by Drew Holmes
Like most people during these interesting times, I have been spending a lot more time cooking. I enjoy it and have had a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated for years. It is a great magazine with lots of easy-to-follow recipes that have been thoroughly tested and just plain work. They have great pictures of the food that make you think “I can do that too!” In the most recent issue they had a recipe for a beer-battered fried fish sandwich with homemade tartar sauce. Once I saw the picture, I knew I wanted to make that sandwich.
Why is this notable?
Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time with me (especially at mealtimes) knows that I am not a fan of seafood. I have tried it in the past in limited fits and spurts, but never really acquired an affinity for it. I am not sure if it is the taste, texture, or some combination of both, but fish has never been high on my list.
So why now?
In short, why not? The picture made it look delicious and making everything myself removed the fear of the unknown. So, in last week’s grocery pickup I added everything necessary to make a fried fish sandwich. I made the tartar sauce (mayo is another thing I traditionally tolerate but do not love) and toasted the buns. Jamie prepared the lettuce and the beer batter. I got the oil up to temperature, dipped the fish on the batter, and fried them up.
And how was the sandwich?
It was good! To be fair, you could probably beer batter and deep fry rubber bands and they would taste good (calamari?) but in the end that was not the point. The point was I identified something that has been a self-imposed obstacle for me and came up with a plan to overcome it. How often in our daily lives do we accept reality as it is and do not challenge if that is how it should be? And how often do we allow ourselves to be that obstacle? Whether it is trying a new food, learning a new instrument, or making a new friend, we stand in the way of our success by not questioning the status quo.
This sandwich will likely make a return visit to our weekly meal plan, even if infrequently. Which is fine! Sustainable progress happens in small bites over time. Identifying the obstacle and setting small but attainable goals is guaranteed to have success in achieving and exceeding the goal.
So now what?
Well, I have never really been a fan of coffee. Maybe I will have to put that on the list.