2011/07/07

Starting in the middle (Salmon & Tomatoes en Papillote)

Over the course of my years at University, I put a lot of words onto paper.  Many, many trees (for which I feel very badly...)


As a History major, I probably ended up putting a few more words onto paper than many in my circle.  And while my peers were peering down their collective noses at my choice of major, they also knew where to go when it was time to churn out the papers...  (In return, I peered down my nose at their inability to coherently & independently piece together a five page treatise about whatever it was they were studying - yeah, it was like that). 


One thing I found was that it was often easier to get someone else started, than to get myself started - sometimes inspiration just wasn't lurking around the corner.  However, once I got into the middle of it I was (usually) off and running. 


Oh, I literally mean "in the middle" - would just start writing random paragraphs and try to figure out how to frame it all together.  Because you have to start somewhere - even if it isn't the beginning.  Even if it isn't related.  Just do it.


Kind of like this post about salmon.  And tomatoes.  In a bundle.  Roasted with lemon and herbs.  Because, I know there is much to be said.  But the words escape me. 

Citrus + seasoning + fish + (maybe) a vegetable in a foil packet is de rigueur method of preparing fish in our house.  It's easy & it rarely fails.  In the oven.  On the grill.  As flexible as can be.  It made me happy that Dorie used this method.  I felt validated - like I am not totally screwing up every time I resort to my lazy girl method.  Validation feels good.  And the fish was good too. 

Now, adding slightly roasted tomatoes to the mix.  THAT was a twist.  I liked the tomatoes - but as a side dish, not in the same mouthful as my salmon friend.  For some reason, I could not stop thinking about capers.  Now, capers - I could write about :-) 

Maybe if I needed to come up with ten pages about salmon this would have been easier?  I think my head hurts...


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.  Come check out what fishy goodness the other FFwD'ers have been up to!

26 comments:

  1. How funny, Cher! My undergraduate degree is in English, so I can totally relate! It still drives me nuts that people graduate from college without the faintest idea how to write! I guess I'm just a nerd!

    Beautiful fish, BTW! I use Mahi Mahi & really enjoyed it, too! Have a lovely weekend!

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  2. I love the side-shot of your fish stack. It looks so pretty! Like Susan, I was also an English major, and I also am appalled that people can be passed along from grade to grade and right out through college with remedial writing skills. Unreal.

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  3. I can empathize about starting in the middle. I often draft the argument portions of my briefs first and do the intro and conclusions later because I don't necessarily know how my overall brief will look. I think your dish turned out great. And capers would've been a nice addition!

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  4. Cute post Cher - there's not much to say other than that it was good.

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  5. Funny write up! Tomato and salmon together is new to me but glad to hear it works

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  6. I tend to read books starting from the middle right through to the end, then start again at the beginning. I probably cook the same way too! LOL. Now you've got me thinking how fine this dish would've been with capers in it...and how divine those roasted tomatoes must've tasted.

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  7. Thanks for a fun read! I remember my days as a student when I would write essays as point form in no particular order, rearrange them, and then piece all the points together with words!

    I did not have much to say about this week's dish either. It's fish...cooked with aromatics with vegetable. Though it certainly looks good!

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  8. Cher...thanks for dropping by my blog :) Your salmon do look delicious. This week recipe may look simple but it is full of flavor and love the herbs used. Basil and rosemary not a bad combo after all :) Love the side view of your salmon :)

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  9. Word-up, sista! Another English major here who peered down my nose at all my science-and-engineering friends who came to me for help on their papers! I cooked the tomatoes alongside the fish and ate them like a side dish - didn't want anything getting in the way of that lovely salmon!

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  10. I'm so glad I'm not in school, nightmares about blue books, they probably don't have those anymore, lol! The salmon looks wonderful- it's definitely on my want to try list. I like capers with just about everything, maybe not chocolate although you never know, chocolate covered capers- might be good?? Have a great weekend!

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  11. I loved the salmon. I didn't enjoy the English majors digs on the math and science people. I know it was meant to be funny, but you are blogging on a computer which wasn't invented by someone who could write a sonnet. 010100110110001101110010011001010111011100100000010110010110111101110101

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  12. @ My Black Poodle - if it makes you feel any better, I was a Chemistry Minor... (although, my mother was an English teacher)

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  13. Blue books! lol. ouch.
    I started a blog to learn to write easier but so far it hasn't helped. Its hard. You do wonderfully both with the writing and with the food! Yum!

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  14. LOL - I was (am?) the liberal arts mind trapped in the accounting major. For some reason it was easier for me to start at the beginning, work on the conclusion, and then reluctantly flesh out the middle of my papers. I guess that's the beauty of the creative process - doing what works for you! Love the beautiful layer of aromatics and fish.

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  15. Cher, I agree…sometimes there is just nothing more to say about a subject! Your Salmon looks great! I enjoyed the tomatoes…capers would have been a nice addition!

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  16. We once employed the valedictorian from a recent graduating class at ASU. She was so smart and capable, we thought. We are in the report writing business...commercial appraisals...we write several "books" every month which are "published" at great expense to our clients. She could not write. How could she have made it through college let alone be valedictorian?

    I always enjoy your posts; you are a wonderful writer...always look forward to reading your writings.

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  17. Wasn't this a great dish? Love this technique!

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  18. Looks wonderful! Had to chuckle at your "runner girl" and "karate kid" reference on the side bar...here we have Swimmer Boy...12 years of it and counting, off to college with a fancy swim scholarship for next year...parents of sports kids have a certain bond I always think. As do history majors (History/English actually) so it was fun to read about your writing style from the middle. I always write history papers from the end because I always knew what I was going to have the outcome be and I just built my paper backwards so that the last thing to do was to try to come up with a beginning that would be riveting and intriguing because we all know that a whole lot of the time people's eyes tend to glaze over when you start talking about history. A whole lot of the time. lol Your FFwD photos are wonderful, those and the writing, riveting from the get-go!

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  19. Great post and beautiful salmon!

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  20. I agree ... I couldn't think of much to say about this dish. Just simple and good. And I have to agree with you on the tomato thing. Usually tomatoes and things made with tomatoes are some of my favorite foods, but I could've done without them in this dish. Although my husband said they were the best part. :)

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  21. A beautifully written post. Well done! (by the way I studied history in college too... centuries ago... Thesis on Stalin... nothing wrong with that, but hard to make a living at it)

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  22. I credit my private high school with teaching me how to write, so even though I was a math major I was able to get through the occasional paper I had to write in college. I enjoyed your "process" photos interspersed throughout the only semi-related text. :)

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  23. Your fish looks wonderful! Capers would have been a great addition.

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  24. Your salmon looks lovely! I was an English Major and took every writing course I could through University. It helped me to break my habit of starting from the "one perfect sentence" and trying to final draft my way to the end.

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  25. Looks delicious! I loved cooking in the foil packet, my first time trying that, but not the last. Is the cooking time the same on the grill as the oven?
    Your post, as always, made me laugh. I was an applied math major who could write, though it was painful. I'd rather solve equations or write a computer program :)

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