Pickled vegetables, a type of preservation food, are seen in various countries these days and they are very traditional and essential especially in Japan. The northern part of Japan is covered with heavy snow and is short of fresh vegetables in the winter. That's why food preservation has been a high-priority issue since ancient times. The regular breakfast in Buddhist temples is traditionally rice porridge, pickled Japanese radish, and miso soup. However, there's an unavoidable problem with pickled food. You might notice, it's salt. The intake of too much salt does harm to health. People in Japan are said to have a tendency to ingest more salt than other countries.
In case of ordinary inpatients, the salt in their diet is strictly controlled to under 10 grams per day. If there are severe cardiopulmonary problems, the permissible amount could be under 3 grams per day or 0. The meal which is served to me on night duty is the same meal as ordinary inpatients', so the taste is awfully plain. I will have to stay in hospital tonight and so I bought pickled cucumbers and eggplants in the supermarket near my hospital. I secretly brought them back so that nutritionists don't discover my behaviour. The following picture shows a bag of pickled eggplants.
I have to throw the bag away tomorrow as cool as a cucumber.
rice porridge お粥
(as) cool as a cucumber とても冷静に, 落ち着き払って, 涼しい顔をして