It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to our fish, Matt Jr. today. Matthew won him last summer at a camp carnival. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he came bouncing off the camp bus holding up the little baggie housing his new pet. Based on my own childhood experiences with goldfish, I wasn’t expecting Matt Jr. to live longer than a few weeks but he surprised us all by lasting over eight months.
Matt Jr. was the perfect pet. No walks in the rain, no mess to clean, no hair to vacuum off the couch, no chewed up shoes, just a bowl of water and a small container of fish flakes that seemed to last forever. He provided endless entertainment, until the boys eventually moved on to other interests. After that, I’m not even sure if we fed him every day…
In his death, Matt Jr. might have been even more entertaining to the boys. His untimely passing was not met with tears. Instead, there were shrieks of joy and a call of “Yeah, we’re gonna flush him down the toilet!” Not exactly a normal reaction but everyone deals with death in their own way I suppose.
The ceremony, although a bit on the giggly side, was brief and heartfelt. Everyone said a few words and Liam concluded with a “Good job Matt Jr.!” Then it was time to flush. I’m not exactly sure how Matt Jr. ended up going from his bowl to the bathroom floor but eventually in the toilet he went. FYI -it’s not easy to pick a goldfish up off the floor.
Matt Jr. is now on his way to the Great Big Sea, via our bathroom pipes. And now that summer is on the horizon the boys are hoping to win another fish to take his place.
In honor of our beloved fish, we’re cooking up flounder – a bit morbid but the boys didn’t seem to mind one bit.
Garlic Tomato Flounder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. capers, plus 1 Tbsp. of juice from jar
½ onion, tiny dice
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup olive oil
Zest of one lemon, plus 4 slices
2 lbs. flounder
Salt & Pepper
2 cups brown rice, cooked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the garlic, capers w/juice, onions, cherry tomatoes, olive oil and lemon zest. Set aside.
Lightly oil a baking pan large enough to fit the fish in a single layer. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Then place filets in the pan and spoon the tomato mixture over the top. Lay the lemon slices over the fish.
Bake in oven until fish is flaky, about 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 7): “So good! I squeeze the lemon on it right?”
Liam (age 6): “Take those tomatoes off”
Dylan (age 6): “The best fish in the world”
This recipe is dedicated to Matt Jr.