Sushi Shenanigans

Throughout lockdown, I craved sushi.

I know I could’ve gotten it delivered, and I did… but there’s just something about lockdown and making food, ya know? Thus, in lockdown fashion, what better way to celebrate my birthday than by making our own lunch.

As you can see, we were a tad ambitious… and I blame the fact that we’ve been bombarded with delicious food posts on Facebook and Instagram this entire year!

With fresh salmon from the market, it was imperative that we made salmon cream cheese. This is my favourite combination, and sadly not common enough for me to buy it regularly enough. 

If you look closely enough at the top picture, we also made salmon and avocado for Lynn.. but I really don’t quite understand the appeal, especially when salmon cream cheese exists in this world.

We also made some gimbap. As a child, I was always happy to see sushi rolls in my lunchbox; as an adult, I realise that my mum was actually making gimbap (she learnt from a Korean friend). Naturally, in reminiscence of my own childhood, I bought daikon and burdock to replicate this.

We also bought this.. mostly because it was beautiful and we were keen for some caviar. It may not have been the right type for ikura gunkan, but… we did it anyway

Seriously, look how beautiful this is?! 

I was not disappointed and may have even eaten some spoonfuls of caviar by itself…!

We also had a range of other things that weren’t made by us, including fresh salmon, ebi tempura, ebi tempura maki, edamame and seaweed salad. While it was a great birthday treat, it definitely took longer than expected and I was so hungry by the time we were done!

Let’s bake Mooncakes

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It’s that time of year again… buying overpriced mooncakes! Not this year.

Although the pandemic has been a bit stressful and living in Melbourne means we were under some pretty strict lockdown rules, I was pretty happy to hear that those living on their own could nominate a social buddy to come visit… and so I became Lynn’s buddy! One of the first things we decided to do upon meeting after many months of not seeing each other was attempt to make mooncakes.

My mum used to make mooncakes when I was younger, and she still tells me about the trials and tribulations she went through trying to get the mooncake out of the old school wooden paddle. Luckily for us, I managed to procure these plastic moulds from deep within my cupboard (something my mum bought when she decided she had enough of the wooden paddle, but then discarded the plan altogether).

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Sharing my mum’s woes with Lynn, we were both a bit apprehensive about making mooncakes but were determined to give it a go. Upon reflection, the hardest thing about this whole endeavour was getting an accurate ratio of pastry: filling: egg, especially since we had purchased the lotus paste (we did not have the time to make this, although maybe next time?) and the salted egg yolk.

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We were quite aware (and slightly stressed after remembering my mum’s troubles) that the mould that we had wasn’t quite traditional and thus, were very proud of ourselves when we were able to recall high school algebra to determine the perfect weight required for each pastry, filling and egg. This was a particularly rewarding moment for us, as we actually became friends in a shared math class.. 12 years ago!

It was going so well, until we decided to follow a certain questionable recipe that recommended us to egg wash the pastry a couple of times during the baking process. This unfortunate step caused us to lose the detail from our beautiful rose mould, which resulted in a less than desirable pattern, but alas… it still tastes good.

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When planning to make mooncakes, we didn’t realise that it needed to “rest” for a couple of days. We were most sad that we couldn’t enjoy the culmination of our hard work together, so decided to try one straight out of the oven anyway – it still tasted great, although a bit more crispy. I then, painstakingly, hid my share of mooncakes for 3 days before revealing them to family (lest they eat them) and took the photo above.

The waiting game was meant to create a glossier and softer skin, which I think it achieved? It still tasted just as delicious to me, and was devoured quickly by my family!

Snow skin next time?

Iso Date ♥

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2020 has been a little bit of an odd year for all of us – time seems to move slowly, yet it’s already September?

Although I’m not too outgoing myself, being at home week after week does have it’s drawbacks. What I really miss is being able to go out and dine in at different restaurants…and also eating at restaurants that’s more than 5km away from my house! The one benefits of course is that Ragnar gets to spend all our free time with us, and join us on all our adventures… like our iso picnic date last month!

I actually received the above picnic basket for my birthday a couple of years ago, and this is the first time we’ve “used it” as all the picnics we’ve gone on so far have been packed by other people!

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The above grazing board consists of salami, pastrami, prosciutto and a selection of cheese from Meatsmith.

I had a lot of fun trying to recreate all those #instaworthy grazing boards you see online, and even made the effort to go out to buy grapes and olives specifically for this photo! We decided to go all out and even crack open a sparkling wine from Balgownie Estate that I had been holding on for a special occasion.

Eating off a board (that isn’t really quite big enough) was quite difficult, so you can rest assured that we did eventually just move to the table (to save myself from having to clean the picnic blanket I got from Yoplait)

This was a great use of our Saturday afternoon and a delicious one at that too.

(Spot the old blog posts references!)

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