Friday, December 30, 2005

Something fishy

I suspect that I'm nearly ready to face the one big remaining food demon. There is one thing that I've steadfastly refused to eat for more years than I can remember, and no number of supposed health benefits has been able to tempt me. There's a mental block that's keeping me away from an entire food group at the moment, and in a sneak new year's resolution preview (there are more, but this will probably be one), this is one of the big tasks for 2006.

Fish.

This is such a big no go area for me it's hard to explain the enormity of it. I occasionally eat a prawn or two, although occasionally maybe gives a hint of frequency that doesn't reflect reality. We're not talking within the last 12 months, and I'm not sure about the 12 before that. I just don't do fish.

It hasn't always been like that though. I remember when I was little we used to go to Blackpool for the day with my grandparents. We'd have tuna and salmon sandwiches. Tinned fish rather than fresh stuff, but I distinctly remember eating them, with slices of beetroot on soggy white bread. I'm sure I ate them (or at least some of them. I have a vague feeling that I may have eaten one but not the other, but I can't remember which one). I also occasionally hear the apocryphal tales that I used to eat fish and chips. Cod and haddock and that sort of stuff. With lashings of batter and fat, and with piles of chips, salt and vinegar, but they definitely claim I ate a bit of the fish as well as the chips. I don't remember doing it, but equally I don't remember kicking up a fuss about not eating it when we went to the chip shop.

So there is some evidence, albeit a little scarce, that I may have once eaten fish and tolerated it. I have no idea when I stopped doing it or when I decided that I no longer liked it. Or to put it more accurately, when I started detesting it with a passion. When I went to Whitby and saw the fishing boats bringing the fish back complete with eyes? When I realised that fish were animals, not something that came out of a can? Or when I first became aware of the smell of real, raw fish.

That smell used to make me gag just walking past the fish counter in the supermarket. With that sort of response it became inconceivable that I'd want to put that stuff in my mouth and eat it. My mouth is too close to my nose for a start. But recently I've started tolerating it a lot more. I'm getting more accustomed to the idea, if not the reality, of eating it.

And today I realised how much closer I am. I picked up a tuna and bean salad when I was getting some stuff to eat for lunch. It actually looked quite nice, and the tuna didn't look too threatening. Can dead, cooked fish ever look threatening? It might sound odd, but it did to me for a long time. But this one looked OK, even potentially edible on a good day.

This happened with salads too. I didn't eat them for many years, then I started picking them up and looking at them. After a while they started looking more tempting than they had before, until eventually I took the plunge. They're still a work in progress, but I'm eating far more green leafy stuff than I ever did. So maybe tuna and maybe even other fish will be the same. I can feel myself getting closer to doing it. So that's one of the resolutions for the new year. Take the plunge and eat it when that time comes.

The main task now is to work out the best way to approach it, hopefully something easy that I can't mess up, and surrounded with stuff that I really do like to take away the trauma. I'm teetering on the brink, and I need to work it out and just do it.

5 Comments:

Blogger Shauna said...

oooh good luck, comrade! it might help to stay on an 'easy' fish, ie one that is easy to cook and easy to eat and easy to digest, like a tuna or salmon steak. the flavour is nice and mild and they take all of five minutes to pan fry with a little olive oil and a squeeze o' lemon...

(PS Happy new year to ya!)

8:49 PM  
Blogger Shauna said...

"start" on an easy fish, that shoulda said. d'oh.

8:50 PM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

I'm not a fish eater either but I remember once I used to buy and cook fish. I must have had a bad experience there somewhere. I do eat raw fish in sushi though.

I'd really like to eat fish again - just because it's a handy way to get protein without a lot of fat and it's so easy to cook.

I used to just to just wrap it in foil with lemon juice and fresh herbs. I think it's the bones that put me off.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Silverella said...

I never ate fish either. Hello, btw! I have been reading you for a couple of months now, and I've been rude and neveer said hi! Never said how many times I "wow'ed" reading your amazing accomplishments. I apologise!
back to fish now...Cos my dad sells fish I thought I'd try and incorporate free food in the scheme.

Some fishes don't have too fishy a taste. Salmon, tune, cod fillets can easily be cooked with spices and lemon and garlic and actually be good!

Give it a go and I can give you some recipes if you feel like it!

Have a great New Year!!!

6:50 AM  
Blogger Silverella said...

actually, you can cut any of these fishes in cubes - works great with sword fish too - and put them in skewers with pieces of tomato, pepper, and onion and bbq them. This is really good with lots of lemon and a splash of olive oil.

:)

6:53 AM  

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