Friday, February 29, 2008

Herring as an excercise in Domestic Tolerance

Last night, D and I cleaned the fridge. It was not quite so much a Herculean event as an exercise in guilt -- all these great (expensive) ingredients, all that time and loving effort, and here we were, months later, admitting defeat. I pulled out and set on the counter lamb stock that D had begun but never finished, a very successful bacon, leek and potato soup that got mushy upon refrigeration, a carrot and mashed potato recipe that failed miserably, expired fish stock... so we aren't so good with leftovers. We try: we bring packed lunches to work and we've gotten better at incorporating old ingredients into meals. But, well, apparently this is a learned skill. As is getting around to taking out the garbage. The smell and sight of it all was both revolting and somewhat depressing.

In addition to tripling my available Tupperware supply and making our fridge a much more welcoming entity, this exercise unearthed a tin of Herring that my Mom had picked up from ikea back when we moved into the apartment in September. Herring.

Now, D and I get along rather well on the food-front. We're pretty adventurous eaters, we hold our own cooking to pretty high standards, and we are generally able to hold sane, rational, logical opinions about food. Except when it comes to Herring. I love it, he refuses to be in the same room with it. That's not quite fair: I love it fresh and will enjoy it out of a jar; he tentatively ate it fresh once and conceded that the texture was appealing but will literally leave the room if a jar is opened. Unsurprisingly, I don't eat it except when his father gleefully brings out jars of herring when we go for a visit. Drives D nuts. I have a goal of someday dragging D to a Smörgåsbord and converting him, and maybe finding a source for fresh herring somewhere in this hemisphere. In the mean time, there was this thing of tinned Herring that had been hiding for months.

Freshly caught, gutted, and dipped in onions
Originally uploaded by Neenabeena

Well, D and the locavores win this one. It was just plain gross. I'll stick with fantasizing about Sweden instead of trying to replicate it in a tin. Ugh. Thank God we live in a century where we don't depend on tinned ingredients, nor do we live in an isolated, freezing, outpost inland. I've got a friend who does research in the Antarctic for months at a time, and has access to little but canned everything and expired peanut butter. Ugh. That would curtail anyone's interest in food real quick.

Yay for fresh food. Can't wait for spring.

No comments: