Thursday, February 01, 2007

Catfish Fillets with Tahini Sauce (Page 289)

  • Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matt
  • Dining Companions: Matty and Ana
  • Recipe Rating: C-
We wanted to have veal marsala for dinner last Tuesday but Whole Foods didn't have enough veal scallops to feed the four of us. So we had this catfish dish instead. The more I think about this dish, the more disgusted I am. It was really bad. Now, I don't particularly like catfish to begin with, but I was in the company of others who do, and they also didn't like this dish. There were so many problems with it. For one, although the sauce tasted fine, it didn't complement the fish at all. Plus it made very little sense to put hot fish atop a sauce that wasn't warm. It made it especially unappetizing. There were also a lot of complaints about the coriander seeds. Some people thought they were too strong to go with the fish, and others just didn't think they tasted good. I was hungry, and I love fish, but I left 90 percent of my serving on the plate. It just wasn't at all appealing.

Within my first year at Stanford I developed a pronounced skill for picking out Stanford students. Standing at the San Francisco airport, I could, in a single glance, parse the crowd into Stanford students, Berkeley students, and neither. In Boston this game is much harder. There are just too many universities to really master it. Distinguishing Harvard undergraduates from MIT students is no problem. But Northeastern students versus BU students? Graduate students are a whole other matter... I was thinking about this one afternoon a couple years ago when two twenty-somthings, clearly graduate students, sat down in the seat behind me on the number 1 bus.

"I can't think of any reason that esophageal pain would radiate to the back."
"Pacreatitis?"
"I guess."

Ah, I thought to myself, med students.

"Does this bus go all the way to main campus?"
"Yeah, it ends right in the square."

Ah, Havard med students.

Thus having solved the mystery I paid little attention as they rambled on about good bars, "Do you like the enormous room?" and bad rotations "The ER eats your life!". As we passed MIT, I tuned in to their conversation:
"MIT architecture is so weird."
"MIT students are so weird."
"Well what do you expect when you take thousands of people with Aspergers and put them all in one place?"
"You know, this is probably the Aspergers capital of the world."
I laughed silently as I scanned the bus looking for fellow MIT students who may have also overheard this comment. It was indeed funny, but accusing an entire student body of suffering from a mild form of autism is bit bold/offensive. Looking around the bus I realized there was little chance that anyone in the surrounding seats was from MIT. Except for me. They had probably been playing the game too, these two -- trying to decide where I was from. Apparently MIT had been eliminated in the early rounds.

One of my now favorite mental images of MIT is as the Aspergers capital of the world.

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