lovely things, miscellaneous, drivel, potentially useful information, things I love

…as good as it gets…

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There really aren’t words that could say much about this – finding something new while combing my favorite asian market for duck and pork parts that aren’t easily found in the regular world – other than maybe, simply, elation. A renewed sense of purpose. Moments like this leave me in a state of awe and wonder as to what one might do with a package of Spiny Goby, aka Ca Keo. It’s like the feeling of Christmas all over – just as it was when you’re young, while maybe past the point of believing in Santa as a real entity yet still able to believe that your wish list means something enough to someone else that it will be fulfilled beyond your wildest dreams.

The curse, maybe, though it could also be a blessing, is that when you get older, you really have no idea what it is you wish for anymore. It’s easy, what I wish for, as it is eternally vague. I want to be pleasantly surprised at least – perhaps even blown away by something, somewhere. The conundrum is that surprise presupposes not knowing – always having a certain amount of naivety about life, the world, the way the dawn rises over places you’ve never been, cultures you’ve never known. I know that’s the primary reason I exist in the manner in which I do.

It’s a recon mission at first – going home, drawing pictures of these curious little things, trying to capture the texture, the shape, the little quirky essentials that send my mentality glissading into some other place. Then researching and finding out what I can about them – how they’re eaten – what exactly they are – making notes on my drawing – realizing that it’s one more thing I have to procure and cook and eat…

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Of course part of that avalanche prompts me to think of something new and different to go with it – which I love pondering and exploring equally. I decide I’m going to prepare this in the same manner as Friture – little fried smelt, dredged in some seasoned flour – so I want something to dip it in; acidic, sweet, a little salty to offset the what I’ve heard might be bitter flavor from the fish.

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It’s a lovely meal, something I’d recommend not just because it’s different – it’s a pleasing experience, neither bitter nor bony – not even particularly spiny, once the spine is removed. It tastes a bit like an anchovy, a bit oily with a dense flesh that tastes pleasantly of fish. It’s exactly the sort of thing that satiates me in almost every way imaginable…

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