Monday, October 22, 2007

The kids are I suppose that I should use some of that great OISE energy and actually model some reflection of my own.

Today was International Community Morning at ISB. A great place to celebrate so many different cultures. Every day in my classroom I hear Dutch, French, Flemish, Japanese and, if I am really lucky, some proper English from my British students. (please read the sarcasm dripping from that last sentence).

The morning included a bunch of different sessions, including: Irish Dancing, host country information, Story Telling, Origami, Home Country Games and...of course...MAKI making. I volunteered to make cucumber, carrot and mango maki with three sessions of about 21 kids.

This was a total stretch for this vegan cowgirl. No longer was my audience a willing (and often hungry) boy, or a family of five who has little choice but suffer through ANOTHER tofu dish...these were the harshest and most brutally honest of participants - 10 and 11 year olds.

It was a great morning!!! Both the kids and myself seemed quite capable of pulling off this project. It started with a demo (by me), we chatted a bit about Japanese cuisine and the ingredients used, but we concentrated mostly on the process (see below). After I made my roll and offered it up to the totally cool pack of volunteers that willingly dolloped loads of wasabi onto their rolls (despite the tears rolling down their cheeks, they managed to make it back to their groups)....the kids were on their own and went to town....4 kids per sushi mat.....and they all did it! It was super deadly easy and I would encourage EVERYONE to give it a go - even if you don't have 65 10 year olds to help out with the table wiping and rice-from-carpet-plucking.

It was an amazing morning and it was so nice to cook and eat with so many kids. They were remarkable. The whole morning was 10 million times easier than teaching fractions.

What to buy:

1 kilo of Japanese rice (sushi rice) - you can get it at fortinos or any asian grocery store.

some sugar (for the boiling water)

1 jar of Japanese rice vinegar

50 sheets of nori

pickled ginger

wasabi paste or powder

soya sauce





red pepper


What to do:

In a large pot - boil the rice. Be sure to add sugar and vinegar to the water - this is what will give the rice its distinctive sushi tang.

When the rice is cooked put it in the fridge for about 2 hours to chill. No real worries if you don't get the chance to do this.

Lay the sushi mats on the table and place the nori (shiny side down) and place a hand ful of rice (flattened) into the first 2/3rds of the nori. You want to stuff your roll with anything that will tempt your tummies - the items are just a suggestion. Just try to make sure that you are not over stuffing things - you will probably need to do a couple of tries before you get a handle on what is going to work for you and what is going to bust all over the place......stuff with caution!!!

When you have stuffed the middle of your sushi, roll that bad boy up - saving the last little bit as a place to seal your new yummy roll of goodness. Wet the seaweed down before you finish closing your roll......

Cut the rolls into 2 cm thick chunks and lay them out as desired. Serve with wasabi, ginger, edamame, sake, soya sauce and some miso soup.

There is a pretty acceptable Japanese grocery shop on Vulgat, but the KY, which I mentioned in a previous post, is by far a superior asian shop. I am so totally making Japanese food on Saturday.....I have an entire four days of rest and relaxation ahead of me this coming weekend (Fri - Tuesday before I head to the UK for my fall holiday) and I plan on doing some good cooking and maybe (fingers crossed) I will find the egg replacer in Brussels that I need for chocolate chip cookies......

Anyway.....make some sushi and listen to the new Iron and Wine CD. Do it. Now.

And while you are at it....check out FANTASTIC SITE. Not as good as ten-year-old-fingers rolling sushi, but hey, take what you can get.

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