Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Guess who came to dinner?

Courage, matey! First bites
as we dug in
I've never particularly liked fish - unless they were in an aquarium or in the river.

I have wonderful memories of weekends when Grandpa took us kids fishing so he could throw an extra line into the Fraser River. A little Evenrude motor putt-putted his aluminum boat across the water, sometimes catching only after the current swept us 100 feet downriver. The spring floods would bring logs and bramble with them but it seemed an adventure to avoid them. Ah, little did we think about the dangers of tumbling into the fast-moving torrent.

Grandpa kept the sturgeon and salmon he caught for smoking and cooking, and tossed the bullheads (catfish) back in. We children loved running across the gravel bars and exploring the shoreline. Grandpa would call, "Hey, you're scaring the fish!" when we got too rambunctious. He caught enough that we could eat all the fish we wanted, which wasn't much.

I preferred my finned swimmers in a tank. Over the year we had salt and freshwater aquariums of all sizes. I found the fish, cruising around their habitat, very relaxing to watch.

But today - a fish came to dinner on each plate. He looked at us. We looked back. After the first bite, we attacked with gusto, fork and spoon in hand.

Bu A is our new helper. When we interviewed her, I asked her if she like to cook. (Why hire someone to prepare meals who doesn't like cooking?) She said she liked cooking and was willing to make recipes that were translated to Bahasa Indonesia. I thought I'd see what she could make, so instead of recipes, I put a collection food in a fridge drawer the first few days and asked her to make something with it. She cooked up outstanding dishes with the chicken and shrimp.

At the market last weekend, she asked if we liked fish. I told her we'd give anything a try once. She chose 3 fish, which the vendor gutted and cleaned. When we got home, Bu A washed them again and put them in the freezer for another day.

All that was left 
Today was the day. I wasn't sure I was going to like the meal when it began to cook and smelled of the sea. But oh my.

What a wonderful taste. I like fish - who knew! if it's cooked by an artist. We left only little slivers, a head, and tail for each fish on the plate. Her "ketchup" (sambal pepper sauce, Bango sweet soy sauce, and minced shallots) went perfectly with the dish. Rice and broccoli rounded out the lunch.

I asked her if she'd be willing to cook that for company sometime. She's said yes . . . and we'll hold her to it! Guests, you are in for a gastronomic treat, whether you thought you liked fish or not! And they do look kind of cute on the plate, don't you think?

Read more:
*Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:13 ESV

*This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 ESV

*See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6:2 ESV

*So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is
love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Lord, we thank you for creating and breathing life into each of us. Create within us a desire to get to know you and your Son more deeply. Amen.

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