3.23.2011

More Fish and Cake Decorating

Catfish Etouffee
Ahh fish. So we meet again. You and your slimy, gross ways. I went into Monday's class wanting to like you. Heck, I was practically begging my taste buds to derive some sort of pleasure from a giant plate of various fishes but I'm sorry to say, no dice. I still just don't like you.

After my last run in at school with fish, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about a whole day based around those creatures of the sea but I kept hoping that maybe the more exposure I get, the easier it will become.  Still being a little scarred, my first reaction to fish day was to avoid it all together and (for the first time ever) volunteer to make the day's dessert.  But then I got disappointed with myself for trying to take the easy road. Dammit, I wanted to learn to make fish! So I volunteered to help make the Catfish Etouffee.  Maybe if I made it and got a better understanding of it, I'd develop more of an appreciation and like it more?

Catfish Etouffee
I did not (ugh). I still found myself totally grossed out by it and thought I was going to pass out when I realized that my partner and I had to make a giant pot of Fumet (fish stock...i.e. fish parts cleaned out and simmering in a pot and then drained). Ugh. I get chills just thinking about it.  But I somehow survived and found myself sitting at our end of the day family dinner with a plate of salmon, bass, sardines, halibut and the catfish. I took a bite of every single one and nada, zip, nothing. That's not to say that my fellow chefs-in-training did a bad job, they put together truly beautiful dishes and everyone else in the class was really enjoying them, except me.

After all was said and done I got to thinking about this whole fish subject. Maybe it's okay that I don't like it. In fact, I know many chefs that have strong dislikes for a certain food item. One of my chef instructors absolutely hates raw vegetables. Another chef friend of mine gets so grossed out by the texture of cornstarch he can barely be in the same room as it. Heck, even Indiana Jones had a severe phobia of snakes. (Granted he wasn't trying to cook them but I think I can still draw the parallel.) I tried and tried and gave it my best shot but I just don't like fish. Cutting my losses and moving on..


On the flip side of that, on Tuesday we had cake decorating day. As much as cake isn't my favorite thing to eat, I absolutely love decorating it. With a pastry bag in one hand and a blank canvas of a cake in front of me, I find it so therapeutic and totally meditative to focus so intently on transforming a plain old cake into a work of art.

On tap for next week, shellfish (yeck!) and more cake decorating (hooray!) Only six more weeks of school. How is this moving so quickly?

15 comments:

Melissa said...

Cake looks beautiful! I'm sure it tastes great too, as long as it was never sitting too close to the fish to get fish cooties :)

Kathy said...

Still love the cake. IT's quite pretty. I never have the patience to finish decorating a cake - mine always look like I got bored in the middle, which is true. As for Indy - he didn't like snakes, but the point still stands!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I made shrimp etouffe at the CSCA (for a Cajun cooking course) and, despite not being very adventurous with seafood, thought it was excellent. Beautiful cake! What will you be doing in 6 wks once school is over?!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Ugh Kathy, you're so right...it was snakes!! Can't believe I messed that up - Thanks!

In and Around Town said...

Your cake looks lovely! I have so many random foods I hate, so I totally understand not liking something that is seemingly normal!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I like fish AND cake! hehe. We all have our food preferences - we just have to accept 'em ;) The cake looks lovely!

Michelle said...

Your cake looks beautiful! Great job!

Daisy said...

aw, I'm sorry the fish relationship didn't work out. but the cake looks beautiful!!!

Michelle Collins said...

Cake decorating?? So fun! And the end result is gorgeous!

Megan said...

Tha cake looks beautiful... and no saying you don't like cake... because there's a cake out there you like. I guarantee it. I dislike the texture of box mix cake and most normal cakes... but change the texture to something more dense and moist, and count me in!

ashleigh said...

Wow that cake looks awesome! Did you get to decide how to decorate it? I like the colors/pattern.

Elizabeth said...

The cake was SO pretty. You are quite the pro. Cake party soon!

Jen said...

I have to admit when I read the title, my brain thought you were decorating cakes and fish. Random. I think it's ok to just accept that you don't like fish and move on. You gave it an honest shot.

Alicia said...

That cake is beautiful - I love the design!

KitchenAid Mixer Sale said...

You have some very slick ideas for kitchens. That has been one of the recurring themes in my own life–looking for a way to make our bathrooms and our kitchen look really glorious, even though those rooms are much too small. One of the glories of the Internet, though, is there is absolutely no dearth of ideas. I have been looking for ones that seem to me to make sense and posting my results. Right now I have no idea of what I will ultimately do, but I keep hoping I will come up with something really slick.

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