Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day Two: Tickled Pink

My cat now loves me more than she ever has, and she's a cuddly cat. Not only have I been sick for a few days, and thus available for cuddling most of the day, but I'm starting to eat fish, and I like to share.

Don't worry, I didn't feed the cat half my salmon burger (my husband keeps these in the freezer and eats them when I'm not around). She only got a few tiny niblets, probably not even 1% of the burger's total mass. But she sure loved it. There are very few foods, no matter how she mooches, that she actually eats once she has them. Apparently, salmon is one.

I have to say, having my feared food at dinner was much more difficult than having it for breakfast, mainly because I had time to think about it. I had time to psych myself out. I tried to think how great it was going to be, how much I was going to love it, but that wasn't the foremost thought on my mind. Mainly, I was thinking about the last time I tried to make myself eat fish, in the form of a swordfish fajita that nearly made me puke. I tried really hard to like that swordfish, but it still triggered the old gag reflex.

But I also had a few fairly encouraging memories to hang onto. When I worked, briefly, for a caterer, I got stuck pulling all the teeny tiny bones out of five thousand slabs of smoked salmon, and it sort of acclimated me to a salmon-y smell. Also, the first time I went to the French restaurant in our area, I had a taste of a smoked salmon mousse that I actually enjoyed. Mainly because the smokiness overpowered the salmon. But still, I liked it.

So--tonight. I ate a salmon burger, and it was okay. I didn't hesitate to eat it as much as I did with my egg. I have to say, there really wasn't any fishy smell, though there was the tiniest hint of fishy flavor. I had it on a super-thin bun, so there wasn't a ton of bread to mask the flavor, and just a little tartar sauce and yellow mustard. What I found most interesting was, while I could appreciate the sweetness of the fish and the flavor--even the fishiness, really--my mouth was not producing very much saliva. This made chewing a chore. I had to concentrate in order to swallow. I don't know if this happens to everyone, but I know it's happened to me several times. If my parents are reading this, they're probably remembering the time I chewed a single piece of broccoli for about two hours and just couldn't swallow it. They thought I was stubborn. Okay, I was. But also, my little mouth wasn't producing the saliva I needed to swallow that broccoli.

I have to change my idea of what is appetizing. The fact that this salmon was in burger form might have been a hindrance; it's a little unnerving to look at a burger and see that light pink color that doesn't happen to beef and in poultry would mean stomach cramps. But I'm not drawn to any fish dish, truth be told. There are maybe a few fried seafood dishes that lure me in visually, but it's less about what's under the breading than the breading itself.

So that's something to work on.

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