A few days ago I made tacos for dinner, but I'd also picked up a package of barbecued eel maki rolls from the little sushi area in the grocery store.
I believe I've mentioned this before, but in case you're new here, or in case I am mistaken in what I think I remember…my son, who is five and a half…LOVES SUSHI. Loves it. He can eat any adult under the table, particularly if we're talking tuna.
Anyway, I picked the eel rather than anything raw because it had to wait in my car for an hour or so (I was shopping on my lunch break), and although it was pretty cold outside, I still don't mess around with raw fish. So I just got the 8 piece cooked maki roll. As long as it's eel, cooked is okay with my son. Tuna and salmon and other fish must be raw.
We had our taco dinner as a picnic on the floor in our basement living room (the one with the tv and most of the toys), and when I brought down the little plate with maki rolls on it, Alex's eyes grew wide and he seriously thought they should all be his for consumption.
We were able to convince him to share, but it took a lot of clever adult thinking and tricky verbal maneuvers to do so.
Anyway, the next day, when I was driving the kids home from daycare, Alex started talking in his "mature" voice. This is the voice he uses to pronounce dinner excellent and to express boundless love for whichever parent cooked it. It is the voice that goes with this face:
It's the food critic face.
So, with THAT voice, he told me that I needed to go to the store again and buy more sushi. "This time, Mommy, you need to get ALL the sushi. Because I love sushi. I LOVE sushi, Mommy. I could eat a hundred sushis."
He went on like this at length. He also told me that the sushi would be for "me and Daddy. Because we love sushi." And I said "Oh, yeah? Um…I love it too, kiddo. And so does Julia." He actually GROANED with disappointment. Julia, after agreeing that she liked sushi, took uncharacteristic pity on her brother and said "okay, no" – she didn't like it after all. At one point Alex was so engaged in telling me how much sushi he could eat and how much he really really loved sushi, that his mouth couldn't keep up with his brain and he told me how much he loved "shoosi…shoosi…I mean sushi." Seriously. We can't go to a Japanese restaurant with him because we'd have to take out a second mortgage to keep him in tuna sashimi.
So instead, we'll pick up a little something for a treat now and then, or sometimes we will by a good, sushi-grade piece of tuna or salmon, and Bill will put together a feast like the one we had last night. My sister's kids spent a good part of the weekend at our house – 'twas the annual cookie-decorating weekend, more on that in another post – and my niece, in particular, loves sushi and sashimi, too.
Bill bought up a piece of tuna, a piece of salmon, some shrimp, avocados, and cucumber. He made a batch of sushi rice, and got out the sheets of nori and one of our bamboo sushi mats and went to town….
That's Alex's hand up there at the top of the picture, presenting the feast to the camera or something. He spots the camera in my hand and suddenly he's hosting an Iron Chef competition.
And yes, look at all that food. We ate and ate til we were stuffed. Except Julia. She had eaten so many cheese puffs before dinner that she really wasn't interested in much else. She dissected a maki roll and picked out the salmon and avocado and cucumber, but that was about it for her.
Alex, on the other hand, informed us within minutes that apart from the few pieces we had just placed on our plates, the rest was for him. He said it so calmly, so matter-of-factly, that we all kind of stared at him for a moment before laughing. To be fair, he ate more than I did. I'm pretty sure he ate more than anyone.
Only two pieces of shrimp and 13 assorted maki rolls remained after we'd all finished and Alex had reluctantly left a lump of rice on his plate. His belly full, he was forced to admit defeat.
For lunch today I cut up and cooked up the remains of last night's feast in some soy sauce, wasabi, sesame oil and rice vinegar.
Alex refused to eat any. "I don't like it when it's cooked," he said haughtily.
He ate gingerbread cookies instead.