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Little Cayman

2 May

My family went to Little Cayman to celebrate my 30th birthday.  We spent most of the time fishing, cleaning, prepping and cooking. Followed by eating and eating and eating and drinking.  A quick snack.  Repeat.  This is what passes for relaxation in my family.  When I pause to consider the backdrop to all these activities, the impossible quiet and solitude of Little Cayman. The tangle of sea grape trees, the carpet of turtle grass, coconuts and conch shells.  Iguanas and solider crabs.  The layer of salt in your hair and on your skin and the shower under the bright blue sky to temporarily remove it.  And the sea.  Everywhere the sea.  When I stop and think of all this, I am overcome with gratitude.  Gratitude to my family who organized and traveled and celebrated.  Gratitude for the soul and salt and beauty of my tiny country.  Gratitude and joy.

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Trout with Stewed Tomatoes, Fennel and Leeks

15 Mar

I went to Reading Terminal Market yesterday.  That place gets me every time.  So much food inspiration in one place.  I picked up bags of fruit and vegetables, a few sausages and some seafood.   I love having a fridge full of things to cook.   Dinner on the days I have a full fridge tend to have a little more oomph.  This is one of those meals.  Martin called it fancy and it did feel a little fancy, never mind that it was 4 pm on a Thursday or that Isabella was climbing all over us as we ate.

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Calamari with Caper & Herb Sauce

2 Jan

This year we spend New Year’s Eve at home.  Martin had to work very early on New Year’s Day and we had the little one to think of, she doesn’t do very well past 7:00pm.  After spending the morning with friends, we headed to Reading Terminal Market to find some inspiration for dinner.

It didn’t take long.  John Yi Fish Market, who’s slogan is Eat Fish, Live Longer (fitting for a New Year’s Eve meal, no?), provided all of  the inspiration needed.   Halibut, clams, squid and giant prawns would become a seafood stew with capers, tomatoes and herbs.  I knew I could make it quickly, serve it in one huge bowl with crusty bread and Martin and I could feast on it together.

At home I began cleaning the seafood. It quickly became apparent that we had a lot of squid, too much for the stew.  So, I decided to make a plate of fried calamari to start the meal.

Martin and I have a history with calamari.  We met in college and started the process of getting to know each other, mostly over red Solo cups filled with mystery punch and walks to class. Sometimes we managed to go out to dinner, at an actual restaurant, with actual menus.  And when we did we almost always split an order of calamari, ordered a bottle of wine and prayed that we didn’t get carded.

So, on December 31, 2011, we sat down and shared another plate of calamari, this time in our home. We talked about how incredible it has been to watch Isabella grow and change, we talked about our hopes for 2012 and the things that we want to accomplish.  We talked and we ate, like we always have, and we welcomed 2012 with full bellies and open arms.

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