Memories Hidden From View

The past is merely fragmented memories woven into a story that changes according to how you tell it. You can alter the impact your past has on you by changing your story about it…You live in whatever story you tell yourself.

Jarl Forsman and Steve Sekhon – Bite Size Happiness: Volume 1

Taking time off from work is both a blessing and a curse. I’ve taken long weekends where by the final day I am ready to head back to the office and get back to work. This compulsive urge of needing to work has been with me my entire life. My parents’ generation of immigrants, my ethnic heritage, my upbringing all contributed to my strong work ethic. I was quite surprised when recently all of this changed. It’s not that I’ve lost my work ethic or anything like that. I still work hard but I’ve also found other things to do with my time. One of the projects on this extended weekend was to de-clutter  and the target was my collection of saved recipes. Like any other household item the strategy was brutally simple: keep or toss. It didn’t take long to determine that most of the recipes I’d been keeping for possible future meals would be tossed.  Here’s some of the things that you learn about yourself while de-cluttering your recipe collection:

  1. I had saved recipes and old newspaper clippings since 1976.
  2. I never used any of those recipes.
  3. I’ve known for a long time that what I cook and eat currently is a lot different than what I used to cook and eat.  Most of the saved recipes are dishes that I would not cook now.
  4. An entire folder of pork and lamb recipes got tossed.  I eat pork on rare occasions and can’t even remember the last time I had lamb.
  5. Groupings of old newspaper articles eventually became cookbooks for their authors.  I have these same recipes in the cookbooks from the same authors in my cookbook collection.  Why did I keep the old clippings?
  6. Thinning out the cookbook collection is next on the de-clutter list.

I was literally tossing out everything until I found this:

 

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At first I didn’t recognize what I was holding in my hand.  It took a few minutes to realize I was holding an old recipe that was written in my Father’s handwriting.  After this discovery the pace of my purge slowed.  I didn’t want to accidentally discard a cherished memory.

Memories hidden from view that were here with me waiting to be uncovered and woven back into my story.  Have I ever mentioned my Father was one hell of a cook?

 

Oceana Study Reveals Misrepresentation of America’s Favorite Seafood

 

Yikes!

Oceana Study Reveals Misrepresentation of America’s Favorite Seafood.

“I’ve seen cute little cleaner shrimp in aquariums and while scuba diving, but never expected to find one on a grocery shelf,’” said Dr. Kimberly Warner, report author and senior scientist at Oceana. “We really know very little about the shrimp we eat, and the information we do get may not be trustworthy. Consumers have a right to know more about the shrimp they purchase in order to make more responsible choices.”

Among the report’s other key findings include:

  • The most common species substitution was farmed whiteleg shrimp sold as “wild” shrimp and “Gulf” shrimp.

  • Forty percent of the 20 shrimp species or categories collected and identified were not previously known to be sold in the U.S.

  • No samples labeled as “farmed” were mislabeled, while over half of the samples labeled simply “shrimp” were actually a wild-caught species.

  • A banded coral “shrimp,” which is an aquarium pet not intended to be consumed as food, was found commingled with another unidentified shrimp in a bag of frozen salad-sized shrimp purchased in the Gulf.

  • Overall, 30% of over 400 shrimp products surveyed in grocery stores lacked information on country-of-origin, 29% lacked farmed/wild information and one in five did not provide either.

  • The majority of the 600 restaurant menus surveyed did not provide the diner with any information on the type of shrimp, whether it was farmed/wild or its origin.

Regular Fish Consumption and Age-Related Brain Gray Matter Loss – American Journal of Preventive Medicine

via Regular Fish Consumption and Age-Related Brain Gray Matter Loss – American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Frozen fish sticks were a staple of my diet in childhood.  After growing up on seasoned breading, tons of ketchup, and imperceptible amounts of non-specific minced white fish I’m surprised I even eat fish at all.   Growing up in New Jersey was one hell of a ride.  Despite wanting to get the hell out of there as soon as I could, NJ still holds many positive memories.  Some of my favorite memories are about going to The Shore.  We didn’t go to the beach or the seashore.  We went to The Shore and where we ended up was defined by which exit on The Parkway.  And for you non-NJ readers I’m talking about the Garden State Parkway.

I didn’t get to The Shore as often as I would have liked.  But when I did make to Exit 117, then east on Routes 35 and 36, I would always find a local seafood restaurant.  After grabbing a table (you never got “seated” in the places I liked to visit) the first question was always the same:

What came in this morning?

Simply broiled, a little butter, a little lemon.  Doesn’t get any better than that.

I just hope I ate enough to have increased my gray matter volumes in the hippocampus, precuneus, posterior cingulate, and orbital frontal cortex.

Postscript

My family vacation every summer was at Exit 4B at the Admiral Motel.  Another story, another time.

 

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

Cobia was on the menu tonight at a local restaurant. Cobia? Thanks to this wonderful blog post, I know now a fish.

Better Know a Fish!

Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in the wild. (Image Source: actionfishingcharters.com) Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) in the wild. (Image Source: actionfishingcharters.com)

The cobia (Rachycentron canadum) is a carnivorous marine fish that can reach a maximum size of 6 feet (183 cm) and 150 pounds (68 kg), cruising reefs, piers and oil rigs for crabs, fish and other prey. Its large, broad head and almost shark-like body shape is unmistakable to sports anglers around the world.

Cobia are also farmed as food fish in China and Taiwan, and cobia aquaculture is under development in the United States as well. Now, researchers from the University of Maryland’s Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology have announced a breakthrough in cobia farming — by cultivating cobia using a purely vegetarian diet.

Carnivorous fish require proteins and oils from their animal diet in order to grow. As a result, aquaculture of carnivorous fish requires the use of food pellets created from grinding up small…

View original post 1,386 more words

Jack’s Tuna Fish

2 six ounce cans tuna fish packed in water
1/3 C mayonnaise
1/2 apple unpeeled, small dice
1-2 T sweet or red onion, small dice
1-2 T dill pickle juice
2 small dill pickles, small dice

2 eggs
Salt and pepper

  1. Place the eggs in a small sauce pot with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil.  When the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and cover.  Allow to sit for 10-11 minutes.
  2. After 10-11 minutes drain the eggs and immediately immerse into an ice water bath for several minutes.  Peel, dice and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl add the onion, pickles, apple and pickle juice.  Mix well.
  4. Drain the tuna thoroughly, then flake into the bowl of vegetables/fruit.  Mix well.
  5. Add the egg, mayonnaise and salt/pepper to taste.

 

This post is the second tuna fish posting of the day.  I lost the first one.  Honest.  So in a fit of anger I went to the kitchen to make tuna fish.  I screwed it up.  The eggs didn’t cook completely.  It was only then that I realized I had written wrong directions on how to fix the eggs in my first post.  Divine intervention I guess.

I never ate tuna fish with apples in it before I got married.  Now I can’t eat tuna fish without apples in it.  If I’m out of apples, I don’t make tuna fish.  I never understood that a good tuna salad had more tuna than mayonnaise.  During my college years The Truck would show up on College Avenue around 11 pm.  I loved their tuna subs at 2 or 3 in the morning.  The Truck’s tuna salad was always the cheaper light chunk tuna in oil with a lot of mayonnaise.  The ratio was probably 2 parts mayo to 1 part tuna.  On a 12 inch white french loaf.  It was like eating a tuna flavored mayonnaise sandwich.  No wonder I topped the scales at 370 pounds, but I digress.

So I’m making two more eggs and I ask my lovely wife of too many years,

“Is this your recipe?”

“No, it was my Dad’s recipe.”

“But your Dad couldn’t cook.  He couldn’t even make coffee!”

“He could make tuna salad.”

Thanks Jack.  Great tuna salad recipe.

Tips:

Mayonnaise should be to taste.  Use only as much as you like.  Or for a low calorie version, substitute plain low fat yogurt (at your own risk).  I’ve used yogurt in the past and I prefer mayo.  Do not use Miracle Whip.  I hate Miracle Whip.  Add parsley if you’re inclined to do so.  Garlic powder adds a nice touch.  Also try curry powder or chili powder for a nice change of pace.

But don’t use Miracle Whip. 

Bumble Bee Issues Voluntary Recall On Specific Codes Of 5-Ounce Chunk White Albacore And Chunk Light Tuna Products Due To Loose Seals

Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts > Bumble Bee Foods Issues Voluntary Recall On Specific Codes Of 5-Ounce Chunk White Albacore And Chunk Light Tuna Products Due To Loose Seals.

Bumble Bee Recalls Canned Tuna – Los Angeles – Restaurants and Dining – Squid Ink.

I spent five minutes this morning reading tuna can labels.

Good thing there were only two cans in the pantry.

via Bumble Bee Issues Voluntary Recall On Specific Codes Of 5-Ounce Chunk White Albacore And Chunk Light Tuna Products Due To Loose Seals.

Maple Soy Roasted Salmon

Maple Soy Roasted Salmon

Honey Soy and/or Maple Marinade

Chilean Salmon, one piece per serving.

  1. If frozen, defrost salmon pieces in a tub of cool water.  This will take about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Prepare marinade in a plastic zip lock bag.
  3. Rinse salmon pieces under fresh running water.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Marinate at least 30 minutes with 45 to 60 minutes preferable.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Line a shallow roasting pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  7. Drizzle some olive oil on the sheet.  Remove salmon pieces and place on the pan or cookie sheet.  Drizzle some more olive over the salmon pieces.
  8. Roast for 17 minutes.

 

I love salmon.  But if you live in Oklahoma as I do, you tend to shy away from so-called “fresh” fish in the markets.  I’ve been disappointed too many times so I stick with frozen fish.  The quality of farm raised Chilean salmon is excellent.  And before you crucify me for my salmon preferences, please follow the link and read a good article on the current state of affairs in the world of Chilean aquaculture.   Chilean Salmon Farming’s Comeback | Wild Fish Conservation | Nancy Harmon Jenkins.

TIPS – The salmon pieces I buy are roughly one inch thick at the thickest part of the filet.  If your salmon pieces are not as thick, adjust your roasting time downward accordingly.  Rice or potatoes and a nice vegetable round out the meal.  Salad works too.  Maybe a nice freshly baked loaf of bread (purchased, of course).  Prepare to be complimented.

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice Recipe : Ingrid Hoffmann : Recipes : Food Network.

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot
    over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and
    cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about
    20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil,
    2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt
    and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat.
    Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
  4. Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets
    over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved
    marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake
    until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30
    minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

via Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans and Rice.

Our friends who favor red wine surprised us with a fine selection of white wine.  “What’s up?” I asked.

“We’re having tilapia.”

When we sat down to dinner and I tasted my first bite of this wonderfully flavorful dish I had to agree white wine is a better choice.  This dish is light with bright flavors, a highly suitable supper when it’s 113 degrees outside.  We all agreed the recipe was a keeper.

Our friends got the recipe from one of their kids who got it on the Internet.  The recipe is presented here unaltered (copied) with the Guy Fieri Copyright reprinted as proof I’m not stealing but merely sharing.

Tips – no tips or suggestions at this time, since I’ve not had the time to play with this recipe.  I’m already thinking of adding some red bell pepper, maybe trying basa instead of tilapia.