by Anne Marie Baer

An English interpretation is included with the video.  If you wish to not hear the interpretation, please mute the video.

A transcription of that interpretation is available below in  English.

These are designed as resources for working with the text in ASL. They are not intended to represent a definitive way to translate or interpret the text.

Visual Description

A white woman with brown hair pulled back into a ponytail stands in front of a blue screen delivering the presentation in American sign Language.  She is wearing a brown shirt with a scarf wrapped around her neck.

Deaf Julia Childs

I’m a Deaf Julia Childs, and I’d like to talk about how to cook salmon for dinner. I’m not talking about making a big salmon loaf, where you mix it with bread. I’m talking about cooking a whole fish. What you’re going to need is a fresh salmon; not a small one – a rather large one – a fish that could feed five to seven people, which means that it should weigh three to four pounds. You’re also going to need a fish cooker, which is an iron pan with a lid. They make them especially for cooking fish, but you can use any pan as long as it has a cover. You need some hot boiling water, some white cooking wine, table cream, basil, salt, some vegetables, carrots, some cut up potatoes, and cut up scallions.

First you’re going to need to clean the fish. You slice the fish lengthwise down the belly and gut the fish. Remove the head and leave the tail. After you have gutted the fish, salt the inside and then close it up. The fish has a skin that you are going to have to remove very carefully; be careful you don’t pull any of the meat off of the fish. You can’t get the skin off the tail, so just leave it and you can cut that off. Then turn the fish over, do the same on the other side till you have a nice clean surface. Be very careful when turning the fish because it can easily fall apart at this point. Inside you’ll see that there are bones – just leave those bones until after the fish has been cooked.

Then you’re ready to poach the fish; you have a little bit of water in the pan, some oil, some crumpled basil leaves, a little bit of wine. I don’t have exact measurements on these ingredients; you’re just going to have to trust your intuition as to how much wine or how many spices you want to put in. Then you are going to put the fish back in the pan, no, first, if you have a special net or a mesh that you can lay in the pan before you put the fish in, that will make it easier to remove the fish after you’re done cooking. Remove the fish, then you can use the juice left in the bottom of the pan for making the cream. So that’s why you need to have the net to remove the fish. You can also use a cloth – that would do, a strong cotton cloth that you can use to pick up this fish when it’s done cooking. After the fish is in you cover it. If the lid is a little bit loose you can use some aluminum foil and then place the lid on top of the aluminum foil before you put the fish in the oven. You then bake the fish at 375 for an hour, perhaps an hour and a half, depending on the size of the fish and the weight of the fish. After it’s cooked for an hour an hour and a half, then you take the fish out, carefully remove it, and then there is juice in the bottom of the pan with your spices in there. You put that juice in a saucepan. Oh, I need to go back — I forgot to tell you that the chopped carrots, the potatoes and the scallions should be cooked with the fish.

After you’ve removed the fish from the oven then you keep the potatoes and carrots separate in a container in a pot and you have the juice in a separate saucepan. You’re then ready to de-bone the fish. You open up the fish, and inside you’ll see the spine. You have to carefully jiggle the spine; loosen it up and down the fish so that you can remove each of the bones. They will be soft and you’ll be able to remove them. You don’t want to leave the bones in because that will be difficult while you’re eating. It may take ten to fifteen minutes to de-bone the fish, but you have to get all of those bones out, and then you’ll have a perfect fish. You can put the fish on a plate and keep it warm.

Then you take to juice; the water and the wine and put it on the stove. Then you mix up some corn starch with water – you don’t want to put the corn starch into the juice because it will glop up and it will make it very hard to make the nice sauce. So you mix the corn starch with water first, and you add some table cream – maybe a half to three quarters of a cup. Mix that in. That will make the juice white, Let it boil; let it get hot. Then you can add the corn starch; that will thicken up the sauce. You can add some more basil, perhaps some parsley, chopped fresh parsley, or garlic, crushed garlic. Let it cook; let it get good and hot. I’d say it may take fifteen minutes. Then bring the fish out of the oven where you have been warming it. Using a soup ladle, spoon that sauce – that cream sauce – all over the fish until you can’t see the salmon any more; all you can see is the cream sauce on top. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Then you take the vegetables which have been kept hot, remove them from their pot, and put them on the plate with the fish and enjoy your supper with Chardonnay wine or New Zinfandel – a wine that suits seafood. So enjoy your supper this evening.

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