It was a hang-the-laundry-on-the-line day. Hot and sunny. Despite the rain we got at the river yesterday, it did not rain here which is not untypical for these summer showers. They pour on one place and completely ignore others, no matter how much we may plead for them to head our way and bless us with their sky water. We've gotten no rain today either and the sheets were dry within a few hours, and now are on the bed, crisp and smelling of the outdoors, of breezes through trees and sunbaked cotton.
I had the best birthday. It was exactly what I wanted. I was so grateful to my husband for so amicably accompanying me on the little adventures we took. Big celebrations overwhelm me and I do not deal with birthday tributes very well, to be honest. Even the good wishes I got on Facebook overwhelmed me although I appreciated each and every one of them. Because I actually know and am friends with almost all of my FB friends, I did not feel as if the messages were rote in most cases and I cherished them. Same with all of your comments here.
After I finished my post, there was even more perfection. Mr. Moon had gotten me two beautiful new baking dishes for my birthday and when the snapper was thawed, I asked if instead of him grilling it for us, I could use one of my new dishes to try and make an old favorite from Angelo's, a restaurant that used to be in downtown Tallahassee that we both loved so much. Snapper flakes au gratin was the dish and it was something no one could ever forget. Great chunks of white fish meat (where did Angelo get his seafood?) in the creamiest white sauce, topped with a thick blanket of cheese, all baked until the cheese had melted and the whole thing was bubbling in its own little ramekin. It was the food that I always said a cat would eat in heaven- the fish, the cream, the cheese.
It is a food I would gladly eat in heaven.
And so, out of deference to my request and out of the sweetness of the memories of snapper-flakes au gratin, my husband graciously allowed me to cook the fish.
I am not being sarcastic here. I love to cook and that's all there is to it, and having the new dish and the beautiful fish inspired me.
But before I cooked a thing, Lon and Lis called and sang me Happy Birthday, which is what they do, and I was thrilled and we shared martinis, long distance, and clinked on speaker phone. That was another part of my happy, happy birthday.
And then I got to cooking. Together we had shelled some field peas and I started them on the stove before I began on the fish. Talk about farm-to-table! And boat-to-table! What riches! I made a white sauce that was as rich as a white sauce can be without cream but with evaporated milk and 2% milk with butter, of course, to zhuzh it up. It had salt and pepper, nutmeg, and sherry. That was all it needed. I buttered my beautiful new emerald green dish and laid the snapper filets in it and covered it all with the white sauce, then grated some parmesan and aged havarti, mixed those with some bread crumbs and a little more butter to top the casserole, and baked it to perfection. I added some rice to cook with the field peas when they were close to done and made a salad with plenty of basil from the garden.
I am sure that somewhere we could have gotten an equally delicious meal but I seriously doubt that we could have found one made with such fresh ingredients and cooked with such love.
And then...and THEN! I determined that what a sixty-eight year old woman needed on her birthday was a good dose of The Rolling Stones and so we found YouTube videos from their current tour that were taken, I think, by some super fan who appears to get the same seat right in front of the stage for each concert and who knows what the fuck they are doing when it comes to videoing. They are not videos that have gone through professional editing as one would see in a documentary or professionally shot concert but they are truly worth watching and the sound is terrific. And so, this old hippie who never truly fell in love with the Rolling Stones until her late fifties when she read Keith Richard's autobiography, was as happy as she could be.
And we did.
It was a truly symbolic and meaningful evening for me to watch these old boys as they are entering their older years, enjoying what they do so much that they can't imagine not doing it and who are still able to get the audiences they do. Who are still defining and redefining what a rock and roll band looks like. Sounds like.
There is still plenty of strut left in them. They are still giving us what we want.
I'm so with you on the Stones. A working band.ReplyDelete
Absolutely. And I love how they take their families with them so it's like a big summer reunion for all of them. A merry band of traveling troubadours.Delete
well......I'm intrigued because in all my years of cooking I always pretty much went by the *no cheese with fish* theory.......so your dish intrigues me! And it sounds lovely! The sun baked cotton sheets sound SO inviting.....and the okra.....I never knew they grew upright? Sheesh. So much to learn! Bottoms up martini Friday!ReplyDelete
Yes, m'am. I know that there is a no cheese with fish school of thought but to hell with that. If you tried this dish you would not ever regard that rule with anything but disdain again. I promise you.Delete
Those sheets felt great!
Happy day after your birthday day Ms Moon! Love you!ReplyDelete
Your birthday was perfect. And the doll (because you WILL get her) will be a constant reminder of the perfect birthday. The fish dish sounds delicious. I am always afraid of overcooking fish.ReplyDelete
I understand about the fear of overcooking fish. And undercooked fish is no fun either. But in this casserole, you put the raw filets in the dish and then cover them with the sauce and it all cooks beautifully. Nice and flakey.Delete
I wish you many happy returns of the day!ReplyDelete
Thank you, sweet lady!Delete
I am so jealous of your okra. The critters got all the ones I planted and no one up here grows it so it is impossible to get at the farmers market. The few times I have found it up here it isn't harvested soon enough - I guess they think the bigger the better which is , of course, not true of okra. It is the perfect plant. Most delicious to me simply sauteed in butter and the perfectly beautiful flowers before they make there seed pods.. What is not to love.ReplyDelete
I have a friend near here whose okra all got eaten up by deer and she had a LOT. She wanted to pickle it. So yes, I guess animals like okra. And no, if okra isn't picked at the proper time, it will never soften up, no matter how you cook it. It is a lovely vegetable and yet another one that we can thank the enslaved people from Africa for.Delete
Love the cartoon!ReplyDelete
It's perfect. Except that I would probably never put on a bra in the house. Maybe for a zoom meeting. I don't know.Delete
Great cartoon. I got to be 69 and a half before I felt comfortable without a bra. Your dinner sounds wonderful and the line dried sheets even better. It's what I like best about summer.ReplyDelete
I just abhor bras. They are the most ridiculous garment in my opinion. Of course, I don't have HUGE ta-ta's and I know some women don't mind bras but I will never, ever find them comfortable.Delete
The sheets were so nice.
Such a lovely end to your birthday!ReplyDelete
It was perfect!Delete
Well if that isn't the definition of paradise I don't know what is!ReplyDelete
For me, at least!Delete
What a lovely birthday! Wishing you many more...ReplyDelete
I would not mind more birthdays like that one!Delete
Lovely perfect days, yay for those.ReplyDelete
I made cheese enchiladas with meat sauce last night, my third attempt (maybe fourth) and I think I finally got it figured out. These were the best so far by far.
I went back in my FB profile and hid my birthday date because I was tired of the pressure of commenting HB on timelines except for the people I personally know. I had stopped doing it before that but then I thought how rude to expect others to wish me HB.
Damn. I love cheese enchiladas. I have to work on perfecting those too.Delete
I've thought about doing the same thing, Ellen. I'm torn. I really do love hearing from people far away.
Long time reader, 1st time commenter. Found out we share a birthday, so here's a belated present. The Glimmer Twins live in Texas, 1972. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
Well, hello, Jim Davis and thanks for commenting! Also, thanks for that video! I'd never seen it and it's terrific. I watched every second. The Heroin Years, I would say. Amazing what they could do even under the influence. And happy birthday to you!Delete
It is just fabulous, they truly enjoyed singing together. And then there's Mick Taylor, one of the best. "Play the guitar boy!!" And you are correct, those were the Heroin Years. Almost killed Taylor, but he survived somehow. Thanks for the B-Day wishes.Delete
Actually Jim Davis, not anonymous, hit the wrong keys. :)Delete
Mick Taylor was the prettiest boy. Keith never could figure out why he left the band. If you can be a Rolling Stone, why be anything else? But yes, drugs may have had something to do with.Delete
I especially loved that last cartoon. You had a good day, a very good day. I'm glad. I turn sixty this year and have decided to have a party. Should be interesting. Who knows if covid will be back:) My daughter is flying out to help me. She had a bad fall on Friday which shook her and me up. I think both of us worry that her MS is progressing, only time will tell.ReplyDelete
Sending hugs woman.
Yes! Have a birthday party! Do it up right!Delete
I'm sorry to hear about your daughter. I know how frightening this must be.