Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Falls State Park, Honeybee/Corbin, Kentucky

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Monday, August 3, 2020

First Time Cooking Salmon, First Time Cooking Meat on my Cuisinart Griddler Grill

So, when I was a kid, I used to eat tuna-fish sandwiches every day for lunch, using tuna from a can.  Then one day, I got extremely sick - for like three days.  I mean, it was the sickest I've ever been in my life.  I had double-pneumonia as a child, but this was worse, I promise you.  It was likely food poisoning, but in those days, we just considered everything "the stomach flu" and went on lol. 

Anyway, you know how often the last thing you ate or drank before you get a really bad case of 'the stomach flu,' you never want again?  

That would be fish with me - particularly tuna. 

Don't get me wrong - I love shrimp, I love crab, I love lobster - just not fish. 

It's weird the "food memories" we have, positive and negative, for better or worse, isn't it? 

Like when I reunited with my childhood friends a few years ago, the first thing they mentioned, when talking about my grandmother, was her pancakes and fried chicken, how she made them feel like their grandmother, too -  with food :)

But some food memories aren't positive, like the tuna fish one - so it's high time I change, for health reasons - but first we have to confront the negative memory associated with it. 

So, adding to the tuna fish aversion was another incident - when my older sister tried to trick me, when I tried sushi for the first time, when I visited her in Chicago many years ago.

She told me there was nothing in the roll but avocado and cream cheese, she had asked for it to be made special; but of course, she lied lol.

I believed her - but as soon as it hit my mouth, I instantly became nauseous, starting gagging, and made a bee-line for the bathroom - which is especially publicly humiliating for social phobics like me, mind you lol.

I guess my mouth and body remembered, even though my  conscious brain didn't lol

When I got back, she was laughing at me, but was also kind of mad, literally yelling at me, in front of everyone, saying I was "just being dramatic"  and "faking it."

But the thing is - I didn't know there was tuna in it - I believed her, when she said there wasn't, that she had it "special made." 

(Which actually meant extra tuna or-? lol)

At the time, wanting to believe the best about my sister/looking up to her, I thought it was her way of helping me overcome what I knew was most likely a psychological aversion.  

However, looking back,  knowing what I know now - that she never was a support, and not someone I'd want to be like; in fact, she was my worst secret enemy - and  she was just pulling her same old childhood pranks on me for fun/to feel superior, even though she was nearly 30.

It was strange - she enjoyed my pain, my failures, well into adulthood and even currently,  smiling/laughing and shaming me over whatever it was, at the same same time, it was very weird.  

Especially weird because as kids, though we were shitty to each other,  as I grew, I honestly never enjoyed her pain or failures - I got mad at her, sure, but I always felt sad, when bad things happened to her - because as I said, at the time, I looked up to her, wanted to be like her, and wanted her approval so badly. 

My brother-in-law - always a kinder person than my sister - took up for me with her, that time, and said, "K, seriously, she turned green instantly, I saw her color change immediately - and she didn't know there was tuna in it, she believed you, when you said there wasn't.  And now she's super embarrassed, look how red her face is."  

(His standing up to her was rare, and usually when he does, there's hell to pay - to the point where I'm sure if they told the same story, he would now agree with her because he always eventually did. )

My sister kept yelling - loudly, in the middle of the restaurant - that I needed to finish it or not eat, she wasn't going to buy me anything else to eat (they bought lunch, I was a broke college student), so I just went without lunch that day. 

(Again -  you don't do things the K way, there's hell to pay lol.)

But that was actually fine - I wasn't hungry anymore and couldn't wait to get out of there,  I was so embarrassed - which I also asked if we could do; but of course she refused, until she finished her meal, which took an unusually long amount of time, of course ;).   

However, I do remember, now, if I really think about it - though it actually felt like the entire restaurant was staring and laughing at me - they weren't.  When I finally looked up from my plate, they weren't laughing at me, like she was, or giving me nasty looks - in fact, I don't think anyone even noticed, except the couple next to us.

And in fact, now that I think about it, I don't think they were making those faces at me like the nut, but at her like the nut, for screaming at me like I was a child, in the middle of a crowded sushi bar lol.  

Sigh, yeah, good times ... she's fun like that ... mostly towards me. 

Regardless, let's just say that it's probably a good thing that she never had children.  She didn't want any, she doesn't like children.

Whenever a child did something she didn't approve of, as children do, they were "selfish" and "evil."  Our little half-brother, her husband's younger siblings, and then when they grew up and had children, then her nieces and nephews - they were all "selfish and evil." 

Evil?  No.  Selfish?  Of course -  they're children lol.

It's our job to teach them not to be, and to teach them empathy, by setting an example and giving consequences - not publicly shaming and bullying them as horrible, selfish people - shaming doesn't teach empathy.  Of course, we all make mistakes as parents, but yeah, that's the general idea.  

Now, if they're still like that as adults (like Trump?) - and by adults, I mean past age 26?  (The human brain isn't fully developed until age 26).  Then, well, perhaps we didn't do such a good job as parents, and natural consequences hopefully will take care of it then.  Not always, though, sometimes it's rewarded (Trump).  

My mom was very much the same way, particularly as we became teenagers.  Of course we were selfish as teenagers, name a teenager that isn't?  I cringe at some of the stuff I said and did as a teenager, in fact, but usually, we grow out of that.  

At least my younger sister and I did. Not sure what happened with K lol.  But unfortunately, both my younger sister - and to a certain degree, my own daughter - are still caught in that trap of trying to get K's approval, which they'll never fully receive - and as soon as they realize that, as I did, they'll be better off, but to be fair, K  was never as hard on anyone as she was me. 

Regardless, that experience - which was not "selfish," it was genuinely an old body-memory reaction to food based on childhood illness -  only added to the poor food memory/psychological food aversion, shall we say? lol

The thing is, I knew it was a psychological food aversion and not a true allergy - but trying to force myself to eat hadn't worked, and I'm pretty sure tricking and publicly shaming me only made it worse lol.

Thus, I realized the cure for this silly psychological food aversion wasn't that I needed to dump fish altogether -  I needed to dump my older sister altogether - and find a pleasant way to reintroduce myself to fish - to recondition myself towards it, create a pleasant food memory:) 

(It took me several more years until I stopped looking up to her and realize how toxic she really was, especially towards me, but ... I feel better now lol :)

Anyway, because of the health benefits of fish, particularly salmon, I've been bound and determined to find a way to change negative food-association memories, and make myself eat fish again, eventually working my way back to tuna :)

Thus, I found this salmon recipe, for people who don't like fish - except I grilled it instead of baked it - and it's awesome!

I had already heard that if you soak it in milk first for 20, it breaks down the fishy smell/taste, so I did that, then soaked it in the ginger/soy/maple syrup/garlic marinade and popped in on my new griddler and they came out like this!

(Yep, this pic is mine.)

Not perfect, but close - Mark said next to fresh salmon, right out of the river and cooked immediately (which actually tastes less fishy than store bought), this was the best salmon he'd ever had.

And guess what - I loved it!  I ate it all!  Yay, go me ;) lol. 

And my new Griddler grill (see this post)  cooked them perfectly!

Childhood unpleasant food memory/aversion - conquered!  

Well, almost - next up?  Tuna *gulp* lol. 

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