Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fish Scare

cat and balloons
Originally uploaded by mygothlaundry
The other day I was at Ingles, as I so often am. Along with my weekly portion of diet food and the rather schizophrenic completely non diet food that my son requires to keep his buffalo chicken wing and ranch dressing counts sufficiently high, I bought on the spur of the moment some whole, albeit headless, rainbow trout that looked fresh. Even Granny, the scary checkout lady who has been checking out groceries at the Haywood Road Ingles since I was born, said that they looked like good fish. And Granny should know. I know that I try like hell to avoid having Granny check out my groceries, not because she is bad at it - she is the best, at this point, as you would have to be after forty gazillion years at the West Asheville Ingles, well, either that or a serial killer - but because it makes me feel guilty to have this ancient lady swiping my heavy groceries from one side of the counter to the other. I feel as if I should offer her a chair and an iced tea and swipe my groceries myself, ungrateful middle aged child that I am. However. We must figure that Granny knows fish.

I brought my Granny approved fishes home and put them in the fridge and then last night I made them for dinner. I put lemon slices and sliced shallots and some tarragon inside each one and squirted lemon over the whole fish and broiled them and therefore, you know, yum. They were pretty tasty and all would have been well except that half an hour later I did not feel well at all and neither did Audrey. We felt, actually, as if somebody had slipped some psilocybin mushrooms or some other frightening fungus into the trout. Extreme cottonmouth, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and, for me at least, fear, although honestly, I have in my lifetime had enough experience with psychedelic drugs that you'd think I'd react more with joy than fear.

The terror was mostly the fault of the internet: naturally, I immediately started googling and discovered that some fish farm in England had botulism on their trout once. This of course convinced me we were going to die forthwith. We even called poison control, a desperate move, and they told us to drink lots of water and monitor our symptoms, which we did by saying enlightening things to each other like, "Wow, I feel really weird."
"Me too!"
"What if trout naturally just secrete hallucinogens?" I said hopefully, "And all we are is tripping and it will be fun?"
"Mom," said my daughter, "If trout made you trip than we'd know about it. And every high school student in western North Carolina would be spending their weekends knee deep in the creek."
This was indisputable.

We told Miles, who hadn't been home for dinner, about our imminent demise. "If you get money from this," he said callously on his way back out the door, "I want some. Tell them I ate it too."
"What, you're leaving?" I said, "What if we need you to drive us to the hospital?"
"If I come home," he said, "And find y'all dead on the floor, well,"
"Well what?"
"Well, it would be upsetting." he said, waving and leaving.

Fortunately for young Miles' peace of mind, the symptoms dissipated after about two hours and we were fine, although I think I will not eat trout, particularly farmed trout, again. I'm still wondering what the hell happened. It wasn't really like any food poisoning I've ever heard of but neither was it a feeling I've ever had after dinner. Now, after dosing, yes, sort of, although that's much, much more pleasant and I can't figure out how the drugs met the fish. I mean, I really, really doubt that Granny (although, after all those years, could one blame her?) or anyone else at the Ingles is randomly dosing fish with LSD, although, let's face it, that would be kind of an appealing horror show idea.


Salty Miss Jill said...

Maybe someone has been stashing something fun in the tarragon...?
Anyhow, it soundd delicious, apart from the bad trip part. Glad to know you've both survived.

mygothlaundry said...

Yeah, I threw the tarragon away too, just to be on the safe side. One never knows! Although one would surely recognize the taste of at least a few herbs that could be substituted for, um, oregano more likely than tarragon. ;-)

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