My earliest memory of eating a water creature was a fish that my uncle had caught, which was then cooked in foil with onions and butter and served with lemon. And I remember the taste of the onions and picking out every teeny stupid fish bone. And the smell...my nose hairs recoil just thinking about it. It was not a pleasant memory. I think the sharks on Finding Nemo had it right: Fish are friends, NOT FOOD.
I pretty much avoided all creatures that breathed in water from that point on. Except Captain Highliner Fish Sticks. Because let's be honest, people. That is not fish. The batter to fish ratio is so high, I don't even know if it should be categorized as a protein or a carbohydrate.
The rest of my family loves seafood. There was always a shrimp ring at special occasions, and my Baba's surprise spread, with little bits of shrimp cut up and hidden, as if I WOULDN'T KNOW. Ack. Gross. Bottom feeders. Crunchy-yet-gelatinous bottom feeders.
Then I met my husband. He loves fish. He loves seafood. He would eat it everyday if he could. Which, as it turns out, is not a good idea, as our six-day holidays the maritimes proved that eating lobster three times a day WILL pack on the pounds: eight of them.
I never buy seafood. I rarely buy fish. I do most of the cooking, and what the heck is the point of cooking a meal that I will not enjoy? Not even enough to sample while cooking? I have forced myself to like some whitefish, and my kids particularly love my ginger-glazed mahi mahi, although at this point, I am not sure whether they like the fish as fish, or whether it's just a vessel to bring sauce to their mouths. That's pretty much what it is for me, I'm not gonna lie. It helps that mahi mahi is a very firm fish with very little fishy taste. Fishy taste = bad.
Then, because I dislike seafood, I don't cook it. But then that means that my kids are not exposed to it. And although I think eating weird alien water creatures is revolting, many people are into that, and I want my kids to have a fair crack at being revolting, too. So I made a decision. I would, on occasion, start cooking seafood. Tonight was my first experience. With scallops. I had a recipe for scallop and garlic linguine. I had tasted a scallop before (in whiskey butter at a steakhouse) and figured it would be an ok place to start.
When I took the scallops out of the vacuum-sealed bag, holy did my stomach turn. The smell was awful. Like fish. Realy FISHY fish. I drained the excess fluid, then dried them on paper towel like the recipe said, then seasoned them with salt, pepper and paprika. The smell was gone by then. Thank goodness. I cooked them up, followed the recipe, made the dish, had a bite. It was...ok. Fishy. Oy. I did NOT want the kids to see my reaction, so I served us all the same thing: scallop and garlic linguine, with broccoli on the side (which we all love). To my surprise, Sashimi loved the linguine. He did not actually eat a scallop, but the noodles themselves had a seafood taste, and he ate two helpings. Keesadilla said "That looks like something I would not eat," so he ate his broccoli. iBean pointed to it, said "chicken!" and popped it in her mouth, upon which she promptly spit it right out and ate her broccoli, too. I slowly made my way through my plate. I took lots of sips of water. I chewed and chewed, put my fork down between bites. Keesadilla noticed something was up: "Mommy, why you keep picking up your food on your fork, then putting it back down?"
Dang, he was onto me. But being the evil mastermind that I am, I just said: "I'm trying to twirl it onto my fork, but it's not working right. There! Now it worked."
And I put it into my mouth. Chew. Chew. Don't gag. It's good. Chew. Chew. DON'T GAG. Swallow.
Only a dozen more forkfuls to go. Oh. How. Wonderful. For. Me.
Tony came home from work and loved it. LOVED. Thank goodness for that, because there are leftovers.
And Sashimi, being the mini scientist, said: "I think on Blue Planet it (a scallop) looked like a brown marshmallow."
Hmm. I actually don't know what a scallop looks like.
Maybe I should google it.
Search query: what the hell is a scallop?
I just ate one of these? No, MANY of these. Wait. I think I ate their babies because they were little! And they have EYES!!!!!
Then, I watched a video:
OH MY GOSH. Those are little things that swim like castannettes in The Little Mermaid!
Sebastien calls them clams knowing how to jam, but I think we all know what they are now.
They're SCALLOPS. And I ATE THEM.