Being married seven times is a good indication that I am not a smart man. But what I lack in intelligence, I make up for in hard work and a little bit of levity. Fortunately for my kids, God was much more kind to them than he was to me.
My two oldest sons go to a small private school that’s main purpose in life is to kill a kid’s spirit. “No talking in the halls”, “hands behind your back”, “sit up straight”. Structure and obedience are paramount….That was until my kids came along.
Most parents would frown upon disobedient behavior. As my might imagine, I encourage it. I am not talking fighting in school or cheating on a test. No, I am talking about a little buffoonery here and there to make the day a little more interesting. I am proud to say, both my boys excel at buffoonery; but my middle son, well he is the Grand Master.
From a young age, Harry was a bit of a jokester. From pulling his pants down at Sunday brunch to show a little girl his “tinkle stick was growing” to asking his vacation bible school teacher if “beer is in heaven”, he is always out to get a laugh. Which leads me to this shining moment.
As with most schools, first grade after school carpool can be a bit chaotic. Not at their school. Three lines to the left, three lines to the right and a lane in the middle for children to walk down when their number is called. Sit up straight, eyes forward and no talking. But on this particular day, things would be different:
(Laughter erupts from the quietly seated children and chaos ensues. Mrs. Tightass enters stage left)
Mrs. Tightass: “Young man what are you doing?
Mrs. Tightass: “What do you mean nothing? I saw you doing somersaults down the aisle.”
Harry: “Well, I thought it was going to be funny.”
Mrs. Tightass: “It is the furthest thing from funny. Who is your teacher?”
Harry: “Mrs. Soandso.”
Mrs. Tightass: “You stay right here while I go get her.”
Harry: “Sure thing lady.”
Mrs. Tightass: “What did you say?”
Harry: “I said yes ma’am.”
(After a pregnant pause, Mrs. Soandso shows up.)
Mrs. Soandso: “Mrs. Tightass tells me you were acting up and being disrespectful. Is this true?”
Harry: “No ma’am.”
Mrs. Soandso: “Then why did Mrs. Tightass say that?”
Harry: “I don’t know, but it wasn’t me.”
Mrs. Soandso: “Then who was it?”
Harry: “I don’t know, but it wasn’t me”
Mrs. Soandso: “Young man, you are going to sit here until you tell me the truth, even if that means you miss your carpool”
(Carpool continues and kids file out one by one. Suddenly, Harry hears “86”, his number, and starts running out the door. In his haste, Harry turns to Mrs. Soandso and says)
Harry: “I forgot, it was me. Sorry, got to go. And ask Mrs. Tightass if it wasn’t funny, why did everyone laugh.”
Surprisingly, Harry was not asked to return the following year. Damn the luck.
I tell you this story because it is funny and I couldn’t think of a lie that would tie in with this recipe. I hope my story puts a smile on your face and I hope you enjoy this recipe.
1.5 lb grouper filet
12 corn tortillas
Jamaican Jerk Marinade, recipe follows
Caribbean Coleslaw, recipe follows
Coconut Rice, recipe follows
¼ c olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T orange juice concentrate
1 ½ t lemon juice
1 scotch bonnet, seeded and diced
¼ purple onion, diced
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
¼ c brown sugar
¼ c Dijon mustard
1 ½ t garlic, chopped
1 ½ t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir. Cut fish filets in 3 to 5 inch strips. Place filets in marinade and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat grill to 425 degrees. Season with salt and pepper and place filets on hot grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve in warm corn tortillas, topped with Caribbean Coleslaw and Coconut Rice on the side.
16 oz coleslaw mix
2 mangos, diced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ c cilantro, chopped
2 T honey
1/4 c cider vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 T coconut milk
½ scotch bonnet, minced
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 T ginger, minced
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground allspice
In a small bowl, combine honey, vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, coconut milk, scotch bonnet, salt and pepper. Refrigerate dressing for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large bowl, combine coleslaw, red onions, mango and cilantro. Pour 1/2 dressing over mix and toss. Reserve remaining dressing to drizzle over tacos, if desired.
1 c white rice
2 T sweetened coconut milk
¼ c cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook rice according to instructions on package. Once cooked, add coconut milk, cilantro, salt and pepper.