George Poleczech is a dooms-day survivalist. He believes the world will end December 23, 2014 — two years and two days beyond the end of the Mayan calendar because that is the day his Mexican barber swears is the number of years and days that the Mayan calendar is out of whack because the entire Mayan society got drunk and stayed drunk for 732 days back when record keeping was important before the Spaniards arrived and mucked things up.
George has a large stash of nonperishable foodstuffs put away for tough times, and 12-23-2014 is his red letter day for All Hell Breaking Loose. Heaven help us all if his barber is right.
Anyway, this is George’s culinary contribution to Survival in the 21st Century.
George writes:Today was experimental day at the Poleczech home, pretending that the S**t had hit the Fan, and that my bride and myself were having to stretch Peter’s underwear to feed Paul’s appetite. It was all just an experiment, so I could afford to be whimsical.
To underwrite this endeavor I took a can of Sam’s Club premium salmon and decided to make fried fritters with it — enough to feed a family of five for a full meal and then some. To do that, I needed a packet of ready-to-stir cornbread mix with directions plain to read on the side of the box. I chose Martha White because the print was large.
Fast forward: I mixed the cornbread according to the directions and added a 15 oz can of Sam’s premium salmon and stirred it in thoroughly. Then, I added the secret ingredient that I had learned some 65 years ago at the culinary feet of my dad, who was the real cook in the family. (Of course, the secret ingredient shall remain a secret). Without it, the fritters will come apart in the fry oil and turn into a messy, crumbly glob.
Then, I heated a skillet with about 1/3 inch of vegetable oil, and when it was smoky hot, I spooned in the first seven fritters and watched them sizzle to browny perfection. I performed this action thrice until I had 22 fried salmon fritters piled on a flat plate; and then I called Mrs George in to enjoy the first fruits. She was impressed.
Prior to our sitting down, she had opened a can of okra and tomatoes as an accompaniment to the tasty treats. What else could serve so well? Okra and tomatoes keep you regular.
But then the ultimate question arose. What for wine?
I mean, what kind of wine does one choose for salmon fritters and okra and tomatoes? Mrs George had the perfect choice. She chose a vintage Pouilly-Fuisse from Walmart ($2.97 a bottle). Perfect.
Me, I had a beer.
She chose to compliment the fish ingredient of her fritters with a gourmet tartar sauce, and I smeared mine with ketchup to enjoy the cornbread DNA of the mixture. To each his/her own.
Of the 22 fritters, we left 13 for snacks later on. We wiped out the okra and tomatoes.
As we sat and sipped the last drops from our wine glasses, Mrs George arched a provocative eyebrow, touched me beneath the table and demurely inquired what the secret ingredient was.
Did she really think I would give away such a vital secret on the veiled promise of passion’s pleasure? I told her to kiss off. No way was I going to give up the secret that had been passed down from father to son — from one millennium to another.
She left the table in a snit — leaving me to do the dishes and scrub the skillet.
So be it. Some secrets are worth scrubbing pots for.
Isn’t this an interesting message?