food therapy

It all started one evening at the beginning of November. I was feeling down and out. My dad, in his eerie way, could tell that something was wrong though all I had uttered so far was, "Hello?." Or does it even take you that long to have me pegged, Dad? From your end of the line in Ohio, do you detect something even pre-"Hello" that lets you know I'm not quite myself? Whatever the case, we talked that evening and Dad cheered me up as only Dad can. Just one week later he would be arriving in Cambridge for a visit! I couldn't wait.

Apparently, neither could he. Unable to jump immediately on a Boston-bound plane, Dad sent some salty little harbingers to buoy me until his arrival. A few days after our conversation, a package arrived. Inside, atop a beautiful, tissue paper wrapped bundle, sat the following note:

Yes, Dad had sent me sardines. Imagine my surprise and delight! There is nothing like two red tins of sardines, delicately placed on a cushion of crumpled tissue paper to lift the spirits. I laughed my head off. This was food therapy at its best.

I ate the first set of sardines (item #1 in Dad's note, above) with a fork right out of the tin. A few days later, I tried Dad's sardine sandwich (item #2). It was everything the note had promised: pungent and delicious.

With these two humble tins of sardines, I was off, down the briny road to the tinned fish shelf at Whole Foods. I filled my basket with tidy packs of herring, mackerel, anchovies, and, of course, more sardines. Mostly I'm a directly from the tin kind of girl, but tonight I decided to take some anchovies to the next level by incorporating them into a dish.

I washed and dried some organic romaine. Using my mother-in-law's flawless technique (thank you, Sarah!), I peeled and segmented a grapefruit. Finally, I opened the little yellow tin of Roland anchovies and eyed the pleasing circles of fish wrapped around single capers.

Onto the salad they went, and a splash of oil and vinegar and a grind of pepper later, I was ready to dig in. Notes for next time: I'll try broiling the grapefruit and adding something a little sweet to the vinaigrette to cut the salt and tanginess.

I'll close with a pic:

Good night, lan' lubbers!


Rupinder Bisla said...

guess what i had for breakfast this morning... toast! and it was grand! thanks for the inspiration, jessa wessa.

Rupinder Bisla said...

At two AM last night, I decided to crack open a can of sardines. I enjoyed them thoroughly, but then felt a little bit sick later.

Shoot, I just realized there may not be more sweet amandine till after Shabbas. Guess its back to reading about cosmopolitan norms ;)

Love you lots. Hello to Elibelly.

EEJ said...

Tuna packed in olive oil! Dressed with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice (or balsamic). Top with a couple capers or black olives and pile on TOAST for a delicioius snack.

jess said...

I'm with you, EEJ. Tuna minus the mayo is so refreshing. And transgressive enough in this country to make me feel a little dangerous. (insert throaty growl)