a Southerner who grew up eating fish prepared the proper way rolled
in corn meal and/or flour and deep-fried until it's crisp and tender. I
had an aversion to sushi. I've never understood the western
population's love of raw fish. Even my son and grandson think it's
wonderful, and they're normal people.
the few occasions I accompanied them to have their favorites, I stuck
to the tempura side-dishes. Raised on fried green tomatoes and okra,
crispy fried veggies is heaven to me.
But raw fish? No way, especially after my experiences with Lutefisk, a favorite dish in Minnesota.
ago, my husband and I moved to his home town in northern Minnesota, and
his mother, a tall, blonde Swede, couldn't wait to introduce me to
Lutefisk. When she said the name with her special Swedish lilt at the
end of the word, it sounded delightful. And since I'm usually game to
try new dishes, and especially not wanting to insult her, I agreed to
sample this dish she seemed to think was so special. After all, I love
Oh poor innocent me.
turned out that lutefisk is cod soaked in lye. And if that isn't bad
enough, when the cook wants to serve it, s/he has to soak it for several
days in cold water to remove the lye.
Sounded right tasty to me.
that wasn't all. When served, the fish has a jelly-like substance. And,
my mother in law nonchalantly informed me - as if I were going to dash
out and prepare my own - when cleaning the kitchen after cooking the
lutefisk, one must make sure the residue is scrubbed from all pots,
pans, dishes, and utensils.
a panic, I tried to invent a few diseases that I could suddenly develop
to avoid that dinner. But alas, I didn't want to live my life as a
lily-livered coward, so I threw back my shoulders, lifted my chin, and
bravely marched to her house for dinner.
have little memory of that evening. I think my brain took pity and
blanked it out, but I must have tried it. What does comes to mind is the
movie I saw when I was a child, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, with Robert
Mitchum and Deborah Kerr. He was a Marine and she a nun, and they were
shipwrecked on a Pacific island during WW2. He, being a brave military
man and the hero, caught fish, but they had to eat it raw. Even
starving, she had a difficult time getting it down. But they survived
and I did too. And I've stayed away from raw fish ever since until now.
finally going to do it. I'm tired of the chuckles from my family and
the teasing from friends, so Im going to square my shoulders, lift my
chin, and try a sushi restaurant. But I'm taking my son along so that if
I don't like it, I can pawn it off on him.
I'll let you know what happens.
To follow my adventure into sushi-land, click below: