loves these and 2 packs of chicken tenderloins breaded. These were all breaded with the big fluffy breading versus the drier panko I usually use at home. Hahaha. : ) And again these were already on sale since it was a weekend but even cheaper with it being 20% off on top of that. But I had to wait until 5pm.
The meat for yakiniku, Noboru got pork and we got some extra chicken breasts.  we stocked one area of our freezer super well. And we have a ton of freezer space so have even more spots open. But yeah we bought a great deal of meat.
I also bought mikans but these were not 20% off. But they were cheap though. : ) Anyway, 4:50pm rolled around and people came in droves. Seriously we thought where did all these people come from? @_@  They weren't there before. Time was close so they shopped quick and fast with their carts. I'd say about 50 folks/people were in there. All briskly combing the meat aisles. Boy was I glad I had my stuff in my cart already, I thought. Two people wanted to look at the same thing. It was an awkward moment for them. I was done so I was just taking this all in. Then the 2 butchers came out from the back with microphones. Causing more hysteria. They shouted, "ohh it's coming close! Time is almost here!" People walked even more aggressively with their carts being more serious about what they put into their carts. I did ask the cashier, "how does this work, because this is a first for me?" She said, the butchers will give out the stickers but they stand in different spots throughout the store and you have only 10 minutes to find them and get your stickers.  Okay, that helped. basically we need to shadow the butcher then. One lady put her cart right in line near the cashier as to say, I will be first.  Personally between you and I, as long as I get a sticker, I don't care if I'm 1st or 80th as long as I still get the savings.  The butcher approached me, the one I often "good morning" or 'sure is cold out today" often with. Anyway he approached me and he said, please stand right here! @_@ Noboru whispered to me, I think he wants to give you stickers first! Okay. Thank you I said. Now lady who was vying for the #1 spot near the check out was making a disgruntled look at me. @_@ Seriously lady! What did I do,I thought! Yikes! I didn't pay her any mind. I just smiled and thought wow is this insane or what...I mean seriously!  Still they speak on their microphones....1 more minute until sticker time. People are lining up here and there. Shadowing the 2 butchers. And then they said...sticker time! Ahhhhhhhh! The 1 butcher ran to me and started going through my cart super quickly putting stickers on every item. I have never seen someone sticker things so fast in my life. @_@. As fast as lightning....he was done with me, Thank you very much! I said and I went to the cashier first. It wasn't my plan, it honestly wasn't but wow. I checked out. And was done. The butchers gave more stickers and I hope everyone got their stickers in enough time. My total was 4000 yen or 4180 yen so I'll just say 4200 yen to be fair. And that's for meat for 2 weeks worth. For a family of 4. Would I do it again? Honestly yes I would. Because if I can save our family money, sure why not. I am glad though that we told the boys to stay with Noboru and a bit back. Because again people were really aggressive with their carts and I don't want them hurt. But yeah, I'd definitely do this again.  And fwiw, the mikans in a bag for 100 yen happens at 2 stores near me here in the inaka quite often in winter. And I can now shove them in a bag with the best of them. Hahaha. I am getting quite fast with my mikan shoving in a bag moves/skills these days. I'm learning. : )

Elf was on TV the other night. We watched this. With some popcorn and a handful of Reese's peanut butter cups.
Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) pouring something to drink for her father in law (Papa)
Also, we made jello a few days ago. Cherry Jello.

And we also watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Every one's feeling the Christmas spirit, just enjoying the season. And just enjoying December so far. Such a nice time of year. Today the weather is sunny. And we're checking the weather each day because we have that Saturday marathon on our minds. : )