The Retro Mom

Bringing your grandmother's comfort food out of her recipe box and into your gluten-free kitchen

Granny’s 1960’s Sushi

Oh yes, sushi has existed for a long time. But before the craze of putting-raw-fish-into-rice-and-seaweed-and-making-a-roll-that-is-too-big-for-a-normal-humans-mouth-yet-to-take-a-bite-is-considered-rude-and-socially-unacceptable came to be, there were cute little bite-sized, dainty rolls of ham and cream cheese. It was a simpler time.

Now don’t get me wrong, The Retro Mom loves sushi and sashimi with a capital LOVE. I love the whole taste experience. But, sometimes, I just want some little bit of something rolled and ready. Bigger than a Tootsie Roll and smaller than a Chipotle burrito. Mmmmmm Chipotle.  It’s great fun to eat something with your hands, picked up right off of the plate – how uncivilized and how wonderful! Well, throw those etiquette lessons right out the window and get ready for some finger food!

I never really put much stock in these little ham rolls, they just kind of existed. And then one day I served them at a party, and someone said they had seen them at Costco rolled up in a tortilla with bell pepper inside. That got me thinking…….First off, my Granny was Mexican. Tortillas were handmade, and would have never been associated with ham and cream cheese. Second of all, corporations need to stop stealing family recipes. What. Ever. Costco. Where was I? Thinking. That’s right.

But not about the rolls.

Recipes are funny little things. Everyone always thinks they have reinvented the wheel, foodwise, when they come up with a new recipe. Take apple pie for example. Simple, easy and totally American. Unless you are into molecular gastronomy, there are only so many ways to make an apple pie – the little additions are what make each pie unique, not the apples themselves. (OK, don’t start throwing out apple names and how they taste different, just follow me here.) Or the term “pie”. Do little changes require a declaration of a new recipe or merely an addendum to an old recipe? A recipe for apple pie pretty much is a standard reading of: apples, sugar, spices, and maybe a thickener like flour. Apple pie was invented probly hundreds of years ago, but we seem to have rediscovered it in the last century and treat it like it’s a new food group. I know, I’m going off topic. And now I want pie.

The point, if any, is that my Granny made these, and they were probly based off of some other recipe that was based off of some other recipe. And the person who told me that these rolls were now made with peppers in them probly thought I messed up the recipe and needed to remind me that they are made with peppers and tortillas. Or was it pickles? I forget. It doesn’t matter, I’m feeling surly today and using neither newfangled food.

OK, off of my high horse and let’s get down to business:

Just little rolls of pure love. Simple, easy, non-contrived food. Perfect for when company pops in without calling first………which is just rude. I know, but I’m just in a mood today.

Here’s what I did:

1. I bought these things: Daiya dairy-free cream cheese, sliced ham and green onions.

2. Daiya spread easier than cream cheese, and won’t tear your meat. But if you use regular cream cheese (yum!), let it soften up quite a bit before attempting to make these.

3. Slice your green onions through the middle to get them to lay flat in your rolls. Otherwise it just looks like you were trying to make a meat necklace. I don’t know if “meat necklace” was a term that existed before this post, but it does now and I’m running with it.

4. Now roll up tightly and slice to desired thickness.

5. Done. Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier than that. And because these are 98% Paleo, Padme can have as many of these as she wants. And she did. Enjoy!

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