Monday, December 29, 2008

Long Time No See

Re: the nekkid wreath from the last post-   I know it wasn't too festive, but it was better than the original plan to have just a wire wreath form!  Sorry, I guess that the spirit eluded me this year with all the poop hitting the oscillating fans around here.  But I am somewhat better now.  We had in some good friends for Christmas Eve dinner so that forced me into overdrive to find some ornaments and sparkle up the place a bit.  And the meal, though a stretch for just one cook, turned out really great-  I did the traditional Feast of Seven Fishes and everything was great.  Actually by the time I counted up the fishes I reached 11, so next time I do it i will hold back a bit, probably on the smelt course-  I love smelts too much to give them fourth billing.
I just rolled them in some flour with salt and pepper and threw them in some sizzling butter for about 2 minutes per side. Nothing is more simple or delicious.  Just used a little lemon wedge on the plate.

The sleeper fish surprise was a terrine of salmon and scallops mixed with cream and eggs and wrapped in chard leaves. It was supposed to be a cigar shape, or more like a spring roll, then steamed, but instead since the mix was so loose I lined custard cups with the blanched chard and filled it with the fish and steamed it that way and it was wonderful- of course it sat on a bed of sauce made from 3 hours of reducing shrimp shells down with tomato sauce so the color alone made it tempting. As fussy as this sounds, most of it was done ahead and then just steamed during the prior course so it didn't require last minute messin' around. Here is what it is supposed to look like, but mine was little green round packages on a red sauce:

The recipe is here in it's edited form. *Next time* I will further edit it down a bit, but keep it in the custard cups.

This whole feast ended with perfectly grilled little hunks of Sea Bass on a bed of mushy peas. It was a stretch for all to finish the last bites but valiant efforts won out. *Next time* I will get the sea bass higher up on the order of business. Bass, not related to any Weejuns

Christmas Day we spent with a whole slew of friends eating roast beast served with a couple of traditional southern accompaniments and shrimp the size of your fist. Nice balmy relaxed day sitting outside watching the palms wave, and this one I didn't have to cook! Love days like that!

OK, now for the creative life report:

Um. Er. How about this: "I am thinking hard."

I hope to get into the studio this morning after my walk and straighten it out a bit- I am in dire need of a large work table so perhaps a trip to Home Depot to get a hunk of plywood.
I have two rolling shelves that are 48" wide and my plan was always to use them as supports for a worktable- they are high enough that I could stand at them, my preferred work position. In fact, back in the real house, my sewing machine is on a counter height surface and I stand to sew. I find this very good for me as I can easily move around and not get all hunched and stuck in one position, so need to duplicate the set-up here. Of course some pretty bad work can come out of a perfect studio setup, and we all know of great art coming from a kitchen table and no studio, so I know this is just an excuse to wallow in my dirty little pool of self pity. And I am getting tired of this position, so need to go shower off the mud and get at it.

First thing today I have to visit the radiologist and get my scans for the round of appointments coming up. then I stop at the button shop for a fabulous little piece to stick on a purse I have knitted up, an then of course I can add the strap and get that stuck away in a corner as a finished project. So, first, the Dog Walk. See you later.  

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