Okay first of all: don't ever buy smoked fish. I picked some up a few weeks ago at our local giant Asian grocery. They were affordable, looked like fun, and I adore smoked things. The plan was to get some cream cheese elsewhere then make bagels — yum. But duh, I was in the middle of prepping for our annual open studio, during which no quality cooking is possible. What was I thinking? There is only sewing, moving things, sleeping, then moving more things. (See scrambled eggs / hot dog confession here.)
My point is: everything in our refrigerator smells like smoked fish. Shortly after I got them I wrapped an extra plastic bag around their original package. But people: the ice cream container IN THE FREEZER smelled like smoked fish. So Mike transferred them into a canning jar, I found some electrical tape, and we double-resealed them. And then just to make sure nothing could escape he stretched a latex glove from my dyeing supplies over the top. So now we have a fridge that looks a tiny bit like that of a serial killer, just up in one corner, so you know, not that much really, and only sort of smells like smoked fish. The photo is so ... wrong that I will only post it at the end of this tale.
So the open studio ended last night and today I'm making that batch of bagels. And instead of the recipe I always use, which is elegantly simple and works every time, I decided to mess with success and substitute a half cup of my normal flour with teff flour. And I don't feel like sprinkling stuff on top so I mixed some chia, flax, and sesame seeds in with the dough. It has a mild nutty smell that I like. The dough was a bit soft so I kneaded some extra flour at the end. I'm boiling them right now, so we'll see if it works. Yes I'm writing this in real time. I know, it's thrilling to me as well.
Does this mean they're witches or not-witches? I get confused.
Did I mention that these fish are whole, replete with heads and dead vacant eyes? And that I had to ferret through the rubberiness of one to pick out the eatable bits? There is no Wegmans-esque molly-coddling over at the Asia Market. Luckily I grew up catching and cleaning my own fish so I barely batted an eyelash.
Okay they're done. The fish is so salty that I can't tell if I like the bagels or not. I can feel the moisture being sucked out of my brain and I instantly grew some of those medicine-ball-sized bumps on the roof of my mouth. I'll have to find out on another one later. But at least I'm a few flecks closer to getting rid of that smell.
Nothing to look at here folks. Move along.
From The Sideboard is where I ramble about food, cooking and eating. We really have a sideboard at our house — but we call it The Cyborg. If I called this From The Cyborg you might be confused or perhaps even feel cheated. Nobody wants that. I cook extemporaneously and make a lot of spicy pastes, and rarely cook the same thing twice.