You did this to me – make me some fish! Yes, again!

Billfish

Those lucky enough to spend lots of time with me during my pregnancy a couple of years back may want to skip this post to avoid flashbacks. Aside from having to come to terms with another person LIVING INSIDE ME, nightly dreams of locusts and scarabs, a boss who asked for a doctor’s note in regard to the 10-pound lifting limit, and a false positive on toxoplasmosis (thanks, guys), I had horrendous medication-necessitating morning sickness and acid reflux pretty much all day every day, speckled with nausea-free emergency binges on the few foods I could stand to smell. By the last few months, relief finally came, and the dinner that we had planned with my parents for the evening of my due date (no one ever delivers on their due date) had to be relocated from the restaurant to our house, my labor having started twelve hours earlier. My appetite was back with a vengeance and I was not going to the hospital before gorging myself on lamb vindaloo and paratha. In retrospect, I realize this was not the kindest thing to do to the delivery team, from which came no argument when I suggested a C-section after several hours of “pushing.”

Listen up, ladies. If you’re pregnant and you know you want a more service-oriented delivery, chances are your male OB will lobby to have you try for a natural birth and go from there. So, play his little game and “push.” Just not that hard. Once the epidural kicks in, you won’t feel anything anyway, so scream “but I AM pushing!” at anyone who questions your vigor. Keep in mind that I had an incredible surgical team, absolutely no complications, and was vacuuming within a week, so my experience was much more positive than those of many women (though it does take some concentration not to lose it when you know what’s happening on the other side of the curtain). I’m not recommending universal C-section, and if you’re up for the “normal” birthing experience I salute you, but I suspect there are others who, like me, are not on board with the logistics of natural childbirth. Doctors aren’t psychic, and considering all the mind games the medical industry plays with pregnant women in the name of liability, let’s return the favor.

If you’re still here (I think we’ve lost the gentlemen), this is the one thing I wanted constantly for the last month. And since Mr. P makes it much better than I do, it worked out quite well for me. Three times a week, Mr. P would bread and fry me up the thinnest piece of haddock available at the market and plate it with a pile of white rice, and Billy the Kid (going by Jenkins at the time) would commence an hour of soft-shoe. I still like to have it about once a month, even though now I cook it myself since my olfactory system is back to normal, and with Mr. P earning all the money these days, I like to show my appreciation with dinner on the table when he gets home. We’re both fully aware of the irony of our current situation, and feel that we’re each getting away with something, which is almost as delicious as this fish.

For two:
3/4 lb fresh haddock (cut into serving sized portions)
1 C plain breadcrumbs
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 large egg
lemon
salt and pepper
tartar sauce

Whisk the egg in a medium bowl, and spread out the breadcrumbs on a plate. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until it’s hot. While the oil heats, dip the fish into the egg, coat completely, drip off excess, then coat with breads crumbs, packing them into any areas resistant to cohesion. Put the fish into the hot oil, and cook until the underside is a hearty golden-brown, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5. The fish is ready when it flakes of its own accord. We’re not done. Salt, pepper and lemon are essential, and I don’t know why Mr. P uses wasabi mustard instead of tartar sauce, but have the second on hand to be safe.

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