Have you ever eaten sushi? Have you ever tried doing it while being on the receiving end of a back-handed compliment?
A few months ago a couple in the church who are dear friends of ours invited us to lunch at a Sushi buffet in a nearby coastal village. We went and I loved it (the first time that I had ever tried sushi). Nina – not so much.
Later, she confessed that one piece she had to choke down just so she wouldn’t spit it back on the plate. She loved all the other food that she ate that day, but just not the sushi.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to try to make it at home because it is rather pricey in the few restaurants that serve it over here. So, Tuesday, with my wife/sous-chef at my side, I gathered all the ingredients and began making sushi, for the very first time.
Oh yeah, and the family that invited us to the first sushi date was coming over to enjoy it with us in just a little while. Trial by fire, right?
For those of you sushi challenged readers out there, I didn’t just put “raw” fish on a plate and say, “Bom appetite!”
No, other than the seaweed wrap and rice filling my ingredients were pineapple, cucumber, smoked salmon and shrimp. I taste tested while I rolled up the sushi, only eating the ugly shaped pieces, and with less humility than I should have, at the first taste I said, “Hey, that’s good.”
Now, fast forward to everybody at the table, having asked the Lord to bless the food, three of the four of us began to dive in, with Nina opting for a side dish of rice and pan-friend turkey.
Larissa, our Brazilian friend bit off half of one of the rolls and exclaimed, “Wow, that’s very good, pastor!” while quickly eating the other half.
When I asked whether she thought it wasn’t going to be any good, she was completely and brutally honest assuring me that she did not expect it to be any good at all. She just didn’t have any confidence that an American could make sushi that would be any good. No offense to me, and she didn’t say this, but I’m sure she thought that an American preacher certainly wouldn’t know his way around the kitchen.
Was I offended? Absolutely not. I was thrilled because I knew she was being honest and would have told me if she didn’t like it.
Honesty. Refreshing. Just like a freshly made California roll!
Thank you, Larissa and Halisson for liking my sushi and for sharing your surprise, too.
When I first tried it, I was a bit shocked myself. I mean really, an American preacher from Alabama making good sushi. Unheard of!