So I am not very good at blogging regularly. There, I’m glad we got that out in the open. Moving along…I am going to talk about being a mom right now. If you’re just looking for the recipe, scroll to the bottom 🙂
Today started out pretty stinking rotten. Luckily, like most stinking rotten days as a mom, it ended up being a wonderful learning opportunity. I’m closing out the day pretty zen, if I do say so myself. So here’s the mama drama: Granola Baby #1 just turned 3 and has decided to be an artist. Sounds dreamy and really hip, right? When I read that sentence I imagine a gorgeous toddler painting perfect still life baskets of apples and grapes with a beret and a tiny smudge of paint on her cheek. Maybe she is snacking on crepes, too. Snap out of it, you guys! Toddlers are nuts! They are like tiny crazy people who are so happy and cool but so flipping out of control and emotional that you can’t possibly predict what new type of ridiculousness they are going to pull next.
Perfect example: everyday, when baby sister goes down for a nap, Granola Baby #1 gets to watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. For the uninitiated, it’s an animated spin-off of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”. Typically it only takes a few minutes for me to get sister to sleep, so I wash breakfast dishes and make lunch while she finishes her little 30 minute show. Today I was scrubbing the oatmeal off of a pot when I turned around to glance at Granola Toddler (can we call her that? It’s easier for me. Let’s call her that) and she yelled really loudly, “I’M WIPING THE COUCH, MOM!” Where toddlers are concerned, yelling is widely accepted as a bad sign and universally means that something. is. UP. I walked over to where she was and saw that she had ninja-climbed onto a table, dragged down my purse, and dug around inside until she found my makeup bag. Then she opened up the liquid foundation and squirted it ALL over my couch. Last she grabbed my boots from the door and added them to the mix. Might as well, right? This wasn’t a slow process. It probably took her 2 minutes. Hence the ninja-ness of the situation.
Anyway, I obviously saw red, but I tried really hard not to be a ragey Miss Hannigan and calmly (kinda) told her to get an extra towel from the bathroom to help me clean. She ran to get it and I started scrubbing. After a few minutes, I realized she wasn’t back and I that the house was totally quiet. In toddler-land, quiet is way, way worse than yelling. I found her in my room painting LOTS of my favorite things with my perfectly bright pink nailpolish. So I duct taped her to the wall and started cleaning again. Just kidding.
I had to throw away some stuff and it made me sad. For a solid half hour, I honestly felt sad for myself for losing things that I really liked. Then I saw a picture that my friend posted on Instagram, and it gave me this awesome change of perspective. She posted a shot of a beautiful drawing her daughter had done. She had framed it and hung it on the wall. She wrote that her daughter was a fellow “tagger” (heehee), and that she had framed this drawing in an effort to encourage her to draw on paper and not the walls. I have so much to learn about this parenting stuff, you guys. I know this “DESTROY ALL THE THINGS” stage will not last forever. I hope in my efforts to keep sharpie off the majority of my furniture, I never squash the creative spirit out of her. I hope I gently direct it (…to a piece of paper!) rather than extinguishing it completely. I have to be careful with this amazing, bright girl. It was a beautiful reminder for me.
Now for the recipe. This is one we have pretty regularly, because everyone loves it. It’s a hands-on meal and a fun way to get kids excited about food.
Kid-Friendly Sushi Salad Recipe
2 cups of dry brown rice (I buy short grain)
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup organic sugar*
2 large carrots
3 green onions
pickled ginger (optional)
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
nori (seaweed) strips (Costco or Trader Joe’s have them)
In a pot with a tight lid or a rice cooker, boil the rice, then simmer until done. Meanwhile, heat the vinegar and organic sugar in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the vinegar reduces a little. When the rice is done, pour the vinegar/sugar mixture on top and mix well. Refrigerate until cooled. Chop the cucumber, carrots, green onions, and pickled ginger VERY small. You can use a food processor to save time. Combine all ingredients except the avocado and nori together in a large bowl and chill until ready to serve. I like to set up everyone’s plate with several sheets of nori, half of a sliced avocado, and a big scoop of sushi salad. Then each person can roll their own little sushi bites. This would work great for a dinner party with some cold soba noodles or warm miso soup. Yum!
*Why organic sugar? Organic sugar is less refined than conventional granulated sugar, not genetically modified, and does not contain bone char or bleaching agents.