Cabin fever, November weather, silver linings and such like

Sunday, September 03, 2006
The Presse Ancienne, desperate for a natural disaster, had made reports of Ernesto into the modern mass-media equivalent of Waiting For Godot. Too much and a week, however, is never enough and they continued to overplay it into the weather watch equivalent of waiting for the trumpets to sound (blow the freakin' trumpets already ferkryinoutloud!).

Well, anyway, 'round about mid-day on Friday Ernesto's advance team arrived and on the back of a solid week's worth of lousy weather pretty much nobody was looking for outdoor activities. Temperatures being downright Novemberlike that meant grill if you prefer but firing up the oven for the first time in a few months twarn't no big deal and keep the errands short and sweet.

Sumpin about tropical storms just screams Seafood! so the short errands inevitably include, "Yo, as long as you're out stop and get some fish filets. And maybe some shrimp."

Which brings me, finally (if you believe dat I got dis bridge...), to the point. Should you ever find yourself with a coupla tilapia or other mild, white fish filets on your hands and looking for a tasty dinner without much work or bother (30 minutes start to finish presuming you've got the fish and other rather ordinary ingredients) give a few moments' consideration to this recipe.

There are a few key points to be made here. The first is to serve it over rice. If you're married to a Swedish woman she might get a strange, homey hankerin' for some new potatoes (the little red ones which are delicious but not quite right for this purpose); serve it over rice.

Next... I fully admit to being an odd duck but I just love fresh asparagus with light fish. You want some vegetable with your light fish, try asparagus. Boil 'em or steam 'em just a few minutes with some butter and a little salt and, if you like, sprinkle 'em with parmesan.

Next... if I do this recipe again I'll cut down a couple or three gurgles on the soy sauce and replace that with a couple or three gurgles of the white wine.

Last... the recipe seemed just a tiny little tad boring so we peeled a few (6 or 8) of the shrimp and tossed 'em in there. Turn the fish and, if you use 'em, the shrimp. They need turning.

Ernesto finally arrived overnight. He was a classic Mexican brawler. Not that big, not that strong, but he just kept going... and going... and going. The Energizer Freakin' Bunny of worn out ol' remnants of tropical storms. All. Freakin'. Day.

Which means that presuming you took your four mile seaside walk through the sand-blasting, 20-30 mph winds, admiring the angry surf and building an appetite for later, here's what to do with the remaining shrimp (also 30 minutes, max, from start to snarfin'). Now that stuff is good! I had the leftover for lunch today and it was even better! I won't finish without commentary. Skip a teaspoon or two of the butter and go an extra splash on the tobasco.

Did I mention white wine somewhere above? Go find some Condesa de Leganza Sauvignon Blanc. It can be had for $8-$9 and is, IMHO, a darned good value. I'm no wine afficianado (nor am I much of a fan of white wine) and my choices would probably make an afficianodo choke, but that stuff worked well both with the food and in the recipes (both of 'em).

Oh! Before you eat the leftover scampi after two evenings of piggin' out, make sure you rearrange at least 70% of the storm debris into a pile roughly 25 ft. long, four feet wide, and three feet high. Why only 70%? In all honesty because at that point you might, like me, have had your fill of Blowers and rakes and brooms, Oh My! But even if you haven't you need to get up on the roof to finish the job (that's never a good idea if you are old and fat and a bit weary).

And that's not to mention that the grey squirrels - insanely inefficient builders - need to rebuild all their nests so you'll be doing this much work again next weekend. No point rushing it.


terrye said...

It has been beautiful here in southern Indiana.

Knucklehead said...

Send us a report of the supercells when they arrive ;)

Syl said...

It rained here heavily for over two days before Ernesto even came close. Then it rained some more. And more.

The power flickered a couple of times, enough to put me on edge and keep me away from my flaky old pc and let it rest.

A few hours after Ernesto was finally gone while I was clicking away at the keyboard, the power went out.


Knucklehead said...

We lost power for a little over an hour. Cable was funky for several hours. Some large trees around town got knocked down. A small number of cars crushed, a roof or three whacked pretty good. Pretty typical nasty storm.

David Thomson said...

I will use the tilapia recipe this week. Thanks for the tip.