DEAR HARRIETTE: I have decided to learn how to cook my favorite foods instead of wasting money on buying them already prepared. I make sushi for myself and was so proud that I had accomplished this on my first try. My good friend told me that this was offensive and not the authentic method of making sushi. I used riced cauliflower and had my whole confidence shattered. Am I offending an entire culture by altering an age-old recipe? -- Rollin’, Washington, D.C.
DEAR ROLLIN’: It is time to expand your friend group! Good for you that you are trying out recipes and adding your own twist to them. Please know that you can cook food however you like. If you were entering a cooking contest, that would be one thing, but learning to cook for yourself and friends should be fun. For the purists in your life, let them eat store- or restaurant-bought sushi.
Continue experimenting to see what you can prepare. Do note that there are plenty of chefs who combine elements of one cooking style with another to create their own unique dishes. It is called "fusion" cuisine. You are not alone. The thing about sushi is that you need to be precise with raw fish to ensure that you make something that is safe to eat. Go for it!