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