Eastside Road, July 27, 2011—
AS A KID I was never that fond of fish. This may have been the fault of cod liver oil, one of my earliest taste memories: I had to take it every day as a small boy. Later, in the last year of World War Two, when I was nine years old, we lived in a small town in Northeast Oklahoma, and there I learned catfish was a delicacy: but to me it tasted like mud. A couple of years later it was the occasional surfeit of surf fish, taken at spawn, I believe, at the mouth of the Russian River: always disagreeably fat. I still dislike fat fish. Mackerel, for example.
But I've made piece with salmon, and cod, and trout — I learned about truite bleu in the Dauphiné. And one of the things that attracts me to The Netherlands is fish: delicious flat fish, and zeeduivel, and of course raw herring. And then there's Venice, of course, and Sicily…
We've been hungry for fish lately, probably because we've been relatively deprived of them. Lots of meat in Oregon, the last two weeks, not much fish. So tonight we made do with simple sardines, out of the can: split sardines, thin-sliced raw onion, a little mayonnaise, on good bread. With them, corn-and-soybean succotash; afterward, green salad. A feast.