Diane Blum

Freelance Writer

"Rectangular Salmon"
You know your life is busy when your dinner preparation consists of taking out a frost-covered package of frozen salmon wedged deep in your freezer…cracking it open, and placing the two perfectly rectangular frozen chunks (frozen together, of course) on a baking pan. I actually admit I did this last week, and let me tell you a little something about rectangular salmon…

It isn’t good.

It doesn’t look like salmon. The rectangular fish actually had “fake” grilling marks, but believe me…the box looked 100% better than the product. The real product didn’t even look like food, either in its shape, texture or color. It didn’t smell like salmon. It didn’t taste like salmon.And likely it wasn’t healthy.

You know how you aren’t supposed to eat anything that has dozens of scientific-sounding ingredients on the package? (well, I suppose that technically you shouldn’t be eating much out of a package that was in deep freeze in your freezer for months). I glanced at the dozens of ingredients listed on the box while the rectangular fish was baking, and it wasn’t very healthy sounding, just believe me on that.

My husband was so amazed by his rectangular meal that he wanted to take a picture of it with his cell phone and send it around to his friends, “This is what Diane feeds me, rectangular seafood”. I wouldn’t let him.

The good news is we didn’t get sick from eating the rectangular fish. The better news, it prompted me to do a massive freezer clean-out of all other rectangular foods. Oh my goodness, the things you find in the deep freeze…the buy-one-get-one-free meats that then just sit neglected…the year-old Girl Scout cookies. Cookie Dough ice-cream purchased from a neighbor’s kid…how many years ago was that? Out they all went.

Then there were the bags of frozen veggies. There is something inherently wrong about frozen veggies. “Eat your veggies, they are good for you!” But are they good when they’ve been frozen for months and are literally frost-burned? Let’s just say they were tossed out with the ice cream that I had calculated to be at least 3 years old. Lovely.

Next came some special rice bread that my mom had eaten. Oops…my mom has been dead since 2009, so out that went. Had I really not cleaned things out since then?

I felt like it was an archeological expedition…carbon-dating our dietary history…ugh.

But now, things look pretty good out there…a few frozen appies, some recent buy-one-get-one-free meats (I’m sure they will sit neglected)…but nothing rectangular. I’m going to resist purchasing those in the future. Today I bought some “real” salmon…and the kitchen smells fishy. All is well.
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