Some of you will think from the title this do dah will be all about how, where, why, or when to fish. I of course being duly appraised by LL Bean as a fully functioning fly fisher-person, I have the certificate to prove it, could of course flail the waters and talk of all the ins and outs of fishing, but alas it’s winter and it’s the cooking of and consuming of fish that I wish to discuss today.
Past an occasional tuna sandwich, with sweet relish and real mayo on white bread, my fish cooking talent leaves plenty to be desired and I have figured out why. Getting past the high cost, I just don’t like fish. I imagine that if it is cooked correctly fish can be a wonderful entrée. I mean I have been to dinner with people who know fish. They order swordfish with dill, grilled halibut, trout almandine and the like. It must be fairly good because it’s on all the menus. To me ordering fish at a restaurant tells me you have gone out to eat too much and are tired of the best stuff on the menu, that being almost anything cow!
I know, I know, fish is heart healthy. Believe me I know. I have read the Readers Digest version of how my heart just cannot pump another quart of sludge through my system. I know that fish is just chock full of some type of acids and other goodies that will clean out my arteries. And that is why I do eat the occasional aforementioned tuna sandwich. Of course I know that the mayo mixed with the canned fish kinda voids its goodness, however to my credit I do buy the tuna packed in water not oil. I try to be good!
All of this does not mean I can’t cook a fish. I can. I can bake a salmon, fry a trout, and I can make the best bass cocktail this side of wherever there is no bass cocktail. There is just something that tells me that fish really isn’t all that good. Again, like almost anything cow. This I have come to learn comes from childhood. Here’s the story.
Fish for dinner when I was a tot was one of two choices. Fish sticks with tater tots or salmon patties made from salmon from a can. The fish sticks were better as they really were just breading and served with ketchup and the tater tots were yummy tummy fillers. But those salmon patties? Oh have you ever put a mouthful of something in your mouth and then as you chew something crunches and you know there shouldn’t be anything that crunches? Well that’s a salmon patty.
I have never been to a factory where salmon is ground up and stuffed into a can. I am only guessing here, but it is a well educated guess from first-hand experience. There are vertebrae bones in the salmon in cans. It has to be vertebrae bones, when you look really close that is exactly what it looks like. Sure as it is cooked the bones get all soft and are not a danger to getting stuck in your gullet. But they are still there. I cringe even now, many, many meals past my last salmon patty dinner. Do you think that may have something to do with the fact that fish are not my cup of tea? Or this…
When you are shopping in a grocery store you expect to smell the smells of fresh offerings. Apples, cookies, rotisserie chicken. But coming along the meat counter and up to the fish? Just runs chills down my spine. I know fish has a unique perfume. After all it is fish. But living a far piece from the nearest ocean often brings fish perfume from a pleasant aroma to a nose wrinkling pong. Getting a whiff of flat funky fish just doesn’t do it for me.
Even seafood needs to be offered as fresh as possible or you can find it stuck half way down when you try to swallow because of its ability to not pass the sniff test. Cow on the other hand is more readily available, turns over faster and for that reason is fresher and more palette appeasing.
But, yes a famous but. But did you notice I said almost anything cow? I have to draw the line somewhere. Steak and roasts and yes even hamburger, which sometimes extra stuff is put in it but what you can’t see hopefully doesn’t kill ya, are the regular cow stuff. Beyond the “normal” cow parts I have to decline. No brains or tongue or liver or tail. I mean come on. If I were hungry enough okay, but really I would eat filet of moo before liver. Man am I picky or what?
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at email@example.com