Ben and I have, for some reason, not really gone out to eat since we got married. We had Mexican food last week, but I honestly can't think of any other time one of us has suggested paying for a meal. Why? Because I have been taking a lot of pride in making restaurant-quality meals at home! I love the whole process, actually. I have a lot of fun putting a weekly menu and grocery list together; it's like a puzzle.
Which days will Ben be out of town? How much leftovers will this meal leave? How long will these ingredients stay fresh? Is there a protein? Are there enough vegetables? Do I need to research a recipe or can I wing it? Will I want to blog about this meal afterward?
Among others, we have made Vietnamese veggie wraps with special dipping sauce, countless Italian specialties including homemade Zuppa Toscana (adapted from the Olive Garden menu item I'm obsessed with), authentic Margharita Pizza, and Eggplant Parmesan, Indian daal, and sushi.
The other day we were meeting to go to the temple after work and wanted a picnic dinner to eat at the nearby park beforehand. I offered to make sushi rolls while I was at work that afternoon and bring it with me. Ben, who served his mission in Korea and has been cooking Asian food longer than I have, is our home's sushi-making expert.
Our conversation when I called to see how to make the special sticky rice went something like this:
"Hey honey... I'm about to make the sushi for tonight, but I have a two-fold problem. First issue: will you tell me how to make the sushi rice?" -Suz
He gives me the recipe: 3 cups short-grain rice, 3 1/4 c. water, 1/3 c. vinegar, 2 tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. salt.
"Ok, but that's a lot of rice." -Suz
"Yep, 6 cups worth." - Ben
"We don't need that much!" -Suz
"So half it. " -Ben
"I don't know how to half 1/3!" -Suz
"...What?" - Ben
"I mean, I know it's 1/6, but how do I measure that?!" -Suz
He looks up the conversion: 2.66 tbs.
"Cook the rice with the water, let it cool, then heat together the last 3 ingredients until the sugar dissolves and mix them all together in a non-metal container." -Ben
"Yeah, like: I use our white mixing bowl." -Ben
"Oh I see... I have one here that's red... Is that ok? Or is there some anti-communism rule when making sushi?" -Suz
"You're in luck. We're making Japanese sticky rice and the Japanese flag has red and white on it." -Ben
"Oh. Phew." -Suz
"I told you my problem was two-fold. The other fold is that I didn't bring the wooden roller-thingy." -Suz
"That's ok. I never use it." -Ben
"Well how do I not use it?" -Suz
"Just wrap free-style." -Ben
Susannah laughs hysterically for at least a full minute.
"That's the sort of joke that gets funnier the longer you think about it." -Ben
It turned out really well, if I do say so myself! I ended up wrapping them with the aid of a cloth handtowel, though. It is so easy to make sushi! And when you eat outside you have the natural ambiance to accompany the meal. Stop paying $7 / roll at a fancy restaurant!