Saturday, March 10, 2012

Potluck Sushi

So, I mentioned in my last post that we had a potluck meal that we would be attending this Sunday. I would like to be the first to say that I hate potlucks. Mostly. I love being there and eating the variety of food, and I love the idea of everyone pitching in to make a great get-together. What rubs me the wrong way, however, is that at most potluck functions, you are asked to bring something that does not need to be cooked, reheated, etc. While most people fall back on sides, salads and desserts, I live in constant fear of a entree-less potluck. This internal conflict is not so bad when we are going straight to the potluck from our house and we'll be eating right away, so I can make something hot and keep it warm until we get there. But as is the case tomorrow, we'll be at the venue for a few hours before we actually eat, meaning that unless I bring a crock-pot meal, my meal cannot be warm. Ugh.
This lack-of-warm-food-options is not the only issue I have with potlucks. There's also the pressure of performance. I have a reputation to uphold! A prideful reason perhaps, and another day maybe I'll do a blog post on intentionally bringing a lame dish to a potluck just to take my ego down a couple pegs, but today my pride wins. Well, pride and the fact that I really enjoy making good food for people that I love.
Anyway, what did I decide to bring to this potluck that would have a reasonable 'wow' factor, could be made ahead and could be served cool? (The post title kind of takes away the element of surprise, no?) Sushi! Well, maki rolls, to be more precise. This is actually a reasonably practical idea in my household; I'll have plenty of time to assemble the sushi and I had almost all of the ingredients on hand already! I always keep a stock of sushi rice in the house, and except for the fact that I ran out of nori and rice vinegar and that I decided not to use the crab I had in my freezer so I bought more tonight, I wouldn't have had to buy anything! I even bought avocados and mangoes last week that are going to be the perfect ripeness tomorrow! I'm in love with mango in sushi rolls (which is funny, because I'm really not a mango fan typically), and it's a great sub for avocado if you don't have any. Since I have both, I'll either split the difference, or, I may opt to use just the mango so that I don't have to deal with discoloration issues with the avocado. So tomorrow morning I will be rolling up a sushi storm! It will be a nice change from my usual last-minute rush to get everything cooked just in time to walk out the door!
I had some fun today, as I had expected. We made it to Calgary to deliver scone mix, vanilla syrup, baby clothes and hugs to my sister and her new baby. In the car on the way to Calgary I noticed that the knees in my jeans had a few holes - a little surprising since they're only a few months old, but perhaps not as surprising considering they're the only pair of jeans that fit me, so I wear them nearly every day. At my sister's house as I was sitting down onto the couch, I heard a huge rip - the inner thigh gave out, even though it wasn't particularly worn. Also, I noticed that the seam at the crotch had opened. 3 months for a pair of jeans? Yikes. I guess that's what happens when you only spend $10 on a pair of pants. So what did I do? I went to Le Chateau Outlet and bought a couple more pairs of $10 jeans! I tried a new outlet store this time; Le Chateau Outlet on 32nd Ave NE just opened a few months ago and I had never been there before so I was excited to see what it was like. I've been to outlet stores that only carry dresswear, or only have women's clothes, and even one that only had a couple of sales racks in the whole store, but this one was the best of all of them. A huge selection and everything was clearance. I tried on A LOT. Matt was at my sister's having a nap, Nathaniel was napping too, and Gabe was at the park with my parents so I had an hour to kill before I was even wanted anywhere else, so I took my time and enjoyed myself. The result? It took a great deal of willpower and reasoning to not buy a couple of adorable plaid dresses, a few great pairs of shoes and one particularly stunning (and scandalous!) maxi-length, sweetheart neckline, strapless red dress (where could I ever wear something that low-cut?), but I did decide that it was reasonable and practical to buy two pairs of jeans (one was $9 and one was $12) and a black wool-blend winter coat that was very flattering on me (only $25!). My goodness I love that store. Seriously, $25 for a wool-blend trench? More than a little bit awesome. The best part? It was the last of that style in the store, regular $189.95, marked down to $49.99 and tagged for 50% off the last ticketed price - and it was my size! The thrill of the hunt, ladies - it makes it all the more exciting!
I've still got some Sunday School prep to do tonight before bed, so I'll leave off here, but I hope everyone else is having as awesome of a weekend as I am!

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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