Saturday, February 27, 2010
Learning to Eat Fish
Here is a secret. I hate seafood. I always have since I was little. The first time I ate shrimp I had a dream that night that I ate my pet bird cockatiel "Gabby". That dream still haunts me.
My husband, who likes fish, has been asking for a fish dinner for 10 years of marriage. I insisted that fish was an outside barbecue item and that I would not be the one to make it. The benefits of eating fish, especially for someone with a family history of heart disease, are very clear and well established. I decided about a year ago that I would try harder to bring it to the dinner table. I even tried for a while (and still do) to make it once a week.
I really dislike how it makes the house smell but I have learned to tolerate and even at times crave it. I learned that the whiter, lighter the color of fish the less it stinks up the house. Also I have found that since I don't live near an open body of water, that fish frozen immediately after catch and before shipping is better, as opposed to buying raw fish in the meat section of the grocery store. It turns out that one of my kids "loves" fish and that is the child that has a hard time eating anything else so I try to make it for him too.
While trying to figure out this whole fish thing I was teaching a class at one of the local universities. I was having a conversation with a culinary arts student. We had a good relationship as he was one of the older students in the class, beating me by about 10 years. I asked him about cooking fish. He became very passionate and excited. He told me the best way to cook fish was in the microwave. "Fish is made for the microwave" he said. That surprised me, when I got home I decided to look it up in my cook books and do a google search. The results confirmed what he had said. I also found that as I cook it in the microwave covered it stinks up the house less and the smell is usually gone by the next day.
Fish is a very lean meat with additional health benefits that you cannot get from other meats. I am still learning to like it but it shows me that I can overcome a tremendous eating obstacle that I have had for years and all for the sake of eating healthy.