Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

Here on the Gulf coast of Florida up toward the Alabama end of the Panhandle, we’re enjoying stunning cool mornings, dry sunny days, and nights just right for leaving the screen doors open to hear owls and other night birds. We have good things in the freezer: I’m thinking of the loaded with beans turkey chili and the minestrone we love to top with pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.

Buck and I will surely make a foray to the waterfront and visit Joe Patti’s Seafood for some shrimp and possibly a container of lump crab meat. I told Buck last week that if it came to a choice between spending money on a week in the mountains or feasting here on lump crab meat, it puts the money we’ll spend on jumbo lump into perspective. It’s expensive, for sure, but we can eat this delicacy every week for years and not come close to what a week’s rental in Western North Carolina or the Georgia mountains would cost.

We’ll poach some shrimp for dipping in a spicy cocktail sauce, enjoyed alongside room temp jumbo lump crab to drag through warm lemon butter sauce. Another night of shrimp will be reserved for stir-fried sesame shrimp with spinach. The remainder of the crab will be a starter for a simple supper of tiny meatballs made with turkey and herbs.

There’s a wonderful recipe from chef and author Rebecca Katz that uses canned red salmon. I discovered it when Buck was undergoing chemo and radiation for mantle cell lymphoma — successfully treated by Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville Florida. It’s called Mediterranean Salmon with Caper Salsa. Makes a nice lunch or a terrific supper served on butter lettuce with sliced tomatoes and classic deviled eggs.

Finally, I ran across a recipe for Chicken Fricassee. Whoa, that propelled me into the past, Mother at the stove before when I was a child, before spiders built webs in her brain and short-circuited her fine mind. Chicken Fricassee. Can I cook that? Do I want to? We’ll see this week. I have the ingredients: chicken, broth, leeks, carrots, mushrooms, dry vermouth and cream. Will I need to visit a shrink if I make this dish? Or the new Rector? Or will I be healed? I’ll post pictures and let you know whether it’s a cosmic experience or just, you know, — chicken.




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