The Pancake Chronicles

The Pancake Chronicles: reel fears

The Pancake Chronicles

Thursday, October 25, 2007

reel fears

I opened my freezer and it was chock full of fish. I am not exaggerating. That it's full shouldn't surprise me. The annual Alaskan fishing trip that Mark goes on means we have enough salmon, smoked chum, halibut, rockfish and jumbo shrimp to last until the following year. And to make all my fish-loving friends jealous. Only there's one problem. I'm afraid of cooking fish. Why? Who knows. Inexperience. But my fear has caught up with me. When you quite literally have trouble putting anything else into your freezer without the lid popping up due to Fish Glut I humbly suggest to you that it is time to face your fishy fears. Which is what I did yesterday and what I will keep having to do for a long, long time. (Did I mention how full the freezer is?)
fish stock
There were a couple of bags of fish heads and tails so I made a stock from them complete with a bouquet garni. And you know, it wasn't scary or remotely difficult. And when that was done I made salmon chowder using the stock. And there was cream and wine and big chunks of potato, carrots, corn and zucchini and lemony thoughts and boy oh boy was/is it good. Close your eyes good.
But let me give you an idea of how much fish I have. I used, at
most, one quarter of the heads and tails that we have. That amount made 8 cups of stock. I only need 2 cups of stock to make chowder that will serve 8. To put it simply all of the heads and tails we have would feed roughly 100 people a big bowl of hearty satisfying soup or, alternatively, 50 bowls each for Mark and I. A bowl of salmon chowder every week for a year. Which isn't the worst thing in the world but people, that's from just the heads and tails. I still have fillets and steaks and ... This is why it's better to face your fears - they catch up with you.
So do you have plans for supper?



Blogger Ace said...

Well, Im glad you like fish.

I grew up with fish being cooked every day, twice a day in all the neighbouring apartments, houses, strees in Calcutta.

Yet, I cannot stomach the 'aroma' of fish. Hence my Mark is forbidden from eating fish/sea food if he plans to see me/kiss me on any given day. He is going to have a tough time here in London...what with the English love for Fish and chips.

But it must be good for most of the planet loves eating fish. :)

Happy Cooking!

x Aakanksha

1. Per. Effervescence is being updated to. regularly from 1st Nov.

2. Chai - with crushed cardomon + fresh ginger? I made it yesterday the way we do back home. yumm. Even added a little cinnamon.

26 October 2007 at 05:23  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh I would be very overwhelmed with all that fish. Is there some fish-loving needy family you could donate some to?

26 October 2007 at 15:51  
Blogger Colleen said...

Ace - I remember a Chinese friend of ours making squid for us first thing in the morning on a very hot day and I didn't think I was going to make it. Then I tasted what she made and promptly forgot about the smell. Seafood seems to be like that and WOW - I think I'm definitely going to have to learn to make chai tea like you do. No more of this teabag stuff. The END. I need to know. TELL ME. NOW. I mean, please?

Rachel - after I wrote this post that very thing struck me. So now I'm on the hunt for some unsuspectin' salmon chowder lovin' Knifers.

26 October 2007 at 16:07  
Blogger Kori said...

I am afraid of fish too! This must not be uncommon :)
I am getting ok with boneless/skinless salmon as well as shrimp but anything else... eek!

I am assuming there was also pieces of salmon in your chowder?? Is this a recipe that you could put clams in?? I am learning to enjoy clam chowder and would like to attemp to make it... without the sand :)

26 October 2007 at 19:16  
Anonymous Cheryl said...

I'll be there in 20 hrs.

26 October 2007 at 21:59  
Blogger Colleen said...

Hey Kori - It is kind of intimidating. For me I think it's just because I have no experience with it at all and didn't grown up eating very much of it. Other than fish sticks - does that count? :) I did put chunks of salmon in it and you could easily substitute it for clams. I'm not sure it would be "official" clam chowder but it would do the trick! If you think you'd like the recipe just e-mail me at

Cheryl - you make me laugh! xo

27 October 2007 at 07:10  
Anonymous captain cat said...

uuuurghhh Colleen, there is a fish head in your cooking pot!! I just thought I should let you know. a FISH HEAD.

I love sushi.

Ace - that caradamom-ginger tea concoction sounds awesome. Here in Kabul they make the most delicious spicy cardamon tea, sometimes with water, sometimes with hot sweet milk. It's incredible.

Colleen, yesterday S and I watched the Bert and Ernie video, it's wonderful. Then we spotted the spoof version of a Bert and Ernie clip, which was rather rude, but hysterical. S was almost crying.

27 October 2007 at 22:59  
Anonymous clara said...

I wish you could donate some of the fish to me as I'm reading on this salmon-deprived island.
And wouldn't your freezer have to be really big to get everyone in?

Well, enjoy the omega-3s!

28 October 2007 at 10:07  
Blogger Colleen said...

Cat - I originally titled the post "fish head's up" just as a warning to those who don't enjoy seeing heads separate from bodies (which, in a way, you'd hope would be everyone) but thought it sounded a little convoluted so I changed it. All that to say - I know, a FISH HEAD. It's true. It's not a normal sight around here. By accident I pushed at his eyeball and had a heebie jeebie.
Sushi is wunderbar! I didn't use to hate or love it it but something changed (me) and now I love it.
And between you and Ace I think I need to get an official tea recipe. That sounds so, so good.
And now to find that spoofy version! :D

Hi Clara - Yes, I'm becoming omega-3 saturated! Is there trout or other such fish swimming about your isle in the blue that you may fry or sushi-fy? And it IS a big freezer, which also contains buffalo and caribou - things I would never have thought would someday be in my freezer!

28 October 2007 at 13:30  
Blogger The Lang 6 said...

I am intimidated by catching fish - no worries about a fish laden freezer at our house. Or buffalo, or caribou...just ice cream, hamburger, ooh, and strawberries...

28 October 2007 at 14:26  
Blogger Felicia said...

Oh my goodness. :) I feel your pain. Time to spread the wealth to friends. Perhaps they would be willing to take a fish transfer :)

30 October 2007 at 14:00  
Blogger Colleen said...

Lang! I'll trade you a bag of fish heads for some strawberries?

Felicia - A fish transfer! Yes, that is the answer. I should take an ad out in the paper - FISH HEADS need loving home.

30 October 2007 at 16:56  
Blogger risa said...

Oy! Nice, actually. And about as lovely a pic of fish heads as I've ever seen. Beloved made head cheese once and I'm not going to post that anywhere...

3 December 2007 at 16:01  

any questions?

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