It was my turn to fix dinner yesterday. I had procured some rockfish for only $6.99 a pound, that may have been strategically placed next to the $29.99 a pound halibut. A simple budgetary decision. Seeing the rockfish, I remembered a recipe I have probably not made in over a decade. It’s an easy and tasty recipe I found at a fish counter or in a magazine – I don’t recall. All the vegetables as well as the potatoes (except for a red bell pepper) were readily available in Patrick and Hannah’s garden and basement respectively, so my shopping list was of a short nature.
Mushrooms, the aforementioned red bell pepper, and zucchini seasoned and sautéed in olive oil, mashed potatoes, a butter and orange cream sauce – all complementing the fish which I baked in foil.
As we started to eat, I noticed that our napkins were missing, so I got up, turned around, and grabbed a few paper towels from the paper towel roll holder and tore them into three sheets to use as a substitute. Now I’m guessing I may have been a bit fatigued from cooking as I handed them out automatically, first one to Hannah, then one to Patrick, and a third to my cat Calvin who was sitting upright on the couch next to the dining table. I then caught myself retracting the paper towel for recipient number three and started to laugh as did everyone else. If I may interpret the surprised look on my cat’s face, it may well have been a response of “rather kind of you, but I don’t think I will be needing one of those”.
I climb up the steps to the alley to walk to the supermarket. I really like walking through the alley. Its quiet, with almost never a car, only the occasional “blue monster” (the garbage truck) in the early morning usually — My cat Calvin’s arch-enemy. Trees line both sides, and often a sumptuous surprise, such as a lemon, may be found on the ground. Having walked a few blocks, I hear some rhythmic tapping coming from between some fence boards, My interest is piqued, and I look through a small opening between two fences to see a girl tapping on a bucket. She is so completely immersed in her activity, that she is oblivious to me. After watching and listening a bit, I start to clap my hands in the same rhythm. Stopping momentarily, she turns to look at me, surprised and with a smile. An orchestra in the making here. I wave to her, as I walk on.
In the next block, I admire a huge old tree with enormous leaves. I would guess the leaves to be as big as dinner plates, with half of them covering the ground already. It is like standing under a huge umbrella. Fall is in the air, you can sense the change in seasons.
I buy only a few items at the market, as this is not my regular grocery store. The price these days of milk has gotten astronomical, as have most dairy products, due to our ongoing drought here in California, so I switch from my usual half-gallon of milk to a gallon of milk. Drama in the dairy section. Oh — that’s a nice surprise — Tillamook butter is on sale — it is sweeter than the generic brands too — that’s one happy consumer here. A few tomatoes hop in the basket to complete the expedition, and that’s it for today. On the way back, I stop at the library. The librarian smiles at my bags of groceries, as I check out a DVD. Perhaps I should have checked out a cookbook. Efficiency indeed today.