Something's in the air, so to speak.
Maybe it can be chalked up to the full moon we just recently had, its magnetic pull tugging on the water in our systems, making us a little “off”; but people seem a little more unkind (would it be too much to say down-right rude?) and absentminded as of late, and I'm finding my usually fairly-chipper disposition being pushed to its limits.
In others words, I'm finding myself becoming a bit more fiery and irritated with each not-so-friendly interaction, each angry glare, and each bizarre driving experience I have on the road.
And if I sound like I'm moaning or complaining, well...I guess in a way, I am. But it's not really about something (or someone) outside of myself; it's about me.
I, of course, am very much included in and am a part of the “we” that contributes to all that is experienced by each of us, individually.
Let me just say that I try to be as honest as I can when I write my posts. I feel like an explorer of life in many ways, and I enjoy sharing not only those things that I find inspiring and beautiful about life with anyone willing to read these entries, but also those things that are challenging and a bit of a struggle.
And being loving in spite of being surrounded, at times, by vibrations in opposition to love, is tough.
But I think it's possible; I think transcendence is possible. It just needs to be requested.
See, fiery-ness, or irritation with something or someone isn't such a bad thing, in and of itself; but staying in that space, not wanting to be moved, can be detrimental.
So here comes the food analogy.
When I thought about what I wanted to share, I thought about this particular recipe for a spicy fish sandwich with its cool and creamy sauce, and fresh corn slaw.
The fillet, coated in all of its cornmeal and fiery spices, provides that little burn on the tongue, and that's great; it enlivens the eating experience.
But it's the other components of the creamy sauce and the cool slaw that help offset that heat by providing elements that diffuse the spiciness, and offer some relief and comfort.
They offer balance.
And so I thought about how feeling a little fiery can be one thing; but there's also a need for a “cooling” salve that comforts and soothes a little in those times.
And that salve is the desire (or prayer) for love and mercy—grace—towards one another, to balance things out and keep one from slipping too far into a chasm of disillusionment.
(Food's a good teacher, isn't it?)
So know this: I'm not looking to deny the feeling of frustration or fiery-ness in a moment when that's exactly how I feel; it can be helpful and an agent of change because of the very fact that it brings a level of discomfort.
But I also long to simultaneously experience the softening, cooling effects of mercy and love, in spite of what I see or find myself in the middle of experiencing—the key is finding the desire for it.
And though it's a tall order, it's a beautiful prayer to have; one that is not only wonderfully therapeutic for one's own mind and body, but beneficial for everyone else's, as well.
So here's to a delicious little bite of fiery-ness, coupled with the cooling salve of mercy—a most balanced bite, indeed.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Spicy & Crispy Cornmeal-Crusted Fish Sandwich with Fresh Corn Slaw & Cool Creole Mayo
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 4 sandwiches
• 2 tilapia fillets, cut down the center lengthwise (following the dark line) to create 4 fillets
• Pinch black pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 teaspoon creole seasoning, divided use
• 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice (about ½ small lemon)
• Pinch or two cayenne pepper, or a few dashes hot sauce (more or less depending on your level of spiciness)
• ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• 2 eggs, whisked
• ½ cup yellow cornmeal
• ½ cup panko breadcrumb
• Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
• 4 french rolls, cut in half and hinge left intact
• Creole Mayo (recipe below)
• Corn Slaw (recipe below)
-Add the 4 and fillets to a large bowl, and then add in a couple of good pinches of salt, a pinch of black pepper, the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the creole seasoning, the lemon juice and the cayenne pepper (or hot sauce), and gently toss to coat; allow the fish to marinate for about 15-20 minutes.
-Prepare your dredging station by having your flour in one bowl and the eggs in another; in a third bowl, whisk together the cornmeal and panko breadcrumbs, plus the remaining 1 teaspoon of creole seasoning, and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper.
-Dredge your fillets by dipping each into the flour, then the eggs, and then the cornmeal/panko; set the fillets aside on a clean plate while you heat your oil for frying.
-Add enough oil to the bottom of a large, non-stick or cast-iron pan for shallow frying (about ½-1”), and place over medium-high heat; once hot, add the fillets in (in batches if necessary), and fry until crispy and golden-brown, about 4 minutes on first side, 2-3 minutes on second side; drain on paper towel or on cooling rack.
-To assemble, spread some of the Creole Mayo generously on both halves of the roll, then add a fillet; add some of the Corn Slaw over top, and cover with the top roll.
Creole Mayo Ingredients:
• 1 cup mayo
• 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
• 1 large (or two small) garlic clove
• 1 tablespoon chives
• ½ teaspoon creole seasoning
• ½ teaspoon sugar
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• Pinch black pepper
• Zest of one small lemon
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
-Add all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor, and process until completely smooth and combined; use immediately, or keep in fridge.
Corn Slaw Ingredients:
• 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
• 1 cup shredded yellow cabbage
• 1 ear fresh corn, kernels cut
• ¼ red bell pepper, finely diced
• Pinch or two salt
• Squeeze of lemon
• Drizzle of oil
-Toss all ingredients together, and use immediately.