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20. june: IMBB? catch of the day

Yep, you guessed it, that fun-filled event everyone has been waiting for is finally here -- time to enjoy and indulge in the Is My Blog Burning? (IMBB?) culinary extravaganza. Just in case you don't know, IMBB? is a world-wide internet cooking and baking experience, originally instigated by the brilliant Alberto in February of this year, with the opening festivity’s VIG (very important gastronomy) being Soup. The second event rolled out a month later with Clotilde’s Tartine edition, Renee hosted a spring-inspired Cake Walk in April, and May bore witness to Pim's gracious hosting of a Rice Party. This month we all crack our culinary knuckles and dive deep into our cookbooks for Wena's "Catch of the Day"...the ingredient being FISH.

Growing up, my mom didn't cook fish at all -- unless you count fish sticks, that is. She doesn't like the smell, the texture or really the taste of many things fishy, and I actually recall her getting physically ill and having the leave the restaurant once when when my dad ordered a fish baked in pastry. He cut into it and one whiff and my mom turned green, got up and bolted. Luckily we were staying in a hotel at the time and she insisted both my dad and I stay and enjoy our dinners. I can't recall what I ordered, probably chicken...or something nondescript, since I was only twelve.

My exposure to the ocean's creatures came via our cottage, fishing with my brothers and , the odd time, catching something bigger than a sunfish and frying it up for lunch (outside of the cottage, where my mom would be sitting, mumbling things like "ew" and "blech". When I was a bit older and my family would take the bi-monthly trip to a neighborhood (now long gone) Italian restaurant and my mom and I would sit far away from each other and I would hungrily devour my seafood antipasto or some dish with mussels or salmon or shrimp.

Since then there has been only one flaw in my seafood indulgences...deep-fried calamari. I can't eat it. I love it, but developed some strange allergy to it, to the point now that if I smell it my throat starts to twitch and I get all sweaty and have to reach for the ventolin inhaler I keep, for this reason mostly, in my bag or pocket when I go somewhere for dinner. I can't figure our what it is exactly that I am allergic to -- I can eat grilled or boiled calamari, just not deep fried. I tested it again a few years ago and ate a few pieces, hoping the feeling would pass...playing with fire landed me with a rash from my chest up to my hair line and an asthma attack that, were I not certain it would go away with ventolin, benedryl and rest, would have landed me in the emergency room.

So, to make this already long story short, the fish I recall best from my childhood would have to be fish and chips. Being part British I can officially claim this as a part of my heritage and enjoy it, in it's greasy and artery-clogging glory, without too much guilt.