A while ago I had a korokke-colored cat named Korokke. And just as you’d expect I got the worst craving for Korokke every time I saw him. Who could possible hate korokke? I, for one, am a fan. If you like korokke, you can’t be all that bad. Well, I’m not so sure about that. Let me put it this way. Say someone was sitting down at a table innocently eating a korokke, okay? It’d be impossible to run up behind them and hitting them over the head with a bat. Now that I think about it, it wouldn’t change anything if they were eating grilled meat. That’s pretty obvious.
My wife doesn’t like frying food. I can’t recall her making me korokke, or tempura, since we got married. So when I have eaten korokke at home I either picked it up somewhere or made it myself. I don’t hate cooking. Every once in a while I’d make korokke when I’d set my mind to it.
I’d pick up some potatoes from the store, boil and mash them, mix them with meat, form them into balls, roll them in panko breadcrumbs, wrap them individually, and freeze them. When I was in the mood I’d defrost exactly as many as I want to eat and fry them up. Doing all the little steps is a pain so I’d make a whole bunch about once every six months and throw them in the freezer. We owned a huge fridge at the time for some unrelated business reasons. For a little while, korokke and I shared a perfectly innocent, satisfying existence.
But then disaster struck. It came upon me like an unmarked police car tailing you on the highway. All of a sudden my refrigerator broke. Something in the fridge must have broken. The electricity was still on but the fridge wouldn’t get cold. I watched as my frozen ready-to-go homemade korokke got mushier and mushier, succumbing to mortal wounds like Hamlet’s Ophelia. It was a weekend so I couldn’t get a technician out to repair it. With no other options left, I decided to fry up as many korokke as I could eat rather than let them go to waste. Boy did I eat. I ate like a man who knew he was about to die. I ate so much that, for years afterwards, I couldn’t stand the sight of korokke. I dreamt that I was surrounded by a vicious army of korokke, punching and kicking me into submission.
But time passed, my terrible memories faded away, and I was able to reach an understanding with korokke. I don’t really feel like making them anymore (just the thought of losing my work to a broken fridge again makes my stomach hurt) but I’ll occasionally buy a hot korokke at the market. Then I’ll grab some fresh white bread from the bakery, take it all to a park, and sandwich the korokke between the slices of bread. I’ll turn off my brain and just eat. Sure, the world is full of gourmet restaurants. But is there anything as pleasant as sinking your teeth into a warm korokke sandwich, not a care in the world, as you sit on a park bench on a clear autumn’s day, a smile on your face? No, there isn’t. (It was a rhetorical question).
I talk about food a lot in this book, don’t I?