Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mmmm...Fish Bait

Because one person thought this was funny and because I have nothing else to share, I will posit my thoughts on eating fish bait here on my blog, for posterity. Because one never knows when one's memory will disappear forever and then, where will these stories go?

When Sissigy wrote a nice post about her latest culinary failure (and from what I have read, I believe this is a rare occurrence in her house of Domestic Derring Do), it brought up one of those memories that in hindsight is very funny, but in the moment, it is just another moment in your daily life. I find that it is very hard for me to post daily because to do so becomes very boring, for me and everyone else..."today, I woke up, made coffee, took a shower and went to work. And then I came home. And all moments in between were exactly like every other day...busy. And then I went to bed."

I don't usually find myself thinking things like this, as they unfold...

Today, this guy cooked fish bait for dinner. It was delicious. I think I'll marry him.

No. It wasn't like that at the time.

At the time, I was so enchanted with his cooking skillz that it never even dawned on me that, hey! We're eating FISH BAIT! And I wasn't quite yet of the opinion that we would one day get married.

Here's the thing. We lived in California at the time, and we lived on an extremely tight budget, like $100/month for groceries. Something like that. And my husband liked to fish, so there were many occasions when we grilled or fried fish for dinner, mostly for free, except for the cost of bait. And in CA, one of the things he liked to fish with, when he couldn't find the most grotesque sea centipedes on the beach (no, we've never eaten those, although...give us time...we've got more boat repairs ahead) was squid. Salt water fish love squid. He bought it at the deep sea fishing outfitter's and kept it in the freezer. Back in that day, squid was still kind of a rare menu offering at seafood restaurants, so it was still really cheap, especially when you bought it as bait. In Croatia, where my husband is from, squid has been on the menu for eons and it is a specialty along the coast where he lived. So, one day, when faced with the choice of fish bait or nothing, he pulled the fish bait out of the freezer, thawed it, and sauteed it (whole, tubes and tentacles all) in a sauce consisting mostly of Chinese Oyster Sauce, and some chopped vegetables. He served it over rice, and it was delicious.

Since then, we (he, much more than me) have eaten sea urchins, straight off the boats and crabs, straight off the beach. So to order sushi in a restaurant is a very tame experience.

It is the good chef who can turn fish bait into a gourmet dinner. It's been a while since we've had fish bait for dinner, but when I reminded him of it last night, he laughed and said we need to go to the Chinese market and get some stuff. A trip to the Chinese market is like a trip to Disneyland for him. In the right light, he even looks Chinese. I'll let you know what he cooks up. 8-}

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4 Comments:

At 9:21 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Janie said...

okay. you sold me. we're coming to seattle for supper (his choice) on the good ship Schedule C.

 
At 9:38 PM, March 05, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Janie, if anyone is up for the excitement of cooking for complete stangers (well, you're not a complete stranger to me, but still...), it is he! And we would both love for you guys to visit the good ship Lollipop...I can't imagine a better crew!! :-)

 
At 6:43 AM, March 06, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

Who am I to question anyone's success with squid and creativity with a budget? I actually subjected my family to texturized vegetable protein.

My family has a habit of eating weeds off the side of the road, a source of embarrassment to us when we were kids (my grandmother, bending over with her over-the-knee orthopedic stockings...not good).

 
At 5:54 PM, March 06, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

I actually had to Google "texturized vegetable protein" and when the visual aid ("texured soy chunks") came up, I had to shut down the site before learning what it is!

Was your grandmother also wearing high heels and pearls when she gathered the weeds for dinner? I think mine wore those same "hose" and did her chores in pumps.

 

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