Years ago I was given two cans of salmon.
My parents were never big fish eaters. So my experience with eating fish growing up was nonexistent. As an adult, well, I'm a bit neutral on it and treat fish with a caution born of ignorance and parental distaste.
Having said that, I finally got around to opening one of those scary salmon cans tonight.
I looked over the one recipe on the can and knew I didn't have all the ingredients to make that. I also didn't like the note on the can which said that there would be bones in the salmon however the canning process softens them and the bones are now safe to eat. For some reason that note added to my trepidation. I soldiered on anyway.
Going in I thought I'd just fry the stuff with a bit of coarse ground pepper.
Well, I opened the can up and dumped this lump of fish flesh with what seemed to be two spines into a bowl along with what seemed to be fetid water.
I studied that lump for a time. Memories of the one day I tried to cook myself shrimp flashed through my head.
Back in college one day, I tried cooking shrimp for my supper ... well, I didn't have supper that night. I also made a vow to myself that I would never try cooking shrimp again. It's decades later, and I still have no intention of breaking that vow.
Anyway, I stuck a fork in this lump of fish. It looked much sturdier than what I felt with the fork. At that point I knew I'd be cooking crumbled salmon.
I figured I'd crumble the stuff into a bowl, grind my pepper on top, then cook the stuff. Pealing one flake with my fork and putting the flake in the bowl told me that continuing in this manner lay madness (or at least would take a hell of a long time). So I dove in with my hand taking a lump of the flesh and crushing it into the bowl with my fingers.
Soon I had a good amount in the bowl and ground a bunch of pepper into it. It still didn't look right. Inspiration hit and I added a little corn meal to mix in as a kind of breading. After mixing that all together in the bowl, I dumped some of this loose confection into my frying pan, and thought; ok, now I'm cooking with fire! Alright, I didn't actually think that, but I was.
Well, anyway, on another whim I added some water into the frying pan. With the water, my mix turned into a salmon patty. I cooked and ate it with a shrug. Not really great, but I've eaten far worse tasting things.
I looked at the bowl with quite a bit of my dry mix left in it. Added water to it, then thinking if I'm making paddies, why not put a real congealing agent in to keep the stuff together and I mixed in an egg.
I fried another patty of this new mix, and then tasted it. Better. I added ketchup. Ah, I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to make this again, but it was up to acceptable eating now.
I looked at my frying pan. I've cooked with and abused that pan a lot over the years without any major scratches to the no-stick surface. After tonight's experiment, I now have a few good sized scratches in it. ::::sigh::::
Well, at least I'm down to only a single can of salmon in my cupboard.
BTW, pitchers and catchers report to their various spring training camps in less than a week, the Cubs first spring training game is in 20 days, and baseball's Opening Day is just 52 days away!