Making Salmon and Mistakes

I’ve decided I’m going to start using every day in the quarantine as an opportunity to learn something. Not in a “Hey, I taught myself Korean!” kind of way but more like “Oh, so THAT is what makes me completely worthless. Good to know”.

For example, I’m finding that I have the most energy in the morning but only once I get moving. If I use that energy to do my morning routing as if I were getting ready for work, the momentum carries me to my next task.

If the timing is right, I can then sit out on my patio while it’s still cool enough and write my journals and get some fresh air. If I wait too long, it gets too warm. Plus, the later in the morning, the noisier the apartment complex. (Between Clompy McClomperton next door and the remodeling of a downstairs unit, it’s the opposite of serene.)

If I eat too big of breakfast, I immediately grind to a halt. Otherwise, I grind to a halt mid-afternoon, around the time my wife wakes up. Good to know. (I may just have to start incorporating siestas into my daily routine. ¡Ay, Dios mío!)

Anyway, I decided I would grill plank salmon for us for dinner tonight. The first time I did it last May, the planks caught on fire but the meal turned out surprisingly good. See?

Plank Salmon
Yeah, I planned it that way.

I tried it again about a month ago and did everything by the book. It took 3 times longer to cook, tasted OK and left the planks in good enough condition to be reused.

So, tonight, I reused them. I soaked the planks. Prepped the grill. Planned the timing of the sides. Put the wet planks on the grill to preheat. Eventually, I went out with the seasoned salmon and, when I opened the grill lid, both the planks had caught fire. (Don’t preheat the planks with the lid down. Good to know.) They were only slightly burning but, no matter what I did, it only made the flames grow.

“Welp, I don’t have time to soak another set of planks and these are already burning and they actually smell pretty good. And the grill is heated. Smoked salmon it is!” So, I moved the flaming wreckage to one side of the grill, put the salmon on the other and then closed the lids. Fingers crossed.

Just about the time I had finished the sides, I pulled the salmon off the grill. And they were, by far, the best salmon I’ve ever made. Crisp skin, smokey flavor, flaky meat and the perfect temperature. Now, I don’t know if I could ever recreate what I did tonight but, at a time when I’m so hard on myself for not doing everything right or handling things perfectly, it’s nice to be reminded that I can wing it and totally mess everything up and still have it turn out better than I could have hoped for.

Good to know.

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