Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's a "Fish" Thing

A few weeks ago when I was in the "heat of the battle" of this leg ulcer problem, several of the ladies of the church volunteered to bring our family lunch each day. This happened for THREE WEEKS! It was such a huge blessing to know that I really could get some extra rest and know that my family was being fed well at the same time {Jeremy will be the first to admit that he doesn't do too well in the kitchen. :-)}

One of the ladies that volunteered was Arjemira. She volunteered for Sunday lunches because she always makes a big meal for her family on that day. The first meal she brought for us was fish. Where we are in Brazil fish is "it". Everyone here loves fish, but for no real reason I had not had any real "Brazilian Fish" here yet.

Maybe we were just extra hungry that Sunday, maybe we were just excited about getting fish, but without a doubt that was the best fish I had ever tasted. That day Jeremy said, "You have got to get her to teach you how to make fish like that!"

So, Thursday was the day. Jeremy had asked her where she bought her fish and what kind she got. He went to the store and bought two large fish {which, just for your information, is a lot cheaper per kilo than the price of beef is right now :-)} One day I'll take a picture of the place where he bought it. I didn't go, but from the road it looks like a thatched roof shack on the side of the road...very interesting.

Anyway, he bought the fish and asked Arjemira if she could come and spend a couple of hours teaching me how to prepare and cook it.

I wish I would have taken more pictures of the process, but I'm afraid my camera is on it's last leg. It is literally falling into "pieces." These pictures took a few tries to get a decent one. Please forgive... We already have a new camera that should arrive soon, so hopefully this one will not completely die before the new one gets here. her sweet, giggly personality. Her laugh makes me laugh. She's always so sweet, and she is definitely at home in the kitchen.

It was interesting trying to figure out exactly what things she needed. She would ask for a certain type of bowl or pan, and I know general names of things, but when it comes to more specific type bowls...I've not yet learned them. I guess I need to take my language school teacher through my kitchen and ask her to tell me the name of everything.

{Here is Arjemira breading the fish getting it ready for frying.}
{The fried fish...again, sorry for the blurry picture}
{We also made stewed fish. I think this type is our favorite.}
She made it all look so simple. She chopped the fish's head off and went down it's body. When she cooked it, she threw in the head and all. There's a saying here that if you eat the fish's head you'll always return... so, of course, we HAD to eat the head too.

{the head... :-)}
I know what you're thinking... Did you really eat the head? Well, Jeremy ate the head. I took a bite. Jeremy ate an eyeball. I didn't.

Interesting. I'm sure it's all in my head {ha!}.

I'm sure everyone here probably cooks their fish differently, and I know I'll want to have more people to show me how they make theirs, but I just can't imagine anything better than this!

Just as with every Brazilian meal, we made beans and rice to go with it and also made some manioc, (which is almost like a fibrous potato...very Brazilian) which I've had often, but had never actually made it myself.

So, the whole day went well. I learned how to make fish {hopefully :-)}, I practiced my Portuguese {which I hadn't been able to do much because of not being able to go out of my house much}, my house was clean shortly after lunch was over, AND I even took a short nap.

{Our delicious Brazilian meal-plus the fish head on Jeremy's plate.}
We enjoyed our meal so much that yesterday when Jeremy went out to town to pick a few things he picked up another fish. He really wants me to make sure I get plenty of practice at this "fish" thing. This time he didn't get it scaled and cleaned. He asked Pastor Antonio (who is a pro) to come over and show him how to clean and gut this particular fish. can only guess what we had for lunch again today. :-)

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