When I was growing up, my dad traveled a lot for work. He’d leave on a Monday and sometimes be gone for days. Once a year, his work would take him to the Pacific Northwest. I remember this because he would return from this trip each year with a special piece of cargo: fresh salmon on dry ice.
He’d re-tool his usual travel plan, checking his perfectly overhead bin-sized suitcase so that he could bring the salmon onto the plane as his carry-on. In Kansas, fresh, quality fish (at least fish from the sea) was a serious luxury. So when the salmon arrived home, it was treated like gold: My mom cooked it lovingly and carefully (seared and placed onto a ciabatta bun that had been mayo-ed and topped with lightly dressed arugula and a fat slice of peppered tomato). Dad went through all of this effort (and frankly, expense) for one meal’s worth of payoff, just so my mom and we kids could taste really good, fresh fish. This is one of the perks when you grow up in a house that takes food seriously.