Wipes

It appears I’ve been making lots of simple square things lately – table napkins, placemats, and now, wipes.  I have had a on-again, off-again relationship with cloth wipes, loving them for a while and then reverting back to the convenience of disposable ones when baby number two came along.  Now I’m back in love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bunch of wipes for everyday use – great for using up scrap fabrics that are fast accumulating in my sewing room.  They are about 5″ x 6″ pieces of double gauze with organic cotton jersey or bamboo towel backing.

When Miss M was little (before I started Piggledee), I was too cheap to buy nice fabric just to wipe poop.  So I just cut up bits of flannel from a hand-me-down bunny wrap, finished the edges with an overlocker, and that was it.  They weren’t pretty, but they worked. This time I’m lucky to have gorgeous, luxurious, organic even, leftover fabrics thanks to Piggledee.  I don’t get bored sewing these simple squares because the fabrics are so lovely.

And of course I had to make something even lovelier for my shop:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The double gauze is buttery-soft organic cotton, with the cutest apple prints! It’s from Japan of course, and is the priciest fabric I’ve ever ordered – but thankfully you only need a little to make wipes.  For the backing I used organic cotton / hemp French terry, which has a lovely natural colour and towel-like surface.  It is the most absorbent fabric I’ve used.  Even the fabric ribbon is organic cotton.

Why use cloth wipes and not disposable ones?

(a) Most disposable wipes have icky chemicals in them that are bad for sensitive baby’s skin.  Okay, I don’t know what these chemicals are called, but isn’t it suspiciously unnatural how they never seem to dry out in a box?  Some babies seem to suffer from chronic nappy rash due to disposable wipes.

(b) Cloth wipes are easy to use and more effective for poopy mess than those thin, slippery disposable ones.  I used to use 4-6 or more disposable wipes to get a job done.  I only need one or two of my thick wipes on the other hand.

(c) Disposable wipes are expensive. As with cloth nappies, they will save you a lot of money in the long run.

(d) Disposable wipes are bad for the environment.

Also, like I said before about placemats and napkins, having pretty, high-quality accessories at otherwise stressful or no-fun times does wonders to brighten up your mood.  Wiping sticky messy poop from a squirmy two-year-old’s bottom? Not one of the highlights of a day – but at least I get some pleasure using those gorgeous pieces of fabric.



Mealtime accessories

I’ve been shopping around for a perfect fabric for making child-sized placemat and napkins.  Then this week I found it, right in my own sewing room among a pile of fabrics I hadn’t used before — 55% linen, 45% cotton dotty fabric with the most gorgeous texture and colors, from Japan of course.  Its simplicity is just right for mealtime (where the principal player should be the food, not accessories), and the large dots and pretty colors add a touch of cuteness for child appeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is admittedly a rather pricey fabric.  A luxury fabric I would say.  You’ll just have to touch it to see what I mean.  Is it a little bit of an overkill to use such fabric for children, who may not be so discerning at the age of 2 or even 4?  Well… of course not!  Not because the little ones deserve the best, etc.  But because beautiful children’s items are not just for them, but for the parents as well.

Like when I was using drops of lavender essential oils in Miss M’s bath when she was a baby, hoping that the scent will relax and sooth her nerves.  I had no idea it did or not, but it certainly soothed my nerves and calmed me down at the end of a long day.

In my household, mealtime can be quite stressful.  Particularly dinnertime after daycare or preschool, involving super-tired and cranky children, feels like walking through a mine field.  Make one wrong move and boom! goes off the tantrum button.  “I don’t LIKE tomatoes, mommy!” “I want MILK, not water!” And so on.

Having a pretty table setting doesn’t solve all my mealtime problems, but it helps.  I love looking at pretty fabrics at the most stressful of times.  It soothes me.  And my children seem to love having their child-sized placemats and matching napkins.  I think a little touch like that makes them feel a little special.  Like I said before, kids do appreciate a little presentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the napkins, I used soft and lightweight organic cotton / hemp fabric.  I used organic cotton / hemp canvas for the placemat backing.  Again, top-quality fabrics… but oh well, happiness is all in the details, don’t you think?


Smock dress

I used to think that it was a sign of maternal love to make clothes for your child.  Like, wrapping your baby with love.

I don’t think that anymore.  For the past year, Miss M has rejected most of my creations because I can never seem to get anything right for her taste.  And the silliest thing about it?  Is that I am still making clothes for her, knowing the chances of rejection are pretty good.  Why?  Why stay up late at night sewing for an ungrateful child?  Don’t I have work to do?  Or at least watch some more Garden Girl episodes for my much-needed relaxation time?

Well, I now have no choice but to admit it — because I like it.  I love sewing little clothes for little people, using pretty fabrics I can never wear myself.  There is so much satisfaction in it that I (well, almost) don’t care that my daughter wears it or not.  It turns out I am just a selfish sewer.

And that is probably why Miss M doesn’t like my creations – because I am too selfish to choose fabrics she would like, as opposed to what I like.  Sigh.  I just can’t bring myself to sew with pink and purple…. Or maybe I’m hoping against hope that one day soon she’ll grow out of her pink phase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So here is my latest selfish creation.  It is not pink or purple, but green, blue and white.  It’s a simple smock-style dress with elastic gathers around the neck and sleeves.  I put a patch pocket with a little green button.  The pattern is from one of my all-time favorite Japanese craft books:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The title translates to something like: Proper Clothes Even for Children.  The author, Yuji Ogata, is a designer at a New York children’s clothing store called Makie.  I just love all his designs because they are clean, simple (though not always easy to make), classic, and beautiful.  This book has patterns for 3- to 8-year olds.  He has another book for babies and younger children, and I’ve made quite a few things from that book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a double gauze fabric by Heather Ross.  I love how comfortable and breezy the dress is – perfect for hot Australian summer.  I actually had made this dress before using a different Heather Ross fabric (also not pink).  Here’s Miss M wearing that dress a year ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To my surprise and joy, Miss M actually agreed to wear the new dress for the day.  She complained about having only one pocket (I promised to put on another one later), and said it was too long (she is right) but still decided to wear it, putting aside her usual preference for everything pink.

It was a sign of love, I think.  Not a sign of maternal love, but of my daughter’s love for me, or pity at least, for her recognition of my efforts.  Aw… it made my heart melt for a while.  But Miss M being the rebel she is, she made it clear that her love for mommy didn’t extend to letting me follow her around with a camera.  This is the last photo I managed, while she’s saying “I don’t want you taking photos of me!”

Oh well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beach

We went to Manly yesterday for a family birthday lunch.  At first Mark and I were pretty grumpy about having to drive all the way to such a crowded area with two little kids, cutting their naptime short — never a good thing, I tell you.  But then it ended up a lot of fun.  Why?  The beach!  Being so far away from a beach, we hardly ever take our kids to beaches.  Beach play wasn’t planned yesterday, either, but when Miss M saw the beach, she really wanted to go down there and play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She proceeded to take off most of her clothes off, including her undies, and went right in the water.  This took me by surprise, because she has always been a cautious child, afraid of much of nature.  But could it be that she’s changing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then both children had great fun playing with the little fountains lining up the main shopping area.  Mr. A got soaking wet and took his pants and nappy off right there.  Others were mortally embarrassed but I didn’t care.  If not for the nagging inlaws hurrying us along, I’d have let them play there for much longer, bare bottomed and all.  Maybe I’m becoming one of those parents people would roll their eyes at for letting the kids run around like feral kittens?

Boy apron

I don’t know why I like aprons on children so much.  I never wear an apron, except when I was working in restaurant kitchens.  But then the aprons I like on children are not the chef-like aprons anyway. They are real clothing items, semi-fitted, with proper armholes and neckline, that opens at the back for tie closures.  They are more for mealtime, like bibs, but provide wider coverage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. A thinks he’s too cool to wear bibs these days, but he’s okay with aprons.  In fact, being a rather messy eater, he asks for one when he starts to stain his favourite clothes.  Until recently he’s been wearing Miss M’s girly aprons I’ve made before, but now that he’s nearly two (!), it was time for a proper boy version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, okay, maybe the light green gingham wasn’t exactly a manly choice.  But still.  It’s a very simple design, with a big pocket in the middle and no gathering or frills.  Don’t you think it just looks adorable on boys?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course girls can wear these, too.  But when it comes to girls, I find it hard to resist adding a few girly touches.  Like a little gathering at the neck, or a ric rac trim on the pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I might make a couple of these for my online shop.  Just to see if anyone else would find them as cute as I do.

8 ideas on living (relatively) cheaply on organic food

So I’ve been getting weekly boxes of organic fruit and veggies, cooking healthy meals pretty much every day, and even making my own yoghurt and baking bread on a regular basis. Naturally I’ve been giving myself a big pat on the shoulder! How long will this eco/hippy/domestic goddess-dom last? Hard to tell… Actually, now that the dreaded school holiday is upon us again, I can see myself completely dropping the ball at some point over the next three weeks.

Whenever I enthuse about organic food, however, the number one response I get from people — even like-minded people — is that organic produce is too expensive. Well, that’s fair enough. It is more expensive. But in my recent bout of reading, I came across two compelling arguments about it that I wanted to share:

One – organic produce may be expensive up front, but conventional produce has a lot higher “hidden” cost you pay with your tax dollars. For instance, the cost of treating people falling illl from pesticide use, including a lot of farmers who become sick from being in contact with all that poison. (From  Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen by Anna Lappe)  Two – when you pay higher price for organic produce, you are using your voting power, with your money, to support sustainable, ethical farming over conventional. Much like donating money to your favourite charity, each time you buy local and organic, you are supporting that local farmer who might otherwise be taken over by a huge agricultural corporation who values profit over food safety. (From No Impact Man by Colin Beavan)

I think these are quite convincing arguments for shelling out money for local, organic produce. Don’t you?

But if you are still not persuaded, here are some of my suggestions for eating organic on the cheap side (in no particular order). What I mean is, eating organic food does not have to be expensive at all.

(1) Give up meat. We used to buy organic chicken, which is ridiculously expensive. After we gave up meat and became semi-vegetarian (we eat occasional seafood), our grocery bill got much more bearable. And you know what, fresh organic vegetables taste so much better than conventional ones, I bet you won’t miss meat all that much. A simple meal of vegetable stew like ratatouille tastes divine, full-flavoured, and it makes you swoon in happiness rather than poke around the dish in search of “point of interest” (as Mark would say, referring to meat or cheese).

I nearly shed tears when I saw my son eating organic broccoli for the first time, and asking for more – It was just plain, steamed broccoli with no sauce or salt. This is the boy who used to meticulously remove anything green from his dinner plate. Really, organic broccoli tastes that good.

(2) Use all vegetable scraps – With cheap conventional food, it is easy to forget about what you have in your fridge, buy more than you need, and let some food spoil. When you buy more expensive organic food, you’ll naturally cherish every bit of it like gold, so you’ll waste less food. No need to peel those carrots, too, because it’s pesticide-free. You can use the green parts of leek for making delicious vegetable stock. If you use up everything, you’ll naturally have to buy less to begin with.

(3) Bake your own bread – Organic bread is expensive. I used to spend $8 for a small loaf of organic bread that came in a plastic bag, and sometimes it wasn’t even fresh. Ouch. So now I make an effort to bake bread every 2-3 days. It’s quite easy once you get in the habit of it. It is nice to have a stand mixer or food processor (which can also knead bread for you), but you can knead by hand. Or there are “no-knead” bread recipes if you look around, which involves the dough sitting around for a long time, developing flavour. I posted a simple wholemeal bread recipe before, but investing in a good bread book or two (and maybe even a Kitchenaid mixer!) is a good idea. Now, with organic bread flour bought in bulk, a large loaf of organic bread costs me less than $2.

(4) Buy in bulk – By bulk, I don’t mean Costco-like gigantic portions. Even in smaller amounts, “bulk” is cheaper. I buy organic bread flour in a 12kg bag, which reduces the cost to about $2.5/kg — whereas if you buy a 1kg plain organic flour in supermarkets, it costs like $4/kg.

(5) Make your own yoghurt (and fresh cheese, etc) – I know, it sounds suspiciously like a hippy thing to do, but home-made yoghurt is wonderful. Just buy a small container of commercial yoghurt with live culture. Heat up a litre of organic milk till it nearly boils, then let it cool down to about 45 degrees (so it’s not too hot to stick your finger in). Mix in a tablespoon of yoghurt in it and stir (but don’t worry about little chunks of yoghurt undissolved), pour it in a clean jar with a tight lid, and keep it warm for about 6-10 hours. I wrap my yoghurt jar in a blanket and keep in in a warm spot in our house. And it costs… a mere $2.5 per a litre of organic yoghurt, as opposed to $6.50 or more that I used to buy in plastic containers!

(6) Avoid takeaways – Needless to say, eating out or takeaway is expensive. If you reduce these expenses, you’ll naturally have more budget to spend on organic produce. Again, home-cooked meal doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple recipes are really the best if you have fresh organic produce.

(7) Use inexpensive ingredients – Not all organic produce is expensive. Potatoes, pumpkins and carrots are relatively affordable. Dried beans are very affordable, even though sadly for me, organic rice is too expensive to buy. You can buy organic pasta in major Australian supermarkets, and they are quite affordable. Using these ingredients, you can make delicious and filling soups, dips, etc, that do not hurt your wallet.

(8) Grow your own vegetables – I can’t say my backyard farming is anything to be proud of… yet… but it does save a lot of money just having a few spring onions, lettuce, and herbs growing out there. Instead of buying a head of lettuce, using half and throwing the rest away when it gets too old in the fridge, you can pluck a few leaves at a time from your kitchen garden as you need it. Same with herbs. They may not be certified organic, but when you use organic potting mix and fertilizers, you know it’s safe. You can buy organic seedlings or seeds as well.

Well, I was going to try to make it to number 10 but I ran out of ideas. I’ll add more later if I think of anything else. I think I will also write a separate post on cooking vegetarian meals for your kids. Meanwhile, happy organic eating!

 

It’s nice to have a backyard

It’s been nearly six months since we moved to this house. But now that Spring is truly here to stay in Sydney, I am feeling a renewed sense of gratitude that we live in a house with a big backyard. Today was particularly a beautiful day, so the kids and I spent most of our day outside, going back inside only for meals and a nap.

I made an obstacle course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We flew giant bubbles using “bubble wands” that we bought at a local school fare last weekend.

In the afternoon, I was suddenly in the mood to dig a hole for a sand pit. I found a spot under a mango tree, which remains shady for many hours a day. And dug.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digging was the easiest part. Removing the soil from the pit required a lot more thought and energy. I filled all the spare pots we had (in the hopes of using the rich soil for planting more things) with soil, and still the hole is only about 5cm deep… What do we do with the rest of the soil?

Anyway, Miss M and Mr. A didn’t seem to mind that we don’t have white beach sand or anything yet. They had so much fun playing with the dirt… until they freaked out about the worms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course the best part about all this outside play is that the house remains relatively tidy at the end of the day. Win-win all around!

Oh, and if you are wondering why my children are not wearing those pretty hats I make for my shop… well, here’s a proof that Miss M did wear one for… a few minutes… before she took it off. I can’t get a hat on Mr. A even for a minute. Children are so unreasonable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


Sleep

Sleep is such a big, controversial issue in parenting. While parents are divided – often fiercely – on issues like sleep school or co-sleeping, most parents seem pretty united in their desire to have their children go to bed without a fuss at a decent bedtime and sleep through the night. Failure to reach this goal can cause untold misery and mental breakdowns to many parents, and ruin their joy of parenting. To make matters worse, healthcare professionals (at least the ones here in Australia) excel at making you feel like a big failure if your children don’t sleep though the night on their own.

Seriously, the issue of sleep resembles warfare: parents vs. children.

Well, I  just want to share with everyone here that in our household, we have officially lost this battle. The children have won, and we (well, mostly just me) have been defeated. Believe me, we’ve tried.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So this is how our kids sleep all the time… (oh, please ignore the sad sticky tape holding Mark’s poor broken glasses together). I don’t have a photo of myself sleeping with the children, but it’s mostly me who sleeps with the kids. Just imagine another child, a 3-year-old, occupying my other arm, pinning me down completely.

And you know what, once I admit failure and give up all ambition that our children would ever sleep on their own… it’s not so bad. I actually enjoy cuddling up with them at night, reading books together and talking, until we all fall asleep pretty much at the same time around 7:30, including myself. No crying, no drama. Most nights I manage to wake up in the middle of the night, sneak out for a couple of hours to do some work and enjoy some kid-free time…. until one or both children wake up to realise I’m gone, and start crying.

It may not be ideal, and Super Nanny would most certainly send us all back to sleep school, but my kids are not going to be little forever, and maybe sleep doesn’t have to be such a blood-shedding warfare after all, if we only lower our expectations a little, and embrace “failure” as a way of life.

 

Girl’s apron (or pinny) version 2

As promised, a craft-related post! So in my previous post about making a pattern from scratch, I made a simple apron for Miss M but was not totally happy with it. It was a little too wide, too short, and there was no fun design detail. So I went back to the drawing board, and here’s my version 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I realized I had made a mistake about the girth in my first version – instead of 12 cm ease around the chest, somehow I had added 16 cm. Duh. So I corrected that mistake. I also lengthened it by 3 cm, to fall just below Miss M’s hips. Other changes were:

1. I shifted the dividing line between the top and bottom (how do you call this?) parts upwards, for a high-waisted position. I thought this might look more flattering. This meant I had to draw the patterns for the bottom sections, which are no longer just rectangles. But it wasn’t too hard.

2. I added a piping band along this dividing line (yay, a design detail!)

3. I added two patch pockets with the same piping fabric (another design detail!), and

4. for the back closure, I opted for loops and buttons instead of ties. I thought this would make the apron look more like a dress and wearable throughout the day like a jumper skirt. Here’s the detail view:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wish I had prettier buttons, but I didn’t. Too lazy to go shopping, I just used vintage shell buttons from my stash. The fabric is from my stash as well. It’s very lightweight, perfect for spring.

This is what my amateurish pattern pieces looked like:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the verdict? Well, I think the apron is cute for what it is, and it fits Miss M really well. Plus I learned heaps about making patterns. So I’d say mission accomplished. However, design-wise it looks pretty standard, and I’m sure I can find commercial patterns to make something like this anywhere. Hmm. I’ll have to try a little harder in that aspect for my next project…. I have a renewed respect for Project Runway contestants.

Here’s Miss M wearing the apron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you tell how fake her smile is? She’s not happy with the fabric. That’s right, once again I managed to make something she didn’t approve. Oh well, at least I enjoyed making it and learned a lot from it. Besides, now I that I have the pattern, it’ll be a breeze for me to whip up another one in…. can you guess, pink. Yawn.

Easy sushi (or, how to turn boring ingredients into an exciting kids’ meal)

Being Japanese and all, I love sushi. Western people tend to equate sushi with raw fish, but that sort of sushi (called “nigiri”) constitutes only a small portion of the wonderful world of sushi. Besides, seafood is expensive, and sushi-grade fish even more so, so it’s not something we can afford to eat all the time. Which is fine, because other, more humble versions of sushi are just as delicious, and easy to make at home. And you know what? Kids love them.

Like these mini sushi rolls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the most humble of all sushi rolls, with nothing but cheese in it. But doesn’t it look fun and special, what with its mini size (yes I do like everything in mini size) with a little presentation going on with steamed carrot sticks and snow peas? My children, who keenly observed me plating the dish, actually started singing the “happy birthday” song, saying it looked like a cake.

And the best thing about it is that you can make it from boring pantry and fridge staples or leftovers. I always have rice, nori sheets and rice vinegar around in the pantry. I almost always have cheese and carrots in the fridge. The snow peas are from my little veggie patch in the backyard, which is handy to have when you tend to fear grocery shopping with two toddlers.

But isn’t it hard to roll up a sushi roll, you ask? Well, not if you practice a few times. It helps if you have the bamboo rolling mat you can buy at any Asian market. But even if you don’t have it, you can use a plastic wrap and a tea towel instead. Would you like to have a go? Here’s how I do it:

Step 1: cook some rice

For sushi, you want to use white, medium-grain rice. You don’t need an expensive packet of “sushi rice”; any normal medium-grain rice will do. But not long-grain, jasmine, arborio or basmati. You need the high moisture content of cooked medium-grain rice to make a nice, firm roll that doesn’t fall apart in your hands. Brown rice is also tricky, so it’s best to avoid it unless you are a sushi master. Which I am not.

Cooking rice is a no-brainer if you have a rice cooker. But don’t worry if you don’t, because you can still cook rice on stovetop easily. Here’s how: In a small pot with a lid, wash some rice (say, 2.5 cups for a family of four), changing water several times until the water is nearly transparent. Drain water.

As for the water-rice ratio, here’s what I do: Cover the rice with cold water and evenly spread the rice underneath. Gently insert your index finger straight into the water (90 degrees to the water surface), until your fingertip just touches the surface of the rice. The water should come up to the first finger joint, or a little less. This is the trick I learned — no, not from my Japanese mother or grandmother– but from a teacher at a French cooking school. Strange, I know, but it works every single time.

Cook the rice on medium heat, with the lid on. When the water boils, reduce heat to low, and cook gently for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked when you taste it. No need to stir the rice while cooking. Turn the heat off, and leave the pot there with the lid on for another 10 minutes or so.

Step 2: Flavour the rice with rice vinegar

When the rice is done, bring to the boil about 1/2 cup of rice vinegar (Mitsukan brand is good, available at most supermarkets now in Sydney) for 2-3 cups of uncooked rice. Transfer the cooked rice to a big bowl, pour the hot vinegar over the rice, and immediately start gently turning the rice over and over with a flat wooden spatula (or a large wooden spoon or kitchen spoon), while at the same time, using your other hand, vigorously fanning the hot rice with something like an A4-sized booklet (sewing machine instruction manual is good). You can also ask someone else to do the fanning. The point is to evaporate the vinegar liquid quickly while the rice is hot, so the rice will have the nice vinegar flavour without being soggy. You want a nice, fluffy, and shiny sushi rice.

I promise, it’s not as difficult as it may sound. If you feel a little intimidated, just use plain cooked rice. It’ll still be fun and tasty.

Step 3: roll it up!

For mini sushi rolls, cut a sheet of nori (again, available in most supermarkets in Sydney) in half with scissors. Place the sheet in the middle of your bamboo mat (or on a plastic wrap spread over a tea towel folded in half), and spread rice over it evenly. You only need a very thin layer of rice, and you want to avoid rice at the edges. As you spread the rice, gently squish it, because you are aiming for tightly packed rice. Then in the middle, lay long sticks of cheese. Like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other quick and easy fillings are: steamed carrot sticks, avocado, cucumber sticks, omelette cut into long sticks, and tuna flakes (even better mixed with mayonnaise). It’s best if you don’t use multiple fillings for the mini version. The most common mistake people make is to overstuff a roll.

Then you roll it up. First, you roll the nori just over the filling, a little more than half way, and then you squeeze the roll evenly to tightly pack the rice. Sorry, this photo doesn’t help at all, but here it is anyway:


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then you roll it all the way to the end (there is a little overlap of nori). Squeeze the roll again to shape it and to make sure it’s all nice and packed. Ta-da.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then you cut it gently with a very sharp knife. Or serrated knives like bread knife work well here. And again, have fun with presentation!

Why do kids love mini rolls? Because they can pop the entire piece in their mouth. If the piece is too big, moist nori sheet can be a little tricky for little ones to chew off.

Happy cooking, and I promise the next post will be craft related….