Saturday, October 2, 2010



There are goofs. And gaffs. And mis-steps. And mis-takes. And mess-ups and screw-ups.
There are train wrecks and other descriptive terms I am too much a lady to say.
There is failure.

/ˈfeɪl[Image]yər/ [Image] Show Spell[feyl-yer]nounAn act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success: His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.

Nonperformance of something due, required, or expected: a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.
A person or thing that proves unsuccessful: He is a failure in his career. The cake is a failure.

Then there is Epic Failure:
It all started about a month ago. My sister bought a bag of frozen talapia at Costco.
This seems like a reasonable thing to do except for the fact that we don't cook fish. It isn't that we CAN'T cook fish because, well, hello Pan+Fish+Fire= Cooked Fish. It is just that we shouldn't cook fish. And for the purposes of this story I am including shellfish in the general description of 'fish'.
That is right
This is a Fish Story. About the one that should have gotten away.
I tell her. 'I can't make tasty fish.' It never turns out right and the house smells bad like when we get algae in our swamp cooler (and I only wish that were a joke). The bag of talapia mocks me from within the freezer. "Food Wussy-- you can't let little Miss Talapia defeat you by default" "There are starving children in China who would LOVE to eat this talapia" "We aren't made of money-- she bought the fish, we must eat the fish before we go buy something new"
My TV FoodNetwork boyfriend Guy Fieri had some coverage of the making of Coccpino (Fish stew) and I figured that was all the education I needed on the subject so I trekked to Albertsons to pick up a few ingredients I needed. Some parsley. Some basil. Some peppers. Some tomatoes. Some.........some...........Noooooooooooo don't make me remember............... some... other kinds of 'fish'.
I felt fancy let me tell you. "okay may I have some scallops? And some shrimp in their shells (because that enriches the broth you know) and some mussels--- only if they are closed though because if they are open they are not fresh... and..... and...... a small lobster tail.

That tail was deceptively innocent looking.

Now, you must understand that I am phobic about fish. Until last night I thought that was limited to live fish. APPARENTLY NOT! Touching that lobster tail just about had me running for my anxiety medicine. It was just so.... fishlike. It smelled like fish. It's little legs and feet were still attached and some kind of exoskeleton rib cage spinal column thing across the part that usually comes right out in one perfect piece on the Red Lobster commercials. To say I was grossed out is an understatement. I wrapped it in a towel and tried to get the meat out. I cut off it's tail. I tried to break it's back. I had the heebie-jeebies but I was determined not to let Mr Lobster beat me. After I butchered it up pretty badly I put him in a pot of water to cook. Then I turned my attention to the Talapia (fishy) and the scallops (fishy) and the shrimp (shrimpy) and the mussels (surprisingly neutral). I made a pot of rich tomato stock and hucked in some potatoes and corn on the cobs (possibly fishy but I couldn't tell by that time).

Back to the lobster. The shell was red so it must be done. I take a knife to the body and extract a small portion of meat. Even on sale that lobster meat had to work out to about $5,637.99 a lb. I don't know what Red Lobster does but their secret is safe from me that is for sure.
I carefully drop all the fish and seafood into the pot of broth and put on to a soft boil. It looked good. It smelled.... fishy.
I left it to simmer while I took Becca to soccer practise and left the pot under Laurens charge. We all made it home around 8:30-- Becca and I from the soccer fields and my sister from work.
I knew Becca wasn't going to eat it because she doesn't eat fish. By this time I had come to the realization that there was no way I could eat it based solely (GET IT?) on the ordeal of the Crustacean Horror. (insert scary music here) I figured scrambled eggs for dinner. Lauren looked frightened and told me that Flaming Hot Cheetos was sufficient for dinner. Only my sister was left. And Sam, the Dog. We tried to give Sam a taste and he, who had never met a morsel of anything that wasn't a vegetable he wouldn't chow down on, declined our offer. And he gave me a look of disgust.

That is when I knew I had hit bottom.

My sister, gamely, ate a bowl insisting that it was good. I love her and I think she is trying to spare my feelings because I am not buying it. There were too many little shrimpy legs in that bowl. Really, any shrimpy legs are too many.
I am defeated.

I am a Foodie Failure

You are only as good as your last epicurean offering, and mine was a failure of epic proportions.
I can only hope that Guy will forgive me.......


ltlrags said...

Amongst all the fishy stuff I noticed a can of Neutra Air. That's exactly the reason I will only eat fish at a restaurant, or buy cioppino at Whole Foods.

JC said...

At least you tried. I don't do anything fancy ...