Friday, March 10, 2017

Free Range Friday ~ Culebra and Crab Cakes Oh My!

What seems to be turning into a sort of weekly round up is once again at hand! 

Not having immediate connection makes me realize the  immediate fashion I've been viewing the world in. If news is a day or two old, it's O L D. Whatever did Laura from Little House on the Prairie do with mail that was months old, where new borns were already toddlers by the time she got word? It's strangely comforting even as it is frustrating as hell...Events are still eventful even if they didn't happen five seconds ago. What a strange lesson to learn at this stage of the game.

One of the events that made my week(end) was seeing Jimmy and Kat of Coqui Fire in Vieques when they came over for the weekend. Last weekend. It's always good to catch up with their news, how the restaurant is doing, what's happening over 'there'. 

But there are other moments.

Water diamonds at Melones
I love when Dale and Kelli are talking about business and I interrupt them and they look like they've just been lazing around having the best time ever. 
 
Ok, there is a bit of 'that smile' - MJ, we love you AND we're busy!
 First things first!

Staying on the less windy side of the bar

There's always time for a Chuck story
We are now at the food part of Free Range Friday. David and Debbie  and Hound Dog (Jane the vet's dog that has moved deeply into their lives) are down for their yearly visit. That usually means some totally unexpected food treat, be it ham hocks or something else I've been wishing for, even if I didn't know it.

This year, it was lump crab meat. As in Jumbo Lump. For crab cakes. David not only had ALL the ingredients he wanted, he had some ideas I'd never thought about as well. What a fabulous treat!


Better than ice cream!
So many goodies in here for flavor
(I'd tell you but then you'd have to kill me)
A feast in the making

Pancetta for the rice and grains

It's the little things

Using the cooking water from the asparagus for the grains
Smart!

Making it pretty
(why do I never think of this?)





An simple remoulade sauce for the crab cakes
The thing about remoulade is that, from what I can gather, it's sort of like potato salad. No one makes it the same way. Which can either be exciting if you like to experiment or frustrating if you don't trust your own palate. I choose excitement! So should you - life is too short to not have fun cooking. 

There was an almost visceral pleasure watching this meal being put together. Debbie and I wandered in and out from the porch where our double vices were being enjoyed, watching it grow from start to finish, flavors and aromas building upon one another, melding to the causation of drool state.

The big covered casserole was not part of the meal.
Don't tell that to Hound Dog though; it's dinner in his world.
Contentment
 While back at the prep station...

Finishing touches

Making it pretty

Wa la!

Oops! Not quite done yet!
For a while there were only the contented sounds of eating an amazing meal, punctuated with the occasional continuing compliments. And then there was dessert. Crepes. Really.

Can you smell the warm fruit/honey/cinammon/whipped cream
wafting through the air?

I was sated enough to take them up on their stay over offer; rather than wrestling with the dinghy in the wind it was much nicer to wander down the porch to the extra bedroom and tuck in to a peaceful sleep. A pretty perfect ending to a very enjoyable evening. 

I'm not sure how I managed to not get a photo of David and Debbie together but I didn't. Yet. 

Have a fragrant Friday. Do something feelingly.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Simple Sunday ~ Culebra

35 years ago this week my (our) Dad left the planet. But I cannot, ever, cut open a grapefruit without thinking of him. This man who grew up with cooks and chauffeurs, would prepare 4 grapefruits halves for our 4 breakfasts (with the mandatory eggs, toast, juice and milk), at 6 in the morning. Most days. Where did that come from? I choose love.

So when I take my grapefruit knife (of course) in hand, I think about those early mornings - when I didn't think at all - about how each section would pop into the spoon so easily. It took time, it took effort. He didn't have to do it, but he did.

I don't remember my Dad ever saying to me that the little things matter. He just did them, over and over again. There's the lesson.

So here's to you, Dad. You'd love this view and I love you.