Yes, I know I didn’t get a blog out last night. I should be embarrassed, but I’m not. It was all with good reason. Some days you just have to let the fates have their way and declare to yourself, “today I’m going to write, and I’m going to drink a lot. And in the middle of it all, I’m going to attempt to make homemade sushi.”
Most people would react in horror at the thought of homemade sushi as they might react to hearing you’re going to perform homemade lasik surgery. When it comes to sushi, it’s best to leave it to the experts, and with good reason. Sushi isn’t just something you decide to make one day, like pancakes, a hamburger or a pizza. There are schooled professionals out there who spend a lot of time learning the fine craft of sushi making. They have specialized equipment. They have a plethora of ingredients and more than anything, they’ve most likely just killed the fish that is going on your favorite roll. They know what flavor combinations work, they know how much of a dollop of spice to add to make your spicy tuna spicy. They have the perfect rice, with the perfect rice cooker for the job. They have fresh fish roe, that awesome spicy mayo stuff and the little sprinkling of things which I haven’t the first clue about. They mix the perfect wasabi that’s just hot enough to clear your sinuses during allergy season. They are the experts, and that is why we pay good money at sushi restaurants to feast on the manna from heaven they prepare for us. So why would I stomp on that sacred and coveted tradition and attempt to make sushi at home? Hell, the biggest attraction of going out for sushi is that you can brag to your friends on Facebook that you’re going out for sushi. It means for that brief hour and a half in your rather mundane or uneventful day you are breaking from the rest of the world to experience a customized meal of cut bait as you listen to the dulcet sounds of J-pop while sitting at a table that is walled with a giant fish aquarium and if you’re really luck, take in the calming scenery of wall to wall potted bamboo plants. Such an experience gives you 2 hours of bragging rights over the non sushi eaters. “I’m evolved because I eat raw fish like the Japanese culture. And I’m an expert at using my chopsticks as well. I’m the cool person you wish you were.” Don’t get mad, you know you’ve done it. I’ve done it too.
So again, why would I want to deny myself the pleasure of everything I just said? Answer: Because it’s fun.
The festivities began when my friends showed up with 3 bags of groceries. As I marveled at all the ingredients that would be going into our sushi and getting giddy over the thought of eating sushi (as if I don’t eat it twice a week already) she pulls from her bag a bottle of Cuervo and buttery nipple shots. I know already it’s going one of THOSE nights.
I already had ingredients of my own, including sushi rice I picked up from my local white bred grocery store, wasabi, ginger, and then nori and the thin fileted salmon my fiancé picked up from the Korean market down in Houston. My friend brought crab, carrots, cucumber and avocado. After cooking a large portion of rice, we prepped the bamboo roller mat by putting it in a ziplock bag to keep it clean, laid out the nori and spread out the rice. I will say at this place in the experiment, I realized next time I buy sushi rice I will go to an Asian market as opposed to the international aisle and my local grocer. The rice was a little too sticky and really way too gooey for my liking. From there, we placed our topings, really just anything that we thought would taste good. The end result, after cooking nearly 3 cups of rice, we ended up with about 10 traditional rolls, 2 inside out rolls and about 7 pieces of rice rolls with sliced salmon. Other than the fact I wasn’t pleased with the quality of the rice, I still thought they came out good. I stuck with my salmon, cucumber and avocado varieties (I don’t eat crab) while my friend and my fiancé stuck with the crab and veggie rolls. After a little soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi , I was pleased, and quickly full. Now, nothing beats what I get at some of my favorite sushi places in NW Houston, but it was great for the effort. I will definitely try this again, but next time I want to experiment with tuna, (I found a recipe for the spicy tuna mix), unagi, and perhaps shrimp. At this point, I can only get better at this.
As far as the wine portion goes, we had our shots so that covered my alcohol consumption for the evening. As far as the writing, I think I only accomplished about 400 words. But I more than made up for it this evening. Tonight was leftover night, so it was barbecue sandwiches with a glass of my Woop Woop Shiraz. It must have been the winning combination because I got 1900 words written and ended the second chapter in my nine chapter goal. Whoop whoop indeed!
October is going strong. So, just keep it up. I would still love to hear if other writers are participating in Wine & Write with me and what their experiences are, especially if you’re making any breakthrus with writing. Remember, even a few words a day can help start that habit. The habit is the key. You don’t have to produce a best seller, just start a routine and stick with it. I’m so grateful I did this three years ago.
Cheers and Sláinte again!