Ginger catfish smurf ski / Jengibre bagre pitufo esquía

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

The cats are happy. They’re madly chasing each other around the house right now. They come to a skidding stop in my office before turning around and running back outside. The ornaments remain untouched. After morning coffee and second breakfast at Mesón Salvador, San Geraldo and I went to the fish market to get the fish for SG’s Christmas Eve fish ball soup. Cod is the standard but Elena loathes cod. The fish guy…. Do you still call a fish guy a fishmonger? My grandfather was a fishmonger in Portsmouth, England, more than 100 years ago. Anyway, Fishguy showed us other options and we chose monkfish. It’s probably my favorite fish and possibly the ugliest I’ve seen. Fishguy was knowledgable, kind, helpful, and charming. He made the purchase so much fun. He cleaned the fish (it was like watching an artist) and showed us how dangerous the teeth are. San Geraldo is currently making the fish balls. Then comes the stock from the head and bones. I thought you just had to reach between the fish’s legs for the balls. Apparently it’s not that simple.


Los gatos están felices. Ahora mismo se están persiguiendo como locos por la casa. Se detienen en mi oficina antes de dar la vuelta y salir corriendo. Los adornos permanecen intactos. Después del café de la mañana y el segundo desayuno en Mesón Salvador, San Geraldo y yo fuimos al mercado de pescado a comprar el pescado para la sopa de bolas de pescado de Nochebuena de SG. El bacalao es el estándar, pero Elena detesta el bacalao. El pescador (mi abuelo era pescadero en Portsmouth, Inglaterra, hace más de 100 años) nos mostró otras opciones y elegimos rape. Probablemente sea mi pez favorito y posiblemente el más feo que he visto. El pescador era eficiente, amable, servicial y encantador. Hizo la compra muy divertida. Limpió el pescado (era como ver a un artista) y nos mostró lo peligrosos que son los dientes. San Geraldo actualmente está haciendo las bolas de pescado. Luego viene el caldo de la cabeza y los huesos. Pensé que solo tenías que alcanzar las bolas entre las piernas del pez. Aparentemente no es tan simple.

• My second-breakfast pitufo (meaning a sandwich made from a small loaf of bread, but also translating to Smurf in English). Serrano ham, manchego cheese, tomato puree, and olive oil.
• Mi pitufo del segundo desayuno. Jamón serrano, queso manchego, puré de tomate, y aceite de oliva.
• Monkfish. We bought the one at back. Perfect size. You wouldn’t catch me trying to get his balls.
• Rape. Compramos el de atrás. Tamaño perfecto. No me atraparías tratando de conseguir sus bolas.
• At sunrise today, cross-country skiing Fuengirola style. Sunrise was glorious.
• Al amanecer de hoy, esquí de fondo al estilo Fuengirola. El amanecer fue glorioso.
• Yesterday I bought Dudo and Moose gingerbread men. They love them. Dudo stopped when he saw the camera.
• Ayer, compré muñecos de pan de jengibre de Dudo y Moose. Ellos los aman. Dudo se detuvo cuando vio la cámara.
• I don’t know what’s up with Moose lately. He can now often be found sitting on my chair. In nearly 11 years, he never sat on either of our desk chairs.
• No sé qué le pasa a Moose últimamente. Ahora a menudo se le puede encontrar sentado en mi silla. En casi 11 años, nunca se sentó en ninguna de nuestras sillas de escritorio.

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Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

22 thoughts on “Ginger catfish smurf ski / Jengibre bagre pitufo esquía”

  1. I believe the old timey English word for a fish seller is “fishmonger.” And gawd, yes, those monkfish are ugly critters. I think Moose just wants a change after 11 years. Can’t a guy just want a new experience?

    1. Debra:
      You beat me to the punch. I just updated the post with a change in the question to: Do you still call the fish guy a fishmonger? My grandfather was one in Portsmouth England before 1910. Moose is full of surprises — and he grows more sweet, loving, bossy, and loud with every passing week.

  2. I was about to say “fishmonger” but Debra beat me to it! “Fish balls” don’t sound very appetizing, do they? And then when you see that godawful ugly creature that they’re being made with….no offense, but I’m not sure I’d want to eat them! Which made me think: do the cats get to sample the fish balls? That sounds like something a cat would really enjoy. 🙂

    Happiest of holidays to you, San Geraldo, Dudo, and Moose!

    1. Jennifer:
      Yes. I knew about fishmonger (updated the post at the same time you were commenting). But it’s such an old term. I had never heard it used in my lifetime except when my grandfather said he had been a fishmonger in England in the very early 1900s. But, you’re right, there doesn’t appear to be a more contemporary term… except for Fishguy. And, yes, monkfish is unbelievably ugly and scary (maybe it looks better alive). But, it is by far my favorite fish. Absolutely exquisite taste.

  3. Nope! No way in hell am I not fish! I’d sooner wear a pair of Crocs! Wait did I just say that? That is a nasty looking fish I’ve ever seen. But thank heavens for that opening Sky picture, which is very beautiful and the cats to take my mind off that blob of fish. I mean look at those teeth!

    1. Mistress Borghese:
      Monkfish is never served whole, so if you didn’t know what it originally looked like you’d love it. It’s so good!

  4. Ohmygod, that fish is the ugliest thing. I can’t believe it tastes good. Balls should be as simple as a reach, yet they never are. I think fishmonger is fine, but I like Fishguy better. I’m sure SG’s meal will be delicious.


    1. janiejunebug:
      SG made great progress on preparation yesterday. More to do today. I fell in love with monkfish in Sevilla. Had no idea what it looked like until we moved down here. Probably a better way to be introduced.

  5. Was looking at cod today at the market. When living on the west coast we ate it mostly every day. Will have to start again.
    Moose is now a senior……he can change things up now whenever he wishes.

    1. Jim:
      It’s so hard to believe the boys are now seniors. Dudo still acts like a kitten much of the time. Moose, too, is surprisingly frisky for someone so mature. I love cod and it’s huge here. But Elena has a terrible, physical aversion to it. However, monkfish is my favorite, so I’m happy.

    1. Chrissoup:
      We had a mattress temporarily stashed alongside the dining room table, so had moved two chairs out of the way. We found both cats sleeping in those chairs in their new temporary position.

  6. I have photos of the fish, but not the fishguy. I watched him work, he is good. Enjoy the fishballs. If you find legs on the fish, throw it back.

  7. Monkfish is an ugly bastard, but a tasty dish! I don’t think any fish is actually worthy of the definition “attractive”, tbh – I mean, who but its mother could love a Gurnard, for example? Jx

    1. Jon:
      I’ve seen gurnards but never knew what they were. I find them, and their wings, beautiful. I think The Addams Family are the only ones who’d find monkfish beautiful.

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