The Fragrance of Fish

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone describe the smell of fish as fragrant, or a “pleasant, sweet smell.”  Maybe there are people out there who think it is, but I’m not one of them.  Not only that, I have rarely enjoyed the taste of fish.

It’s annoying to go to dinner with seafood lovers.  Without fail, I get the question, “Well have you tried it?”  Or, “Just try it; you might find you like it.”  I promise you, I have tried seafood.  I’ve tried different kinds.  I’ve even enjoyed some on a few occasions, but it’s been a while and I’m thinking I was perhaps drunk at the time, so maybe the taste or the texture was masked by wine or whiskey or whatever I found myself drinking.

I was invited to a team lunch a few weeks ago and they ordered grilled octopus as an appetizer. I knew I wasn’t going to have any, but as soon as the plate was placed in front of me (I was sitting in the center of the table, so I guess the waiter thought that was a good place to put it), I actually almost got up and left.  It was like the thing had just come out of the ocean.  The tentacles were still visible for hell’s sake!  I shuddered a few times and did my best not to watch everyone else put those rubbery things in their mouth.

The worst is when you’re trying to find your happy place and everyone around you is trying to get you to “just try it.”  Oh, hell no!  And why don’t you just shut the hell up so I can enjoy my lunch, thank you very much!

Anyway, this weekend, my sister came to stay with us.  For some reason, she’s become an entirely different person when it comes to food.  She loves salmon and sushi, of all things.  She’d brought some salmon with her and was dying to make it for dinner on Saturday.  Since I was the only person in the house who didn’t like it, I decided I wouldn’t make everyone else suffer (and I really didn’t feel like making my own thing), so I went along.  Even as my sister was preparing it, I mentioned that it smelled disgusting, but it was no use.  It somehow made itself to the table with some rather delicious potatoes and green beans.

Now, I don’t know what it was about this weekend.  Maybe it was the sides that went along with it, or maybe it was some magical aura that my sister brought with her and sprinkled into the food, but I found myself eating salmon and rather enjoying it.  I even had it for leftovers the next day and liked it just as much.

I’m starting to wonder if it really is a mind-over-matter sort of thing.  If I will myself to like it and just eat it no matter what, then maybe I will actually enjoy it eventually.

I still can’t say I would have touched the octopus, but maybe more salmon… or halibut… or…

Only time will tell.


In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt – Fragrance.

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SoCS and #LoIsInDaBl Day 27 – The highs and lows of eating out

I had a conversation with my fiancé just before reading the prompt for this post. He wanted to take me to dinner to celebrate (oh, haha, I don’t think I mentioned that I got a shiny new promotion at the day job that comes with a raise!), and he asked where I wanted to go eat.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“I don’t know, maybe Indian? Or maybe Thai? Chinese is okay too!”

“I’m having Indian with my sisters tomorrow. I could do Thai… or Chinese… or Japanese… or Sizzler (a steak sounds good).”

“We could do sizzler,” he said. “That sounds good. I think they have fish.”

“I’m pretty sure they do. Or… the fish place… don’t we have a gift card? What is it called?”

“Red Lobster?”

“Yeah, that.”

All of that, and we still don’t really know where to go for dinner. Sometimes I think there are way too many choices and it isn’t very often that you decide on one and it ends up being exactly what you wanted.

Except pizza. Pizza is always something I crave and want and love. The only thing that lets me down sometimes is the place we get it from. There are some amazing pizza places and there are some that aren’t up to par, but I still manage to enjoy it, just not quite as much as my favorite pizza places. I don’t know, though. Now that I’m really thinking about it, I haven’t had really bad pizza in a long time. Maybe I’m starting to figure out the places I like to go and learning how to avoid the terrible joints. I’m only 40. That didn’t take too long…

The worst is when you really start to like something at a certain restaurant and they take it off the menu. I really loved the Baja salad at Wendy’s but I only ordered it every once in a while. A couple of Saturday’s ago, we went there after the gym and I ordered the salad and the lady didn’t even know what I was talking about. How long has that thing been off the menu? I honestly couldn’t even tell you, but Wendy’s hasn’t been the same since.

What about you? Do you have places you love to go or certain types of food you like to eat?


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill and Love Is In Da Blog is hosted by Bee at Just Fooling around with Bee. Linda’s prompt today was food and  Bee’s prompt was “goodbye love”.

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Monday’s Finish the Story – Laughing My Way to Hell

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I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured.

“No need to look at me like that. I’ll be yours soon enough,” I managed to squeeze through lips I could barely feel.

The bird tilted its head to the side and blinked its eyes, clear signs to me that it understood, so I kept talking, hoping to forestall the inevitable for reasons perhaps only the bird understood.

“You know, you should have more respect for your food. Dying is a painful, messy business.”

The bird squawked loudly in response.

“Well, yes. I know it’s not fair of me to say that. After all, I’ve always been painfully rude to my food.”

The ridiculousness of it all slammed into me at just the right moment, and if my body would have allowed it, I would have laughed my way to hell.


Monday’s Finish the Story is a unique flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided. Click on the froggy link to read other stories or upload your own.

My story today is coming in at 131 words. I’ve been absent for a while, adjusting to a new job and writing some poetry, so I didn’t have time to do it all. Besides, sometimes I’m inspired by the photos and the sentences and sometimes I’m not. I’ve learned not to fight it too hard, which means that sometimes I’ll post and sometimes I won’t. What can I say. It works for me.

Happy Monday!

 

SoCS – Eating Food and Other Random Thoughts

Usually, I have some idea what I’m going to write about when I start the SoCS post, but today, I just don’t. I suppose I can’t really go wrong in talking about food and eating food, but I feel like I did quite a bit of that when I did the A-Z challenge back in April, which wasn’t even planned, by the way. I wasn’t going to do a theme, but I think it helps when doing that particular challenge.

I’ve had a few jobs in the past couple of years and the one thing that bothers me, but probably shouldn’t, are the places you can find to eat around your workplace. I don’t think you realize how used to those places you become until you no longer work there and have other, not as great choices around the new job.

I went from a pretty eclectic neighborhood where I had a ton of really good choices within walking distance to a mall. It was pretty terrible. Most days, I chose to take food from home since the choices were pretty dismal. The one place I found that I loved, though, was a pizza place (of course). They make personal pizza’s in like five minutes that are really good, considering most of those types of pizza places are disgusting. I got really used to having pizza once a week and it was the place I went to on my last day of work over there.

Luckily for me, I found the exact same pizza place about five minutes from my new job. It’s pretty sad (or maybe it’s not) that food makes me this happy. Or maybe I should say pizza makes me this happy.

I also have some new, rather delicious food choices around my new job, which is good because I find myself with a full hour lunch now that I have no idea what to do with.

Going to lunch alone can be scary, but lately I am finding it is peaceful. I don’t have to deal with someone else’s drama or with what someone else wants to eat. I just do what I want and spend the whole time either reading or playing on my phone. Perhaps this is anti-social of me, but after my last job and the drama I left, I don’t think anyone can blame me.

Eating food is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. I always say that life is too short to worry about it, but I worry about it just as much as the next person. Did I eat too much? Have I had too much sugar today? Did I have any vegetables or fruit to balance out the other shit in my diet that is terrible? I love food, but I over-think the hell out of it. I wish it wasn’t so much of a love-hate relationship… like why does food have to add pounds? Should that even matter?

Yeah, no answers here. All I can say is that I love it and I try to enjoy it while not beating myself up too much for eating too much of the stuff that has no nutritional value even though it can be the most delicious thing in front of me.


This rather random post about eating food is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday, hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “-eat.”  Use the word “eat” or add letters to it to make a different word. Don’t cheat!”

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Z is for Zucchini

I like to imagine that I love all vegetables equally and that vegetables are things I eat. I think the sad truth became glaringly clear when I decided to become a vegetarian – I either found a new love for them, or I realized I have always and will always hate them no matter how old I am or how much I feel my pallet has changed.

Zucchini is in a borderline category for me. I hated it when I was growing up, but I’ve found a new place for it in my eating adventures, even if I don’t love it like other things I eat. It becomes such a mushy mess when it’s cooked and unless it’s seasoned really well, or buried in something, I don’t necessarily enjoy it.

My very first job as a teenager was at a family burger place about ten minutes from my house. Not really close enough to walk, but I had a pretty great Dad who would pick me up at ten thirty on the nights I worked. They had amazing shakes and some pretty fabulous burgers. The other thing they were known for was their fried zucchini. I never tried it when I was working there because “eww, I don’t like zucchini,” but I went to a Greek restaurant a few months ago with a friend and she ordered some. I ended up having one of hers and realized they were pretty freaking awesome. I could have eaten her whole order, but decided to stick with just the one since I’m not a complete pig, thank you very much!

I’ve been back to that original hamburger joint in the last few years and it is just as fabulous as it was when I was working there. Sadly, not all things are as good as they were when I was growing up, like McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Those places used to be fantastic places to eat; or at least, that’s what my memories of childhood tell me. Anyway, I didn’t realize I liked fried zucchini when I visited a few years ago, so I’m thinking I need to go back and try it. Fried zucchini and a Raspberry Oreo Shake – now that’s my kind of dinner!


As this is my last A to Z post, I thought I would let you all know how much I’ve enjoyed this unplanned food adventure. I feel like I’ve opened up a whole new world of fabulous memories that centered around food, memories I didn’t even know I had. Thank you all for joining me and for the amazing posts I’ve read along the way. I’m looking forward to next year.

Thanks again to the hosts for all the work they put into it. It was an amazing adventure!

Y is for Yogurt

I’ve always really loved yogurt. It was always a somewhat healthy food that felt like you were cheating and actually eating a dessert. The funny thing is, I always got the fruit kind thinking it was healthier than the ones that had “cheesecake” or “cream” somewhere in the name. It probably isn’t even close to true, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little deception with yourself about food.

I don’t remember when my mom started buying it when I was a kid, but I do remember it was always that thing I could grab from the fridge that was ready to go and it would usually fill me up for a meal. That was when I was a kid, though. Now, it fills me up for like an hour before I have to eat something else.

My favorite way to eat yogurt is with granola. I found this amazing granola at Trader Joe’s that is only $3, which is pretty inexpensive for granola, and I love taking a handful and throwing it in a bowl with the yogurt. I tend to like all the odd fruit flavors, like blackberry and pomegranate. I actually found some pumpkin Greek yogurt last year. It was a bit too bitter for me, but given how much I love pumpkin, I will most likely eat it again. They didn’t have it in the standard yogurt, which made me a bit sad.

I’ve pretty much been somewhere in the back of the room when it comes to Greek yogurt. It isn’t my favorite kind of yogurt and I’m a little shocked at how much it has shown up recently. Every brand seems to have a Greek variety now. I suppose it has its place in certain things, but to just eat it plain is not what I think of as yummy.

The other thing I don’t really like is chunks of fruit in yogurt. If you hadn’t already figured it out in how much I’ve covered in my food posts, I have a thing for chunks in food that should be creamy and soft. I will also not eat food if there is a weird texture going on, and sometimes those chunks of fruit fall into the “weird texture” category (I’m looking at you strawberry!).

I would love to hear your yogurt stories in the comments.

X is for Xigua

I’m totally cheating again, but there’s no help for it. U and X were just really tough letters when it comes to food. But hey, at least I did some homework and found something rather than just not posting or posting something outside my theme, right?

Xigua is Chinese for watermelon. Don’t say I never taught you anything! It was a new thing I learned, so I might as well share it with all of you.

Watermelon is delicious. You can finally start buying them again, although, I think they are still a bit out of season because the one I bought over the weekend should have been fabulous but it was only just okay. I cut it up last night so we could all enjoy it with dinner.

It will always be the symbol of barbecues in the backyard for me, though. When we were growing up, we used to host huge family parties in our backyard and there was always watermelon. It was the kind with the black seeds that you had to spit out. As much as I loved the experience of biting into the melon and enjoying the sweet, succulent taste of it while searching with my tongue for seeds, I don’t miss the seeds at all. I haven’t bought a seeded watermelon in years.

I know everyone has the best way to pick out a watermelon. I’ve probably tried them all. I never could tell what “hollow” was supposed to sound like when you knocked on it. They said if it sounded hollow, it was a good one, but it never worked for me.

I have my grandpa to thank for how I pick them out now. I heard it second hand, but he told my mom that you want to pick out the ugliest one and also the one that is heavy compared to its size. So, if you have a smaller watermelon but it’s heavier than others that are bigger, than you have yourself a good one. I’ve actually completely stopped looking at the outside and how ugly or not ugly it is and rely only on weight. Sometimes you get one that is really ripe and the only down side to those is you have to eat it all immediately.

What about you? How do you pick out your watermelon?