Just when we thought we couldn't possibly love them one tiny bit more, despite their long history of misadventures, the girls took over the kitchen and learned to make sushi.
It was their most successful culinary project to date, thanks in no small part to their lovely assistant, Suburban Overachiever, who supplied the nori, the rice, the rolling mat and authentic Japanese know-how.
Ordinarily the girls refuse all offers of adult assistance, but they made an exception when they learned that Suburban Overachiever keeps a supply of imported Japanese seaweed sheets in her freezer (naturally) and had wasabi in her purse (for reasons which were never made entirely clear).
The results were impressive. And I am not just talking about the fact that no hamsters were harmed, no flooding occurred, nothing was left coated with vaseline, paint or beauty products and no search parties were involved. Maybe that is all behind us now?
We were served Japanese style, on the low table in the living room, which the girls had converted to candlelit elegance. There was salad and wine and fried ice cream for dessert, a menu the girls put together by watching Food Network how-to videos and calculating the maximum number of dishes they could put to use, which as it turns out, was pretty much all of them. Actual clean-up time may vary.
1 medium avocado, sliced into 1/4 inch thick pieces
4 sheets nori
1/2 batch sushi rice
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into matchstick-size pieces
4 crabsticks, torn into pieces
wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger for serving
1. Cover a bamboo rolling mat with plastic wrap.
2. Cut nori sheets in half crosswise.
3. Lay one sheet, shiny side down on plastic-covered mat. Wet your fingers and spread 1/2 cup of rice evenly onto nori.
4. Fling sesame seeds around the kitchen, attempting to sprinkle most of them onto rice.
5. Turn the sheet over so that rice side is down.
6. Place 1/8 of the cucumber, avocado and crab sticks in the center.
7. Grab the edge of the mat closest to you, keeping fillings in place with your fingers and roll into a tight cylinder.
8. Pull away the mat and set aside, Cover with a damp cloth.
9. Repeat until all of the rice has been used.
10.Cut each roll into 6 pieces.
Sushi Rice Ingredients
2 cups sushi or short-grain rice
2 cups water, plus extra for rinsing rice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1. Place rice into mixing bowl and cover with cool water. Swirl rice in the water, pour off and repeat until water is clear.
2. Place the rice and water into saucepan and bring to a boil, uncovered.
3. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cover, cooking for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat, and let stand covered for 10 minutes
5. Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt in small bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds.
6. Transfer to large wooden or glass mixing bowl and add the vinegar mixture. Fold thoroughly to combine and coat each grain of rice with the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.