Children are amazing, aren't they? Their response to everything is so simple and pure. This is Shane, my 10 year old nephew, less than 24 hours after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his side.
My husband (the best husband in the world) asked him how he was feeling. A big two thumbs up is his reply. He is feeling strong. Which reminded me of muscles (mussels)
We don't have the results back from the biopsy yet so we don't know if this was stage 1,2,3 or 4 cancer and until then we won't know how the doctors want to proceed (radiation, chemo, combo of), but here he is, smiling his smile of life, feeling happy and strong. Now if that isn't a lesson for all of us, what is? The surgeon does feel that he was able to remove all of the tumor, that it had not spread to the bone or his abdominal cavity. Thank God and thank you for your prayers.
Jim is still in Michigan. He will come home tomorrow. He called last night, feeling very lonely and sad. How can that be? He was with his entire family, sister, brothers, mom and dad and all the assorted nieces and nephews (the littles, as I call them) that come with them and everyone is feeling happy and strong. His reply was that being with them, made him lonely for me. They were complete, and he wasn't. This is one of the reasons he is the best husband in the world.
I know how he feels. Yesterday, because I was lonely for him, I went to a beautiful place not far from our home. It is a low valley, cut out by a glacier thousands of years ago (I know this because the best husband in the world, who is a geologist, told me). It is called a glacial kettle. Over the years, one bulb at a time, thousands of daffodils have been planted here and, like daffodils do, they multiplied. Today, there are over 30,000 daffodils blooming in this kettle.
It is a beautiful place and brought me much peace. This glacial kettle also reminded me of
a. my husband and
b. a big black cast iron kettle I have.
Which reminded me of this simple, yet satisfying meal:
Mussel Pot for Two:
3 pounds Prince Edward Island (or your favorite, such as green lip) mussels, scrubbed and debearded. Click together any open mussels, if they don't close, discard them.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup white wine, such as Riesling (more for drinking with dinner)
1 small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
1 loaf crusty, french bread
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or better yet, a cast iron kettle if you have one. Add the shallots and saute until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and give it another minute. Add the wine and mussels, bring to a good simmer. Put a lid on it and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mussels open.
Throw a handful of chopped parsley in and stir. Discard any unopened mussels. Serve with crusty bread for dipping into the sauce and a good cold white wine.
Enjoy and stay happy and strong no matter what life hands you.
A Cooks Note:
You can substitute clams or large shrimp (in the shell) for the mussels. This is a great appetizer for 4 to 6 or a simple, light meal for two. Add a salad if you insist on greens.