Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Blog Spotlight: Gaper's BlockThis week's Blog Spotlight belongs to a site I've been visiting over the past few months, the quintessentially Chicago Gaper's Block. This group blog's name refers to the phenomenon of annoying highway traffic delays caused by curious drivers slowing down to stare at a car accident: you just can't take your eyes off it, and frequently you whack into the bumper of the vehicle in front of you in the process, amplifying the effect of...Gaper's Block.
Gaper's Block is halfway between a 'zine and a blog, with an information-dense-but-esthetically-pleasing retrostyle 3-column layout that's jammed tighter than the Dan Ryan Expressway with links, views and news from Our Fair Second City. It's a must for wired-in Chicagoans, but it's also fascinating urban voyeurism for those not fortunate enough to call Chicago home as well.
I'm only half-kidding about that last part, dammit.
Excerpt, from Gaper's Block's One Good Meal cooking column, "Big Fish, Little Fish, Fillet in Your Broiler" by Cinnamon Cooper:
First rule of cooking fish: You don't talk about cooking fish. You just do it.UPDATE: Very appropriate advice, but it makes me think about the nuances of language.
Second rule of cooking fish: Keep It Simple Stupid! Most fish taste best with a minimum of stuff done to them.
Third rule of cooking fish: Buy fish that doesn't smell like fish, or bleach, or other chemicals. Don't be afraid to ask to smell a piece of fish in the counter before having it wrapped. If you get a fuss about this, go someplace else. I've eaten bad fish, you don't wanna do it.
Fourth rule of cooking fish: If you're going to keep fish in your fridge for more than a day or so before cooking it, freeze it. Fish needs to stay at 32 degrees to stay fresh, while most meats are fine at 40 degrees -- which just happens to be the temperature most refrigerators are kept at. Your other option is to put the fish in a zipper bag, and put it inside another zipper bag, fill that bag with ice, and put it in the back of your fridge. Most fish that spoils does so at home, not at the store.
Fifth rule of cooking fish: Clean your broiling pan.
Isn't there something illogical about the fact we're not supposed to buy fish that smells like fish? After all, we buy oranges that smell like oranges, coffee that smells like coffee, and so on. So, when we say something "smells like fish," what we really mean is that is smells like rotten fish.