Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Post-Halloween Exhaustion Syndrome November 1, 2008

Filed under: digressions — greenwalks @ 12:06 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

(Warning: this post has absolutely nothing to do with gardening!)

I don’t know when it was that Halloween began to take over my life. Last week? The week before? Trips to the fabric shop (ballerina costume makings), hardware store (lights), drugstore (candy), pumpkin patch (duh), and grandparents’ house (more pumpkins along with the cider pressings) seemed to dominate every day. Decorating the house and yard, even on our fairly modest scale, was a daily project with my daughter. She just kept wanting it to look spookier! Now it’s over but for the candy whining.

One thing that took up a lot of time yesterday was my idea to make “Scary Sushi” for the kindergarten class Halloween party. Weirdly, I couldn’t find any recipes on the Web (just lots of pictures of folks in sushi costumes, which were cute but not particularly helpful), so I just had to make it up. It was my first time making sushi, but I had bought a wooden rice bowl set a while ago at Seattle’s wonderful Asian foods store, Uwajimaya, so I finally got to use it. I didn’t notice until yesterday when I unwrapped it that it is enhanced by imitation copper (i.e. plastic) bands around the bowl. Nice. Here it is, with the sushi rice and the package of pre-toasted nori seaweed:

Sushi rice & seaweed

I used an easy recipe from the Manga Cookbook, which is a pretty hilarious way to learn about Japanese cooking, especially if you have kids or at least a cute-food fetish.

Since I didn’t have a recipe for the fillings, I just tried to think of what five-year-olds might eat (Seattle kids can be pretty sophisticated with stuff like sushi – my kid won’t eat any vegetables except broccoli but she downs seaweed-wrapped sushi rolls by the pound, go figure) and what might at least look a little Halloween-ish. Here are the fillings I came up with: “Mooshy Mushroom,” “Creepy Carrot,” “Crazy Cucumber,” “Awful Avocado,” and “Terrifying Tofu” (I ended up leaving out the cream cheese in case there were any vegans lurking about, and also snuck in some daikon radish without telling them):

Sushi fillings

Roll in progress, I think I used too much rice but it was sticky and hard to spread:

Sushi in progress

I made five big rolls and one baby one before I ran out of nori. The rest of the fillings will have to go in a salad tonight or something.

Sushi rolls ready for cutting

My knives are horribly dull and I was worried I’d end up with just a squishy mess instead of nicely shaped rolls, so I refrigerated the uncut “logs” for a while, not sure if that was kosher but it seemed to do the trick. I cut them up later, decorated them with black sesame seed “bugs” and cut radish “eyeballs” and they were ready to go.

Spooky sushi

It was a little bit time-consuming but totally fun and actually pretty easy. Next time, I’m getting more bamboo roll mats and will recruit the rest of the family to help out.

Hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween. Did you do any unusual kitchen or garden projects to celebrate?

Halloween skull and lights


9 Responses to “Post-Halloween Exhaustion Syndrome”

  1. Racquel Says:

    Yummm! Sushi is my favorite and these look tasty.

  2. Pam Says:

    Did the kids eat it?

  3. kristi Says:

    Wow, that’s pretty impressive. I never thought to make my own sushi.

  4. Megan Says:

    It’s so nice of you to remember the vegans! I’ve been surprised in recent travels at how hard it is to even find vegetarian food. It’s an especially nice thing about the pacific northwest, I guess.
    I would love to make sushi, but I can rarely force myself to go out to our uwajimaya, it’s way out in the suburbs down here. And I’m lazy. Impressive project.
    You should treat yourself to sharp knives, they’re such a nice luxury. I wonder if good kitchen shears would work too?

  5. greenwalks Says:

    Raquel –

    Thanks! They were not the most authentic, probably, but they were pretty simple to make.


    Pam –

    Yes they did, down to the last bite! Just a couple of radish eyeballs left at the end…


    Kristi –

    Don’t be too impressed – if I can do it, pretty much anyone could!


    Megan –

    Uwajimaya is usually an annual pilgrimage for me, even though it is in town – it’s at the other end of the city and I just don’t get down that way too often. Vegetarian/vegan sushi is so cheap and easy to make, I’m going to do it more often now that I (sort of) figured it out. I’ve been mostly veg (just fish sometimes) for 25 years now and you’re right, PNW is much more veg-friendly than a lot of places. San Francisco – also good. Spain – not so much. Oh, I could get my knives sharper, I’m just kind of scared of them (clumsy, too many close calls with sharp objects).

  6. deb Says:

    I just got one of my boys to start eating sushi. What fun it would be to make it ourselves. Great idea.

  7. greenwalks Says:

    Deb –

    It’s funny what kids will and won’t eat! You don’t need too many special tools or ingredients to make halfway-decent sushi and it’s super fun to do. I can’t wait to try it again!

  8. how fun! thanks for visiting my blog. i’ve been neglecting my gardening posts for months now so i’m glad to see other folks who are willing to be eclectic with their subjects. and i totally love your eyeball plant in your previous post! i’ve got to get one of those!

  9. Fostermamas Says:

    My little one loves sushi too. Last year I made cute felt food sushi roll for her. The veggies were colored velcro so she could cut it up and put it back together. She loved it.

    Every year on Halloween we have Chili and apple cider….it just says fall to us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s