I went to Turkey Point last weekend. My friend Sarah’s mom rents a cottage there every summer and for the last several years I’ve joined them for a day or two. Turkey Point doesn’t sound like it would be a nice place to visit, but it is. This part of Lake Erie has sandy beaches and blue water that you can walk out into for what feels like miles.
The drive there, along highway 6, has you pass through a series of small towns, like Hagersville and Jarvis. There are signs in these towns that point toward “internet access.” I also saw a turtle crossing the road. And I saw fields of corn and a tobacco and apple orchards. This is some of the prettiest country around, I think. Maybe the sight of those fields and one-room school houses give me goosebumps because my dad spent a chunk of his youth in these parts–those angsty teenage years when he hitch-hiked to New York City with his friend Peter and spent three days there before calling it quits, and when he was buying records, like the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out, that would forever change him. Those days changed his life.
And I’ll tell you what changed mine: the decision to make fish tacos the night I got back from my weekend at the beach sans the Beast. You know I’ve been craving them. So I looked up “fish tacos” on Epicurious and used this recipe as my base. I made a few changes to the fish marinade: I used red onion instead of white, and left out the dried oregano.
I picked up a couple of tilapia fillets and left them in the marinade for a couple of hours.
Meanwhile, I got our fish taco toppings prepared: the coleslaw was easy since I bought a pre-cut bag. I dressed it almost like the recipe suggested: with a bit of mayonnaise and lime, but I omitted the milk and added the tiniest splash of white wine vinegar. And the guacamole took no time at all.
By the time the Beast got home from work, I was very pleased with myself. As usual, he asked that he be allowed to do the grilling. And as usual, all I had to do was follow him with a couple of drinks in hand (some dry, crisp rosé, to be exact. I stumbled upon this gem at the LCBO that’s only $11.95.) But then the unexpected happened: we ran out of propane. Before I could start to swear or cry, the Beast was downstairs firing up the stove and preparing a pan to fry that fucking fish. And although we didn’t achieve grill marks, the results were glorious.
As we stuffed our corn tortillas, we tuned into The Hills because a commercial said it was “one of the greatest stories ever told on video.”
We used to watch The Hills quite frequently but somehow it’s escaped our radar as of late. But tonight they were playing four back-to-back episodes from the latest season in anticipation of the series finale which was scheduled for Monday night. As a Kia commercial came on, we took our first bites of dinner.
Foodie: I don’t want to sound vain but I think this is one of the best dinners I’ve ever made. These are amazing.
Beast: They’re sublime.
Foodie: They are sublime! I can’t believe it–this is exactly everything I wanted it to be, and more. This is such a keeper of a dinner. I want to share this meal with everyone I love.
Beast: If I ever drive a Kia just cut my balls off and shove them up my ass.
Foodie: What’s wrong with a Kia?
Beast: I don’t know anything about cars but I know that.
Foodie: Don’t your parents drive a Kia?
Beast: No, they have a Hyundai.
Foodie: How much do you love this dinner?
Beast: It’s amazing. You know what? The Hills is one of the greatest stories ever told.
Maybe, but more than one hour of it makes you feel funny inside. After consuming embarrassing amounts of fish tacos, there was still the question of cleaning up.
Foodie: One of us gets to the dishes and the other one has to go downstairs and get the laundry from the dryer and fold it.
Beast: One of us has to go smoke a cigarette.
Foodie: Which do you want to do?
Beast: I don’t even know where the dryer is!
Foodie: Pick one.
Beast: Dishes. First, that cigarette.
As I folded the laundry, I heard the faintest sound of some sort of flute being played upstairs. Normally, I’d yell up there and tell that damn flute-playing dummy to get downstairs and do the damn dishes, but the fish tacos, they’ve changed me.