19 January, 2008
Just got back from the Sunday farmer's market where I picked up all my favorites: red-chilli goats cheese, beetroot and cavolo nero and carrots for juice, Chegworth Worcester and Bramley apple juice, and some sausages for the macaroni and cheese I feel is in our future tomorrow night. Tonight, however, is destined to be scallops with parsley, because they were half price at Waitrose!
Scallops with Two Parslies
1 lb spaghetti (I prefer De Cecco)
1/2 cup olive oil
6 large sea scallops per person (slice in half if very large indeed)
5 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 large handful curly parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted lightly
The sauce will cook in just the time your spaghetti needs to boil, so bring the water to a boil and put in the pasta.
Now heat the olive oil and simmer the garlic, but don't let it brown. Place the scallops in the oil and cook on high heat until they turn opaque (about three minutes), turning occasionally. Add the red peppers and salt and pepper, and take off the heat. Sprinkle the parsley on the scallops and toss gently. Drain the pasta and add to the scallops, then toss with the breadcrumbs. Delicious!
And of course on the way home from the market, it... RAINED. Honestly. Isn't this a charming little Noah's Ark? Here's where you can order one.
Well, John is home safely from Iowa, and for the moment he's resting. I think there will be a lot of resting in his future. It's strangely sadder to have him back than it was to have him gone, but I think it's only because actually seeing him makes his dad's death real, somehow. The whole world feels different. One friend told me, about death and loss, "it makes the world feel as if it's in a different orbit, for a time." Then I suppose one absorbs it into one's life experience. When we dropped Avery off at the barn, Kirsty asked John how his dad was doing, and when he told her, she said softly, "But remember the miraculous summer you had." That is what we need to do.
At any rate, he's home. And driving! His approach to the whole driving thing is completely different from mine. He OWNS the road, so everyone else has to make do. He roars down George Street, takes the yellow light at Edgware Road as a green, and roars ahead. It was so nice to be in the passenger seat again!
Nice, too, was Avery's exam on Friday. She really does not seem to mind these ordeals! I picked her up in the (yep) rain on Friday afternoon, and she reported the opposite of last week: this time the maths were easy and the English impossible. So it would seem, between the two exams, no one will have done well because the strong English students will have thrived last week, and the strong maths students this week. But taken together... and here's an exciting bit of news (at least exciting in the exam-obsessed life we are living right now): City of London School for Girls has written to say that based on her excellent performance last week, they'd like to see her for an interview on Tuesday. So interviews Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and one more exam on Friday and then we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Perhaps the sun will come out? Best not to hope for ridiculous miracles, though.
On Friday night Avery spent the night with Anna and I treated myself to a ridiculous but so delicious extravagance: dinner at Nobu! But you know what: have your cocktail at home before you go. Because while I don't mind paying lots of money for something I could never have at home, like yellowtail tuna with jalapeno, I do mind paying $24 for a martini. Even with whatever miraculous sake they use, and the tiny, tender little Japanese cucumbers floating on top. Save your money for the spicy tuna roll, and the soft shell crab roll. I did NOT allow my dinner to be spoiled by the annoying American businessman sitting next to me, overflowing his seat, talking on TWO mobile phones about whatever business deal was occupying his tiny mind. As I sat there he downed an entire plate of Kobe beef without chewing, as far as I could tell, ignoring the gorgeous trio of sauces, the pile of sauteed heirloom mushrooms. I couldn't help stealing a glance at his bill when it came: 180 pounds! For one. My, my, I'm not in Kansas any longer.
Do you have an 11-year-old girl who needs a project? Avery's latest obsession is latch-hooking. I remember going through a similar phase in my long-ago and misspent youth, and now she's caught the bug. She dug out a smiley-face project that my friend Alyssa brought for her last Christmas, then laid away and forgotten. Finished that, got her friend Anna obsessed as well, and needed another project. So yesterday afternoon found us at John Lewis in the crafty department that usually brings to me a headache of enormous proportions as soon as I enter it. But this time we had a specific mission, and off we went to become the proud owners of an ENORMOUS Peter Rabbit rug-to-be.
Well, I think I hear my long-travelling husband stirring, so I shall go see what he needs. Enjoy your Sunday and... don't forget your brolly.