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27 September 2008


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Margaret in Minnesota

You. Are. Something. Else.


Um... easily led astray from what I ought to be doing into procrastination?

In the attic yesterday, Mark found a box of papers of mine from when I was writing my thesis. On the top was a page-long list on graph paper.

kitchen workbench 57x19
changing table 36 x 20
trash can 16 x 12 ....

I don't remember doing it, but I can imagine me looking from my computer screen to a stray tape measure on the corner of the desk and back, trying to work, then, unable to stand it, leaping up and making that list.

I had a good reason to do it, by the way, I don't just do this sort of thing for fun. I have to convince myself I need to first.

Bernard Brandt

Dear Lady (for I do not know your name):

May I offer you two words: flash frozen? These have been my salvation as regards buying fish at one time and cooking it at another. I have found that the quality of flash frozen fish, when thawed and immediately cooked, is very nearly as good as fresh.

May I offer you two other words: Trader Joe's. This excellent store has provided me for decades (yes, decades) with good, cheap food. And plenty of inexpensive flash frozen fish.

May I finally offer you an address (if you have not already found it), as my understanding is that TJ's has recently opened up shop in Minnesota:

Trader Joe's
4500 Excelsior Blvd
Minneapolis, MN 55416
(952) 285-1053



Thanks for the recommendations. I've driven by that Trader Joe's a few times, but have never gone in. I think my cheap grocery store must only carry "ordinary" frozen fish, because it's always been yucky. Either that or the turnover's way too low and so the stuff has been frozen for months and months -- no matter how you freeze it, it doesn't keep its quality forever. Does your flash frozen stuff have a "best by" date on it?

To tell you the truth, I'm afraid it might be one of those places that I can't enter, because I won't leave without several pounds of fancy cheese, imported salami, itsy-bitsy jars of mustard, and Belgian chocolate.


I really like TJ's for some things, but not the fish. I don't think it is anywhere near as good as the fresh stuff. While it is better than the regular frozen fish, I find that the texture isn't what it should be and the taste sometimes suffers. Some fish works better than others, and some preparations work better than others. If I was looking to do a fish dish that didn't involve filets (say, a soup or something) the flash frozen stuff can be ok. But otherwise... well, I haven't been all that impressed.

And I love that fish sheet. Brilliant. I showed it to my (engineer) husband and he heartily approved as well.


Yeah, I think I'm with you, Amber. Sometimes I think it's not so much the "has it been frozen or not?" -- after all, a lot of the stuff on the fish counter has been previously frozen (the little signs say so), maybe even on the boat. Honestly, I think it's being able to look at the stuff and say, "That one -- right there -- that one looks good." You can't do that with stuff in the grocery store freezer. And -- remember -- nothing keeps its quality forever in the freezer. Commercially frozen seafood keeps its quality only six months, and that includes "flash" frozen, which I'm not convinced is any more than a marketing term. How long has that chunk of salmon been in the freezer at the grocery store? How much longer are you going to keep it in your freezer at home?

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