My dad is a lawyer. That statement always gets a reaction out of people, which I find hilarious. Whether they playfully grimace because ‘ugh, lawyers are the worst,’ look vaguely impressed, or launch in to their favourite lawyer joke- it’s always something. It’s not like telling someone your dad is a teacher or a doctor or an electrician, everyone feels warm or at the very least benign towards those professions.
My dad is a lawyer who largely specializes in personal injury law. That gets even more of a reaction. The ambulance chaser! The slip-and-fall! People think of Saul Goodman. I majored in Psychology with a Minor in Lawyer Jokes.
My dad is not much of a Saul Goodman, but he is a quirky combination of ‘ultra chill dude’ and ‘sharp as a tack’- he is very good at his job. When I was born, he was just a fledgeling articling student; by the time my sister was born, he had already made partner. Not bad.
Many of our longtime family friends started out as clients of my dad’s. I never thought much of that growing up, but now I realize how cool that actually is. I have never seen my dad in court- maybe he’s a shark, maybe he’s a tap dancer- however he conducts himself, he must have some reserve of lawyerly integrity because so many of his friends are former clients, insurance adjusters (ie. the people he fights against in court) and rival lawyers.
So, my dad generally has a pretty good relationship with his clients. In fact, it is not unusual to hear of my dad accepting trade to cover part of a legal bill. Talented tattoo artist? My daughter, Megan, is looking to get a calf sleeve done. Eastern medicine specialist? I would love to learn shiatsu to alleviate stress headaches. Painting with watercolours, the art of Bonsai, scotch tasting, smoking your own fish, playing Go: my dad is a collection of unique skills learned peripherally via his career as a lawyer.
Understandably, some of the cases my dad works on can be emotionally taxing. A drunk driver hit your car broadside and killed someone you love. Your motorcycle hit some black ice coming down from the mountains and you incurred permanent brain injury.
(Growing up, my sister and I did not have a curfew. We were allowed wine at family events. Boyfriends had a standing invitation for dinner. We were given a lot of freedom. Two things, however, were totally out of the question: motorcycles and trampolines. This is what happens when your dad practices personal injury law for a living.)
So, sometimes it’s not a trade, it’s just a thank you. A thank you for settlement, for closure, for help.
When I was around 11 or 12, my dad settled a big case for a family in Northern BC. The details of the accident were rather tragic, but finally having the case settled meant they could enjoy a bit of closure. Not having to repeatedly stress over the details of their loss, they could finally- properly- start to heal. The patriarch of this particular family was a professional fisherman who took people on chartered fishing tours up north so, as a thank you, they invited our whole family to come up and do a fishing trip.
Even as a pissy tween, I could appreciate how mindblowingly cool the trip was. We camped on uninhabited islands, we pulled up hundred pound halibut, we came incredibly close to a whale one day, who just cruised past our lines to see what we were up to.
When we drove back home, we came with a freezer full of packed halibut. A deep freeze full. So much halibut. It was amazing.
For the next year, halibut was on our dinner table all the time. Not only was it quick and easy to prepare, but the entire family loved the firm white fish and this preparation in particular was our most popular recipe for it. Quick, easy and heavenly delicious- we made it all the time.
Finally, we reached the end of our freezer stock. Our own line-caught halibut reserves were empty. The next time we craved our favourite dish, Garlic Parmesan Baked Halibut, we had to go to the store to get some.
So, halibut is actually kind of pretty pricey? Yeah, it is.
Nowadays I only eat halibut when it goes on sale, or when I’m treating myself. But man, oh man, is it ever worth it. (And this recipe is so easy and so foolproof, I don’t have to worry about ever accidentally ruining my lovely filet.)
What I’m saying is… treat yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
And, if you ever find yourself rear-ended… I know a guy. 😉
|Garlic Parmesan Baked Halibut|| || |
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
- Dash of Tabasco
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 4 halibut filets (~1" thick)
- Preheat oven to 450. Season halibut with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Place filets in a baking dish. Bake for 6 minutes.
- Mix all topping ingredients together. Remove halibut from oven and spread Parmesan mixture over top and sides of fish. Turn oven to broil and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned. Serve immediately with rice and veggies.