Saturday, April 17, 2010
I'm making fish soup.
It's a cold, drizzly, dreary Spring Saturday and my mother, aunt Claire and I drove to the market this morning to gather some fresh, local bits and bites for the week. Of course, I plucked spring garlic and pea shoots from the first farmer who had them. They are staples this time of year and I will eat them every which way until they are gone. In addition I picked up a lovely fresh chicken, eggs and bacon, huge bags of spinach and beet greens, a loaf of perfectly baked bread and fresh mussels and cod. Enter fish soup.
Two days ago Chris and I were in Somerville MA touring about and our friend, Meaghan, took us into a little specialty shop in Union Square. They were carrying a particularly eye catching, aka well marketed, brand of fish and lobster broth that I bought to try. Now, I am a huge fan of making your own anything and normally I wouldn't have bothered. But, I read the label and was pleasantly surprised to see that the ten or so ingredients listed were all totally identifiable and all things I would use in my own stock had I the time or inclination to make it. Sold.
At first I thought risotto, but the beautiful mussels and cod I bought this morning were clamoring for a soup. Maybe its the day. It really is so raw out. I started my soup three hours ago with the bacon. I added some leeks, celery and green garlic. I'm a sucker for fresh herbs so in addition there was a little bay, thyme and oregano. I chopped carrots and potatoes into nice little cubes. I washed spinach and prepared a chive butter for the griddled bread that will accompany each bowl. A bit of red wine, the fish broth and some diced, canned San Marzano tomatoes and it's simmering. It smells great.
So here I am, its 5:00pm, not time to eat yet. I've got the fish ready to go in the fridge, the bread sliced and the soup on the stove on hold until... later when everyone else is ready to eat. I am so impatient. I want to eat it now. Even though I know it will taste better later and that then I'll be able to enjoy it with my family, I still want it now.
This happens a lot when I cook. I love the process. I love getting everything ready, filling little bowls with carefully chopped this and that and then putting it all together to create something delicious (most of the time). Its just when I get to the end, I cant wait to finish. I want to put it on a plate and taste it to make sure its good. I feel a bit crazy about this but, I'm sitting here right now wishing I were devouring that soup. So, wish me luck. Neither mom or Chris is ready for dinner yet. I'm just about finished with this blog. It has been my one and only distraction.