Thursday, January 31, 2008

You've come a long way, baby!

I am here but sort of on the exhaustion end of the spectrum. Not physically but let's just say if a cat has 9 lives then Lemi is using up one each week... which actually doesn't say much for the future but anyway I keep running her back and forth to the vet.

SO... not much sewing though I am trying to keep a normal schedule of teaching. Also not much in the mood to take pictures so that's another reason I didn't post.

But the night before last when I was cooking dinner I did grab the camera for a quick pic. Does anybody even want to see this! It is a squid and I'll have you know I cleaned it, cut it up and ate it for dinner. So what, right? I feel I've come a long way that I can now buy a squid and know what to do with it and do it without being too squeamish. I recall a time when I lived in a city by the sea and would go shopping daily at the local seafood market. What an adventure! As I walked between the stalls the fish mongers would call out ,

"Sister! Sister!" (they always refer to their customers by a name that is obviously flattering. A grandmother might be referred to as "Young Miss") "Look! Our fish are so fresh they're still moving!"

Heaven forbid that I would ever buy a moving fish and take it home to watch it die or kill it myself. Those fish mongers don't know how many sales they lost from me from that one, usually fail proof sales pitch!

As for the squid, when I first got married and we lived with Tetsu's mother, she made some fantastic deep fried squid. After a few months, Tetsu and I were on our own and one day I decided to make Mom's recipe.

Buy the squid. Hmmm. Look at all those tentacles. Have to get those off the body of the squid so chop them off. Oh yuck! Now I've got a squid with a crew cut! How do I get the "head" apart from the "body"? (Of course what I thought was a head wasn't.) Squid innards are gross and do you mean to tell me that I've been eating them! (Squid innards make up into a delicacy). Skin the squid. Dang it all this thing is slippery! How many times am I going to pick it up off the floor?

By this time I was practically in tears.

Look at all those suckers! Did we eat those suckers? I give up. I'm calling Tetsu's mother!

"Mom, I'm trying to make squid for dinner (and I've already spent two hours and haven't even got it cut up yet!) It has all these little rings on it!" (Remember, I was only a bride of a few months and really didn't speak Japanese very well. How was I to know the word for suckers on the tentacles? I don't even know what they are in English!)

"Yes, Mom. Rings. You know, lots and lots of rings. What are rings? Well, like you wear on your fingers. My squid has hundred of rings!"

I don't remember what Tetsu's mother's advice was but at some point I did get the squid cut up and was just deep frying it when Tetsu came home. But I was trying to deep fry a wet, slimy squid in hot oil and the thing was spitting and hot oil was splashing everywhere. Tetsu ran in and turned off the stove and told me never, ever to try to make deep fried squid again!

That was many years ago and for the other night's dinner, I knew exactly what to do and had my deep fried squid on the table in 30 minutes.

You've come a long way, baby!


Elaine Adair said...

My gosh - Blogging is so educational! Never would I have guessed I could learn how to prepare/cook squid.

(whew - there are no squid where I live!) LOL

Maybe I should tell you about mountain oysters?

Quilt Pixie said...

squid is such a treat in my house, though I never deep fry it -- we have it stewed in its own ink :-)

The Quilter said...

My word, Tanya, you are brave! I was almost too squeamish to look at the picture. I'm not nearly as bad as my sister-in-law (who wouldn't cut up a whole chicken because it reminded her too much what she was eating) but I would have to draw the line at squid. Makes me glad I live in a land-locked area! LOL

Best wishes and pats on the head to Lemi. Bless you both.

anne bebbington said...

mmmm I'll leave that one up to you Tanya - count me out :o)

Helen said...

Hi Tanya

I have got so behind in my blog reading that I had 31 posts from you to read! I love your When O when quilt. Such pretty quilting. Thanks for all the fascinating insights to Japanese life. Not sure about the squid though.

QuiltingFitzy said...

OMG, I L-O-V-E squid. BUT! I don't think I wanna touch it raw, lol.

I even sold fish at a market, which was fine...we didn't sell squid!

Carla said...

I am so impressed! My husband would think that he'd died and gone to heaven if he came home and found deep fried squid on the table. Alas, it's not happening in this house!

Marilyn R said...

Squid - not my cut of tea. *G* You are one brave and smart lady!

meggie said...

I love squid!
I like it marinated, cooked lightly, deep fried.
We are lucky, we can buy just the clean hood if we need it.
My favourite Chinese Restaurant does Crispy Chilli die for!

atet said...

I love calamari (Italian deep fried squid)! And your story makes me laugh, because if I had to cook it myself I would be doing the same thing!

domesticshorthair said...

I love squid, but I haven't had to clean one yet. I have a hard enough time with cooking live lobster.

Mary said...

OK, I love calamari but YUCK!

Diane said...

this is a GREAT story! I used to think that I wanted to stay in Japan, but now I think -- you are braver than I am!