There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.

~ Robert Frost

Settle down there, Bob. My wife reads my blog. She’s going to read what you said and agree with you, for she has this notion that she can’t cook.


I assure you, Dear Tweaker, no one residing within the friendly confines of The Cheeky Mansion is starving.

Sure her meals sometimes lack creativity; when you’re catering to the likes of four busy and opinionated kids and a husband who simply can’t eat like he used to, the same tired standbys are sometimes about the best she can manage to muster.

I said “sometimes” above because, truth be told, my wife is incredibly creative: she’s a scrapbooker; her flower beds blossom vividly and her vegetable gardens spring forth an annual harvest of awesomely good goodness; she crafts meaningful, poignant cards and attractive yet practical gifts for teachers, neighbors, relatives and friends. She’s busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

The total mama package.

And occasionally, when time permits and the cupboards abound, she serves up a truly inspiring meal. So, for your dining pleasure, I give you last night’s entrée:

Friendly Fish Filets


¾ pound white fish (grouper or cod)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup crumbs (she used Wheat Thins) ground in a food processor or a rolling pin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
Can of canola oil cooking spray


1. Cut fish fillets into four even pieces (about 3 ½ x 3 ½ inches each). Rinse and dry well.

2. Place the flour in a small bowl and the buttermilk in another small bowl. In a medium shallow bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh parsley to blend.

3. Dip each fish square first into the flour, then the buttermilk, then the cracker crumb mixture.

4. Place a medium, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Spread canola oil on the bottom and add the fillets. Use canola cooking spray to generously coat the tops of the fillets. Fry until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes, then carefully flip with a spatula and brown the other side – about 2 minutes more.

If your family is large, like mine, feel free to double the recipe. Also, my wife claims that tinkering with the seasoning mix might yield something altogether different, yet equally deee-lish. We had our filets on buns with lettuce leaves, slices of cheese (pick one you like) and tartar sauce . . .

By the way!

Dear Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. Kroger Supermarket Product Packaging Designer Person,

You, sir, or ma’am, are an imbecile!

Please take a moment to read the ingredients label for your brand of tartar sauce, whereupon you’ll notice the word “Relish.” Relish which, also according to your list, contains chunks of stuff like cucumbers and red bell peppers.


Which are not easily squirted through this masterpiece of a lid . . .

Do all us paying customers, who are weary from fighting and squeezing and pounding, a favor and redesign the damn thing!



The Cheek

[photo credit]


18 thoughts on “Fishy

  1. looks like half the bottle was used, how did you squeeze it all out? ps I love the word imbecile.

  2. The meal sounds delicious. BTW, you made me hungry. I love fish.
    I can’t cook and won’t. I wonder how Bob would feel about that?
    I laughed out loud to your letter to the bottle designer. I have often felt frustrated with some products out there. I never thought to write them via my blog. Good idea! Now if they would only read the it . . .

  3. I’m not really a fish person, but I’m hungry right now and so that looks INCREDIBLY good!!! Your wife sounds like myself. I just don’t put my creativity in a meal… whatever will satisfy the hunger is good for me! 🙂

  4. Oh and my UNCLE designed that container… I’m totally offended 🙂

    1. Please forward The Cheek’s letter to said Uncle and PLEAD with him! It’s really a truly ridiculous bottle!

  5. That was a really nice post, except for the relish bit, but I don’t eat tartar sauce, so have at it.

    The meal looks good, but, I am also allergic to fish, so I’ve really got nothin’ for you.

  6. I want fish. I want tartar sauce and I want it all right now.

  7. i struggled with “new” meals… seems we had our set of perhaps ten stock dinner plans. and we were all bored with them. i admire the willingness (and ability) to make your own breaded fish filets… boxes of frozen ones fit nicely in my world…

  8. I’m not a great cook. But it is because I never took the time to practice. I know that.

    Fish is one of my favorite foods, particularly salmon. I like it grilled, fried, smoked, even raw. Yum.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  9. That’s awesome, there can never be a shortage of fish recipes around here.

  10. Sadly, my wife will neither eat nor cook fish. If I was stuff from the sea, to a restaurant we go.

  11. I am one of those women who can’t cook and do.

    This recipe puts me to shame. Because it’s not pasta or salad or a Boboli pizza. Your wife makes us just-getting-by-non-gardening wives look bad.


    1. Oh my dear – a saint I am NOT! 95% of the time I to am just getting by! I do love my gardens, but right now they’re full of weeds. I do like to cook – but for me the challenge is finding something they ALL will like. Most days I just do the BARE minimum yet we all seem to survive. Now that all my kids are older (meaning – NOT toddlers or all early elementary) and sometimes I have the TIME to do more – between soccer and birthday parties and teen-aged angst.
      As a wise woman (My grandmother) once told me: “if they are all living at the end of the day, you’ve gotten a hug from at least one of them, the house is still standing and you’ve avoided the ER for another day – then chalk it up as a good day.”

      Right now – I’m happy with good days!

  12. Yum…I love a good fish sandwich. I never thought of using Wheat Thins as bread crumbs. What a great idea. If you she ever wants to change it up, try dusting the fish in flour, dipping in egg and then rolling in Panko bread crumbs.

  13. I just love stuff like that bottle. For some bizarre reason, I am always delighted by such finds. Maybe it speaks of a profound disconnect between the food technologists on the 4th floor and the packaging drones from Sector 7G. No doubt the food technologists think they’re too damn good for the rest of us, with their paper cups and tiny plastic tasting spoons…

    I should probably go lie down now. Oh and how lovely to have someone cook for you like that. That kind of nurturing can be so under-rated.

  14. It looks like a good recipe. I’m glad that it doesn’t need to be deep fried.

    As for the packaging, I bet the design has more to do with market research and what consumers respond to, than practicality. Blame the people the in focus group that was questioned about what packaging they found more attractive in regards to making a purchase.

    1. No doubt. It’s always smarter to rule out common sense in the face of input from the masses . . .

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