Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello JFK, I Missed You.

I really do love to travel. I get antsy when I don't have a trip to look forward to, and I will go ANYWHERE, but part of the fun is arriving home again. It makes my everyday routine seem less least for a little while. The sun was wonderful, a much needed break from the frigid cold here in New York, but I am so happy to be back, to cook again and very much looking forward to skiing in Vermont next week.

No recipes today,  but here is a little about Aruba and few pictures. I'll be posting more photos on my Flickr over the next couple days
Aruba is about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela in the Southern Caribbean Ocean. It's part of the Dutch Antilles and a large part of their population is originally from Holland and the official language is Papamientu (combination of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, French and English with Arawak and African about confusing.) In addition to Papamientu many of the islanders actually speak all of these languages separately.  Their cuisine is interesting mix of dutch, spanish, and tropical. Meat and fish play a very large role and the food in general is VERY heavy. Too heavy for me in fact, but it reminded me that I have one more New Year's Resolution; Get over my fear of cooking fish. I try to like fish, I really do, but unless its raw and in sushi it just tastes fishy to me. It must be in my head because any time I go on an island vacation I eat plenty of fish and in Aruba grouper seems to be the local catch. 
After countless sesame crusted seared tunas, yellow tail carpaccios, filet mignons and salmon sushi, I decided it was time to suck it up. I ordered grouper (okay, so it was blackened and inside a bun but whatever, I'm making progress). You know what? It tasted pretty good. I had grouper once or twice more during the week and Mahi Mahi as well and now my resolve to like fish has returned. Just eating it, though, is part one of my fear of fish. Cooking it, that's part two. 
What's so scary about cooking fish you ask? Well let's see, 
1. Making sure it's 100% fresh and sourced well; farm raised, organic fed, cold water grown, eco friendly, mercury-free, renewable, hand massaged, well pampered, swam upstream, lived-a-good life, happy little fish blah blah blah. The whole thing is just over-whelming. 
2. Then I have to decide what KIND of fish I want. Asking the guy at the Whole Foods counter what is the least fishy doesn't work because even fishy-fish doesn't taste fishy to those who like fish (whoa). I know I don't like cooked salmon, it's like the fishiest of all fish but after that I'm lost. 
3. Okay, now I've successfully chosen a piece of fish that won't kill me, the environment, or taste like it's still swimming in salt water. What do I do with it?? I haven't the slightest clue how to cook this damn thing. Better start researching. (Keep in mind I have to cook it the same day I buy it cause the smell of fish? Ew, almost as bad as its fishy taste). Bear with me for some sort of fishy escapade later in the week when I gather my courage. 
For now I'll leave you with a few photos from the week.
-Super-Tan-Lisa (Ha! I kid, I was so pale before that now maybe I'm just close to normal human color).

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