16 March, 2006

a little sole-searching

Have you ever gutted a lemon sole? It's very off-putting and icky. However, all the slaving did result in an incredibly tasty dish that also marked a milestone in our domestic sphere: John ate fish! Next time, though, I will ask the fishmonger to fillet the little guys for me because I was really out of my depth. The recipe came from Mitchell Tonks's fabulous cookbook "The Fishmonger's Cookbook," so in all fairness I went to his fish shop (doesn't he look incredibly cheery?), "FishWorks" in the Marylebone High Street where I had such a memorable lunch early on in our stay here, to get the fish. Unhappily I left this task until after I picked Avery up from school, so she had to come along, and she was not happy at the fishy smell, nor at the sight of the many different whole fishes, a little too up close and personal for her refined tastes.

So the recipe called for dredging the fish in flour, shaking off the excess, and frying it gently in lots of butter, about 6 minutes per side, then you take the fish out of the frying pan, keep them warm, add more butter to the pan and some fresh parsley, and pour it over the fish. I chose lemon sole because it's such a mild flavor that it couldn't scare John too much. Absolutely drop-dead delicious, simple, perfectly fresh and light. The whole process was rather nerve-wracking, though, so fillets from now on.

I have bookshelves! The people FINALLY came today, after many missed phone calls, lost emails, inflated prices and other mishaps. I read with my gulls this morning and came home to find a nice team of three elves working away, and within two hours I had a whole wall of lovely, empty shelves that are removable and able to be mixed and matched in any way I like, wherever we move next (heaven forfend). So now all I have to do (!) is move the 30-odd boxes of books from my study across the hall to the living room, and shelve them all, then break down the boxes for the recyclers who conveniently come on Thursday evening. I have gone so far as to empty two boxes and decided to skip alphabetizing for now, just to get them on the shelves. So far I've separated non-fiction from fiction, and cookbooks from everything else, and I think that will be the extent of my organization. You'll
know I've gone over the edge when I dewey-decimal them all.

Yesterday I collapsed after school dropoff and simply took a nap, in the guest room, thankfully taking the precaution of pulling down the window shades, because I was awakened by the sound of the porter's voice seemingly in my ear, and he was just outside the window attending to some business of rubbish, so I got up, and my friend Becky called to invite me to lunch at a really weird but strangely appealing place in Marylebone Lane, Le Relais de Venise, where the only thing on the menu (so there really isn't a menu, just a terse announcement of what you're about to eat) is steak frites. That's it. In "a secret sauce," which I diagnosed as a not-so-secret mustard vinaigrette with, I think, a hint of curry powder. And the same sauce as a salad dressing. Huge, unmanageable portions, admittedly gorgeous frites, and we had fun.

It is really hard for me to believe that since then we have had Halloween in New York, a mammoth last-gasp birthday party for 60, Thanksgiving at Red Gate Farm, John's last work dinner for 50-some, sold our apartment, had movers to dismantle our lives, Christmas in Connecticut, the move here, and have nearly completely settled into entirely new lives. New house, new cleaning lady, new babysitter, scores of friends, new doctor, school, office, bookshelves! What a whirlwind it's been. No wonder I needed a nap.

Well, boxes beckon, so I'm off. After school I've been dispatched by John to an unbelievable establishment called The Button Queen, to replace the several hundred buttons he's missing from various suits. I'll take my camera. Tomorrow night we have a date night, at the Savoy Grill where my Lifestyle Consultant has managed to book us a table. Oh, and her name turned out to be... Sarah Hornbuckle. I am not making that up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

does it work?