Friday, April 11, 2008

A disgusting experience

Out of respect for the vegans, there are no pictures included in this post :)

A couple of weeks ago, I went grocery shopping and included fish on my list. I bought a somewhat-thawed previously-frozen fish labeled 'Whole Red Snapper'. It looked kind of gross, as it still had the head attached, including deflated eyeballs. I've used chicken feet when making stock in the past, so heads/eyeballs didn't really bother me that much.

However, I made a serious thinking error. I assumed that when the label said "Whole Red Snapper", it meant "Mostly Whole (Gutted) Red Snapper." Sadly, I was wrong. Today I got the fish out of the freezer, and as I removed it from the package, I noticed that there was no tell-tale slit up the stomach. EW. That meant there were still GUTS inside. If this was a fresh fish, I wouldn't have been bothered. As a kid I always wanted to go into the health professions, so I actually liked gutting fish. I loved to examine and feel all the organs. But those guts just sitting there inside the fish for all this time . . . yucky.

I thawed the fish in warm water. I planned to scale it, remove the fins, gut it, and chop off the head. Unfortunately, when I took it out of the water, it just started falling apart. Everywhere I touched it, the skin just fell off. That was fine, since I didn't have to bother scaling it. I started the stomach slit, and the very dull knife sailed right through the flesh. That's not really a good sign. It basically fell open in my hands. I removed the guts, and meanwhile, the head fell half off. All this time I was wondering if this fish was even safe to eat, but it smelled OK. I guess it just didn't appreciate being frozen and thawed.

I baked it with butter and pepper. My kids usually LOVE fish, and they wouldn't even touch it! I guess the reality of it was just too much for them.