Monday, June 15, 2009

Seafood and Simplicity

It's Monday! Ahhhh! I forgot I had obligations other than playing on the beach. We've been enjoying the tomatoes, as promised, but the blueberries are from North Carolina, much to our chagrin. They are quite good but not local. I guess it's too early. 


I am experiencing the simplicity of cooking here. As I mentioned before, the house is not equipped with fancy pots and pans or mixers, and I don't want to buy a ton of stuff we have at home yet won't be used here after we leave, so I only got the basics: sea salt, a pepper grinder, nice garlic powder, fresh garlic, olive oil, lemon. It's nice to take a little break from the breadth and depth of my cabinets at home and eat simply, enjoying the flavor of the food, without the excitement of lots of spice. Rather than buy balsamic vinegar, which is my go to for salad dressing, I have been doing 1 to 1 lemon juice to olive oil, and adding salt and pepper. I'm hooked!


We did a lobster fest last night. My grandfather always was the mastermind behind those once or twice a summer special dinners. It was the only time he cooked dinner, but he committed fully and the only thing anyone else did was to set the table and do dishes. He delivered each lobster to the table, shells cracked, tails split. I remember the first time I had a lobster in a restaurant and couldn't understand why it was so hard to get into!


My sister's boyfriend was the only one of us with enough moral fortitude to kill the food we were going to eat, so it fell to him to steam them. I strongly believe one should be able to kill the animal one eats, otherwise don't do it, but I am a terrible hypocrite. My 4-year old son experienced his first qualms, as well, wondering why the lobster was alive if we were going to eat it soon. 


He was sad because he likes lobsters, and said he would rather eat lions because he doesn't like them, since they eat mice, which he does like. The logic of a 4-year old mind is interesting. But, he dug in like the rest of us. Jason steamed them for 15 minutes, until they were bright pink. We ate them with drawn butter. Simple.


A week ago we got oysters. I steamed them in butter, olive oil, salt, pepper, white wine, and garlic.  About half never opened, despite over 20 minutes of steaming. I've done this before and it took only a few minutes, so it seemed weird. I went back to the store and they gave me a dozen more. They sat in the fridge for two days, since we were all tired of oysters from the night before. Finally, lying in bed two nights later, I realized that the oysters were either going to suffocate in the fridge or rot before we ate them, so Dave sweetly went out at midnight and returned them to the bay for me.


Seafood really drives home that you are eating animals, since most shellfish arrive home alive.


Soft-shell crabs, pan fried


Lacking a grill, yet craving a soft-shell, I melted a tablespoon of olive oil and another of butter in my pan. I salted, peppered, and garlic powered the crabs, and cooked on each side for 3 or 4 minutes. 


1 comment:

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