Monday, May 15, 2006

Put your Lemon Drops on Ice!
Did you get the word? Oprah's Legends Ball has been preempted by none other than George W. For all of you who've invited friends, mixed up gallons of Oprah's fabulous lemon drop martinis and for those of you who've even bought the fixin's for Rachel Ray's 5 minute all has to wait until next week. Quel dommage. I strongly suggest the lemon drops be consumed prior to the President's address on the immigration crisis - it'll help to be mellow while you listen to that fellow.
Speaking of George W, I've just started a book he would do well to read or have read to him, Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers - How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth.
We each need to understand what is happening to our planet so that we can take steps to bring about decisive action. The news over the weekend was a prime example of the havoc weather is playing. In Florida, people lost homes to wildfires because of lack of rain. In New England, people are being flooded out of their homes because of unprecedented rainfall. Global warming is affecting all parts of the world - meanwhile our executive administration is sitting on its hands in denial. It's so obvious with the extreme change in weather patterns that something is amiss.
We have to get our heads out of the sand and start urging our representatives to move in the right direction to ensure we have a planet for future generations. Meanwhile, there are millions of us who can each do his part to try to remedy the mess we've made in the name of progress.
On the lighter side, if you're looking for a good read, check out Lisa Unger's Beautiful Lies. For a first novel, this is a swift page turner with writing that doesn't ring of formula and characters with depth involved in an interesting mystery. And she's from Florida!
For sheer beauty of words and emotions, Anita Brookner is hard to beat. I first ran across her work a few years ago with her latest novel, The Rules of Engagement, and entertained myself this Mother's Day with her 1984 Booker Prize winner, Hotel Du Lac. Fascinating characters in a delightful Swiss setting elegantly depicting a range of human emotions moving the story to a surprising climax. I highly recommend getting acquainted with Ms. Brookner's work.
Dining Indulgence
A simple meal can take on gourmet proportions with the generous use of a kitchen staple that has been relegated to the "bad for you" list for way too long. I speak of butter...sweet cream, unsalted, high butter fat BUTTER. Fish fillets prepared a la Meuniere (no accent marks in this format, sorry) is a quick, easy weeknight preparation that would impress the fussiest dinner guest. I use tilapia fillets on a regular basis but any white fleshed, mild fish will do: cod, haddock, sea bass, flounder, etc. The instructions listed are for four servings...easily reduce the amount of butter and parsley to accommodate one or two servings.
Fish Fillets a la Meuniere
4 fillets of white fleshed fish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour (I like Wondra but AP will do)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lemon, halved and seeded
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (flat leaf preferred)
1. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and lightly coat with flour, shake off excess.
2. Use a skillet large enough to hold fish in a single layer, place over medium high heat. Add 4 tbs butter. When butter starts to foam, add fish and saute, turning once until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer fish to serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Discard butter from pan.
3. Add remaining butter to pan over medium heat, add a generous pinch of salt and allow butter to foam. When foam subsides and the butter turns lightly brown, squeeze in all the juice from both lemon halves and add parsley. Swirl pan to blend and spoon sauce over fish. Serve immediately.
Kick this up a notch by mincing two large cloves of garlic and adding to butter along with lemon juice and parsley. Either variation is lovely with petite peas and roasted cauliflower. Another quick and easy weeknight dinner!


Greg said...

The description sounds delightful, but not the name. Manure? =]


Anonymous said...

So how do you make a lemon drop martini? I could use one now.

Joyce said...

So could I! Freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, mint and VODKA.
Check out for complete instructions!