In the time since I have last blogged I have done a lot of things to do with my in-depth. I borrowed my mentor’s special pan, and attempted to make the omelette nigiri, with less success than I hoped for. I boiled that down to rushing my cooking. I also went to a special workshop on commercial drive at the eternal abundance cafe for a lesson for making raw (vegan) sushi. I was the youngest person there by about ten years, but I still had fun. The vegan sushi was quite interesting, with a completely different flavor that rice sushi. The “rice” is made with ground parsnips or rutabaga. It produces quite an interesting bitter flavor that can be quite overpowering without soy sauce. I made sushi for my family and guests at least once a week since my last blog post, and I am feeling very confident in my ability with rolled sushi, so I plan to only serve rolls for my learning center and just show demos of the other kinds of sushi I did over the last six months. After in-depth night, I will gather all the pictures I have taken and turn them into a photo library of sorts, but a preview will be posted soon.
In terms of the items presented by Ms. Mulder’s blog post #8 (see link below), my mentor has interrupted me on occasion before. In the first session we were together, she told me to make a sushi roll how I would normally do it (I had gained some sushi experience by that point). Part way through my veggie prep stage, she abruptly stopped me telling me I was cutting the cucumber wrong. In traditional Japanese sushi, the cucumber, and other vegetables, have their seeds cut out and are cut much smaller than in the sushi we usually get on this side of the Pacific. She also pointed out other things I could improve on, overall improving the amount of ingredients and their locations in the roll, how it was rolled and cutting techniques than improved my sushi immensely. Because the rolls were smaller, they did not explode, squish, or fall apart as much when being cut/ eaten. My mentor was rightly justified in interrupting me, and my sushi quality and experience have come out for the better because of it, advancing to the level where you would actually want to eat it, not just to be nice.
Many emotions have been brought into conversations with my mentor, but no more so than agreement with the most powerful. Although she would not admit it, Makiko (my mentor) is vastly knowledgeable in the topic of sushi and Japanese culture, and when we met, I tended to defer to her. This was okay in the beginning, but near the end this emotion stopped me from questioning practices or doing much on my own. After my time with Makiko, I went to the commercial drive raw sushi, were I used a quite different emotion primarily with my second mentor, The Perky Parsnip (lesson/ company name, real name unknown). With her, my main emotion was innovator. We were doing choose your own ingredient sushi (raw style), and I found myself making interesting combos like mango carrot rolls and mushroom nigiri. I was the most experience sushi maker in the class, so my technique was alright, but i put together sushi combos and flavors that I would have never done on my own. I thought the extra side of sushi making was wonderful, and I encourage people to take similar risks with their in-depths, if you haven’t already.
For my closing statement, I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun with my mentors, and i am feeling very confident going into in-depth night. My plan for my learning center is to have a sushi bar of sorts. I will only sere two kinds of sushi (cucumber and California), but I will have examples of other items I have done over the project. I might put together a PowerPoint on sushi’s part in Japanese culture, and I will put together a slideshow of all the pictures I have taken over the last six months. If you have any suggestions, please let me know with a comment, I promise I will read them. Also, this is going up early because I will be out of town on the day this is due. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to post again soon. Goodbye for now,