Sunday, 16 May 2010

Weekend adventures

I've been appalling remiss in my blogging this weekend. It was my birthday on Friday, which meant I had barely enough time to sit still all day and night, let alone think of something to blog about over the weekend. Then I spent yesterday recovering, going on a nice romantic drive with Steve to get some fresh air and make the most of the sunny day, and I've barely had a spare moment since.


So that's my rather pathetic excuse and I do hope you'll bear with me. Tomorrow, a new week begins, and I shall be back to my old writerly self, full of all the strange and hopefully entertaining things I usually blog about!

How did everyone else spend their weekend? Any exciting stories you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them! 


  1. As it was you're birthday we'll let you off.
    Glad you had a lovely time and remember, no slacing for the rest of the week!

  2. nada of import here, rainy weekend :(

  3. Speaking for myself, as a reader, I feel appreciative of how ever much you post. Sure I've come to expect you're characteristic quality of writing, but it's more of an intrinsic to your posts... Like expecting the sun to be warming.

    I don't recall making you sign a contract in blood that you had to post everyday. ; j

    Sounds like you had a lovely weekend...

    Weekend adventures: eating a whole large salmon with my lover and friends. Showing them how to slice sashimi... grilling the head... making rich hearty miso stew with the bones and cutoffs... Making maki with the grilled skin... Making a cream/shrimp pizza from scratch... Making broth from the shrimp shells/heads... chasing my cat around til she tackled my ankles... Left my cat with the friends cause we're flying out at the end of the week.
    Now I'm home and I keep expecting my cat to be underfoot, but nope, she isn't. As the cowboy junkies would say (more or less) "But I kind of like these extra 20 inches in my bed" (cat tends to sleep where I'd put my feet). ; j

  4. Haha, thank you all for your understanding! :)

    Alesa, that sounds like a brilliant weekend! Also, you've gone and made me insanely hungry. Not to mention I'm now craving sushi, which I can't have just yet, and that is very sad.

  5. For one thing, I have no idea how to make it (unlike some lucky people :)) and for another, the nearest sushi place is in town and awfully expensive.


    Still craving it. Drat.

  6. Sushi and sashimi, like many traditional Japanese things are really simple to learn but take years to master. That said, for a home/family experience, you don't need to master it.

    For sashimi, all you really need is very fresh sea-fish (avoid mackerel and other estuary fish, they require extra steps, surest/easiest bets are tuna and salmon) and a sharp knife...

    How do you judge a fresh fish? Know your fishmonger, check the eye (should be unclouded and shiny), ask the fishmonger to show you the gills (should be bright to dull red, as the fish ages the gills turn white).
    Get your sharpest knife and fillet it (or ask your fish monger to do it). Then all you need to do is cut into chunks or slices and serve.

    If you want rice, don't bother trying to make nigirizushi (the kind on little rice balls), get a big mixing bowl put a light white vinegar (ideally rice vinegar, but whatever vinegar that isn't too pronounced in taste), salt, and sugar (or ideally mirin: a sweet cooking wine, but again whatver) all to taste...

    Steam cook short grain sticky white rice, put the freshly cooked rice into the vinegar mixture and mix, the hot rice should evaporate a good part of the vinegar mixture and the rest should blend in.

    Make a bed of seasoned rice in the bottom of the bowls, put fish on top, and you've got chirashizushi.

    For seasoning, you'll probably want light shoyu (soy sauce) and wasabi, but there are other tasty variants that can work well... Shoyu with red vinegar and a couple of small drops of sesame oil... Hotsauce and chives for tuna... Whatever strikes your fancy.

    Give it a try sometime. You'll find it is amazingly cost effective and delicious. Easy to be creative too...
    The down side is that once you get used to making it yourself, most restaurants will feel disappointing to you.

    The most important part to remember is that for it to taste good, the fish needs to be as fresh as possible.
    And clean your knife often as you work to avoid getting the fishy smell of the outside onto the bits that you'll be eating. : j

    Meep... Crash course in Japanese raw fish. Where did that come from?
    Sorry if that's TMI. : p

  7. Yay! My very own sushi lesson! Thanks, Alesa! I'll definitely be trying this sometime, it sounds amazing.