The Magic of Wakame

From unappealing slimy, brown leaf to I-can-eat-it-if-I-have-to slimy, green leaf in the blink of an eye.

Tell my husband something edible can be gathered on the beach, and he’ll be there, bag in hand.

Bonus points awarded when it’s something I can eat, even if I don’t particularly like it.

More bonus points when it comes without giant, many-legged sea bugs.

And again when it’s something that will not die, rot and stink, long forgotten in a pocket, like what happened with that weird sea snail thing a few years ago.

So today it was wakame, which we ate as hotpot, with pork belly and sauce.

It looks much more edible after it turns green, like magic, in hot water.

Really, not bad for something scavenged on the beach.

In the middle of a practice lockdown.

In the Year of Covid-19.

And so there it is—we have sustenance, even if our business continues to suffer and we go broke.

Even if the hoarders buy up all the lettuce.

And all the rice.

And all the pasta and snacks and ramen.

At least we will still have a harvest from the sea, scavenged from the beach, which I can maybe, sort of, kind of eat.

If only to be polite.

Published by helenkamakura

Helen is a Canadian writer and innkeeper based in Kamakura, Japan, where she lives with her Japanese husband and two children. If money became obsolete, she would happily accept peaches, fresh peas, and sun-warmed cherry tomatoes in exchange for her labour.

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