Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday night

Vincent and I are sitting with the October evening outside, the Prairie Home Companion on the radio inside (it snowed in St Paul?), the cat mellow on the chair, and the stock for our bouillabaisse simmering on the stove. We are drinking Noilly Prat with a splash of Cassis and a slice of lemon. Vince is editing his pictures. I'm trying to channel the cat for a post on his blog.

The room smells of fennel and saffron and tomato and shrimp shells. We bought shrimp, two little sea bream, some sea bass and cockles at Fish Tales on Court. Bouillabaisse ain't cheap. But it's worth it once in a while. The shrimp were shelled and cleaned for me, and the shells given back for the stock. I asked for the fish to be filleted and the bones again were packaged separately. Fish Tales will apparently be on the Food Network on November 1st and 22nd.

This afternoon we bought muscat grapes from Pacific Green on Court, and small yellow grapes from New Green Pea on Atlantic. Apparently the Nepalese girl I was making friends with no longer works there. I liked her. I hope she found something better. At Sahadi's we got saffron for rouille and the soup, and foccaccia and bresaola for tomorrow.

And Monday is a holiday. I'm glad: I'm tired.

And today I filed everything. All taxes, all bills, all immigration documents, every piece of paper in every folder. All hanging nicely in the filing cabinet that has been sitting empty since it was bought. We booked tickets to South Africa and planned the trip to Beloeil for Christmas. It all hinges on Dept. of Homeland Security permission, of course. So our fingers are crossed. If we get called in for Vince's greencard interview while we are away, we will come back.

I am thinking of the immediate future and the not very distant past. This cool, dark-evening time of year means I look forward to home, when the gardens are quiet in the Northern Hemisphere and a long break in the south awaits. I think of friends I will see, and as I crumble saffron into the soup, think of Marijke who gave me such a generous packetful. I look forward to more hikes together on Table Mountain, and talks over a glass of wine. I think of my cousin Andrea and a steak sandwich we will eat together. And braais at night, flower-filled walks, my mom having toast for breakfast looking at the mountain. My father panting home on his racing bike as I am just waking up. I have never known a year to move this fast.

And next Thursday my mother lands at JFK after flying 8,000 miles across a continent and an ocean.

All I still have to do is polish the silver.


  1. Who will feed the "starving" one?

  2. That post was beautifully written. Lovely. Thank you. I can just smell your kitchen..wonderful.....

    I had a similar craving last night...we sprung for lobster and Alaskan king crab. Super simple with lemon and butter and wine and a salad of bibb lettuce and avocado. And it was good!

    More later,

  3. Really enjoy your blog. I visited New York for the first time last summer and your blog reminds me of how much I enjoyed the trip. As for snow in St. Paul, yes. My garden is several hours north of St. Paul and we had snow this weekend. Most is melted now but the forecast is for more on Monday. It makes for a strange combination -- fall foliage colors are peaking.

  4. Dinah - oy, the starving one. The search begins for a keeper...

    Kary - thank you :-) Yum, lobster! And isn't bib lettuce good?

    Sillydoggarden (you're going to have to explain that) - our fall colours haven't started, which causes some anxiety as my mother is arriving to see them! I would like to see Minnesota.

  5. I haven't been to Minnesota in a year. Winter.Wonder.Land.

    Starts soon.

    As for those fall colors, oh they're there. Upstate, did you decide on a place to go with Momm?

  6. Howdy Frank - I looked into Lazy Meadow and skipped at last because of various conflicting recent reports - though I realllly wanted to stay in an Airstream ( Airstream dreamin', here. So we sticking to the Woodstock area in two different B and B's. I'll do a short post - one in particular sounds potentially very cool. Very old.


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