Started bright and early with K needing to be down at the community centre by 7:30am to get ready for the neighbourhood festival. Not a religious festival this time but a neighbourhood association one. The neighbourhood association collects dues from every house every month and these go towards all manner of things around the place- light bulbs for the street lights and snacks and alcohol for the meetings for example. But not all the money is used and the surplus slowly builds up until we have enough for a festival (every 3- 4 years) and blow it all on soft cream machine rental and yakisoba. K was in charge of making gohei-mochi which is regular rice pounded out a bit so it sticks together and baked on a stick then served with sweet miso sauce. The consistency is lumpy and K was not impressed when I told Meg (and she wanted to try it) that you could get the same results from spitting out half chewed rice and moulding it onto your chopstick. Ok, probably not the best thing to say to a curious 6 year old but I was countering K's very longwinded, traditional/ religious explanation of equally dubious credibility.
Anyway, K headed off at 7:30 with Amy in tow. She wanted to help too and the idea of halving the terrible two for the morning was rather appealing so I quickly acquiesced. Without interruptions or interference Meg flew through her homework and we even tackled the art project which we have been putting off until such an opportunity arose. Not that we don't enjoy crafts with Amy, too but it tends to be more fun than results oriented and Meg is very serious about her school work so I wanted to give her a chance to do it 'properly'.
At 11:00 Meg and I made our way down to the community centre to join the festivities. We had all been given coupons for the various stalls: 'this coupon is good for one time use only. This coupon is good for as many of X item as you like.' Very strict. Oh, and after you ran out of coupons a simple please would get you more of whatever you wanted anyway as Amy was thrilled to find out.
Meg was checking to see if the mustard was sour (American) or hot (Japanese).
The cooks. All men. And you gotta love a cook in a mechanic's overall, hey? And the cameraman is from the city newsletter. He must have such an exciting life...
The entire festival. Well except for the Okubo Neighbourhood Karaoke Club Karaoke Festival that was happening indoors. Thanks to large speakers in the doorway I was quite able to appreeeeeeeciaaaaaaaaate (enka intonation) that without going inside and seeing for myself.
We stayed around until the festival wound down at 2pm and then headed home. A quiet afternoon in the garden and then we decided to BBQ again.
Grilled marinated zucchini, baked new potatoes, grilled pork chops, grilled peaches and mini tomatoes. Roast marshmallows were planned for dessert but the girls had eaten so much lunch and played so hard all afternoon that they were both exhausted and too full and ended up fed, bathed, in bed and fast asleep by 7:30. On a holiday. Wow.
And so that was another day another BBQ. I'm loving thinking up new variations on the bbq theme.
What will we grill tomorrow?