Some of you may be familiar with the Paper-Bag Princess..
She goes on a quest to slay the dragon who has kidnapped her Prince Ronald.
She is successful, as one would imagine, being a very clever and talented young Princess with all sorts of dragon-slaying skills… but she loses her clothes in the process.
Out-witted, she conquers the dragon and Prince Ronald is rescued but rejects the Fayre Princess because her “paper-bag” clothes are not appropriate for the occasion.
Fast-forward, the Paper-Bag Princess calls Ronald a “Bum” (or a Toad if you live in England) and goes off into the sunset to live her own life.
There’s an awful lot of Prince Ronalds out there.
This story brings to mind another Fairytale, one of my own,
my daughter went to a production of Shirley Valentine and.. what can I say..
I felt inspired…
The Fisherwoman and Her Husband
Once upon a time… long, long ago, in a Kingdom farther away than any Kingdom you’ve ever seen on the Internet… lived a lovely young bride and her husband. Being self-reliant, the beautiful woman prided herself on her intelligence and her ability to care for herself. She joyously entered marriage, certain that she had found true love at last.
She was a very clever woman, an “oh, so adept” Fisherwoman, creating a start-up company that managed to go “public” on the TSX Stock Exchange, at a very young age. Her life was perfect she thought.. with work, a husband and a home… but that was all about to change.
Late one afternoon, after a very long day, spent hard at work fishing… the young woman cast out her net one last time and pulled in a beautiful Golden Fish.. with sparkling scales that danced and glittered in the sunlight. Humbly the Fish begged of her, “Please let me go, for I am a sad and lonely Prince. An Evil Witch cast a spell over me and I am to be a fish for the rest of my days.” Taking pity on the fate of this poor fish, the young woman instantly thought only of him and kindly released him back into the sea.
Rushing home, she eagerly shared her strange and exciting adventure with her husband. “What were you thinking?” he growled at her, “That must have been a Magic Fish! Why, you could have asked it for anything and he would have granted your wish. Go back there at once and demand that this Fish give us a bigger home.”
Grudgingly, but wanting to please her husband, the young woman set out to find her gentle Fish. She urgently called from shore…
“Fish of the Sea
Come, I pray thee, here to me.
For my husband, my husband Jim,
Wishes not as I’d have him!”
To her surprise, at once the compliant fish rose to the sparking sea’s surface.. “What is it your husband wishes?” the Fish asked respectfully. “He would like a grander home, grander than any on our street,” she replied. “Then go home,” said the Fish,“The house is already there.”
Sure enough, a new mansion stood right where their simple little home once rested. But this was not enough… the good fortune had begun to stir greedier thoughts in the grumpy man’s mind. “Wife,” he demanded, “Go back to that fish and ask him for a car.. a beautiful Jaguar, with a leather interior… If he could give us this house, he could easily do this as well.”
Reluctantly, once again, the woman went down to the sea and, without heart, sang out..
“Fish of the Sea
Come to Me
For my husband, old man Jim
Wishes not as I’d have him!”
Always the stalwart fish, the Fish came immediately upon hearing the woman’s beseeching voice. “What does your husband wish for now, dear lady?” asked the Fish. “Well.. a Jaguar,” mumbled the woman and she blushed and added, under her breath, “Um.. with a leather interior.” “I understand, more than you realize,” said the Fish, “Go home and it will be parked in your driveway.”
Eager to be done with this dreaded task, the woman rushed home, only to find her husband even more displeased than before. What could it be now, thought the young woman, he has everything.. he has me? “Wife,” demanded her husband, “You foolish woman, don’t you know that all things magical happens in Threes? I want you to go back immediately to that Fish and demand the finest treasure. If you obey this one last command, then I will finally be truly happy.”
Dragging her feet, the young woman slowly made her way back to the river’s edge with a heavy heart. Surely the request was so much more than the generous Fish would allow?
To the young woman’s amazement, even without being beckoned, the Golden Fish splashed up to the surface. “Greetings, my lovely. What brings you to my sea once again and what brings those bitter tears to your beautiful eyes?” queried the compassionate Fish.
“I am so embarrassed to ask this of you, my dear friend,” the woman apologized,“You have been so kind and generous, it really is too much to ask.” The Golden Fish quickly replied, “Clearly you are distressed, I pray you unburden your thoughts so that I may be of help.”
Reluctantly, the woman told the fish of her husband’s third and final request. The Golden Fish paused for a moment, floating quietly in water and then finally said, “I must be certain that you are asking for the Greatest Treasure in All the World before I can grant this final wish.” Nodding, with down-cast eyes, the woman murmured, “Yes, that is what I wish for, I wish for the Greatest Treasure in All the World.”
With a great splash the fish leapt from the waters and transformed back into the handsome young Prince that he once was. Bending on one knee, he took the woman’s hand and kissed it gently. “The Greatest of Treasure in All the World is Love… and your love for me has broken the Evil Witch’s spell. I shall be yours for eternity.” Blushing, the woman took the young man’s hand and replied.. “And I shall also be yours, for your love is surely my greatest gift as well.”
The young Prince handily gave the old man enough gold to last him a lifetime, granted the woman a speedy divorce and quickly took her away to his cabin in the forest. Where they lived happily ever after, fishing only for their evening’s meal.
Barbara Bamber, March 2012
Hahaha, I hope you enjoyed my little tale.. I do know you will love this recipe, it’s possibly the best way I’ve ever prepared a fish.. only I didn’t have to catch this one;)
Paper-Bag Rainbow Trout
- 2 small rainbow trout, scaled, cleaned and rinsed
- (or two 6”x6” trout fillets)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 small dill pickled, diced
- 2 tsp pickle juice
- 3 large green olives, pitted and diced
- 2 lemons sliced thinly
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
- 4 basil leaf stems
- 2-4 sprigs dill
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- parchment paper, two pieces approx 40 cm long
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a small measuring cup, mix all of the dressing ingredients together through to the pickle juice.
- Lay out the parchment paper pieces. Arrange half of the lemon slices and half the garlic cloves on the center of each piece of parchment paper. Place two long pieces of string across the lemons on each bed.
- Place one piece of rainbow trout (skin side down if using fillets) on top of the bed of lemons and garlic. Spoon desired amount of dressing inside the fish (If using fillets, spoon a layer of dressing over top.) Sprinkle the chopped olives inside or on top of the fish.
- Then sprinkle salt and black pepper over the fish. Lay the basil and dill springs on top. Tie securely with string, using a slip knot (half a “bow”) for ease of untying.
- Drizzle olive oil and then sprinkle 1/4 of a cup of the white wine over each fish.
- Fold the short sides of the parchment paper in, then bring long side together and fold together and roll down to seal the fish inside the packet. Tie string around the entire package again, to secure using a “slip-knot”. Repeat for the second packet.
- Move packets to the fridge if making in advance or onto an ovenproof baking sheet/pan. I made mine about two hours ahead of time.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes until fish is cooked through.
- Serves four.
2 small rainbow trout, scaled, cleaned and rinsed
(or two 6”x6” trout fillets)
1/2 cup white wine
parchment paper, two pieces approx 40 cm long
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a small measuring cup, mix all of the dressing ingredients together through to the pickle juice.
Lay out the parchment paper pieces. Arrange half of the lemon slices and half the garlic cloves on the center of each piece of parchment paper. Place two long pieces of string across the lemons on each bed.
Place one piece of rainbow trout (skin side down if using fillets) on top of the bed of lemons and garlic. Spoon desired amount of dressing inside the fish (If using fillets, spoon a layer of dressing over top.) Sprinkle the chopped olives inside or on top of the fish.
Drizzle olive oil and then sprinkle 1/4 of a cup of the white wine over each fish.
Fold the short sides of the parchment paper in, then bring long side together and fold together and roll down to seal the fish inside the packet. Tie string around the entire package again, to secure using a “slip-knot”. Repeat for the second packet.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until fish is cooked through.