It was 7 a.m. straight up when I stepped out the front door, cutting right on a diagonal path in the woods onto an old fire lane. Ten more steps and my toes were soaked wet through my socks, morning dew over the dam of my canvas jogging shoes.
It was a morning of walking into spider webs and considering the possibility of tiny black deer ticks catching in my hair and crawling into the nautilus chamber of my ear, secreting themselves and seeking purchase on some cartilaginous promontory.
I emerged from the woods at 8:15 a.m., stripped off my sodden shoes, socks, jogging shorts and tank top and jumped like a kid into the pool. Maggie met me at the edge after the first lap, leaning over me in that wrinkled-face dog look, the persona I call “Yoda-head” — long pink tongue kissing my eyelids.
Later in the day, Buck and I went fishing at Joe Patti’s Seafood, snagged a couple of swordfish fillets and returned home in time to get soaked to the skin opening the old farm gate when a thunderbumper just wouldn’t let up.
It was a farmer’s rain, straight down, full, slow into the thirsty ground. Who in their right mind would refuse that bounty?
Word on the street is that swordfish has an extra soupcon of heavy lead these days that makes it dangerous to enjoy too often. Aren’t there people in Japan who die every year from the near ecstasy of a misbegotten bite of fish?
Tonight’s delicious poison was marinated in olive oil, oregano, fresh-squeezed orange and lime juices, crushed garlic and tellicherry black pepper (ground up in my favorite gadget, a battery-operated pepper grinder).
A bright sunset lingered after the rain. I ran out onto the damp ground with a pair of kitchen shears to fetch some rosemary tops and Greek oregano sprigs for the money shot. The lagniappe in the bottom left corner is a few leftover marinated artichoke hearts.
The lesson here: seeds of genius are often in the unplanned, leftover bits, tossed in with an air of abandon that says, “So what? It looks pretty on the plate. Left in the refrigerator it will turn into one more blue-green furred science project.” Et voila’ — the mysterious funky taste of the chokes elevates the Mediterranean essence of the fish, the asparagus, the tomato and the capers into a slow cruise on blue green waters.