We have a few family priorities we're trying to reallocate our money towards and save up for (paying the deposits for 2 kiddos to go to private Episcopal preschool in the fall gave me tunnel vision for week- SO. MUCH. MONEY), so I'm trying to do a better job of eating from our pantry to curb our food expenses a bit. I'm not a creative cook, so I felt pretty proud of myself when I found some canned salmon (uhhh, thanks for the gift Mom?) hidden in the back of a cabinet, and decided to make salmon croquettes over a bed of spring risotto for dinner that night.
(And in the event that sounds like a snobby meal for a Thursday night, just know that I later realized the risotto had a 'best buy' date of 2012, which meant it was the ACTUAL container risotto I used to make my first batch of the stuff when I lived in NYC. Nice, Blair.)(Also? Spring risotto in my world has canned peas, canned mushrooms, and frozen parmesan from Costco, so DOABLE.)
After I finished the risotto (and got over the fact that I was cooking with a 7 year old container of ancient grains), I decided to give the salmon croquettes a try.
I'LL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.
I popped open the can of salmon (Honey Boy Pink Salmon, for those of you who are curious), pushed in the lid a little bit so I could drain the salmon juice in the sink (blergh) , and then plopped the entire contents of the can into the bowl.
Now hold on a minute.
Wait right there.
The first thing I laid my eyes on was a large, compacted log of salmon. Ok, fair enough. I picked up my spatula to start smooching it into the mayo & breadcrum mixture when my eyes caught a little glimmering shiny patch in the log.
Hold on a second, what is that? Scales? Does this can of salmon have scales in it?
A little more grossed out now, as I realize I'm going to have to fish out this giant log of fish (pun partially intended) from the bowl, and pick out this little patch of skin I see on the surface. I awkwardly balance the log between my fingers and spatula and plop it onto my cutting board, where the log proceeded to unroll itself a little bit.
IS THAT A SPINAL COLUMN?!
What the %^*& is going on here?!
I start gingerly poking and prodding at the log - there's a spine, 2 full sets of intact ribs, and full sheets of skin. There's even this weird patch of meat about 10 shades darker than the rest of the meat- I didn't even KNOW that salmon had light meat and dark meat?!
Listen- the only thing this canned fish seemed to be missing was his head, tail, a couple of organs, and his debit card. Otherwise, EVERYTHING was in there.
Did I mention that I don't even like seafood in the first place?!
It took me almost everything in my power not to throw this entire meal in the trash and speed dial the local Chinese food restaurant. But I'm a big girl- if I can let a surgeon cut me open and pull 2 babies out of my torso, I can surely rifle through some salmon to save $30, right?
Also- remind me again why I stopped being a vegetarian? Oh yes, bacon. That's right.
I spent 15 minutes breaking apart the log 'o' fish with my fingers, rifling out all kinds of creepy bits and throwing them in the trash before I had enough to make a few croquette patties with. Dinner cooked, husband impressed and happy, LARGE vodka cocktail procured.
Would anyone like the other 2 cans of Honey Boy sitting in my pantry? They're all yours.