For Christmas this year, I asked my dad what he would like me to make for dinner. He chose his favorite thing – ceviche & papas a la huancaina, a couple traditional peruvian dishes I learned to make years ago just to make him happy.
I texted him my grocery list.
Now, I know my dad, and I know I have to be very specific if I want certain things, but this isn’t the first time I’ve made this for him. I’ve been making it at least once a year for at least the past 5 years. He’s picked up the ingredients at least a few times before.
First red flag – he called to ask if I needed fresh shrimp or frozen. Technically, either would work, as long as they were raw and uncooked. That’s kinda the whole point of ceviche, right? At least he bought both so I still had something to work with. Bullet dodged.
The second surprise I didn’t discover until this morning when I pulled the ingredients out of the fridge. I hadn’t thought to look at the fish, because a fish filet is a fish filet, or so I thought. This is what stared back at me.
Those arrows? Oh, they’re just pointing out the fish blood that spattered when I opened the bag. No big deal. Except that it also spattered all over the wall. And the floor.
And that’s when I started yelling at JD to quit trying to lick up the dead fish blood. You know, from the dead fish that was staring up at me.
Levi heard me yelling and came into the kitchen. He wanted to know why mommy had a fish on the counter instead of in the water. Because fish swim in water. Not on the counter. Obviously.
I sent Levi into his room to play while I tried to deal with the dead fish and ignore his accusing stare (because I decided it was a boy fish that was laying dead on my cutting board.) It’s been quite a few years since I last fileted a fish, but I figured it would be like riding a bike – couldn’t be too hard, right?
Except I forgot about all of their tiny little bones and after hacking half of the thing
to death to pieces, I decided we’re just having shrimp ceviche for dinner. I put the half-hacked, mostly whole, accusing fish back in the fridge, this time in a ziploc bag. My dad can decide how to deal with that when he gets here. I’m done touching it.
Of course that’s when Levi walked back in. Luckily I had just closed the refrigerator doors. He asked where the fish was. “All gone,” I said.
“Oh, back in the water?” he asked.
“Sure, back in the water Kiddo.”
Whew. That was way better than him asking me why I murdered a poor, defenseless fish.
Luckily, I still had enough shrimp to make ceviche, just not as much as I was planning. After this morning’s fish incident, I think Levi and I are going to opt for pizza for dinner instead.
I called my dad to tell him that next time, he shouldn’t scare his
daughter grandson with a cold, lifeless whole fish if he wants me to cook for him. I expected him to be surprised, but he totally knew that he had bought a whole fish and didn’t think it was a big deal. He pointed out that I said “fresh tilapia” and that’s what he bought.
Sigh. Next time I know to be even more specific in my grocery list.