Ah, welcome mid-winter. With your short days, cloudy skies, you make it that much more difficult to rebound from the gaiety of the Holidays. Do you know what solves the feelings of malaise? Hot and filling casseroles that bubble up delicious aromas while cooking in my oven. Last week it was time for a little bit of fish pie. If it hadn't been for Tessa Kiros' beautiful description of this dish that she had inherited from a Finnish family friend, I'm not sure I would ever have given it a go. After all, I grew up in the Midwest where pie is synonymous with dessert and does not denote any sort of meal laden with fish and mashed potatoes.
I'll spare you the pictures. They didn't turn out quite as I had hoped, and I don't want to turn anyone off attempting fish pie in the future. But it was delicious as the mashed potatoes mixed with the sauce, veggies, and pieces of fish. I did make it with pollack instead of cod, and I cut out the shrimp.
Ever since I saw a special late one night on PBS about aquaculture (yeah, PBS is where it's at when you need a grad school study break), I haven't been able to bring myself to buy most shrimp found in the supermarket. I'm also the kind of person who carries a list of sustainable fish around in her wallet. It makes shopping for seafood kind of depressing and quite exhausting. I've been trying to strike a balance between buying food raised/caught/grown in a more sustainable way and not feeling horribly guilty if some of the things we eat are part of the...what is that they call it?...the industrial-agricultural system. It's been kind of exhausting lately. Probably because I don't sleep all that well with a four-month-old, and I would like my food to take less time to prepare. I think I am starting to fully understand why pre-packaged foods are so popular.
Still, as Johanna continues to grow (and hopefully sleep more at night) I hope buying and preparing foods will once again become really enjoyable. I loved eating the fish pie, I just didn't enjoy juggling and crying baby and a pot of boiling potatoes.