Mélange. In a word, that describes my life… how I cook… and this post.
I love dining alfresco, don’t you? The best picnics I’ve ever been on have consisted of nothing more than ripe peaches at a fruit stand in Georgia (with juice dribbling down my chin), barbecued ribs “hot-off-the-smoker” in a parking lot in rural Mississippi, freshly squeezed pineapple juice from a food truck in Miami’s industrial district, crab cakes “to go” on a beach in Maryland, white Cheddar cheese curds at a truck stop in Wisconsin, hand-breaded jalapeno “poppers” eaten two steps away from Mexico (and 100° in the shade!), buttermilk biscuits wrapped in a paper napkin for “later,” chocolate-covered cherries (filled with Cabernet) on a stroll through Washington state’s wine country, Chicago-style hotdogs procured from a now-defunct deli next to a steel plant on the South side, coffee and donuts anywhere, and — my favorite — champagne and fresh strawberries in front of a sunset. (Bologna sandwiches and a candy bar at a roadside rest run a close second.) Picnics don’t have to be fancy to be fun.
One recent afternoon I pondered the metamorphosis of two grilled pork chops begging to be reinvented (aka leftovers) and my thoughts turned to flavors and textures… Creamy avocado and succulent pork. Crisp tortillas with a whisper of cheese. Coarse sea salt and zesty lime. Freshly ground pepper offset by an icy Margarita. Thus, Avocado Tacos became dinner and all of the above became a picnic!
The goblet in the photo has been with me for a long time. (If it looks like it’s leaning, it is — she’s a little off kilter, like me. :)) I’ve never been one to own a complete set of stemware (or china for that matter), just “one of a kinds” added along the way. Thankfully, the hubby settled for my meager dowry: a fishing rod, a tackle box, a piano, and a barrister bookcase. (And “the goblet.”) It was high time she had a suitable companion. Meet the newest member of our stemware misfits…
Though I’m not in the habit of naming inanimate objects, my friend Tammy (proprietor of Steel Daffodils — greatest little gift shop/coffee bar in the whole wide world) giggled when she saw me with that glass in hand (I had an iced mocha in the other…) and promptly recounted a sitcom episode about a woman who referred to her oversized Margarita glass as Big Daddy. I knew he’d found a home. And a name. Laughter has a way of overcoming habits.
Last, but not least, I’d like to share Fish Curry with you, which I spied on Sing For Your Supper. Coconut milk. Curry powder. Catfish… A mélange. But, I was out of Garam Masala, so I had to make a batch. (You don’t need to go to that extreme — look for it on the spice aisle at your market.) The aroma of toasted spices is worth the effort if you’re feeling adventurous!
Here’s a peek at the results…
And here’s a peek at the Fish Curry…
Definitely a flavor picnic!
Enjoying life one incongruity at a time,