I had this internal un-critically-examined model of what is involved in making sushi. 99% of the task is about how to select and slice up the raw fish. The rest is, well, I already said - 1% of the job.
So we found what looked exactly identical to a RANCH 99 market in downtown Phoenix yesterday, and we bought a hefty king filet of salmon, which the fishmonger assured me was sushi grade. Natasha, being the one who did all this profound research which I believed must be robust in arcane detail, executed the task like this: "Ok Kirez, go find and buy some fish. Make sure it's sushi grade and can be eaten raw!" (I wonder if the pharaohs assembled 100,000 slaves and said, "Ok. Build pyramids!", because I'll spoil the story here, it ends up working just fine.)
We also bought Mischka some massive brontosaurus-looking femur bones coated with rich red bits and full of marrow. The two bones weighed 7.4 pounds. Freaking awesome!
I'm eager to see Natasha's insights into the slicing of the sushi. She's very excited about the preparations. We've bought nori (seaweed for the rolls, which she had me select), chopsticks (these have been lacking in my life the last year), wasabi, soy sauce, and the bamboo mats for making the rolls. Also, rice vinegar and rice. We bought clams as well but those weren't for the sushi.
She remains excited and throws herself into the sushi preparation. As I said, I had naively believed that 99% of the challenge is in selecting and slicing the fish, but I totally ignroant had already selected the fish.
She covers the bamboo rollers in plastic. I make the wasabi using a powder and adding equal parts water, which I'm surprised to learn is a BETTER wasabi, and less expensive, and which will last near indefinitely and allow you to make exactly the amount of wasabi you want, at any time. Also, making wasabi this way is like cutting onions but harder on the eyes!
Then Tash says to me, "Okay, cut the fish!" She didn't know anything about this internal model I had about What Constitutes The Massive Skill Set And Learning Curve Of Making Sushi, so she issues this command with zero sense of self-consciousness. I'm alone in my amusement.
So I got out my favorite knife, which is, contrary to all rational expectation, the bread knife --- very long, very slender, and very sharp, thank you Cutco. And Tash dictated to me the sizes of the pieces she wanted, and I cut them. (how high do you want these pyramids, pharaoh? Pharaoh points at the sky. Oh, ok.)
She assembled the rolls: vanilla-American flavor, with cream cheese, avocado, cucumber, salmon, rice, the nori. I grabbed the camera and took a few photos. The dog sat loyally and watchfully at our feet, and of course she got some sushi too.
Just uploaded photos via email to Facebook, behind the cut.