Sunday, June 10, 2007

Australia (Part Six): the purpose of grandparents

Not the last post, but nearly so, I think. It damned better be, anyway - I'm ready to go back to blogging as per desire, as opposed to blogging as per diem.

Okay, a quick whiz through a bit of the past week:
Monday, June 4th - we had two, back to back playdates, with two of my cousins and their cousinly offspring. I really like these women of my generation, they're down to earth and funny. And their kids are pretty classic G-fam kids, sweet and exuberant, smart and silly.

Tuesday, June 5th: Children? What Children?
I’d love to tell you what my kids did today, but I barely know myself.

Today, the Man and I left the children in the arms of a delighted Grandmere, who promised parrots and parks to my wee boys. The wee boys parrotted, parked and slept, and when we turned up (an hour early) to fetch them, barely even noted our presence. Hm.

And, of course, tonight the Eldest is sleeping at his Grandmere’s place, a milestone that he’s previously declined. At the top of his lungs. After deciding that yes, he’d rather like to. Hmm again.

In case you were wondering, the Man went off and had pastry while I did a little shopping and found a soft, fuzzy sweater in Spring’s beloved burnt orange. So strong is the association with Spring that I nearly didn’t buy it, but then I laughed at myself and the mystified saleslady rang me up. Done.

We wandered in and out of art galleries, obviously too poor to buy anything there, but having a glorious time. And, following a cousinly tip, we went to Sozai, a sushi joint on High St in Armadale. It’s a tiny place, and serves a limited range of sushi (nothing like the almost overwhelming range on offer at FuGaKyu back in Boston), but offers a phenomenal salad of daikon radish, shredded into an angel-hair pasta-like form, topped with semi circles of thin, thin lemon and a mound of salmon roe. Drizzled on top is warm olive oil – a simple and potent combination.

As a cook who likes her flavors pungent and complex, this was almost too simple for me. But the pop of the ikura, the quiet crunch of the daikon met the richness of the oil and the sparkle of the lemon and oh my god I sound like a food writer in some magazine. Okay, okay, it was good. I nearly licked the plate.

And two hours later I was starving again. Thank gunnies there was pasta for dinner!
Tomorrow we leave for home. Already, I've begun stripping the place of the bits and pieces that made it ours. The last load of laundry is spinning in the machine, the fridge is cleared of the bit of paper and the calendar that the Eldest and I taped up, and the pantry is emptying out.

Last night, I dreamed of airplanes. Maybe it's time. Besides, I hear that there's 20 tomato plants in our community garden plot (twenty!!!), and I really, really want to see that for myself. Damn me - twenty.

Anyone want some salsa? Or how about some Mystery Salad?

A recipe we found in a magazine (delicious.) and tweaked to fit our pantry, budget thingies. Y'know, them.

Broiled Nameless Fish with Mystery Salad
Note: this dinner is very, very quick to toss together. Took me about fifteen minutes.

4 small tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 avocado, cut up
1 block feta, cubed and spritzed with half of a lemon's juice (optional - we didn't have any) or feta (a moist feta is better than a dry one - look for a feta with white liquid sloshing around in the packaging, this one will have better flavor)
1 cucumber, cubed (optional - we didn't have one)
1 scallion, chopped
2 handfuls baby arugula, or rocket
1-2 Tb fresh mint
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 Tb chopped fresh parsley

squeeze a lemon. Add slightly more olive oil than you have lemon juice. Mash and chop a clove of garlic, add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together, pour over salad right before serving.

buy 4 white-fleshed fish fillets, whatever's cheap. Skinless is fine, flash frozen is fine, fresh is best - just work with your budget. About 20-30 minutes before cooking (if possible, it's okay to skip this but then your fish will be super mild in flavor), squeeze half or a whole lemon over the fish. Grind some fresh pepper on top, too.

Heat grill/broiler. Brush a bit of olive oil over the fish, lightly score (cut very lightly) in 2-3 spots. Sprinkle with salt, pepper. Broil/grill 2-3 minutes, flip and do the other side. Fish is done when it's just white (not translucent) in the middle.

Toss salad and serve together. Invite your eaters to figure out what the mystery flavor is (it's the mint). My guys had thirds of the salad in their efforts to figure it out...heh.


dykewife said...

thirds before they could figure it out, huh? i bet they were faking it :) it sounds like a yummylicious meal!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I ***heart*** feta cheese!

magid said...

Thank you!