Celebrating Diane with a Sushi Feast

It’s Diane’s birthday today and a lot of my blog friends know her well from guest posts about her adventures as an American immigrant to Norway. So what’s more natural today than to say: My dear wife, the floor is yours:

First I would like to thank TorAa for a very sweet birthday greeting from some good friends. It was a lovely surprise this morning and I have tried to get in and thank everyone who left their good wishes!

To celebrate my day we decided to make Sushi Maki. I have a good friend who is Chinese who taught me how to make sushi maki some years ago. I know that sushi is from Japan and not China, but my friend learned from a friend and passed it on. My sushi isn’t that fancy, and sometimes it’s not uniform in size, but it sure tastes good. We also have fun making it, my 19 year old son usually hangs around when I am making sushi. You see the two end pieces often fall apart a bit when it’s cut, so he likes to eat the rejects!! Frankly, the more mistakes I make the happier he is. Pics taken with my son’s HP R717:

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Sushi ingredients and bamboo mat — Filled Nori ready to roll!

To make sushi maki you need a special tool, that’s really the secret to it. It’s a bamboo mat which you use to roll the sushi, that way it rolls evenly and doesn’t stick to your fingers. My sushi was made with nori seaweed sheets, available in most Asian supermarkets, crab pieces, or salmon (I am a bit chicken at home so I steamed the salmon a bit –I know raw is better), avocado, and sliced hardboiled egg. I won’t write the whole process here – but rather invite those of you who really want to try their hand to click here and get a good description of how to make simple Sushi Maki.

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Since today was my birthday I broke out a tablecloth from last years big birthday bash and decked the board for the festivities. The china is also a birthday present from last year, it’s made by Porsgrund porcelain and the name of the pattern is Street. The chopsticks are personally brought back from Hong Kong by my friend, Patricia.

As far as the long awaited birthday gifts this year I received some lovely tulips from my husband, and tomorrow we are going to a wine tasting seminar – which I am sure you will read about soon. My inlaws gave me a lovely serving dish, my parents a birthday card and some green stuff. I also received a bottle of wine from a good friend and of course a birthday cake arranged by my youngest son.
Diane Present Frank Woo
A little group of presents — and a masterpiece

The ultimate surprise came from my friend Patricia once again, her brother Frank Woo is an artist, and he left me an original painting from his Wave collection for helping him arrange an exhibition in Norway (click to see RennyBA’s post!). Frank has several upcoming exhibitions in the next months if anyone is interested in his work. I really adored the Wave collection, and am personally thrilled to have one of his masterpieces hanging on my wall!

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  1. allow me to again wish you a happy birthday. how wonderful, a japanese feast cooked by an american who learned it from a chinese all while living in norway! now that is some kind of global experience! it looks yummy and i am so glad you had a special day and even that marvelous surprise of receiving the painting. how special. :)

    Yeah I guess it is pretty international, and I love the painting. I was really inspired by Mr. Woo when I met him!

  2. Happy Birthday again Diane! Your meal looks wonderful and so do the pretty flowers!

    Thanks for your well wishes, the flowers are pretty – and from a sweet guy too!

  3. Happy birthday, Diane! I got a bamboo mat myself two days ago from a Japanese friend so now I am more than inspired to use it and make some maki! :) But you know, instead of avocado, Manila’s Japanese restaurants use ripe mango bits. Believe me, it tastes good!!! :) You may want to try that one. :)

    Have fun with your bamboo mat, and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can eat your mistakes hehehe! Sushi tastes just as good no matter what it looks like actually (don’t tell the Japanese). I bet Mango is great in Maki, I will have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Happy Birthday, Diane! Lovely gifts you received. ;-)
    And Renny, I voted for you again….

    Have a lovely end of your week.

    Love and hugs, Diane

    Thank you for your birthday wishes and for voting for my Santa LOL!

  5. Diane, you are welcome to do sushi-dishes at our home anytime.;)
    What a meal. Gosh, midweek. Impressing.
    And lovely tulips -now revealed out of the paper (you know Renny and I had a professional meeting during the afternoon, and I did see he had bought Flowers for you)
    By the way, did you receive one hug from Anna and another from me? If not, well, we are around.

    We will make sushi for you and Anna sometime. Yes, I got your hugs from a cute delivery guy! Thanks Thanks!! Midweek sushi isn’t so impressive if you know that I have several days off because I am working the weekend shift ;-)

  6. Wow, I must say I just love the painting! Really my kind of art. Lucky girl ;-)

    Making sushi is sooo much fun! I went to a class one Sunday when I was still in high school and we had a “sushi meeting” every couple months after that for the rest of the years. The sushi (or makis..) here look pretty good. Who would have known that an American Norwegian couple had Japanese skills! :lol:

    I think making sushi is surprisingly easy. I realize that real sushi chefs make sushi more of an art form, and there is a difference in the quality of ingredients and endless combinations – however one can also have a lot of simple amateur fun experimenting at home.

  7. These sushis look delicious ! I see you really have a nice birthday feast.

    I have today 13 costumes of Manneken Pis on my blog (out of 780 !!)

    Thanks! I’ll have to stop in and check out your Manneken Pis costumes, I have been to see him in person you know ;-)

  8. Happy Birthday and what a marvelous dinner. Sushi is my favourite, I could eat it every day especially sashimi. Love the masterpiece – what a special birthday present.


    Hey thanks for your greetings. The dinner was pretty darn tasty, we ate it all up anyway. If you want to know more about the artwork you can click the link on Renny’s blog. We met the artist when he visited Norway and were very impressed.

  9. Such a wonderful birthday – hurray for Dianne – even though I’m a bit late, shame on me!!!!

    I hope your new year will be filled with happiness, joy, laughter and adventures! Yes, at least a bit of interesting adventures, not dangerous ones ;-)
    Actually, sushi is not my favourite, but these ones look gooood! I think I’d prefer your steamed alternative :-)


    Thanks for your birthday wishes, I will surely go looking for adventures! We can make you some vegetarian sushi…there are endless possibilities!

  10. Happy belated birthday Diane :)
    I hope you enjoyed your birthday feast…it looks marvellous !!
    what a treat to receive such wonderful gifts and a painting too…..
    it looks quite spectacular !!

    Thanks for your birthday greetings! Possibly the best present was last night, Renny and I went to a wine tasting seminar in Oslo. I’m sure you all will hear about it soon so stay tuned!

  11. Happy Birthday Diane!
    Enjoy the day !
    Shouldn’t Renny cook today? ;-)

    Maybe Renny should have cooked but he had a late meeting, so as a compromise we ate a late dinner and I made something I love.

  12. I hope you had a really fun birthday. Sushi is fun to make and yours looks fantastic!
    Not to mention the cake…..yum :-)
    Gorgeous painting too.

    Happy weekend!

    Diane CA II :-)

    Thanks for the birthday and weekend good wishes! The cake was yummy as well, my son arranged that.

  13. Happy belated birthday to you, Diane. :-) The sushi looks divine– perfect for a birthday celebration. I hope you and Renny have a wonderful weekend.

    Thank You! Renny and I will have to find something fun to this weekend. You have a good one too!!

  14. Belated Birthday Wishes Diane, I hope that you had a wonderful day.
    The sushi looks so delicious my mouth is watering at the very thought :)

    RennyBA my dear friend,
    You’ve been TAGGED…it’s an easy one though :)
    Have a wonderful weekend

    Birthday tagging….is that allowed hehehe! I’m sure Renny will be right over!

  15. What a beautiful birthday! Personnaly I adore sushi! Happy girl ou are with so many gifts! Pierre my husband is a good painter too. So I love paintings on my wall too!

    Thank you! How exciting to have a husband who paints, you are a lucky girl too ;-) Have a good weekend!

  16. Hi U 2, inspired by the wonderful meal you had last Wednesday, we went to the Fish counter at our local shop. Guess what?

    hehehehe – we bought all the Oysters they had. Even it’s hours gone we ate them, I’m still in heaven. And Baccalao (Fresh Cod (Skrei) as main dish( Anna as well. How will this night end. LOL.

    Just had to tell you

    A y T

  17. Oh my what a wonderful and unique way to spend your birthday and again belated Happy Birthday to you Diane. May you have more bdays to come with more blessings, love and good health.

  18. happy happy birthday diane!

    am glad you enjoyed your birthday. hope next time we would also be able to taste the sushi that you prepare :)

  19. Happy birthday Diane! You can celebrate it for a week!

    I love sushi. I think it is a fabulous way to make sushi with your loved ones on your birthday. The sushi must have tasted heavenly.

  20. Happy Happy Birthday,Dianne!

    More blessings and more Bdays to come!! :)

    oh yes,thats how to make sushi maki,my hubby is always better than me,he taught me how to make them.and yes,we just do in during special occasions :)

  21. Belated birthday greetings, Diane. I’ve just been reading the posts on my blogroll and it’s surprising how many Aquarians there are…including me!

    I’m not a fan of sushi…not particularly keen on raw fish or seaweed!

    I love that painting given to you…wow!

    Glad that you had a great day. Cheers!

  22. A belated Happy Birthday to Diane! Sushi in Norway? I guess no one needs to travel any longer now that everything is available everywhere! Other than the snow, that is. :-)

  23. So sorry I’m late for the party but we ARE a few hours behind you! No excuse! Happy belated B-day! Isn’t it nice to get some cheery tulips at this time of year?! My husband’s b-day was on the 24th! All he wanted was to go skiing even though it was a work day so he got up at 6:00 just to be there by 8:00 tp ski 25 km!

  24. Happy, happy birthday, Diane, though a couple days late. I can tell you’re pretty close to heaven there in your world with Renny! :)

  25. PS – after rushing off to our party, I realized I got some of my own sushi.. Look what I asked for! And Diane, Happy Birthday during the month of Jan! What was the actual day? My mom’s was 26th – exactly 2 wks after mine… rather ironic..

    From cold and icy Vancouver today…

  26. I saw this blog a moment ago. It is intersting to see all kinds of sushi are making widely in the world. I live in Long Beach, California – US today ! I make these sushi at home too, but they look good enough for me (Japanese) and it is very healthy too. All Japanese has been eaten these sushi for since 1820 and they are still growing in the world. Here, my wife learns, how to sushi, Japanese culture and Japanese history by: http://www.sushitrainer.com. And this saite is the best of the world to learn about the sushi and Japan !!! You people shoul visit this site once. Thaey are greatest !!!

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