There is a story behind why I am slicing fennel with a small serrated knife.
You know that saying, "Be careful what you wish for?" In our case, "I wish our household good shipment would arrive," translated into a week beneath mountains of cardboard boxes and packing material. Our "guest bedroom" has been transformed into a fantastic walk-in closet, you can actually move through our garage without having to turn sideways, and Sophie's room has been decorated to her satisfaction. The only thing missing was my knives. I knew we had received and opened all the boxes, and when we spoke to our landlord in Texas we realized they were still sitting in the kitchen drawer. That's why the kind people at Whole Foods had to clean this fish for me. That and the fact that I haven't cleaned a fish since I was 12. Moving really cuts into my blogging time as well especially when I realized that season 4 of "Breaking Bad" is on Netflix. Much more fun to watch Walt and Jessie bumble around than to unpack.
Branzino, $7.99/lb. Sounds like a good deal until you realize they weigh the guts.
I should have known better than to look for fish at Whole Foods, but my thrift did force me to try something new instead of buying the $22/lb tuna steaks. I envisioned them grilled with crispy brown skin but settled for roasting them on the grill stuffed with fennel and lemon slices as I was fearful that lovely skin would remain on the grill along with most of the fish. I drizzled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled using the indirect heat method for ~20 minutes. Now that I have discovered H-mart with its $4.99/lb. red snapper I will be more likely to experiment with whole fish preparation. Ian has put his request in for "that whole fried fish thing we used to get in Thailand."
Let me natter on about H-mart for a moment...After a fantastic Korean BBQ lunch at Honey Pig and dessert (pad bing su!) at Napolean's Bakery in Koreatown we ventured to this Korean-centric grocery. The prices were unbelievably good (89 cents/lb for red peppers), and we found all of our Korean favorites including novelty Korean ice creams to Sophie's delight. There will be chap jae and bo ssam on the menu here soon. We have our H-mart rewards card and plan to become frequent shoppers. Waiting for a break in a sudden downpour after we exited we discovered a hotteok stand out front. The filling for a properly made hotteok is boiling lava hot. In Seoul this was a known fact; in America there was a sign warning me not to bite into the obviously steaming hot pancake.
Other field trips for the week: The Spy Museum, Addy Bassin's liquor store, getting fingerprinted for my background check for my D.C. nursing license, Sophie's orientation at her new school (I brought a Nutella cake to the principal's coffee-never too early to make a good first impression), and a kayak expedition on the Potomac.
Sophie blazed through her math packet in the course of one afternoon and has nearly finished her summer reading assignment. Her quote of the week in reference to a Costco-sized Kraft "parmesan" cheese Ian had purchased in our absence, "Maybe you can leave it out (of the refrigerator) because if it goes bad you won't be able to tell." She will walk ~300 meters to school instead of riding the bus ~20 miles each way and would happily fill up all that extra free time with "plants vs. zombies" if unchecked.
Pastis anyone? You really have to like licorice, but I felt so Ernest Hemingway.
Next week the bell tolls for Sophie and Ian. I will be at home, jobless, with plenty of time to cook and blog unless I fritter my time away running and riding on the C&O canal and shopping for extra small dog lifejackets and a bike basket carrier for Pom Diggity.