It’s been a very, VERY long two weeks or so. The not-so-pint-sized-anymore bundle of energy that lives with us has been having a difficult time with everything, which has led to all of us being at our wits’ end. Kidlette’s first day of school is tomorrow, though, and although a part of me is flipping out (WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?), another part of me is rejoicing (CLASS STARTS MONDAY AND I PITY THE FOOL WHO DOESN’T HAVE HER SYLLABUS AND CLASS CALENDAR DONE).

We have also had a difficult time transitioning to bento lunches, mainly because it seems to – at this point – take a lot of prep time that can seem insurmountable, especially with unfamiliar cooking techniques and recipes. (Tamagoyaki, I am looking squarely at you.) (To be fair to our little eggy buddies, they are delicious. Just a bit fussy in their preparation.) Engineer has been gobbling up the meals, Kidlette a bit less so, and I have slumped into a chair at lunch and just thrown together what produce we have over rice.

Engineer, however, insinuated that what he really wanted for lunch was sushi. He likes it quite a bit, and even convinced me to try it. I’m not sure my hips or long-term glycemic index have forgiven him, but we do like our sushi. I tend to go vegetarian, having lived squarely in beef-raising parts of the Midwest for most of my life; having eaten catfish raised on dog food in a muddy cow pond, Engineer tends to be somewhat more adventurous. So yesterday morning, I sighed, made a huge batch of sushi vinegar and a huge batch of rice, and got to it. Well, he got to it first – he was home to watch Kidlette while I ran to a parents’ meeting for school. He at least managed to squish the nori seaweed sheet around rice and a foul paste (IMHO) of tuna, Miracle Whip and Tabasco, but it looked nothing like a sushi roll any competent restaurant – or even incompetent restaurant – would be comfortable serving. I squinted at pictures, improvised a rolling technique, and came out with equally unsatisfactory results the first time through.

By dinner time, we were still dealing with Major Amounts of sushi-ready rice. So we made more sushi for dinner (and for his lunch today). I had half of an avocado left over from my pathetic lunch attempts, so I tried again. And tamed the wild sushi roll this time! Bwahaha! (Engineer still failed, so I am hereby named “Chief Sushi Roller” of the household.)

I even developed my own recipe, which I am calling the Guaca-roll-e. Below, I’m listing the ingredients and how I lay them down on the wrapper pre-rolling, but I don’t go into detail on how to roll sushi.

The Guaca-roll-e

INGREDIENTS: Nori wrappers, sushi rice (prepped with the vinegar/salt/sugar mix), slices of ripe avocado (but not too ripe, as it’s better for them to have some shape), thin slices of green onion, handful of cilantro leaves, lime juice, Tabasco (I used classic red), and cream cheese.

PREP: Lay down the nori wrapper, spoon the rice over it as you normally would. Lay the slices of avocado down, and set a thin slice of cream cheese over them. Sprinkle the other ingredients as liberally as you wish over the entire rice spread. Roll. Chow down.