Monday, May 14, 2012


For Mothers Day my dad used to make sure that we had a nice Porterhouse steak for Mom, but times have changed and so Sweetie, my sister and brother and I took off on Mothers Day around noon for the fish market in D.C. near Maine Ave. to get a fish or two for Mothers Day dinner.

It was amazingly crowded but everyone seemed to be in a convivial mood and the fish market guys sold fish with none of the throwing around of the fish that you find in Seattle at Pike Street Market.

The choices were daunting, but we finally settled for two lovely large Rock Fish caught in the Chesapeake, almost a local as you can get. They were whole fish and each of us thought that the other knew how to prepare large whole fish. Should have gotten fillets or some clams or shrimp or oysters.

In the end it worked out just fine. My brother lopped off the head and tail on each and made sure they were cleaned. He also took care of preparing them for cooking and cooking them by a combination of baking and steaming that left the fish wonderfully moist and flavorful. I took on the removing of the skin and filleting, plus removal of the backbone. He took care of removing any other bones he saw.

Mom was really pleased with the results and my sister made a fabulous barley casserole to go with it. My sweet sister in law steamed the asparagus with an amazing lemon-butter-soy sauce dressing, and their sons took care of preparing the strawberries and whipping the cream and putting together the strawberry shortcake, a traditional Mothers Day dessert.

Hope you had a great spring day, too. This is the 100th anniversary of Mothers Day in the USA, so if you celebrate it I hope you did your mother proud!

On the way home from the fish market we passed many of the Washington, D.C. monuments, including the one that still towers above them all, the Washington Monument.

Tomorrow we head out towards the mountains, giving my Mom some rest, to Middleton and a visit with Sweetie's sister and partner. Bet I'll have some photos for you then.

Here is the barley casserole recipe we had last night. Worth making!
Barley Casserole

2 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
½ sweet red pepper, chopped
½ lb mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium pearl barley
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup sliced almonds


1. In a large ovenproof skillet, saute the celery, carrots, red pepper, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in the barley, salt and pepper. Stir in 2-1/2 cups broth. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

2. Stir in parsley and remaining broth; sprinkle with almonds. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes longer or until liquid is absorbed and barley is tender.


  1. And so the fabulous travel continues. Barley casserole sounds worth waiting for.

  2. Next Sister Down3:41 PM

    Oops, I forgot to mention that I used olive oil (probably about a tablespoon or so) in sauteing the vegetables, not butter. And just as an extra note: I used a commercial low-salt, 99% fat-free chicken broth. I'm sure it would be yummy with butter too, and of course with home-made chicken stock.

    Next time, I might sautee some chopped onion with the other vegetables too.

  3. Who wouldn't prefer fish to steak with that fantastic market? Both fish and barley casserole sound divine. (I adore barley cooked the same way as for risotto.)