Sunday, July 06, 2008

Surprise Ingredient

I'm starting to feel human again. Anything that smells more pungent than boiled water is no longer abhorrent to me. At the time I thought I was doing OK, just a little off colour, a little sensitive to smell, that was all. Now that I'm feeling better I realize just how out of whack my system was. For example, I can now open the fridge without experiencing an overwhelming wave of nausea. I can go five minutes without reaching for dry crackers. Excellent progress. My diet has now progressed beyond plain pasta with cheese on top. I am able to contemplate chicken, even red meat without breaking into a sweat.

As usual though, it takes a family member to bring me grinding to a halt.

We went to LK's Dad's last night for dinner. His Dad is an amazing cook. Resolutely refusing to enter the kitchen during his entire 20 year marriage to LK's Mum, he overnight transformed into a dedicated and creative gourmet. Much to her chagrin I'm sure.

It's not entirely easy being his daughter-in-law, when you go over for dinner and are presented with a handcrafted cioppino, clams freshly dug that morning, just the right amount of saffron infusing the sauce. Makes it a little difficult to reciprocate with 'that chicken recipe' I do. Or possibly 'that thing involving salmon'. Anyway. Despite his very teutonic heritage he is a remarkable cook (and I can say that, because us Brits aren't exactly known for our culinary history either....).

Sometimes though he can err on the side of dude, what the fuck were you thinking.

Take last night. Homemade ribs boiled in apple juice then charcoal grilled with his own special sauce. On the side we had a beet salad. His latest creation. Now I love beetroot. Pickled beetroot was somewhat of a staple at our house. In fact my brother had an unfortunate incident with a surfeit of beetroot and some purple wee as I recall.... So I was game for beet salad.

'I want to see if you guys can guess the secret ingredient' LK's Dad smirked. We'd already failed to guess the secret addition of turmeric to the garlic bread (the vivid yellow colour should have been our first clue). We all took a big bite to see if we could guess.

Can you guess? What the secret ingredient in his beet salad was?

Pickled Herring!!!

I was surprised!!

Not exactly what my newly recovered appetite was yearning for I have to say. Two weeks ago I think I would have curled up a died.

Don't you think that's a bit odd? I know the northern Europeans have a predilection for things pickled and fishy - even in the north of England you can get a 'roll mop' at almost any supermarket. Not that I have of course.

I'm plotting my revenge. I'm thinking of having them over for dinner next week, cooking up a quick something for dessert, like maybe a chocolate mousse, and slipping a sly anchovy into the mix.



Tranny Head said...

Where do you buy a pickled herring? Whole Foods? *shudder*

British food isn't worse than Eastern European food. I thought I'd die of scurvy out there with only meat, more meat, and then some cabbage as my vegetable. One menu I recall advertised "meat salad." What the hell is meat salad?

Hyphen Mama said...

When I was preggo with Wynnie I was sick the ENTIRE 9 months. My MIL invited us over for corned beef and cabbage. And had the gall to be OFFENDED when I declined the invitation.

OH DEAR LORD... pickled herring in beet salad. Just that one time he might have deserved a little flick to the head.

Anonymous said...

You know what's funny, my DH has the VERY SAME beetroot story. In fact, they rushed him to the ER too.

Shhh...don't tell him I told you pahahahaha!

Sugarplum's Mom said...


My mom used to eat pickled herring... I have no idea how she managed it.

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