There’s a hole-in-the-wall Chinese take out joint near us that Captain Food Safety (the Boy) and his First Mate (me) don’t patronize mostly because the layout of the place is such that the big windows to the outside look right into the kitchen, which allows passersby to see the magic happen.
I’m not necessarily saying that this place isn’t sanitary–for all we know, it’s up to code–but the counter and entryway are kind of dark and grungy, and let’s face it, the focus seems to be on cooking food and getting it out the door quickly. It’s not particularly our kind of place.
Usually this place would just be one we’d pass by without noticing, but for a few weeks there was a jar of Skippy peanut butter on the main prep counter of the kitchen. This peaked our curiosity, and we’d joke that the owners/workers would say to each other, “Hey, do you want some cashew chicken?”
“Nah, I’ll just a have a PB and J.”
Our other favorite answer was if they had any dishes with peanut sauce, Skippy might factor into the recipe. We couldn’t even tell if it was there for the little shrine they have set up in the front corner of the kitchen. It has a statue and some incense sticks and usually an orange. Maybe the peanut butter is for it as well.
Today though–this very morning–I ran by the restaurant and noticed that the jar of Skippy had been replaced by a tube of Aveeno hand lotion.
I am beyond mesmerized by this. Hand lotion in the kitchen? Why? I get the prep sink and soap, and I get that maybe you’re washing your hands a lot, so lotion would be some nice relief every now and then. But I’ve never seen that in a kitchen before, and the sink isn’t even on this side of the kitchen–it’s sitting on a table with some bowls. Maybe the statue needs a little lotion too?
The mystery continues.