Skip to Content

The Secret Family Recipe That Would Not Die

Normal Gossip logo with cartoon characters gossiping
Illustration by Tara Jacoby

My vegetarian upbringing imbued me with a few strong culinary preferences and hangups. I have no desire to eat things on the bone, nor benefit nutritionally from whatever comes from bone broth. I think of grilling as an opportunity to freestyle a new tofu marinade. And, after a fateful meet-the-parents dinner I experienced when I was 18, during which I sat across the table from my sweetheart’s mom, unable to escape her gaze as I poked at a filet of salmon studded with approximately one thousand pin bones for at least 45 minutes, I don’t fuck with fish or seafood of any kind. I do not even try. 

That’s all to say that I would be hard pressed to determine whether today’s story—in which we search for (and fail to find) the limits of mom-guilt via the medium of raw fish—feels more like an anxiety dream that has been skinned, turned inside out, and put on display.

Our guest this week is Sarah-Violet Bliss! Sarah-Violet created, directed, and show-ran the critically acclaimed HBO Max comedy series Search Party, alongside her partner Charles Rogers. Previously, the pair co-wrote and co-directed the feature film Fort Tilden, and Sarah-Violet wrote for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp on Netflix and Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon.

Sarah-Violet introduced Kelsey to the glorious cinematic experience that is the original ending of Titanic. (Huge thanks to everyone who recorded themselves playing Céline Dion's My Heart Will Go On for Alex so that she could put together an appropriate royalty-free soundtrack.) Then Kelsey brought Sarah-Violet to a dinner party in the Ozarks. This week’s friend-of-a-friend has graduated from her low-res MBA program, and in honor of this sacred rite of passage, her mother Kandy has planned a “ruse” involving one very late night, two huge coolers full of sea bass, the manual labor for all Cora’s closest friends, a plethora of knives, and the Dougie. It’s certainly a recipe for something. 

You can subscribe to Normal Gossip on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you listen! You can follow Normal Gossip on Instagram here.

(The transcript for this week’s episode can be found here.)

And if you have some good goss that you want us to hear, the email for that is, or phone it in to 26-79-GOSSIP.

Already a user?Log in

Welcome to Defector!

Sign up to read some more free blogs.

Or, click here to subscribe!

If you liked this blog, please share it! Your referrals help Defector reach new readers, and those new readers always get a few free blogs before encountering our paywall.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter