Day 20 - World Watercolor Month - California Roll Dreaming - Doodleash

World Watercolor Month – Day 20 – California Roll Dreaming

With today’s prompt of “California Dreaming” my mind leapt inexplicably to California rolls, that daring inside-out sushi invention. This is an incredibly quick little doodlewash as I lost a bit of time getting lost in a rabbit hole of googling to discover the origin of this treat. As with many food dishes, the origin is a bit of contested mystery, claimed by more than one sushi chef. The frontrunner claims that he substituted avocado for fatty tuna on the off-season. This, however, doesn’t explain why the seaweed is actually hidden in this version, and that’s the best part of this tale. Apparently, back then, Americans, not yet accustomed to seeing sushi, would peel off the seaweed as one would a butterscotch candy. This was, of course an intentional part of the whole flavor and experience, so smart sushi chefs started hiding it on the inside instead. Folks from California were apparently among the first fans, sealing the fate of this culinary concoction and giving it the name we know today. So, yeah, that left about 20 minutes to actually watercolor some sushi, but it was worth it for an interesting story!

Growing up in a typical meat and potatoes Midwestern family, I never actually tried sushi until I was an adult. And true to the story itself, the seaweed bit was a little outputting at first. As I grew up and my tastes began to mature and change, I now love it! And have even become adept at using chopsticks as well. For me, the best part of the experience is the little dollop of wasabi. Getting just a little too much and crying tears of pain mixed with joy is part of the fun, and an incredible way to clear your sinuses. We don’t often eat out so supermarket sushi is our go-to option. It’s been so hot here that we’ve sort of just been hiding indoors and eating whatever happens to be in the pantry, like squirrels attempting to survive winter. But once the ozone clears and temperature becomes a bit more bearable, I’m sure we’ll be venturing off to grab some sushi. It’s quite a lovely summer treat!

And I have more treats for some of you right now! These are starting to repeat themselves, so today, this one is open to anyone who hasn’t yet been added to list to receive it. Today, I have 10 Cheap Joe’s American Journey Sample Sets for the first new recipients who respond below with a comment directly on with the phrase “Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!” As they’ve been extremely generous in their sponsorship of World Watercolor Month and definitely deserve our thanks. And if you’re in the US or Canada, there are two giveaways ending very soon that you can enter from Da Vinci Paint Co. and Rembrandt! Remember to always check the Official World Watercolor Month Giveaways page to see the latest ones happening this month. Yes, it’s my hope that with all these things we’re giving to you, you’ll consider giving back by donating to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation and helping future artists get art supplies as well!  A perfect circle of giving! At least, that was my dream when I founded this month. And so now, I’ll bid you farewell, as I hide from heat while enjoying just a little bit of California roll dreaming.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Azo Orange, Pyrrol Red, Permanent Green Pale, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 Day 20 - World Watercolor Month - California Roll Dreaming - Doodleash

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62 thoughts on “World Watercolor Month – Day 20 – California Roll Dreaming

  1. Thank You, Cheap Joe’s!

    Also, I really want sushi now. 😛 I think I need to start eating dinner right before looking at this site.

  2. And as a side note, having grown up in the Midwest, sushi is not something I was acquainted with either. I’m an aficionado now, including Trader Joe’s California Rolls to be sure.

      1. Yayyyy! Thank you Charlie 🙂 Thank you Cheap Joe’s. Wow!! It’s like Christmas in July!!! Happy Worldwatercolor Month ❤

  3. Hi Charlie, I won a weekly giveaway and received a Hahnemuhle Cezanne Watercolor Block and I am so thrilled! I’ve never painted on a block and though the large size is a bit intimidating for a sketchbook painter 😃, I’m looking forward to trying it out! Many thanks to you, Charlie, and to all your wonderful sponsors!❤️

  4. Well dang it. I’m always too late for the giveaways. Your painting would have me craving California rolls if not for the lucky coincidence that that is precisely what my kids and I enjoyed for lunch today. My 11 year old and I are wasabi addicts and eat it until our eyes are watering and noses stinging. I think somehow that just makes us want it more.

  5. A Midwestern guy enjoying a California roll, and now the squirrels are laughing their bushy tails off. Now you are an anomaly, Charlie. Don’t forget: California roll must also have that crab mixture, though it’s nearly always fake crab mixture. Have you tried a poke bowl? This summer’s craze in California, but not sure it’s hit the Midwest yet. Your sushi plate looks wonderful.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 hehe! I haven’t tried a poke bowl… at least I don’t think. I’ll have to google it! And yes, the crab-like bit is also required. Though I prefer the real thing over the fake stuff!

  6. I’m laughing at your rabbit hole – I cannot tell you how many times a day that happens to me. I too, am holed up like a squirrel eating ice chips until October, but it’s so funny because I got avocado sushi for lunch today from Whole Foods – we have a grocery delivery service here, so I didn’t even have to break a sweat and got some cold, delicious sushi and ate it with pretty chopsticks. I didn’t eat it until adulthood either – it wasn’t in the least fashionable where I grew up and I love it now. Your painting is beautiful – I’m actually just as taken with how you captured the curve of the dish as I am the beautiful sushi. Have a great weekend and thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Great sushi, and I really enjoyed your story about it. Like you, by the time I was introduced to sushi, I was old enough to remember it, and love that we can buy it at the grocery store now. These days, I’m more likely to eat the latest craze, poke, to cut back on the rice. Keep painting luscious food!

  8. Lovely sushi :3 Now I remember the stupid challenge I have made with my friend one day with the wasabi… I can totally say that eating a spoon full of wasabi was not the greatest idea I have got in my life lol.

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