Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The sound of silence...

Or, clam up! There is a theme here... bear with me.

I spent my formative years on the north shore of Long Island. Summertime evenings meant steamers and beer. I haven't done that in years... with that in mind, I had a hankering for bivalves the other night and found an easy recipe on for clams with a white wine and freshly squeezed lemon juice sauce tossed with pasta. The above photo is the end result of my clam cooking foray. I used palourdes... I guess I should have known by the price that the tinier (and much more expensive) clams would have been better. What do I know? On this recent US trip, I brought back several cans of Gorton's chopped clams. I can't get canned clams in France. (Maybe now you will understand why I was happy to pay the $50 overweight baggage charge on my return flight from hell. Lord knows, I didn't want my baggage contents spilled all over the check-in area for the world to see...)

Anyway, the finished dish looked great, however, the clams were rubbery and I ended up dumping most of them... totally unsated. Which got me to thinking about lobsters. We had such a great lobster dinner at Anthony's in Boston. So, I went back to Carrefour with a bon d'achat for 22 euros in hand and bought a lobster. It came to 1.76 euros (merci, bon d'achat!). It was a big lobster, but, as I later discovered, it had just shed its shell and was beginning a new one. So, soft shell, tender, not much meat, but the flavor was there and I enjoyed it.

How does this tie in with the sound of silence?

This is the golden week in Paris. In my quartier, everyone is gone. There is no street noise at night. No traffic, no 2am pedestrians (you know what I mean!). No crowds at Carrefour, you can actually cruise the aisles! No garbage collection at 6:30am on a daily basis... heck, I don't even look twice to cross the street! There's no one here! So what am I gonna do? Get out of Dodge!

This weekend I am turning 50. The big one. The "halfway there" mark... When I tell people how old I am they say, no way! (I think it's just the fat cells keeping the wrinkles at bay.) I'm heading back to the land of happy cows, Swiss precision and green vistas. I'll be staying with a friend and we plan to do a gourmet dinner cruise Saturday evening on Lake Geneva with champagne ordered for midnight. (Hangover free on Monday!) Bliss.

Can I hear you say yeah??

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