Today under a tree in the park in the middle of the afternoon, I ate perfect lime shortbread and chocolate macaroons with the lovely JP and her sweet big baby. She came bearing not only her sweet big baby and that wicked brown bag of cookies (from Espresso Mi Vida. Dynamite flour-and-sugar skills) but enough supper ideas to keep me blogging till June.

It was tough to pick from all the novel, fantastically-outside-of-my-current-repertoire, light-on-the-meat, heavy-on-the-legumes, just-right-for-sunny-weather suggestions she fired off.

In the end, I came straight home and tried my hand at her easy instructions for Sushi in a Bowl. It’s the definition of a pantry supper, and eminently adaptable. All I needed to pick up was shrimp.

I boiled brown rice with a couple of teaspoons of bouillon and a little nub of butter. While it cooked, I shredded a carrot. It tasted like dirt, so I tossed it with oil and rice vinegar – much better. Then I cut a pickling cucumber into a small dice; thinly sliced five or six green onions; cubed an avocado; and shredded a zucchini (it’s so palatable raw that way) and gave it a light sprinkle of soy. Six minutes of chopping, max.

I set out the soy, sesame seeds and sesame oil

and cut nori into matchsticks with my handy kitchen scissors

while Wayne went outside and barbecued some big, fat shrimp (which he’d doused in a wacky yet delicious marinade of olive oil, black pepper, hot sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup and crazy old champagne from the ’70s that had tragically turned to vinegar.)

They cooked in five minutes and we built our gorgeous bowls. We started with a big scoop of rice and drizzled it with soy and sesame oil.

Then in went the veg, the sesame seeds

and then the shrimp, a little more soy sauce, and a flutter of nori for garnish.

Nice!

It tasted like the world’s biggest, most satisfying, most super-deluxe California Roll ever.

The normally understated Wayne (who clearly reserves his excesses for marinades) pronounced these not only good but “very good.”

We’ll be eating these by the dozens till sweater weather, guaranteed.

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