Friday, November 12, 2010

Dipping The Big Toe In The Waters Of Madness.

Tonight I want to talk about Sushi.

I'm a big sushi fan. Huge. It's awesomeness in bite size pieces. With wasabi (which is totally a blog post all on it's own!! How can it be THAT insanely absurdly brutally HOT one second and so completely GONE the next??? crazy tricky wasabi.).

I enjoy sushi so much so that I have actually taught myself how to make it at home (and I believe I'm getting quite decent at it if i say so myself). It's cheaper that way, and I'm cheap. Though a word to folks new to sushi - generally 'cheap' should not be the goal here... In fact 'cheap' might be a quick ticket to the ER. Go for the expensive places until you have a good handle on the whole sushi deal.

I got desperate for sushi yesterday. I can't really 'eat' persey - but 1 piece of sushi can go a very long way to sooth the soul. My hospital's cafeteria did not dissapoint - they had California Rolls. Once again - 'Hospital' and 'Sushi' are generally not good terms to combine - and I wouldn't normally reccomend actually purchasing sushi from any cafeteria, much less a hospital cafeteria - but I figured I'm already here, what's the worst that can happen?

On the way down to the cafeteria I forgot to get off the elevator and wound up riding it all the way back up to the 6th floor before it started back down again - so I had lots of time to contemplate the entire idea that people think it's rational to pile as many of us as we can into a small, hot, metal box, suspended by wires, and hoist us dozens, sometimes hundreds of feet into the air. Well I contemplated that and the fact that the guy next to me looked alot like Michael Buble (which may or may not have been part of why I forgot to get off the elevator on the main floor).

Eventually I got my sushi. When I saw the display of various sushi boxes in the cooler (queue dream sequence sound track) I'm fairly certain I let out a small squeal because the lady behind the counter asked if I was ok. (I hope I squealed - otherwise it means I look as awful as I think I look at the moment).

The sushi was, of course, divine. Though after 2 months of hospital sludge food I'm pretty sure you could wrap a wad of kleenex in seaweed and tell me it was sushi and I would think it was divine.

It made me wonder how it came about as an actual culinary delight... I mean - it's not like most foods that take a bit of time and care to make and end with a nice hearty meal for all involved... Sushi is a testament to precision and time investment... it's an art. Nobody just 'whips up a batch' of sushi... the ingredients are demanding (and usually time sensitive - you can't buy raw butterfish and keep it in the crisper for a week... you buy it and use it that day. Period. I wouldn't even know where to find butterfish... or if I would trust it if I did find it... though I do like that they call it butterfish... that just screams awesome - tack 'sushi' on the back-end and you cannot lose), the skill takes years to hone, the balance of flavors is imperitive (too much rice vinigar and not enough sake in the rice and you might as well feed the whole thing to the dog) and really - it's just so dang pretty it can be hard to eat it at times!

I imagine Japanese women, hunched over tables, preparing platters of sushi for dinner guests... picking contrasting colors, and carefully mixing rice..

It reminds me of our peroghi pinching parties we had when I was growing up, where all the women in our family would get together before thanksgiving or easter or christmas and spend the whole day drinking wine and bashing men making tray after tray after tray of peroghies. The difference is our entire days work would result in enough peroghies for the dinner at hand, and then dozens and dozens of frozen peroghies for everyone to take home and cook in the coming weeks and months...

No dice with Sushi... eat it or turf it... one night, and barely that.

Unless you're making a cooked fish variety, or a vegetarian sushi, you do not want to wait on consumption or keep leftovers - it has to be made, kept cold and served, and NOW.

So those Japanese women would pour their heart and artistic souls into these little bite sized picassoesque pieces of heaven, and the next morning they would have nothing to show for it... That's the working definition of Carpe Diem if you ask me.

My kids LOVE sushi. Seriously.. their almost more enthusiastic than I am on the topic. I started taking them to this little sushi shop near my brothers place whenever we are in the area and it's near a meal time, or not... really if I feel like sushi.. which is mostly all the time. Anyways - I started taking them there when it opened this spring. The owners know us (ok we're hard to forget - my 7 year old is in a neon green wheelchair and my 5 year old likes to ask the waitress if she knows about nuclear fusion yet, and would she like him to teach her - plus they're 2 young white kids who sit at the table demanding 'more raw fish!'... I'm so proud.), and Tyler, my 5 year old can pack a whole kids meal in by himself. He doesn't particularly like the Nori (seaweed wrap), so he dissects his sushi rolls and licks the seaweed clean... it's a spectacle.

How the heck did they decide to wrap it all up in seaweed anyways? Who looked at the garbage washed up by the tide and though 'hmm.. that would be REALLY AWESOME around some rice and raw fish!'?? Maybe they found some seaweed tangled around a dead fish and took a bite and went 'wow!'? Whoever it was and however they figured it out - kudos - it totally is awesome.


My morphine is in full swing and I think I can hear the California roll I stored in the fridge calling my name... I do believe I will have a bite of my edible art wrapped in seaweed.

I hope it's nemo.

I'd totally eat a clownfish if I had the chance.


  1. I will admit...I have never eaten sushi. Me and Fish..well the eating part..are not the best of friends. I'll blame all that on my parents.

    However I think it looks so cool..and giggled at the sushi panda.

    And my husband cousin is the only woman sushi chef (as in real sushi chef) in Utah. Now she is powerful.

  2. You are frickin' awesome, ya know? I laughed so hard at this post.