Catch Ya on the Flip Flop

Hi there, hi there, honk there!

Im back home in CB with CB! Its been about 3 days and Im just now starting to get over my jet lag. It wasn’t that far to fly I am just a weiner at airplanes. I puff up like a blowfish and then have to sleep for 2 straight days when I get home. For someone who loves travelling, I am really poor at it. Blegh.

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It was worth all the puffy ankles, and turbulence though. I have rarely been so lucky in my life to have both money and time line up properly so I can visit my family during the holidays. Making my profession as a baker, holidays are kind of like maybe sorta literally my bread and butter. HAW! Not only that, but my siblings time lined up too and all of us were at home up north, slacking, snackin, maximum relaxin’, eating my parents out of house and home. It was a really, really great visit. We even kidnapped my gram on the way up– well, she decided to come visit at the last minute pretty much while we were driving by her house on the way home from the airport. So it was a travelling Lackie family van fun time jamboree!

We played every game. Every single game. A million games. Mostly games involving farms, settlers, zombies, murders, haunted houses…

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This is us playing a zombie centric game, Last Night on Earth, with pop and snacks. My mom and I were the zombie team and we SLAUGHTERED those hapless humans wahaha! I also slaughtered, those there gummy bears. Ruthless.

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This picture will be meaningless to you, but just trust me when I say.. this is a work of mastery. I am the MASTER of land and beast! SUCK IT, MOM!

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This is a picture I took while making gluten free tiramisu for dessert one night. One hand on a whirring blender and one hand on my cell phone. It is an ill advised photographic technique. Look at those cutie poot lady fingers though!

Not to got too braggy, but we probably had all of my favourite dinners while I was home and you should be very jealous. My most favourite is my mom’s amazing chicken fricasse with rice & capers. We also had roast pork loin with apple sauce, buttery green beans and garlic mashed potatoes, pad thai another night, then rainbow trout with mashed turnip and carrots, PIZZA, and my dad made this huge steak dinner with baked potatoes and corn and caesar salad. Daaa-yum. Some good ol classic family eats. UGhmmm

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This is back at CB’s nans house in Gabarus. Now that Im home we have been sleeping in late, and spending all morning making and eating breakfast. Making breakfast with CB is one of my favourite things in life, and Im savouring this time like it’s the last french fry in the box.

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Sunshine streaming down over the stairs.

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This is our little room upstairs. Theres books and socks everywhere right now, bit its very cozy. We set up the tv and playstation and we can lay in bed watching Netflix at night. I can lay in bed reading and looking up every so often to see what CB is up to on Fall Out. Right now Im typing this while CB is watching Ash vs Evil Dead. Which is perfect and hilarious.

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This is Joan’s house behind us. She doesnt live there right now. It has no heat or running water, but she is there most of the year. So cool. One day when shes around Im going to bring her some cookies so she will show me around inside.

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This is some lunch I made, radicchio salad and baked haddock and beer *fancy feast*

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Today we went into Louisbourg to hang out with CB’s cousin Breton. She was an amazing trooper to show us around the town, seein’ the sites, all the while being possibly the most hungover person Ive ever met. We paused only briefly by the ocean so she could hop out and have a wee puke out by the rocks, but then she was good to go. Then we had poutine and cheeseburgers. What a warrior woman!!

We met her husbands super nice family who run the general store in Louisbourgh, Bob and Linda. And they own that chip wagon up there! I can’t wait until summer and this place gets rocking. Louisbourg is a really interesting place, and one day CB will go and spend the day doing touristy stuff there– going to the Fortress, having a lobster dinner, going on the go carts– and take some pictures so you can have a look. Breton told us about this hotel that does a “Beggars Banquet” where you dress up in old timey clothes and eat lobster and theres music and.. a lady dressed as a whore who sits on your lap…? I was in an out of this story because I was just thinking about what I could wear to that. It sounds FUN! CB is not as interested…

Alright Im tired now, promise to blog more. Its my bday in a couple days and we are going to do FUN STUFF so ill put up some pictures of that. Goodnight!

 

 

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The End of June Month

IMG_0832   I know it’s July now. I just noticed people say that here when they talk about some goings on in June. Not just “june” but “june month.” Unnecessarily specific, but has a nice sound to it.

Im just having a sit on the couch. It’s nice outside and inside. The window is open, and I can hear all the warblers warbling and the tits tittering. The wind shaking the leaves all crazy, flipping them like a million green coins, the sound is like a shimmer. It smells like pollen and plants and I cant fill my lungs full enough of this warm air. I count 16 mosquitos now, pressing their little fiendish faces up against the window screen, thirsty for my blood. The one and only downside of summer. It’s turned me into a pretty paranoid predator. Slapping little buzzing bodies anywhere, anytime, remorseless. Im getting good at it too. Like a ninja. There’s limited collateral damage now, mostly in the form of upsot cups of tea. CBs disapproving eye at my frantic flailing and slapping while he is trying to play Fallout. I’ll keep my blood thank you, it is not in me to give.

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Green green green all around me. The urge to climb these trees surges up so strongly in me sometimes. I have to remind myself that it’s just whimsical nonsense and in reality I’m old and fat and slow and will just hook my ass on a branch and get stuck forever and they will call me Mongo The Tree Girl and throw apples at me to eat. Or a spider will run on my hand and I’ll scream and fall out and break all my hips. Broken Hip Hospital Vacation! NOT A BAD IDEA!

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The worlds slowest growing nasturtium. I like to yell at it every time I walk by its sad little cement pot of saddy sadness. OH GAWWWWD why do you still only have 6 leaves?! You should be full of flowers! What am I feeding you all that delicious hot bacon grease for if you’re not using it to GROW GOD DAMN IT! *green thumb*

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Found these weird things. Wonder what they will be? They look like they are from another planet. Theres all kinds of uncanny ass plants popping up all over now. All around the house are all these little ferns with bumpy blue stems. Upon further investigation–grabbing them–I realized it was in fact a regular green stem but covered in millions of tiny beetle babies and my hand came up covered in bug guts.  YAY!

Today I was thinking that Newfoundland probably must have the most beautiful ditches in the world. Riding around on the motorcycle today with CB I saw ditches brimming with alien stalks of pink & blue lupins, palm sized dandelions, fiery orange hawkweed, fluffy white snowballs of labrador tea flowers, fuschia lamb laurel bushes, wispy white beards of bog cotton, wild blue flag irises, pretty pink seathrift…  its overwhelmingly gorgeous. Its such a stark contrast to the endless bleak whiteness of winter. Everything wakes up in a rainbow! Theres a million different sorts of birds and a billion more sorts of bugs. This island literally buzzes with alive things. Anyway, its pretty nice. Here’s a link to someone elses blog about newfoundland flowers.

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Put on a record. Clean the house. Wash the dishes. Wash the clothes. Wash our dirty stank butts.

I took these pictures in early June, but never got to write about it. We had a nice lobster dinner, just knives and meat and butter. I never liked lobster before I met CB. He invited me to one of his family lobster “feeds” and I was so shy and scared and just tentatively nibbled a claw soaked in butter. But now I am A BEAST! Well, not really. CB breaks them down, but I eat everything until I cant eat anymore. CB’s mum is still the lobster champion of all time. She is small but she can take down 4 of those buggers in a sitting. What a woman. IMG_0732_2   Fresh from the fish plant! Watching CB come out of the building with a bag full of lobsters looking so proud.

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This is the smallest and feistiest one. I named him Hank. He was delicious.

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CB demonstrates his east coast party trick of lobster hypnosis. Make him do a handstand, tickle his forehead with your forefinger.. STOP PLAYING WITH YOUR FOOD!

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IMG_0775_2   Sorry Hank, you salty little sea spider. You were just born too damn ugly and too damn tasty to live, man. IMG_0771

Notice this one. The Big Guy. Is. The. Size. of my baking pan! His claw was the size of CBs hand! He could barely lift it! What a hero.

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What a beautiful sight.  Knife, board, beers, towels, pile of lobbies. Yeah thats what I call them now, I think it’s going to catch on.

IMG_0816   And now the massacre begins. Look away if you’re squeemish, or you might get lobster juice in your eye.

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Noodle Food

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Day offfff! Its been a torrential bloody downpour for 2 whole days and that is super boring. Ive been craving to get outside and explore now that all the snows melted. There’s GREEN things happening out there!

Instead of adventuring and going for motorcycle rides we moved the bed into the living room so we could laze around and watch every Fast & Furious movie ever made and stay in our pajamas all damn day. It was nice. But then real life kicked in and I cleaned the house.

As my reward, CB made me a super special dinner. Aside from craving nature I have also been craving fettuccine alfredo like a mofo. Our new Healthy Eating rule type thing is that if we are properly craving something unhealthy, we have to make it from scratch. So CB made pasta dough, rolled it out, cut it into noodles, boiled it and made a beautiful creamy alfredo sauce all from scratch. Usually we would spend $2 and 6 minutes boiling up a bag of Lipton Noodles & Sauce– instead this took 2 or 3 hours. But it was relaxing, and we learned a new thing. It was a great way to spend a day off, cooking together, while the storm raged on around us.

ALSO.. Remarkably Delicious. Oh.. my.. word. Fuck you, noodles and sauce!!

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Beautiful golden yellow dough ball, made of flour, egg yolks and a little olive oil. Nice, CB. Nice.

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I was the prep cook today, in charge of mis. We got some beautiful snappy asparagus, perfect in a creamy sauce! I also love peppers in alfredo, it makes it so tasty! And lots of garlic, sweated onions and even a few scallions for good measure.

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The dough has rested, time to roll it out!

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Fold it up.

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Foldy foldy foldy.

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Cut slices in the thickness of noodles you like.

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This looks pretty good!

IMG_0542_2Unravel– tadaaa! Noodles!

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Do that a bunch more times for a bunch more noodles.

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Dust it lightly to keep it from sticking in a messy pile.

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REAL LIFE PASTA!
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You can see our noodles getting thinner as we go

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CBs beautiful, thick, creamy, garlicy alfredo sauce getting an extremely liberal dusting of some very serious romano cheese.

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Noodles take about 2 1/2 minutes to boil when fresh.

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Add them straight into the sauce.

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DINNER! We sat down with a beer and ate it in about 5 silent minutes. I’m going to have to clean more often..

Patty Madness!!!!!

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This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Nikki at Everyday Life Mother And Wife.

Well, it’s still winter. It does end, right? Right? RIGHT!? GIVE ME HOPE!

I feel like I remember it ending, in the past…. It seemed to get sunnier, the snow wasnt here, I dont think.. and had to buy short pants and a hat that’s not so wooly… I’ll just keep being patient. But I’m so pale I can see the floral pattern of the armrests on this chair through my forearms. Like a cool tattoo. Im not depressed about it or anything. Everything is cool. Cold, actually. And bleak..

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WAHHHHH! Look at it outside!!

Okay! I’ll calm down. I am getting a bit buggy lately though, I have to admit. There is one sure fire way to combat the relentless winter blues. IGNORING IT! Wrapping yourself in beautiful, spicy, Caribbean flavoured delusions. We got a copy of Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen in the mail 4 days ago, and have just been cooking and cooking. So far I have made her home made ginger beer, pumpkin curry, pineapple jam, pineapple-aid, and baked bananas. Oh, and patties.

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After living in Toronto for a few years, Jamaican patties became very important to us. Like, overly. There’s just something about walking around the city on a cold winter day, clutching a steaming hot curry beef patty in your mitts to keep you warm. Or grabbing a veggie patty on that first kinda-just-barely-warm-enough-for-a-t-shirt-day and a pineapple pop. Maybe $5 jerk pork and a festival, covered in oxtail gravy, big scoop of rice n peas and a helping of sweet fried plantains.. big old slab of black cake covered in creamy white icing. Oh .. gawd… Anyway, CB got addicted to them and the patty madness would strike at any moment– we would have to stop whatever we were doing (sitting around without pants on watching Family Guy most likely) and go get some patties and pop. Its one of our best Toronto memories.

We have been looking to make patties just like Patty King’s for years, but it’s never been right. This is it! We have finally found it! I feel like I want to write a love letter to Lucinda Scala Quinn.

The thing I love best about this cookbook so far, is that you follow the recipes and you get what you are promised. The patty recipe alone was worth buying the book. It is exactly what we were dreaming of and expecting. We have been craving patties for years and every so often we come across a recipe and try it, and are disappointed. This made CB and I so so so so so happy, and brought spicy sunshine into our souls.

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Thyme is a very important flavour in Jamaican cooking; something I did not know previously to this book!

IMG_0379We didnt have fresh scotch bonnets available, so we used some of our scotch bonnet sauce from summer. I just blitzed whole scotch bonnet peppers with a little vinegar. 
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Perfect thin, flakey, yellow curry coloured crust and spicy beef curry inside. Dead on. We have eaten 14 of them since yesterday…….. Someone needs to come help us. Having frozen homemade patties at our disposal is really dangerous. It smells amazing in here though!!

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Jamaican Beef Patties

From Lucinda’s Jamaican Kitchen

PASTRY:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup ice-cold water

FILLING:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 whole green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
  • 1/4 cup veg oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

    To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and curry powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Working quickly and using your fingertips, squeeze together the flour mixture and butter and toss it together by scooping under the mixture with both hands. When the mixture resembles a very coarse meal, add the water to the bowl.

    With floured hands, mix and squeeze the dough just until it forms a ball. Knead it once or twice to combine it fully (the less kneading, the better). Spread the dough into 2 pieces, flattening each into a thick pancake. Wrap in plastic and set them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Remove it from the refrigerator a few minutes before using it.)

    For filling, mix together the beef, onion, scallions, garlic, peppers, and thyme in a large bowl. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it is very hot, and add the beef mixture. Fry until the meat is brown and the moisture is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and black pepper, stirring occasionally over high heat, allowing a crust to form on the bottom of the pan.

    Add the water and stir the mixture, scraping the bottom to incorporate the browned crust. Add the breadcrumbs and stir. The consistency should be like a thick stew. Add more water as needed. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes. Set it aside to cool.

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each piece of the dough into 9 pieces. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out each piece of pastry into a rectangle shape with rounded edges. Spread a large spoonful of the cooled meat mixture over one side of the dough, leaving at least 1/2- to 3/4-inch border on the outside edge. Using your finger, paint water around the border. Fold the other side of the dough over, and roll and crimp the edges. Lightly press a floured fork around the edge of the patty.

    Place the patty onto a cookie sheet and repeat the procedure with the remaining dough. The patties may be covered in plastic and frozen at this point for later use. Brush each patty with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the patties begin to turn a golden color.

Anyway, this book was worth the patty recipe just by itself, but so far everything else has been delicious as well. You don’t need a ton of special ingredients, just a few basics to attain that Jamaican flavour. If you ran out and grabbed some allspice, curry, thyme, a handful of scotch bonnets and a few limes you could get through most of the recipes in the book.

The ginger beer is dead easy, and the next day you get a very gentle, slightly bubbly tonic that is amazing with a bit of lime and rum. It’s something Im definitely going to be making on a regular basis. Because I have already drank all of it… with rum.. YAY!

The pineapple jam is sticky sweet & sour deliciousness. Its perfect, and would be so good on coconut bread like she suggests. Or smeared on top of a cheese cake. I ate it mixed with some Fussel’s Cream and covered in blueberries. Another thing I love about the book is that it’s very thoughtful. She recommends that when you make the jam, to save the peelings and steep them overnight in hot water, a little sugar and lime juice to make pineapple-ade. No waste!

The pumpkin curry is actually very light considering it’s mainly root veg. Would be a great veggie main. It’s packed with good stuff and I froze it all in little bags to take to work with me for lunch.

And the baked bananas are just a nice light dessert idea, but without this book I probably would never have thought to make them. A little brown sugar and butter, squirt of lime and a dash of rum, broiled in the oven. We ate them with some whipped cream, and it was a perfect light dessert for our patties.

Tonight we are rubbing down a pork shoulder with jerk spice and trying our hand at some jerk pork tomorrow. This is all in preparation for a big jamaican feast we want to make for our coworkers in the summer.

I’ve included a link there to amazon to buy the book. That’s something I thought I may as well do, if I get a really, properly good cookbook and want to share it with everyone. With anything I do happen to earn Im getting as gift cards which I’ll use to buy more cook books!



Buy Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen from Amazon

Spice Gal

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Mail is the best. Did you realize that it’s presents! Mail is presents. And you get presents, because you deserve them, because you are so very super special. That’s my deduction anyway, but I pretty much require a source of constant attention and appreciation just to exist. Mail gives that to me! Unless its bills, or angry letters from the government.. which they mostly are..

ANYWAY in January I bought myself a 6 month subscription to RawSpiceBar’s spice of the month club. Every month you get 3-4 small packages of freshly ground, regional spice mixes, neatly packaged with recipes from a chef. This month was Punjabi Spices with recipes for tikka masala and chai&rose nankthatai cookies by Vishwa Mohan. They smell awesome.

Also, it cost $6/month with free shipping! You should sign up, it’s awesome. How can you lose for $6 a month!

They also have a blog with other recipes, here.

 

Last month was Navajo cuisine from a Chef in New Mexico. I wish I hadnt missed that.

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Here is the whole package. The spice packs are ripped open because I have no self control and had to smell them as soon as I pulled the package out of the mail box.

 

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Dumping out a little into my hand, it was so fragrant but not in a headache inducing way some cheapy chai mixes can be. Nice large ground spices, and whole rose petals. They can be made into cookies or steeped in hot milk for chai. Beautiful.

 

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The garam masala is my favourite. It smells sooooo goood and makes me badly crave chickpea dahl. It had a whole neatly folded leaf called Tej Patta inside. Its like an Indian bay leaf, and apparently kind of a secret ingredient. Exciting!

 

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The tandoori spice is beautiful as well and has something called kasoori methi, which sounds very exotic. After googling it, it seems to be fenugreek. Can’t wait to make some tasty spicy food. Im going to write the spice mix ingredients on the backs of the recipe cards so that when they are gone I can kind of create my own.

I’m going to do a post every month on what I get! EXCITING!

Back To Mackerel

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We got our grubby mitts on a bag of fresh Atlantic mackerel! Our landlord Mike practically broke down the door to tell us about some fish for sale, $1 each. So we scrambled for my purse handed him cash and he came back a few minutes later with a grocery bag of shiny fresh fishes!

And I was all like.. “holy mackerel.”

Yeah. I SAID IT! I had to, I’m sorry, I had no choice.

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Im gonna eat ya little fishies!

 

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Having a bath.

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Time to slice and dice.

 

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CB has a very sharp little knife and filleted these in about 3 minutes. It’s pretty straight forward. It looks a bit messy here but it really wasnt. They smelled like clean fresh sea air.

 

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Cut in by the fin.


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Swooooop down the spine.

 

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Tada.

 

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Fillet-o-fush.

 

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Giver a rinse.


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Big stack of tasty dinner flaps.

 

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I love their shimmering bellies and stripey backs.

 

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Salted and fried in a pan with some butter for a couple minutes.

 

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So crispy. Mike told us to splash on some vinegar on and put them in a hot oven for a couple of minutes. It took away that super fishy mackerel taste and just made it really extra delicious! Pro fish tip.

 

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Yum. Now to eat it like CB’s nan always did. On the table with a can of cold peas.

 

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My plate was a bit fancier, I made a salad. For some reason, I have been craving green things.. New York, I’m looking at you…

The meat was light, and flakey, with crispy crunchy skin that tasted like fish french fries. So nice.

Mike promised us a couple of ducks next time he’s out hunting as well. Im looking forward to it, I’m really liking the dark, salty duck meat!

 

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