First of all, I had to go to the fish place and I had no idea what I was doing. Let me just add that it was snowing/sleeting while I was walking to the fish store. Sideways hail pellets were slamming into my face. And my boots were leaking. Additionally, I grew up in the middle of the country and I honestly have no idea how to buy mussels. I think I can count the times I've ever even eaten mussels on three fingers. Luckily, they had a bag of mussels that I dug out of some ice and it was the perfect amount for my recipe and it was ONLY $6! (I'm still probably never going to make them again).
So I took them home and made this fancy tomato sauce (I might do this part again) and started cleaning the mussels. I read online that if there is one that is open, that means it is dead, and I could see an open one in my bag o' mussels, which made me really nervous because I really didn't want to touch it. What if it oozed out onto my fingers? Or was rotting and smelled really bad?
|Hey mussels. You're in my sink. I really don't know what to do with you.|
So I started scrubbing the mussels to get all the dirt off of them and noticed that there are weird little strings coming out of them. At first I just thought they were disgusting so I started throwing them away, but after I googled "how do I cook mussels and clean them and what are those little strings coming out of them" I realized that I'm supposed to pull the strings, aka "beards," OUT OF THE MUSSEL WITH MY FINGERS! Gross. It makes a crunch sound when you pull it out, in case you were wondering.
For a while, I was just going along, semi-grossed out, pulling out the little beards, until I ran into a shell that had A CREEPY FLAT SNAIL ATTACHED TO IT! It was probably a blood sucking leech in a shell. There is no other explanation.
|What is that little leech thing?!|
So I decided to push that mussel and leach to the side until Michael came over and could throw it away. Continuing my cleaning, I kept searching for that mussel that was open and dead, but I couldn't find it. Only then did I realize THEY ARE STILL ALIVE! AND THEY WERE OPENING AND SHUTTING WHILE I WAS CLEANING THEM! Like little, gooey monsters.
|You see that little guy? With his shell open, ready to clamp some fingers? Not okay.|
After cleaning, I waited until Michael was over to steam them because I was struggling, emotionally because I was traumatized and physically because I scrubbed the top of my thumb off with the scrubbie so I was gushing blood. I was also afraid that they would scream like lobsters or do some other creepy thing when you cook them.
Well we finished them.
|Michael liked them. I ate a loaf of bread.|
I didn't like it. Not one bit.