Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Fishy Weekend

Smoked salmon, potato salad, and crème fraiche
My friend Linda from Granbury was my houseguest last night--she had an afternoon class at TCU yesterday and a make-up class this afternoon, so she spent the night. I warned her she was in for a fishy weekend--and a cooking weekend for me. Last night we had a smoked salmon/cream cheese/sour cream/anchovy appetizer, followed by pasta in an anchovy sauce--one of those where you make a sauce of olive oil and whatever, dump in the cooked spaghetti and then add egg yolks beaten with water. I love watching that watery mess thicken up to a golden sauce that coats the noodles perfectly. This was particularly good. Jacob dumped his green peas into his pasta (sans sauce) at Linda's suggestion and declared it delicious.
For breakfast Jacob ate two waffles and two scrambled eggs, while Linda and I had cinnamon raisin English muffins. Jacob went home with his dad after church, and Linda and I had Tonino's tuna marinated in olive oil and oregano, on cottage cheese. If you have not discovered Tonino's, and you like tuna, I urge you to look in the canned meat department at Central Market. It comes in small, expensive jars but is so good!
The best thing about the evening was Jacob. When he and I are here alone, we eat in my office and don't talk much. Last night, he ate at the table, didn't ask to be excused early, carried on a great conversation with Linda, and then while I did dishes, they went for a long walk. This morning, first words out of his mouth were, "Where's Linda?" She was in the sunroom reading, so he went back and had a great conversation. When I asked what they wanted for breakfast, he said something about Alexander the Great. I asked what that had to do with breakfast, and he said condescendingly, "We were talking about history." After breakfast, they went for another long walk. Then we went to church, which was particularly inspiring this morning.
Tonight friends Subie and Phil came for supper--more fish. We finished the salmon dip left from last night, and the entrée was a platter of smoked salmon ringing a mound of potato salad (tiny new potatoes), drizzled with crème fraiche seasoned with horseradish, and garnished with liberal sprinklings of chopped dill. Subie pronounced it a very Scandinavian dish--and of course it was: fish, potatoes, and berries (she brought a wonderful fruit dish of raspberries and blueberries). Designed to serve six--we ate every bite. Cocktails on the deck, where it was most pleasant--I hadn't thought about cleaning the table because it was supposed to rain but no rain so far.
So it was a lovely cooking weekend. My back didn't hurt as much as it has, and I enjoyed fixing food--I always do. But maybe the best part was the interaction between Jacob and Linda--he was so grown-up, so gentlemanly, and so polite.
When he was perhaps three, he took Linda on a walk across the street to see Lily B. Clayton Elementary and assured her this was where he was going to school. She asked if he'd talked to his parents about that, but she said he was absolutely sure that was where he would go. And guess what? He's finishing third grade there. I think every child needs a non-family adult who dotes on him--I had that luxury as a child, and Jacob has several, but Linda is special. For her, it fulfills a need to touch and be close to a grandchild--hers live in Cleveland and Philadelphia.
A thoroughly satisfying weekend. No, I didn't write my thousand words today, but I did yesterday.

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