Saturday, January 16, 2016

Food, bruises, and religious freedom day

Did you know this is Religious Freedom Day? So declared each January 16 by presidential proclamation. It honors the late-18th-century proclamation of Virginia Freedom of Religion Day, but was enacted into law by the U. S. Congress in 1992 as an annual recognition of our tradition of worshipping, each of us as we please, and respecting how others prefer to worship. It’s a day of recognition worth taking to heart in these conflicted times of hate and prejudice.

My day started off well, a day laziness. I love waking in the night and realizing how much longer I have to sleep. But when I woke to go to the bathroom at seven this morning and crawled back into bed, Jacob demanded, “Juju, are you aware that it’s morning?” I assured him I was, and he asked, “Then why are you just coming to bed for the first time?” I told him I’d been in the bed all night long—and I stayed there until an anxious dog got me up about eight.

I’ve had a roll of food successes with Jacob, but it came to a crashing halt this morning. When his dad came to take him to a golf lesson, he told me Jacob said it was impossible to eat his breakfast because I put the fork in the middle of the waffles and it got all sticky. His father asked why he didn’t just get up, go to the sink, and rinse it. Later Jacob would explain that it was because I was always rushing him. He’s not the sweetest child in the mornings.

Tonight, however, I scored a food victory. Jordan was returning from Costa Rica, a business trip, and since Christian was to go to a party, she’d come here for supper. I bought salmon which she loves and he won’t touch. We ended up with Christian, who really didn’t want to go to the party alone, and Jacob but Christian brought their dinners.

What I didn’t tell Jordan was that I was cooking the salmon in anchovy-garlic butter—I figured she’d beg me to leave out the anchovies. Christian watched and said how good it looked—he wanted to try a bit, but “What’s the brown flakes in the butter?” I replied I’d reveal all after dinner. They both loved it, and he wants me to cook it again. You pan sear the salmon, skin side down, in the butter mix, then sprinkle capers on the pan and put it in the oven at 400 for eight minutes. The capers get crispy and good, and the anchovies are barely discernible but add a certain piquancy. I can’t believe Christian ate salmon and anchovies and lived to tell the tale.

My lazy day was marked by work at the computer, though I still have trouble posting books to Kindle. But I had a long nap and a nice cuddle with Sophie. The blot on the whole day was that I caught my toe on a rug and went down on all fours, badly bruising my right knee which now hurts like fire. I knew I’d have to explain my awkward, slow gait to Jordan so when she asked how my back was, I said I’d bruised my knee. “On what?” she asked, and I had to say, “The floor.” It’s one of those two seconds I’d like to recall and I’m sure I’ll be limping around here for a couple of days. Moral of the story: don’t shuffle-be sure to life your feet off the floor.

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