Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Always eat your scallops

There are few foods that I do not like.  I like ethnic foods, I like spice, I love curry, I love things cooked in bacon fat. But no matter how much bacon fat and spice, there is one kind of food I just can't seem to like: seafood.
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 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!!!!!
Stop staring at me with those menacing eyes! Menace somewhere else! OH THE MENACE!!

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.



  1. Hey you gave lobster a good try too!!
    Bet Tony would say the east coast visit was the best 8 pound gain ever!! :)

  2. Ha ha ha ha ha! Thanks for the laugh! Scallops are actually my favorite kind of seafood (besides fresh salmon, yum!) because they don't have as much of a fishy flavor. I do not eat other shellfish easily though... and NEVER crab or lobster. Yuck.
    Wish you could come have shrimp scampi at my house though... enough lemon and butter and garlic and parsley and you don't even know it's shrimp! ;)

  3. I always try to give everything a fair chance and I'm always willing to try everything at least once (when it comes to food) so I agree with you I want my kids to be able to do that as well. I want them to be exposed to a lot of things. I dont eat pickles (yes everyone gasp) I have never liked them no matter how many times I have tried I cant even really stand the smell. But my kids eat them all the time with their dad and they love them. So even though I wont kiss my husband until he brushes his teeth (yes its that bad) if they asked me to take a bite I would suck it up and do it for them. My husband and I made a promise to never say or show that we dont like something in front of the kids and we try our best to follow through. I will say though that I LOVE seafood. I have had everything from eel to squid (my fave) and I would totally go on the lobster diet if I went to the maritimes lol. But not everyone likes everything (my husband doesnt like cheese unless its baked) I just think its a good thing to keep testing yourself and trying new things. You might find something you really love :D


Thoughts? Comments? Questions?