Sunday, September 17, 2006
THE TOMATO WAR
Friday evenings, She Who Must Be Obeyed is generally beat from a week of dealing with Teaching Responsibilities - so this past Friday I volunteered to cook dinner for us and for our friends Laura Belle and Don, just returned from a wedding trip to the Northeast.
At the local Fresh Market, some nice fillets of wild Alaska sockeye salmon were calling my name. The flesh was an impressive dark orange-red.
Once home, SWMBO seasoned the fillets with a liberal coating of Potlatch Seasoning. We grilled them over medium-high heat on a cedar plank that had soaked in water for about an hour. The result was indescribable, a blend of spice and smoke that complemented the fish perfectly.
To accompany the fish, I prepared a Carrot-Parsnip Mash. I peeled six carrots and three good-sized parsnips and cut ’em into chunks. These went into a pot of boiling salted water for 45 minutes, along with a handful of Italian (flat-leaf) parsley stems. Once the root vegetables were tender, I drained them and removed the parsley stems, then ran them through a potato ricer. [If you don’t have a ricer, a quick spin in the food processor works about as well.]
To the resulting mash, I added a liberal handful of chopped parsley leaves and 2 tbsp of butter. Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste, and Bob’s yer uncle. Yummy!
I sliced up a handful of red, ripe tomatoes and dressed them with sea salt, a little pepper, a scattering of parsley, and some basil-infused olive oil. Alongside the tomatoes I placed a small dish with chunks of Roquefort cheese, for those who wanted something with which to doctor up their tomatoes.
A nice 2001 Merlot to wash everything down, and we had a delightful Friday evening meal.
After dinner, it seems that a solitary tomato had remained untouched...and whether it was grateful for my having spared it, or whether it was contemptuously thumbing its Tomatoey Nose at me, it started showing up in the damndest places when I least expected it.
Of course, it was the ever-playful SWMBO who had started a Tomato War. It became a game between us - to see where the tomato would next appear. In my cereal bowl. On SWMBO's bathroom counter. On my pillow.
This morning, as I went to get a clean pair of untervesch out of the drawer, I discerned a strange weightiness in the pouch area. Sure enough, there was the tomato.
I resisted the urge to laugh out loud. Instead, I quietly buried it in SWMBO’s carton of Twat-Plugs, went downstairs, kissed SWMBO goodbye, and nonchalantly headed off to my committee meeting.
During the meeting, my phone beeped in a text message:
“The Tomato Surrenders.”