She’s Choppin’ Broccoli, She’s Choppin’ Broccola


80P and I were walking home together from our respective offices and we were discussing the lack of dinner options and I declared that this has been my worst year of cooking on record. And on record, well, my record, that is, only counts since I’ve started cooking, so if you are to count all of my years on record, not just cooking years, than I’m not doing terribly, as I did fry cottage cheese. But in years that I have made it a priority in my life to find joy in the kitchen, this year, not so much is happening in that 10 foot by 5 foot space.

Anyway, don’t get all excited that this will be some glorious post about a new recipe. This actually proves my point. I now make sandwiches. Or simple pasta dishes. But with farmers market season starting, I have a feeling I can turn 2010 into to a year that will not tarnish my cooking record. Okay, enough records. Well, except for the record that my friend Vi always plays when I come over. Total crush on Band of Horses.

Back to the cottage cheese for a second. In January 80 and I were in Florida and I re/discovered two items that have found their place in my fridge many times this year.  One was cottage cheese (which I’d never had and decided it would be a good idea to make a sandwich out of it. See, there it is, another sandwich. A freaking cottage cheese sandwich.)

2010’s other popular item is smoked whitefish. Although I try not to eat that many animals, I can’t get over this salty, creamy, pungent, addicting addition to my life. (Can you use the phrase addicting addition? It’s overkill, huh?)

I usually eat the mashed fish on a bagel or dark bread toast, either solo or with raw onion. And once, out of obvious limited options, I had spread smoked whitefish on matzoh. This week I tried to switch it up and added in more veggies. And can I tell you, I am really digging raw broccoli these days.

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My Resolution to Start Smoking This New Year


I think the first time I had smoked fish was in sushi, not the oft walked Jewish path of lox on a bagel with cream cheese. I had plenty of exposure to smoked salmon and smoked whitefish salad, mostly at bat mitzvah luncheons and funerals. Unfortunately, my personal smoked fish craze didn’t hit until I was living in DC, and we notoriously lack Jewish delis.

However, 80 and I just celebrated friends’ wedding in southern Florida, eating and partying our way through Sunny Isles Beach, Hollywood and West Palm Beach. And wow, it was nice to be around the Jews. I never can find the pleasure of smoked whitefish in the District. There are maybe 2 New York style delis in the area, and I haven’t fell in love with either of them.

But in Florida! Florida!

After the nuptials, 80 and I visited with my grandmother. While at lunch I schmeared smoked whitefish salad on a pumpernickel bagel (80 choose wrongly and ordered the *lean* pastrami sandwich and Mommom took down matzah brei, a bagel and hash browns). Whitefish salad is less pungent than smoked salmon, it’s creamier than a tuna salad consistency, but with a saltier, less generic taste. It also doesn’t reek of mayo.

Later that day at my aunt and uncle’s golf clubhouse, the free (!) snacks offered in the bar area were smoked whitefish salad right next to boursin cheese (It was actually quite funny, they had a chef in full whites slicing the boursin on a wooden cutting board akin to prime rib), swiss cheese triangles, broccoli florets, grape tomatoes and crackers. It was a mid-winter miracle.

So apparently we’re in week four of the New Year. I had this majestic resolution—obviously food related—but I haven’t started it yet. I will start making claims now. I will hopefully cash them in before 2011.

I will smoke a white fish. Whatever a white fish is. I will then take that smoked white fish and make a salad out of it.


(Photo: PS95)