A few weeks ago my niece, Natalie, texted me and asked when we could cook together again.
If you’ve been reading here a while, you’ve probably seen some of my other baking/cooking with Natalie posts…we’ve made Chocolate Pound Cake, Fresh Mozzarella, Dorie Greenspan's Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrownies, and also Dorie Greenspan's Chipster Topped Brownies. (Can you see the chocolate theme that flows, river-like, through out baking adventures?) Bill and I also went down to my sister’s house and taught Natalie (and my sister) to make Chiang Mai Soup, which features Thai red curry paste. Natalie’s very adventurous in the kitchen – I’m sure she inherited that from me diagonally across the genetic pool. Or something like that.
Anyway, I figured the school break in February would be most convenient for everyone involved, and asked what she wanted to do.
In our house, the sushi-making is usually Bill’s domain. It just evolved that way, and I don’t really know why, unless maybe once we started having babies, it was harder for me to make a maki roll with just one hand, seeing as I was probably the one most often toting a small child in the other arm.
But that’s okay – I do plenty of fancy food work.
We (or Bill, really) decided on a three course meal – assorted tempura, miso soup, and then salmon sushi and assorted tuna maki rolls.
When Natalie and my sister arrived, we put Natalie right to work slicing sweet potatoes for the tempura and cucumber for the maki, tofu and scallions for the soup. Natalie made the dipping sauce for the tempura, and Bill showed her how to make sushi rice, particularly the long process of fanning and moving the rice so it cools without clumping. While Natalie fanned the rice outside on the deck, Julia brought her pieces of shrimp tempura. I made the tempura and the soup – sorry, no pictures of either. I’ll make tempura again soon for a post – we haven’t had it in ages, and I’d forgotten how much fun and easy it is to do.
We nibbled on tempura while Bill and Natalie finished prepping ingredients. Then it was time to make maki rolls. Bill demonstrated, and then it was Natalie’s turn.
She did really well!!
And once every scrap had been placed and rolled, it was time to eat!
OH! And Natalie brought dessert! She baked a white cake with a raspberry jam frosting (jam my sister made from last summer’s raspberries). We kept the rest of the cake at our house, and sent my sister and Natalie home with the last of the sushi and maki.
I love the fact that Natalie likes to cook and bake. She’s such an awesome, sweet person. I’m lucky to have her. And last night was a lovely evening, but you know what? I missed working directly with my niece. Bill got to do that this time around, and yes, of course he’s a great teacher, but still…
We need to make something again soon.
Natalie? What’s next?