Fuji-chan’s Umeboshi (pickled plums)

“Second, are you free?”

Washing dishes at Grandma’s house, Second son was suddenly called from behind.

Naturally, it was Grandma’s voice.

It was a little past 8 in the morning. Second son, who hadn’t been involved in the early morning vegetable shipments, was washing dishes left unattended at the sink.

“Free? What do you want me to do?”

Anticipating some kind of request from experience, he immediately inquired about the main topic. It turned out that Grandma wanted him to make rice balls for breakfast.

Having worked as a chef, Second son occasionally took on the role of cooking rice when Grandma was busy. It wasn’t his favorite task, but he didn’t mind, so he checked the rice in the pot and the nori seaweed to proceed with making rice balls.

And, as usual, he paused at the next step. Although there were plenty of vegetables, there weren’t many suitable for rice ball fillings in this house.

Normally, when Second son makes rice balls for himself, Grandma uses small pickled plums she made as a filling. Peeking into the refrigerator and pantry, there were no suitable ingredients, and, as expected, it ended up being the usual pickled plums.

Therefore, today, as usual, he went to grab the usual pickled plums near the back door. However, next to Grandma’s pickled plums was a bottle of large pickled plums for fruit liqueur. At first glance, it didn’t look like newly pickled plums, so he opened the lid without permission to taste.

Regrettably, considering Second son’s preference, it lacked acidity, but he judged it was good enough to eat. He took out the necessary number from the bottle and returned to the kitchen.

The recipients were Second son, his younger brother 3号, and the part-timer who occasionally helped out. And, of course, for 2-1.

2-1, being a fan of salted rice balls since kindergarten, doesn’t use pickled plums. Once the rice balls were lined up on a plate for the other members, Grandma appeared at the right moment. Second son asked her about the pickled plums.

Second son: Hey, is it okay to eat the pickled plums I found in the back without permission? By the way, where did you get them?

Grandma: Oh, it’s okay to eat them. They are Fuji-chan’s pickled plums.

Second son: Fuji-chan? Is it Fuji-chan?

Grandma: It’s Fujie-san.

Second son: Seriously! Did Grandma make these pickled plums?

It was revealed that the pickled plums Grandma had taken out were actually made by Second son’s paternal grandmother, who had passed away at the age of 90 about 2-3 years before Second son got married. Initially, he thought Grandma had retrieved something she had pickled in the past.

Knowing that it was his great-grandmother’s pickled plums, Second son was surprised twice (laughs).

Grandma’s house is basically filled with people who can’t throw things away. Except for the items that Grandpa’s brothers took as mementos, Grandma’s legacy remains almost untouched, standing in the garden in its original state.

Even the mid-40s Second son still occasionally discovers what seems like trash for the first time, regularly unearthed (laughs). Well, considering it sometimes surprises the family as an unexpected treasure, it might not be so bad.