At one of the planning meetings for the Carmel School Annual Dinner, held last December, I suddenly found myself donating part of an item to be put forward to the silent auction, held on the night of the Dinner. This was by no means the most valuable or glamorous item in the auction but it had potential for fun – A Ladies Cocktails & Sushi Night for the first 25 people to sign up and pay the fixed price. And I was making the sushi.
We fixed the date in advance and the list filled to capacity.
I didn’t think much more of it until a few days before the event (which clashed with the final night of my friend Clare’s visit) when I made my sushi shopping list and mentally calculated how many pieces of sushi I was going to have to make. I figured on about 10 pieces per person but got a bit of a shock when I then realised that meant making 250 pieces of sushi!! This was a different kettle of fish (ha ha) to the plate I whip up as a starter for dinner guests now and then.
A few deep breaths later, I worked out all my timings, Clare and I set off for a day out and I left my helper with instructions to have the rice cooked and cooled all ready for me to get going with the nitty gritty of the sushi making when we returned in the early afternoon.
But cooled cooked rice was not what I returned to. When I came home I found my helper in a panic with a big, still steaming, pile of wet soggy rice that was totally not the consistency, or temperature, it needed to be! OK, more deep breaths required, not to mention temper control. Did I even have enough rice left to start again? Was I going to have to order the sushi from a restaurant and pass it off as my own?! And how on earth did the rice go wrong in the first place? It was made in a rice cooker and hasn’t ever gone wrong before, why now?
We had no choice but to chuck it all in the bin and start again. Maybe the problem was trying to make such a large quantity of rice in one go? Apart from incompetance, that’s the only other explanation! So we set about making smaller batches in the rice cooker and on the hob and slowly but surely we got there. I then had to wait for the rice to cool whilst the clock ticked closer and closer to the time we needed to leave.
But somehow it cooled and a few hours and 264 pieces later, I’d done it. Most importantly the lovely ladies who had paid good money for a night of sushi and cocktails were all satisfied so mission accomplished. Not sure I fancy making sushi again for a while though!