I also have that bluefish on ice so that will also go into the smoker/grill probably tomorrow. The brine is just a highly concentrated salt water mixture with some syrup added for flavor and I think I can preserve it to be used over and over again. So I kept that in the fridge in a ziplock and I'll use it again for the bluefish. I won't use it too many times but no sense in wasting it if I don't have to.
After work today I'm going to start the smoker up which is basically my gas grill which is modified a bit. I think I have some apple wood chips in the garage from last year.
For lunch today (and breakfast for that matter) I had a big bowl of sauteed dandelion greens and some beans. Debbie really helped a lot with the greens but was careful to stay within the guidelines.
A big bowl full of dandelion greens
At first it tasted like a cross between broccoli rabe and spinach. I didn't mind eating it but towards the end the flavor started to repulse me a little.
The figlet growing on a fig twig
I really, really, really want a chocolate bar. And not your ordinary Hershey's bar. I'm thinking of a big block of Valrhona chocolate from Whole Foods. They are so thick that you can't easily open your mouth wide enough to bite a chunk off. It's dark, rich 60-70% chocolate. . . Ok - gotta stop right there. I'm daydreaming/typing again. Sorry to bore you with my thoughts.
After work, I went right to 'work' on my smoker and bass strips. I used my gas grill and made an aluminum foil pouch to hold the Apple wood chips. I had some trouble getting it to really smoke though. It seemed like it took forever to start the chips smoking and once they did, it wasn't a tremendous amount.
It still seemed to work pretty well though. My fish strips turned out very good. If I had one criticism it would be that the smoked bass was a little on the salty side. (That sea salt really packs a punch) So when I do the bluefish tomorrow I will rinse off the strips well before I lay them on the rack to dry.
We had a dinner and drinks get together to go to tonight and although everyone there knew I was doing the SDC it was uncomfortable for me to be in a social setting and not participate in the food and drink. I must have had a gallon of water. I was tempted to put the challenge aside for the night (especially for a beer!) but I think I did the right thing and stayed strong. It's actually helpful when everyone knows I'm doing it because they become more supportive. And it's always an interesting topic of conversation - that's for certain.
Two people who have thriving gardens, even this early in the season, invited me over to pick some greens. I think I may take them up on their offers. I don't think that would contradict my rule system - although it's a slight bending of the rules. I was also thinking about the fish that I gave to my sushi place. If I catch fish and then sell or trade them for other food or goods, that is surviving as well. I should be able to use anything that I find, forage, or fish to trade like currency for other things - as long as the other things aren't like a Big Mac and fries. But I think if I trade a striped bass for a fillet of salmon or yellowtail - that would be fine. It would be nice just to have a little more variety and diversity in my diet. If anyone has any comments about this or the veggie garden raid - please let me know. Man, I could really go for a Guiness right about now!
"The difficulties and struggles of today are the price we pay for the successes of tomorrow."