Jan 27, 2010

The day a fairy princess disappeared!

It is almost a month into 2010. And I do have to say that it feels less alien to write 2010 than it felt to scroll 2009. Hmm..now what might that mean? I am sure I will know in another short eleven month's time from now :)  Talking of new years, I realized only yesterday, that I had not written about the fantastic feast we had on new years. And this more than compensated for not going out to my favorite margarita bar, 'Border's cafe' in cambridge which was offering free cab rides back home! So you see, it was quite a feast. And I have not even uttered a word about it. Tut tut...

But there is a story to this feast. A fairy tale all set in a snowy town of cambridge..long back from now...

Snegurochka was walking down Chester Street and all the alleys in the little kingdom of Cambridge. She  wore a white sparkly hat and a matching set of mittens. Those were the only things she ever owned. It was the biggest blizzard of the year. The kingdom looked like a white ghost town. Every man-woman-child-dog-cat in had deserted the streets and were seeking comfort in low slung wooden houses. Seal oil lamps burnt in each home and there was a warm soup in every hearth. They were all trying to be warm. Something her father had stolen from the kingdom that very day. 

Her father had been angry with her that day and flew in a rage and painted the whole town white with snow and frost! And only because she had fallen in love..with warmth.  Why he hated the very idea of anything warm. And now there was no sign of anything warm anywhere. The little wooden doors were all shut close and she could see little lamps filling up the interiors with a warm glow.  She left her home, sad and sombre at the thought of the rest of her life in the cold white kingdom. But her mom told her, when she was little, that somewhere..in one of these little houses was hidden the warmth that she was looking for. Would she ever find it...If only she could find it ...

She had wandered the whole day. But she could not find anything. Not that she hoped for any miracle today. It was a regular happening in her life. Her father getting angry and painting the kingdom white..she becoming sad..and wandering the streets all alone...

And then Snegurouchka saw a house. A big white lawn in front all covered in snow and frost and the white pillars marking the entrance to the house.  A little white curtain was covering almost all of the small glass opening in the door. A tiny triangle was the only way she could spot what lay hidden inside. And for sure there was the warmth, and the love she had been looking for all her life and ...she ran to it. And pressed her ponity nose against the glass pane. There it was...all laid on the table and as the door started to open, there stood he and on the table lay dishes and dishes and dishes full of the best warm food, anyone in that kingdom could ever think of. And she began to melt..."

No one heard from Snegurouchka ever again. But somehow next day..there was warm food in every kitchen. For sure, Cambridge had blizzards after that day, but no one was afraid of blizzards anymore.  Whenever there was one, they all flocked to the table, sang merry and read the story of the winter maiden fell in love and disappeared one bizzardy night, long long time ago"

And here is the big secret. Only I know what was there on the table that day Snegurouchka disappeared. And I say this very secretly to you. So that anytime you have a sad blizzardy day, you can banish it forever and ever!! There was...  Parsley- Marjoram- Pasta and  Balsamic vinegar- Garlic- salmon. 

And here are the very coveted recipes...

Parsley- Marjoram- Pasta
2- servings of Pasta- any kind is good. Look at the label for serving size.
Two handfuls of fresh parsley-- finely chopped
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 tbsf of dried Marjoram. You can also use  dried or fresh Dill
2 tbsf extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Boil the pasta till done. Drain and let stand. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, Marjoram/ Dill and immediately add the drained pasta. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the parsley. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper

Balsamic vinegar- Garlic- salmon
1 lb of Salmon fillet- cut into squares. It is best to use wild caught as the farmed variety is full of carcinogens fed to the farmed fish
1 medium size onion. Coarsely chopped
1 Tomato- coarsely chopped
3 cloves of garlic- finely chopped

2 tbsf smoked paprika
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsf Basil or Dill
3 tbsf of olive oil

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Mix the paprika, Dill/ Basil and crushed garlic. Pat dry your fish and season both sides with half the spice mixture, salt and pepper. In a shallow skillet, heat 1.5 tbsf olive oil . For oilve oil, it is best to heat at low heat. Helps retain all the goodness and flavors of the best oil in the world! When oil is hot, add the fishes to it slowly. Try two minutes on each side to allow nice browning.  When both sides are done ( ~ 4 minutes), add the balsamic vinegar. Let things mix and match for a minute and then dish it out on a serving tray.
Now add the rest of the olive oil to the same skillet, and add the onions and tomatoes and saute briefly for a minute. Add the remaining spice mixture and saute for another minute. Season with salt and pepper and dish it out over and around the salmon.

Now, tell me wasn't this dinner really worth skipping a night out at a margarita pub with a free cab-ride. Or for that matter, doesn't this look like something Snegurouchka might actually have disappeared into folklore?

Happy eating and healthy living!

Special thanks to my friend Maria, for suggesting the folklore to me


Bob said...

That does look mighty good. Man, I don't even remember the last time I went to Borders. I haven't been there in years.

The Japanese Redneck said...

The pasta looks great.

I think I need a Margarita. My headache won't go away!

Catherine said...

Pasta looks and sounds delicious!

Ashley said...

These both look good - do you use fresh or dried marjoram in the pasta? I'm not sure how often I see fresh at my local store...

Pari said...

The balsamic vinegar must have added a great taste.Looks great.

Sayantani said...

wow nice spread JW. love the pasta especially.

Jhonny walker said...

Hi everyone, thanks so much

@ Ashley: Good thing you pointed it out. I used dried marjoram. Fresh is too difficult to find :)

A Year on the Grill said...

I feel like I just read that "Lady or the tiger" story from my childhood...

So, did the lady sacrifice herself to "save" everyone? Or by melting, did she become a part of the new world she saw in the window?

BTW, the other door did have the tiger

Jhonny walker said...

@ Year on the grill: the lady is not one for sacrifices...:) and she did not think she would melt either ...:)

Trix said...

Oh, I LOVE this story!!! So very Hans Christian Anderson of you. And the food is fantastic!

Chow and Chatter said...

great tale, love the salmon could i feature it on the Alaskan seafood blog, the owner would love u for choosing wild lol

rebeccasubbiah at yahoo dot com


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zurin said...

a very interesting tale of warmth!:)
salmon look slovely n wild is always better.

tq for visitng n leaving alovely comment! its good cos I found you.

PJ said...

You know I felt it too that writing 2010 was somehow more easily adaptable than 2009.. my theory is that its because this year is so palindromic (a lot of palindrome dates if you think about it!) In my case if I pronounce a year in two nibbles (like 20, 10) then the year seems less alien :)

Okay, enough of the palindrome year blabber :) The pasta and salmon both look delicious! love the marjoram, parsley addition to the pasta.. such lightly dressed pastas are my absolute favorites.

Jhonny walker said...

Thank you all

@ Trix: Wow..that's a compliment I would treasure :)
@ PJ: The palindrome makes a lot of sense. I guess I never thought like it. But when you say it, I can see the point!

Cinnamon-Girl♥ said...

I love your story! These delicious pasta and salmon dishes would comfort me for sure!

Anonymous said...

great read. I would love to follow you on twitter.