Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stress and Mussels

I don't get stressed about too many things but the one thing that will really set me off is clutter. 

You know what I'm talking about. 



Last night the kidadult from college returned for the summer. I'm not sure but I think he moved sometime during the year from his pint sized dorm room to a 12 room mansion because that's how much stuff he brought back. 

And it is multiplying on its own. When I went to bed last night I was somewhat pleased that it only took TBHITW, the college boy and the 16 year old about 15 minutes to unload the SUV (and overhead). I remarked what a simple job that was to which all three of them replied, "oh yeah, there wasn't that much stuff to bring home". 

This morning I awoke to a set of hand weights, some dirty laundry, a winter coat, a ski helmet and some socks on my kitchen table. Upon entering the family room I noticed right away (I'm clever like that) that we no longer had a floor - rather just piles and piles of pillows, blankets, book bags, 3 (yes, 3!) 4 foot by 2 foot plastic bins with lids with god knows what inside of them. Two desk lamps, various CD's, a stereo, speakers, a game system that I didn't know we owned and random laundry bags (I only recalled giving him one laundry bag)... I'm not even going to mention his bedroom, I just closed the door on that one.

I am stressed. Clutter stresses me out. 

When I get stressed I turn to comfort food (who doesn't?). Mussels are a perfect spring dinner. Add a cold glass of white wine, a crusty loaf of bread, sit back and keep telling yourself he goes back in a just a few short months.....

The Good Cook's Mussel Pot: (serves 2)

2 pounds of the freshest mussels you can find, scrubbed and debearded. If any are open, gently click them together, if they don't close, discard them.
1 shallot, minced
1 cup cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc or pino grigio work well here)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch red pepper flakes

Melt the butter in a large dutch oven or skillet (big enough to hold all the mussels with a lid)
Add the shallots and gently saute until soft.
Add the garlic and stir for a minute.
Add the wine, the parsley and the red pepper flakes and bring to a boil.
Add the mussels, stir to coat and bring back to a boil. Cover. Continue to cook until all mussels are open and cooked through - about 6 to 8 minutes. Discard any mussels that didn't open. 

Serve in big bowls, ladling some of the broth over the hot mussels. Pass crusty bread for sopping up the broth. 

Dream of autumn. 


  1. Oh no! Put that foot down of yours! My mother would throw my belongings in the front yard. She really would! She'd do it so nicely I couldn't argue with her.
    "MOM!!!! Where are my gym shoes and history book?"
    "They're in the front yard, baby doll."
    "Keep them in your room and I'll keep them out of the yard."

    One of the fondest memories I have of growing up with my mother.

  2. I'm with you, clutter is stressful. My kids are at the age where I can easily clean up their clutter myself. My husband has learned that if he leaves stuff just lying around he may never see it again. I have a tendency to move things so that they are more aesthetically appealing without the ability to remember where I put them. I'm not sure what I'll do when my kids get older...

  3. I love mussels, but no one else around here does... I may get them in a restaurant occasionally..

  4. Oh, I understand about adult/kid clutter. They have more stuff than when they were young! I just throw it all in their room, close the door and pretend it's not there! Those mussels sure sound good!

  5. Oh noooo the clutter!! I live in an OCD heaven - the doors always open - so long as you promise to cook :0)

  6. I'm stressed too. Put Pie is getting sick and we're supposed to go on a plane next week. If she doesn't get better, I'll have to go solo. I made myself a big batch of ravioli (I didn't make the ravioli from scratch) to help with my stress.

    I hope your home gets uncluttered soon.

  7. I am so with you on this one. It makes me cranky to see piles of stuff. I do remember well when my lovelies were home between dorm and apartments. I always wondered how they forgot all the rules so quickly.

  8. Phoebe - I may have to adopt your mother's form of straightening up my house.

    Whitney - I don't mind if their rooms are a mess, I just close the door, but common areas? MOVE YOUR STUFF!

    Buffalo - I'm the only one who eats them here (TBHITW will eat one or two) but sometimes I cook just for me and no one else! Happy Cook - happy everyone

    Eternally - I cook for clean

    Unknown - Oh, life is just the worse when the littles are sick. I'm hoping for a quick recovery and safe travels for everyone.

    Nancy - not so gentle rule reminders have been spewing out of my mouth all weekend long... I think he is getting the message as most of the stuff has disappeared. I'm not opening any closet doors though....


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