Scallops ceviche – and do you have “Kitchen OCD”?

(Scallops below, from a previous post back in March 2015. But first…)

Are you obsessive-compulsive in the kitchen? Take this simple test!

If you’re like me and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, you may find yourself considering some obsessive behavior that is usually unnecessary and essentially a waste of time. So here are seven sample questions to see if you might be suffering from “Kitchen-OCD“:

  • Have you ever thought it would be a good idea to straighten the plates? On very rare occasions, when different kinds of plates are stacked together, they may be ever so slightly askew and it’s certainly okay to straighten them. But almost always, identical plates are stacked together, and one of the cool things about plates is that they naturally nest together in perfect alignment. So I wouldn’t be concerned about this.
  • Do you think it would be a fun project to wax the sink? I considered this at one time, with our cast iron porcelain farmer’s sink and a superior car wax, but then it occurred to me the sink would be too shiny. I prefer an eggshell or satiny finish to our sink. If you have a stainless steel sink, it’s already shiny enough, I’m sure.
  • Do you worry about dust bunnies congregating under inverted tea cups and coffee mugs? And if so, do you check them every few days? Again, it’s highly unlikely that dust bunnies will appear here, because there’s no way for them to get in there. Simple – don’t sweat this one.
  • Do you think about aligning the legs of your four-legged stool with the kitchen floorboards or linoleum tiles? We have a four-legged wooden stool whose legs are never aligned with the cracks between our floorboards. One day, thought it would be fun to try it, but then my wife sat on it and moved it, and I didn’t think it looked any worse. Skip this one.
  • Do you think about coffee mug rotation? We have four mugs hanging from hooks, and another half dozen on the shelf right above the hooks. I’ve fantasized about giving that area a fresh, new look by exchanging some of the hook-mugs with the shelf-mugs, but quickly came to understand that because we have no two mugs alike it would be a real time-waster.
  • Have you considered using a meat thermometer to take the temperature of boiling water? Not much to say about this, but I’d start to worry a little bit if you have. Or actually did it.
  • Do you have a stockpile of extra refrigerator magnets? I’ve often considered it wise to have a good supply of extra magnets, nestled together in a remote section of the fridge so they’re not unsightly, for those times when you find a photo or Gary Larsen cartoon or business card that simply has to be displayed on the fridge. Otherwise, of course, the business card may share a magnet and end up obscuring part of a grandchild photo, which doesn’t seem fair. It’s a smart idea, all right, but I’ve never acted on it.

How’d you do? This is a wild guess, but if you answered “yes” to more than four of these, you could have “Kitchen OCD.” But not to worry – these impulses are usually short-lived and soon pass.


Scallops ceviche

DSC_0016smallScallops, lemon juice, cilantro, red onion, a day in the fridge…

Remember: Scallop rhymes with “dollop”

Now that we’re clear on that, some people aren’t quite sure what they’re eating when they have scallops. Mainers do, of course, but for my far-flung readers who may not know, you’re eating the large hinge muscle of the clam, specifically, the adductor muscle, which closes the shell after the scallop has “yapped” a few times underwater to propel him(her)self away from predators.

Ceviche (pron. sa-VEESH – ā) is a Spanish word for a dish of raw marinated fish, derived from an Arabic word meaning meat soaked in vinegar. The main idea is, you cook the fish without heat – in this case, via the citric acid in lemon juice. We had dozens of these last night with a group of friends and it all disappeared in a hurry.

For about 10 people you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs. scallops
  • juice of 3 large lemons
  • a handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced and coarsely chopped
  • black pepper to taste

Arrange the scallops in a largish baking dish or large pie plate, add the other ingredients, making sure all the meats are covered by the lemon juice, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours – a full day is better.


Serve them right in the baking dish, with two-prong forks. Refreshing and tender!


Ned White

About Ned White

Ned White is a writer, novelist, crossword puzzle constructor, traveler through 49 states, and at times a danger in the kitchen. He lives with his wife in South Thomaston.