Growing up, I was never what you would call an “adventurous eater”. Mom says that as a baby and toddler, she worried about the fact that I went through a period where I seemed to survive on nothing but milk. During my adolescence, I also remember a brief period where I ate nothing but chicken-flavored Rice-a-Roni.
It wasn’t until my late high school years that I really began trying new foods. I discovered cooking shows on TV, and began experimenting in the kitchen. Then, a trip to New Orleans for a youth gathering exposed me to Cajun/Creole cuisine, and my narrow culinary perspective was changed forever. I realized that life was too short to eat the same boring stuff day after day, and I made it my mission to continue to try new things wherever I went.
When I left home to go to college in New York, a whole new set of delicious doors began to open for me. That’s one of the things that I still miss the most about New York. On any given day, Steven and I would hop in the car and drive to Manhattan for dinner, either trying out some new restaurant or visiting one of our favorite haunts. It didn’t matter what we were craving–pizza, pasta, seafood, sushi, Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Cajun, BBQ, Mexican, hamburgers, french fries, ice cream, Italian ice, soft pretzels, hot dogs, cheesecake, black-and-white cookies, cannolis, egg bagels, or fresh-baked challah bread–we could always find it and it was always delicious.
One of my favorite discoveries during my college years was sushi. Growing up in Nebraska, raw fish was never something that was on my list of things I wanted to eat. Yet, with my newfound adventurous appetite, I couldn’t resist trying sushi at least once, especially not when Concordia began inviting two sushi chefs to the campus to serve assorted rolls during lunch. I started slowly–like everyone does–with an order of California Rolls. California Rolls are harmless, just rice, cucumber, avocado and bits of crabmeat wrapped in seaweed.
It was love at first bite.
Since then, I have sampled dozens of different types of sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls, and just when I think I’ve found my favorite, I find another.
Tonight, Steven and I ventured out to Kinja Japanese Restaurant here in Lincoln. We figured now that we are getting settled in our new hometown, it was high time we found a new sushi restaurant to frequent. More importantly, we figured it was high time we introduced our daughter to some of our favorite food.
Cadence has been a really great eater since we first started her on solids. Her one and only revolt was against bananas (and who can blame her, since Steven and I are both banana haters ourselves). We figured we would start her at the only logical starting point–a California Roll. We had no idea what her reaction would be to her first taste of sushi, so we’ll let the photos speak for themselves…