This is a picture of my lunch, taken about five fleeting seconds before I consumed every single grain of rice, which I retrieved with the tip of my gently moistened finger.
These cute little California rolls are from Kroger's deli, surprisingly enough. Kroger isn't ordinarily a place I'd associate with good sushi, or more to the point, bad sushi. But our local "nice" Kroger has a sushi bar that features a choose-your-own option as well as pre-packaged bento boxes with a fairly wide variety of sushi rolls. Today I noticed the California rolls we ate, plus sushi made with crab meat, shrimp and tuna. Which is pretty good for a mid-size Indiana city. This geographical region is one that is more likely to associate a word like "sushi" with hog-calling, as in "SUUUUUUUUUUUU-SHIIIIIIIIIIIII! Suu-shiiii! Suuuu-shi!!!!"
I hear you can win a trophy for doing that at the Indiana State Fair.
I went out and bought our California rolls this morning and they looked so fresh and tempting in their little boxes. The small Japanese man who stands inside the sushi bar's interior and makes long rolls of lovely sushi every day smiled at me like I was doing him a personal favor and nodded obligingly when I picked up my boxes, my soy sauce packets and my chopsticks. When I picked up extra containers of wasabi and candied ginger, his face split in a wide, gap-toothed grin.
"You like?" he said with a cackle. "Hot! Hot, hot, hot!"
"Delicious!" I said, smiling back. I kissed my fingers and patted my little stack of boxes. He nodded approvingly, still beaming.
Once I got home, that's exactly what I did.
Here's how I eat sushi:
1. I start out by dressing each sushi roll to my own personal specs:
a. dribble on some soy sauce
b. add a schmear of wasabi, enough to add some heat, but not enough to make my head explode
c. sprinkle on a few toasted sesame seeds
d. top it off with a good, thick slice of candied ginger
2. I pick up my chopsticks and make a grab at a sushi roll, which should be a fairly easy object to pick up, you'd think, being solid and of a good size, plus coated in sticky rice. It should be a sure thing. It rarely is.
3. I lean so far over the table that I'm practically lying atop it and manuever the sushi roll to my mouth with the purpose of biting off half of it.
4. I drop it on the table
5. Undeterred, I pick it back up again with the chopsticks and the sushi roll once again undertakes its voyage to my mouth.
6. Again with the dropping (repeat 2x more)
7. I get a plate and a fork from cupboard and drawer and sit back down at the table, grimly determined to eat my lunch in an un-cool manner, or risk having no lunch at all
8. Cut, spear, lift, bite, chew, swallow, swig of Diet Coke, repeat -- LUNCH!!!
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