Do my chopstick skillz look better?
I've been practicing. All day, all night. When I should be pipetting and mixing chemicals together and looking at glowing cells under a microscope. Really, I'm just thinking about how to hold chopsticks in my left hand without looking like a psycho killer.
Obviously. I shouldn't quit my day job.
Also. If I'm going to keep showing you my hands, I really should paint my nails.
Or get me some super chic rubber gloves.
(All the cool MD/PhD students are wearing them!)
(Cool MD/PhD student = oxymoron.)
Then you'd really think I was sitting in lab practicing chopsticking.
("Chopsticking" sounds dirty. You should probably not use it in a sentence today. Especially not while talking to your boss. Or small children. Just saying.)
Enough rambling. Let's get down to business.
My love of sushi knows absolutely zero bounds. It is, in fact, the sole reason why I can't give up eating fish.
More than just the raw insides, though, I love the sushi experience. Dipping the rolls into soy sauce (insert collective swoon for the most perfect condiment ever created). Covertly stealing pickled ginger from everyone else's plate. Getting evil looks from my waitress as I completely mangle correct chopstick usage.
Eating my sushi innards before I eat the surrounding rice so that I can dip that delicious seasoned and sesame seed-studded exterior into my soy sauce and enjoy it all on its own. Yes. I deconstruct my sushi before eating it. Weird.
But have you tasted that rice? It's good. Really good/ Turn-into-a-salad-with-zucchini-eggplant-and-pickled-ginger-and-eat-every-day-for-lunch good.
So when I saw this Judith Jones recipe in her cookbook, The Pleasures of Cooking for One, I knew had to make it. And quadruple it. To make four servings. Yeah, I know. Blasphemy. Especially since...I actually only need to cook for one!
But I want sushi rice every day for the rest of my life. So we're all pretty lucky I didn't quintuple it and then post about it every day for the next two weeks. It did cross my mind, though. Not gonna lie.
So who is Judith Jones? First of all, she's number 8 on Gourmet's list of 50 women game-changers in food. She's also the woman who brought us The Diary of Anne Frank and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by saving them from the publisher's reject pile. School reading lists and cookbook shelves around the world wouldn't be the same without her.
Plus, she loves sushi rice. And that makes her a rock star in my book.
Vegetable Sushi Rice Salad
Serves 4, adapted from Judith Jones's The Pleasures of Cooking for One
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 6 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
- 4 tsp sugar
- salt, to taste
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then widthwise into half moons
- 3 Japanese eggplant, sliced
- 8 tbsp minced pickled ginger
- Cook rice according to package instructions. Preheat oven to 450. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Cover it with the zucchini and eggplant slices. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 20 minutes, or until the veggies start to shrivel and brown.
- While the rice is still warm, mix it with the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Toss with the zucchini, eggplant and pickled ginger. Serve with soy sauce.
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Alright. So. Yesterday morning I woke up at 5AM. For you. For me. For chocolate. Mostly for chocolate.
Early last week, I was contacted by Hershey's asking me if I wanted to attend the premiere of their new "Air Delight" chocolate, which involved a hot air balloon ride in central Jersey. After much deliberation and a few quaaludes, I agreed. Little did I know that by "hot air balloon ride" they really meant "helicopter ride from the west side of Manhattan to central Jersey followed by a hot air balloon ride in a super spiffy Hershey's balloon". If I had known that. I probably would have taken an extra quaalude.
This is the helicopter into which I entrusted my life. And the man who flew it. If you see him, thank him for getting me there and back safely. And give him a kiss for me. He had a super cute Irish accent. I fell a little bit in love. Moving on.
The helicopter ride was amazing. Not choppy at all (thanks to mister adorable up there) and probably one of the most breathtaking experiences in my life. When else do you get to see NYC's skyline and the statue of liberty and New Jersey from a bird's eye view? All in one day? Never.
And then there was the hot air balloon ride. Equally breathtaking. And just about as light and airy as the new Hershey's chocolate line. Which is to say...melt in your mouth airy.
And the best part is..you don't have to take my word for it! If you're in the NJ area this weekend, there is going to be a hot air balloon FESTIVAL in which Hershey's balloon will be featured! And the people from Hershey's will also be there with chocolate samples. Even if you thought you had weekend plans...this is the time to change them. Seriously. Get on it. And thanks, Hershey's, for this amazing experience!