Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year: Goal Setting & Sushi-Making

As I have said before, I love a new year, a new calendar, a clean slate.  I love to assess, reflect and goal set.  So, the end of December/ beginning of January is a time I do some personal reflecting on the year past and the year ahead.  I try to evaluate various parts of my life: spiritual, physical, relational, mental, work, parenting, and consider what I want to work on in the future year.  I try not to set “resolutions” necessarily- where I will myself to do grandiose things and it’s up to my discipline to do so.  The goals I set are typically more like baby steps towards change, or attitude shifts.

Our family has recently needed to bring back our Rules of the House list to post on our refrigerator. It’s helping with issues that we are having in our home (issues of kindness, obedience, sharing, respect…you know, ALL of our house rules)! Dave and I decided that we might should set some rules for ourselves as parents as well. These include: Do not yell. Do not shame. Do not argue. (The kids requested this one.  We didn't realize we needed this rule, but we trust that if they feel like we are arguing, we must be.  So to the list it went).  We are trying to uphold these and model for the kids working on self-improvement, self-control and leaning into God in our weakness.

We thought it would be fun/beneficial to try to set some family goals for the new year.  

We decided to each have a stack of index cards of a certain color on which to write our individual goals and then a "family color" for our family goals.  We each set some goals, wrote (and decorated) them,  and attached them together with twine. We hung it on the laundry room door so we can see it often as a reminder.

Some of the goals were comical, some far-fetched, some right on target.  Our family goals ended up including: clean up after yourself and play more games together.
My son has one about working on his portion control.  He has another one about trying to not fix his thoughts on technology but on other things as well. My 8 year old's cards included cleaning room and keeping up with her stuff.  My 4 year old decided "be kind" and "stay in my room until the sun comes up" would be her goals. 
I am seeking to be steadfast in life.  That's the big, overarching goal of mine. And to read, and to go to bed on time so that I can wake early each morning and have quiet time.

There is something powerful about putting things in print and as well as speaking things aloud to another person.  There is accountability in both.  So, we are going to tell each other our goals. I will tell a friend or two my goals, so that I have some adult accountability and support and we will attempt to work towards these goals…becoming the better versions of ourselves.

When thinking of a New Year’s recipe to post about, I thought about Sushi-making.  It seems fitting because it is a way to save money (it is MUCH cheaper to make than buy), it is healthy– though carb-filled, and is a new adventure, at least it was for us this year. These seem to fit into many people’s new year’s resolution categories.

I don’t know what you think about Sushi.  Some people adore it, some are grossed out by it. I learned to enjoy sushi when my co-workers at the stationery store - my job during graduate school- would go to the Sushi restaurant across the street for lunch.  It took getting used to, but I quickly loved it.  (Albeit the “whimpy kind”.  I don’t like the flesh strip across the top of my sushi – thank you very much).  I like California Rolls, crunchy shrimp, Philadelphia, and the like – the low risk kinds.  Dave loves it and in the past few years my kids have grown to love it.  So much so, that it is hard for us to afford going out for sushi.  Sushi isn’t expensive when you want the simple kinds and you are buying for one, maybe two.  However, Sushi for 5 is not cheap! We struggle with this.  We had been talking about making our own and figured it must be fairly simple and pretty cheap when you think about the ingredients.  So, last summer, Dave did it.  He watched a couple of You Tube videos and successfully made Sushi.  It was simple, he said, and it’s really great. I thought you would need to buy a bunch of supplies but all you really need is a bamboo mat, which we bought at World Market for a couple of dollars, and some simple ingredients. Most everything ingredient-wise is available at the grocery in the International Section.

Here's his recipe:

Ingredients: Sushi rice (prepared as directed on package).
Shrimp, crabmeat (fully cooked), or Surimi- imitation crab meat
Seaweed paper
(Cream cheese, cucumber, sesame seeds, roe, mayo etc. are some optional ingredients as well...amongst two thousand others.)

Step One: Cover mat with plastic wrap while cooking Sushi rice and prepping ingredients (slicing, cooking, peeling, etc.)
Step Two: Place seaweed on the mat and cover with a thin layer of cooked rice.  Use wet hands to move and spread across the seaweed. Then gently flip the seaweed over. 

Step Three: Place sliced and prepped veggies and meat/shrimp on top of seaweed. Roll up around it.

Step Four: squeeze the mat around the roll to make it uniform and smooth.

Step Five: Cut with a good, sharp knife into 1 inch pieces

Step Six: Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger slices.

Some tips from Dave are:

·     Sushi rice is shorter and stickier than standard long-grain rice.  The instructions will likely tell you to soak it. This is important.

·      You need a mat, and using plastic wrap on top of the mat makes it much easier to roll the sticky rice.

·      Rinsing your hands (in a bowl of water with a little vinegar) throughout helps to keep your hands from sticking to the rice, and it also keeps them clean for the rolling.

·      You use a lot of rice but little bits of the other ingredients: seafood, avocado, etc.

Happy New Year!
Here's to a clean slate, 
a new beginning, 
a chance to improve on some things, 
let go of others, 
and try something new!

1 comment:

  1. Your son is so sweet. Good for him for being careful. I have to warn you though, that as he hits his mid teens his portion control will have to double. Teenage boys...oh my. Mine just turned 20 and he ate a lot of groceries.
    I really liked your ideas for tackling 2013 goals as a family.
    Love your blog!

    Nancy Peacock, Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA