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  • Writer's pictureMary

Et Alia

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

A collection of recent thoughts, interests, and goings on

This Noon Dish went off to its new home in Utah recently. It’s amazing to me that my pieces have ended up all over the country and even internationally. Places I’ve never been, like Australia, Singapore, and places that are quite familiar to me, like Brooklyn, like Rochester.


I came across musings on "being a creative" by Garance Dore and felt reaffirmed in reading it. Particularly resonant pieces of advice included practice and more practice, starting with what you have, and "if you want to be an artist, stop right there. you are an artist."


Horne is a home goods store that sings to lovers of clean lines and minimal styling. I think I could furnish my dream home with several buys from here. This cage shelf is one of my favorite items on the web shop right now. That wooden piece comes off so you can store bags or scarves or a large airplant right in the cage portion. Genius! And at $149, it's on the more accessible end of their range.


My office is within walking distance of Eataly, so I'm lucky enough to be able to grab prosciutto, good olive oil, and mozzarella any weekday. I especially love their produce section, which is very well priced, skews organic, and features obscure finds like sea beans, tomatillos, and a variety of mushrooms and peppers. On Fridays, I love to bring home a package of cured meat ~$6 and a loaf of bread ~$3 to enjoy with wine after a long week.

Their meat and seafood counters are also nicely varied. As of the time of writing, a whole branzini runs you $10.80 a pound. I was surprised at how much fish one pound is - it's enough to feed two! Today, I picked one up for exactly $10.80 to roast whole in the oven, with fresh bok choy for a quick, sauteed side at $3.80 a pound. An easy and healthy dinner for under $15? Not bad at all.

The recipe I use for whole roasted fish is from Chowhound, and allows me to take advantage of the rosemary plant we recently picked up as part of our CSA share for 2019.


● One small whole fish (a two-pound fish will feed two to three people; ours was farm-raised striped bass, but you could buy snapper, catfish, branzino, or a small salmon; it should come already scaled and gutted) ● Olive Oil ● Salt and Pepper ● One Lemon ● A couple of fresh rosemary sprigs


● Paper towels ● Knife ● Rack or aluminum foil ● Baking sheet ● Fork ● Spatula


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up).

2. Rinse the fish inside and out in the sink, and pat it dry with paper towels.

3. Cut off the bottom back fin, then stick your knife inside the fish’s belly where it has been gutted and slice it open a little more by penetrating deeper and extending the cut toward the tail.

4. Place the rack inside the baking sheet and lay the fish on top of it. If you have no rack, cover the baking sheet in aluminum foil and lay the fish on that. (The bottom of the fish will get a little dried out this way, because it’ll be in direct contact with the hot pan.) Drizzle oil over the fish, inside and out and on both sides, then spread it evenly with your fingers. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper.

5. Cut a few thin slices of lemon and place them inside the fish cavity, overlapping them slightly to fit. Place the rosemary sprigs over the lemon and close the fish.

6. Put the fish in the oven, and check it after 30 minutes. If the skin pulls away easily and the flesh underneath is flaky, the fish is done. Let it rest five minutes.

7. You can bring the fish to the table whole. When you’re ready to eat it, remove the skin and fins by peeling them away with a fork and your fingers.

8. Cut each side of the fish in half, remove the pieces with a spatula, and serve.

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