That's what we had, maybe. One day before our faces. Now, this is where we are. Trying on well-fitting boots. We bought them. The book. The line. The sinking thoughts. Them too, we bought. “Fuck the farm, we bought the boat!” The oars and the ocean too. And then we threw them all in. Chopped the little ones for our chum and threw them in too. I can see them now, our pieces, moving up from the dark like bright fish. Our beautiful boat is eating us. This poem first appeared on my friend Jeremy Nathan Marks' project, Poetry of the Resistance.
It is like I am chipping softly at the ice, a little bit at a time, trying to get to the clear water underneath, but the ice is thick and I can only chip a little bit at a time and every little bit that I chip fills up with water and when, the next morning, I come back to try to make more progress, all the cracks and crevices I have chipped, all the progress I have made, all those fissures have filled up with water in the night and refrozen, becoming once again just more ice. In some cases it seems the seams have somehow become even stronger, harder, more intransigent and resistant to my efforts to break through to the water beneath. I know that there are fish down there. I have seen flashes of them on occasions when I have managed to make the ice thin enough to see to where the sun penetrates into the depths and I know that if I could get through then I might capture one of those fish and make a meal or a trophy or at least I might have a solid, silver moving thing for a moment in my hands, painfully cold but brilliant and gleaming.
This week’s episode:
The simple-ish one is a smoked side of salmon. The rest are from a while back…five years ago? Decorated poached salmon. I guess it’s what you would get if a fish-monger, a produce merchant and a florist had a devil-love-child.
I haven’t done anything quite that schmancy in quite a while. It is not just like riding a bike. I’m afraid I’ve lost most of my garnishing chops.
When I have the time and the energy, and when I’m not tired of cooking for the masses, this is how I have fun in the kitchen.
This is a Thai/Malaysian-inspired meal I made for a “family” dinner with friends one Sunday. I don’t usually get to have this much fun and freedom in our usual cooking. We do a lot of diverse and creative foods but we often end up doing the same items a LOT.
We often tire of our own cooking…
1) The spice-paste for the fish: lemongrass, Thai basil, cilantro, garlic….and I may have added ginger and galangal…and…?
2)The fish (I used mahimahi), pasted.
3) Marinated White Bunashimeji Mushrooms.
4) The fish, wrapped and ready for the grill.
5) A vegetable medley (julienned carrots and lotus root, shallot, broccoli), sauteed and flambeed with curry vodka (my own creation).
Sorry, we ate it all before I could get a pic of the finished, unwrapped fish.