More random junk in this post.
Last night, a friend treated me to dinner at Nopa. I had a revelatory experience. You see, back home in Alaska, we used to go fishing for smelt. Smelt are these little fish generally no longer than a couple of inches. We used to drive down a bit past Anchorage and cruise the Turnagain Arm...from the shore, you can dip a net into the water and, depending on the season, end up with a net full of smelt!
Anyways, we used to bring them home and my mom would fry them...because the fish are so small, you can eat every part of them...bones, fins, head...all edible. I used to detest fried smelt but, last night at Nopa, I ordered a plate of the fried smelt. I don't know what pushed me in this direction because the rest of the menu reads well. Maybe my mother's illness led me to reach for a taste of my childhood...Whatever it was, those little fried fish at Nopa are ASTOUNDINGLY GOOD. I could eat plates of them. I seriously believe that if I ever go back, I will order multiple plates of those fish. At Nopa, they serve the fish with a lemon-dill aioli and fennel. I am a smelt convert.
In addition to the smelt revelation, I had a terrific sandwich at the local Irish bakery. It was a corned beef and cabbage sandwich...layers of buttery, stewed cabbage, thinly sliced corned beef and...this is key....the pickling spices from the beef were incorporated into the sandwich. Every bite tasted a bit different because you would get different spices in different proportions. Top this off with crusty bread which was soft and soaked through with the corned beef juices...soooooooooo good. Let's hope the bakery is still around next St. Patrick's Day so I can get another one of these sandwiches! In general, the bakery is pretty good...I like the soda bread and brown bread...scones, less so. I find something about them slightly odd. Their savories are pretty good. Get a sausage roll if you're hungry and don't have much money....those things will sit in your stomach like a lump of wet cement.
No update on my mom. She had more tests on Monday but she hasn't yet received the results. And speaking of which, I think I'm gonna give her a call right now...adios!