There is an older woman in my yoga class, someone I've gotten to know in the past year or so of doing yoga. I look at this woman, and she blows my mind. She's 70 years old, can get into a handstand and still swims half a mile or so every day. She's energetic, funny, vibrant and has wisdom from having lived a long life. I really respect and admire her, for the way she's kept herself supremely fit, her active lifestyle and her dedication to and adoration of her husband of many many years.
But I'm also kind of jealous of her. Let me be really frank. There are times when I'm MADLY jealous of her, for this woman has great-grandchildren, and she's basically done living her life for others, and now just lives it for what she enjoys. I love watching her sense of freedom and the lack of "I have to go pick up my kids right now" and "Oh shoot, I have to help my children with their homework or they'll fail." Of course she is a dedicated mother, as I missed her in yoga when she went to help her daughter while her son in law recovered from a heart attack. But she truly doesn't live on the whim of others. She goes where she wants to go and does what she wants to do.
I think that is missing in most young mothers. We sort of come up with this idea of martyrdom when we take on the role of mother. It's not good if we have too much fun, or think of ourselves first, or ever think that something else is more important than our children. We don't want to be judged by others for "not-doing-everything-humanly-possible-for-our-children-like-making-sure-their-sandwich-crusts-are-cut-off." Most psychologist and marriage counselors will tell you that mothers should absolutely NOT do that, where they put their children as the most important aspect of their relationship, but we still do it. Often. Other child specialists tell us that we HAVE to let our children fail on their own, that we shouldn't protect them from life, and that our children need to learn lessons, the hard ones on their own. However, our worlds have become child-centered and positively driven and run by the needs of the littlest ones in the family. I can't even sit down for 1 minute straight at any given meal because I will be getting up and down multiple times for multiple things while I try to shovel food into my mouth and take care of my family.
When I starting craving fish tacos a week ago, I kept thinking to myself that Son wouldn't like it, Daughter #2 would probably pick out all the green, and Daughter #1 might complain about the messiness of eating it. (Daughter #1 is a meticulously neat eater.) The level and noise from the complaints pretty much made me decide that making the fish tacos really wouldn't be worth it at all, so I sort of put it on the back burner. But the craving never quite disappeared. In fact, the craving continued, intensified, and gradually became something I could no longer ignore. I decided that TODAY I would ignore all potential detractors and instead just MAKE MY FISH TACOS and the rest of the detractors could just be hungry. I did what I wanted to do and no one could stop me.
I invited Friend SH to share in my taco fest and what a fest it was. I bought really delicious Pacific cod, all organic vegetables, and created this dish in about 30 minutes. One really marvelous thing about fish is its quick cooking speed. Once I had the fish marinated, it was only minutes until I had it in a taco that was rapidly making its way towards being completely consumed. It's super light; light enough that I reasoned, "Hey - I can eat three of these." And I did. Because I wanted to. For the moment, how ever temporary and brief, I only thought of me.
I created this dish to have the most flexibility as possible so that people could add what they liked as necessary. The slaw is very basic, I used sliced avocados instead of guacamole, the jalapenos are there as a "choose your own adventure in spiciness" factor, and extra cilantro is offered on the side. As a side note, I also made fish sticks as well, which Daughter #2 and her friend decided tasted AWESOME in a tortilla with a nice big dollop of salsa on top. Go figure.
Serves 4 to 6
1 lb firm white fish which flakes well like tilapia, cod, halibut. Mahi mahi would work as well
¼ cup olive oil
juice of one lime
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ of a jalapeno, finely chopped, seeds and all
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
4 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ white onion, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
¼ head of cabbage, shredded
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 to 12 corn tortillas (I like this corn flour combination the best. But you want nice small tortillas, not huge ones)
2 cups cilantro sprigs
2 perfectly ripe avocados, sliced
1 jalapeno sliced
Marinate fish. In a shallow dish, place fish. In a small bowl mix together olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, salt and pepper. Pour over fish and coat fish with marinade well. Set aside for thirty minutes.
Make salsa. In a medium bowl, add chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix well. Set aside.
Make coleslaw. In a large bowl whisk together mayo, lime juice, salt and pepper. Once dressing is made, add cabbage directly to the bowl and begin tossing until all cabbage is coated. Set aside to allow cabbage to wilt a little.
Cook fish. Cook a heavy pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add fish. Cook fish until opaque and then flip over. Fish will cook anywhere between 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on thickness of the fish. The thicker the fish the longer it takes. Once fish is fully cooked, remove from heat, and using a fork, flake the fish.
In a fry pan over medium heat, begin warming tortillas. Take warm tortilla, add a bed of slaw. Add avocado, cilantro, salsa, jalapeno, and some fish. Sometimes a pinch of sea salt is also a nice finish. Eat and enjoy.
All ready to be eaten.