Thursday, March 29, 2007

At peace at last with (some) sushi

I have never liked sushi. Well, back up a step. I've never been a big fish person. I grew up in the midwest, and the only fish my mom ever served was breaded and square (or in fish stick form). Maybe occasionally tuna salad. When I was feeling exotic I'd order a clam roll at the Howard Johnson's. When I moved to New England, I tried a clam roll at a seaside seafood shack. Eek! That day I learned the difference between clam strips and clam bellies.

When I started working at my current place of employment, many of my coworkers were sushi fanatics. They would pool their money and have a big sushi lunch once a week, taking over our common kitchen space. I used to resent this because of, oh my word, the smell. I couldn't even be in the same room and had to eat lunch at my desk on those days. When going out to dinner with friends, I would state "I'll eat anything but sushi."

About a year ago my visiting Californian father-in-law volunteered to pick up dinner. He brought, well, you know. Trying to be polite, I picked apart a veggie roll and ate the rice and avocado. The smell I associated with sushi was still there, though, so I didn't eat much. I figured that it was the nori wrapper that I found off-putting. Fast forward to a few months ago...I was looking for a quick healthy lunch at Whole Foods and walked by the Asian section. I found some non-nori sushi - wrapped in spinach leaves instead, yay! I paid for my purchase and opened the box, but whoa! The smell. What the heck *was* that? At last I realized - it was the pickled ginger. The stench that drove me from the lunch table was not the sushi itself, but the large mounds of pickled ginger that ringed the 120-piece platter. It was my Eureka moment. I love regular ginger, but this stuff? Huh-uh.

Am I now a sushi omnivore? Um, no. There's still the fish, especially the raw fish, thing to overcome. But I will happily go have sushi with you and eat my California roll, my veggie roll, my chicken teriyaki roll, and my inari. Just keep the pickled ginger far, far away from my nose. And overlook the fact that I might poke out some of the cucumber from my roll before eating it. Oh, and I've learned that some of the sushi from Trader Joe's comes with the ginger in its own hermetically-sealed pouch. Stink-free! And TJs has awesome wasabi-tamari almonds, but I digress.

Cute kid story - we had lunch last Saturday at Mr. Sushi, and the kids got bowls of Udon noodles (guess what I had). The soup was very hot and they were hungry, so I fished out noodles with my chopsticks and dangled them into their little waiting maws, one by one. When Z wanted a noodle she'd say "Mommy Bird, another worm please!".

Next time, some knitting news - finished socks, hats, and possibly a pillow.


Blogger Bostonworkerbee said...

I love the kid-bird story! very cute. I dislike ALL seafood, and sadly, I grew up in New Englad, so it is kind of heretical. I'm not brave enough to even try a veggie roll. How sad is that.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

you can always give me your pickled ginger. actually, you can also give me your nori. that's about all I get to eat at a sushi meal anyway.

5:10 PM  

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