Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sushi. Ya?

The other day Vilma was flipping through one of my cookbooks and came across the page in the photo above. She said, "You made that." I looked at the page, "Sushi? Yes, I've made sushi." "No," she replied, "the other day…" She then proceeded to describe something that I made, which now, a few days later I cannot for the life of me remember what it was. Something I had made reminded her of the photo. But, it was not sushi.

I began to explain what sushi was. She stared blankly. She couldn't imagine it. This is someone who knows quite a bit about food and had worked for ten years for a wealthy Peruvian family. Somehow it surprised me she had never heard of or tried sushi. Although, I know, it shouldn't surprise me. At one point I said, "For some reason I thought that sushi was popular in Peru." She said, "Yes, there are lots of Chinese people, but they don't eat that." Well, that would be true, of course.

Anyway, this gave me the idea to take Vilma out for sushi. I was so excited. We have a pretty good sushi place near us that delivers, but I decided we would go pick some up and bring it home. It was the lunch rush and the restaurant is small so seating and parking would have been a nightmare.
I wasn't sure what she would like so I got a bento box that included sashimi, tuna rolls and veggie rolls.

We got home and I busted out our little soy sauce bowls and demonstrated how to put the wasabi in the soy sauce and mix it up. At first she got a huge blob. We were able to fish it out and go a little bit more mild. That was funny. We both laughed. Then it came time to dig in. Fail! She ate some (using chopsticks for the first time quite well), but clearly she hated it. I felt awful. I know I had built it up. She must have been hungry. I ate a ton. I was stuffed.

I know sushi is not for everyone. I realize I kind of wanted her to try this new special thing and love it and that occasionally I might say, "Hey, should I pick us up some sushi?" and she would smile and say, "That sounds great!" Although….come to think of it, even if she loved it she wouldn't say that. Whenever she does join us at a restaurant she won't order (and she can read). She always tells us to get her whatever we want to get her. This is difficult. I'll never get used to it.

Oh, but of course the story doesn't end there. That night Jeremy and I were going out and I cooked up something simple for the boys for dinner. As I was getting the boys fed, Vilma was in the kitchen cooking chopping, tossing, frying. It smelled delicious. She said, "Here, try this." I took a bite. It was delicious - a kind of vegetable, fish sauté. "What is it?" I asked. "My sushi, from lunch. Better now, huh?"


  1. At least she's industrious!
    In Port of Spain, I always was willing to feed my cleaning lady (and her daughter when she came with her to play with my daughter). But they always brought their own food.
    I, too, like Cook's Illustrated, but I've gotten out of the habit of using their recipes. I need to move back that direction, I think.

  2. I love it that she made the sushi into something else! That's totally delightful!

    And oh - I have old Cook's Illustrated magazines from times gone by - those things are soooo wonderful. Used to subscribe to their online recipe site, but had long since forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. great and funny post!
    It's interesting, though..the ex-president of Peru was half-Japanese, wasn't he?
    She sounds like a nice and flexible person. But I would imagine it's challenging to get used to each other living in such proximity.

  4. Hmmmm...something appears to be up with blogger. I got notice of the first comment in my email, but not the others. Oh well. Glad you guys enjoyed the post : ). Oh, and you're right about the ex-president of Peru. Of course, our president is half-Kenyan and I know nothing about Kenyan food, so you know...

  5. It's Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

    Here is the link:


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