Friday, April 13, 2007

"Beurre noir" is Just French for "Oops, I burned the butter!"

The Child cooked dinner last night. "I'm not really in the mood," she said.

Given that I am not always in the mood either she received no sympathy. And it was a simple meal...white fish with kalamatas, roasted red peppers, garlic and lemon, wrapped up in parchment and baked. Not much prep or fussing involved.

Cooking in parchment is one of my favorite methods, because it is quick and it assures minimal clean-up. Plus, there is the drama of opening a present at the dinner table. She soldiered on.

We sat down to eat. Grace was said, wine poured. We opened our packets. It smelled wonderful. The fish was perfectly cooked and a half a roasted pepper sat jauntily atop my fish, like an over-sized beret. Bits of olive were scattered about and the fish seemed to be swimming in a puddle of olive juice. Interesting, I thought. Good way to introduce a little flavor.

"Oh!" said The Child, brightly and quite pleased with herself. "I tried a little variation. I cooked the fish on a bed of black sea salt".

Needless to say, the meal was inedible. Beds of sea salt, I explained, are for fish with the skin still on, but not for slender pieces of red snapper that are going to absorb all the salt.

And then there was a welling of tears and a trembling of lip. "Don't cry," I told her. "This is the mark of a true chef. Trust me, every cook worth their, um, salt, has made mistakes. In fact, there are lots of things that people cook today that were probably mistakes to begin with. So don't be sad and don't worry".

"I told you I wasn't in the mood to cook," she pouted.

No one starved. She made herself a bacon and mayo sandwich and The Spouse and I had grapes and cheese and crackers.

We have a saying in our house whenever someone tries a new recipe: "This is either going to be really good or it is really going to suck". It all started with "Tuscan White Beans" that was a horrible slop. But in cooking, as in life you have to try new things. You have to be willing to fail. You have to put that curry powder in the tuna salad so that you even up the score and your wife can bring it up every time you try to tease her about the Tuscan white beans. And sometimes you have to take that beautiful black sea salt and see what happens when you put fish atop it. It's how you learn.

Dinner tonight: BBQ take-out.

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Blogger gina opined...

I would not have known to even TRY a "bed of black sea salt", so props to The Child for that! And I would probably never have realized that you can cook fish with skin on it, but not fish filets. I would have just not cooked anything on any bed of salt. So, props to The Child again for trying! I can't tell you the number of times I've tried something only to have to throw it out, but then, I'm sure you've had similar experiences. I've never cooked anything in parchment - I've only done calligraphy on the stuff. ;) I think, deep down, she wanted that bacon and mayo sandwich all along. I know I would have preferred it. :)

April 13, 2007 10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

What Gina said. Uncle JP is proud once again.

April 13, 2007 11:06 AM  
Blogger Jon opined...

I'm so impressed with your response, "That's the mark of a true chef." What a mom!

Oh, the horror stories of botching some dinners. I still cringe.

April 13, 2007 11:13 AM  
Blogger Kendall opined...

I heart the Child!

April 13, 2007 11:36 AM  
Blogger rosemary opined...

What is sea salt...just bigger grains? It would seem to me that the parchment would catch on, that The Child even knew to use these things says to me you have given birth to a genius! I wish I could have had the bacon and mayo actually. The book is Coffee at Luke's by Jennifer Cruise and will be available May 28th and the review is:
The quirky world of Stars Hollow and the incredible relationship of the Gilmore Girls—mother Lorelai and daughter Rory are best friends—continues to engage viewers after seven seasons, with its lightning-fast dialogue, dry wit, and unusual take on family relations. In this satirical yet sensitive collection of essays, leading writers weigh in on how this unique show has successfully broken the teenage-sitcom mold and gained viewers of all ages. Addressing questions such as What are the risks of having your mother be your best friend? How is Gilmore Girls anti-family, at least in the traditional sense? and What’s a male viewer to do when he finds both mother and daughter attractive? this anthology also looks at how the characters are shaped by the pop culture they consume and how prevalent a feeling of class consciousness is within the series.

April 13, 2007 12:09 PM  
Blogger Eric opined...


April 13, 2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

This comment has been removed by the author.

April 13, 2007 2:42 PM  
Blogger Citymouse opined...

you are such a good mom. i would have lost it,-- but ive been in that kind of mood--

April 13, 2007 2:43 PM  
Blogger Sling opined... didn't throw it out did you?
It sounded kinda yummy to me and Morgan.
...but seriously,how cool that the Child would even think to try something a little "Bold".Sometimes you eat the bear,sometimes the skinless Snapper, lovingly prepared,..not so much..
I give her a 98+... :)

April 13, 2007 5:59 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Thanks for all the snaps, gang. I told The Child what y'all said and it made her very happy. She is a clever little thing and I'm proud of her.

April 13, 2007 6:44 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

What everyone else already said. AND ...

"Mmmmm ... bacon and mayo sandwich."

April 14, 2007 8:28 AM  
Blogger Nicole opined...

Are you really going to be in Chicago the first week of July? You're not teasing me are you?

April 16, 2007 9:07 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

That's the plan, Nicole. I'm still figuring out the finances but I'm coming one way or the other.

April 16, 2007 9:16 AM  
Anonymous MHP :) opined...

Lorraine, I have two questions for you:

1) Is curry powder in tuna salad not good? I heard it was good--hmmm...

2) When are you getting your butt here? *smiles* I hope you come in July!! :)

-MHP :)

April 18, 2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous MHP :) opined...


Hello? I never heard about the curry powder in tuna or the getting your butt out here! *smiles*

-MHP :)

April 25, 2007 5:32 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

MHP, You're a nut. You know I'm coming out there so I can be waaaa ahahaha close to you. & curry powder in tuna is vile to the nth degree.

April 25, 2007 6:47 PM  
Anonymous MHP :) opined...

Darn it, I thought I found a healthy, tasty variety of tuna salad--I guess the curry powder is not to be!--boo hoo!!

Glad to hear you'll be here this summer!! *smiles*

-MHP :)

April 28, 2007 7:30 AM  

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