Dear Beautiful People, my granddaughter Alisia has just been accepted to Barnard, an independent women’s college, which is also one of the Seven Sisters schools and a part of Columbia University, an Ivy League school.
To celebrate, she broke her College Fund piggy bank where she found all of $50 – about enough to buy a cup of designer coffee in New York.
The little girl who went to 1st grade 12 years ago, grew up so fast…
…together with her tree. She wants to major in social policies, with emphasis on urban development, and she is quite attuned to social issues.
Her determined, energetic personality is expressed in the way she decorated her room. This summer, as we visited my son and his family in Boston, Alisia and I spent evenings talking about her plans, her values, her poetry and short stories, and her outlook on life.
Catch a glimpse of her published poem, and here is her explanation of what has prompted it:
Alisia is not only a writer; she is an accomplished singer.
(This image will eventually be replaced by a video which I am unable to upload at the moment, as I am being forced to transition to an upgrade).
What does all this excitement have to do with fish? Nothing but a geographical location. You see, Alisia grew up on the boat, and the boat, like the tree, grew together with her, from a little 16-footer, to a respectable 26 ft, with a cabin and all amenities. The weather decided to cooperate during our visit, and we were ale to go sailing every day. From Boston harbor, we went through the locks into Charles river, where we dropped anchor to have lunch right in front of the famous Harvard Newell boathouse, built in 1900. As a curious cat, I couldn’t help it, but dove overboard and swam close to it to take a look, since entrance from land is not open to public. We also got to see the USS Constitution, “a national icon for more than 200 years” (USS Constitution Museum press release) and even enjoy the re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party.
Don’t give up – we are coming to the fish now. As we sailed to Manchester (there is a town called Manchester in Massachusetts) with a special purpose to raid my favorite used and rare books store, my son found and presented me with a true gem, A Taste of Gloucester, written and compiled by the fishermen’s wives of Gloucester. This is as authentic, as you can ever get, Beautiful People, and this recipe comes straight from this precious little book.
Truly simple, yet delicious, it starts with fresh or frozen fish. The recipe calls for frozen cod or whiting, which are common Northeastern fish, but I happened to have fresh red snapper that flakes just as easily, so in it went into the baking pan, lightly misted with oil. I sprinkled it with salt, pepper, and paprika, arranged mixed vegetables on top and between, and dotted the whole mess with Smart Balance.
While the fish was baking, I heated up light pareve (non-dairy) cream, and after 20 minutes poured it over fish and veggies. In it went for five more minutes, and it was ready to serve. These hard-working ladies really knew their stuff!
A delightful poem by a local poet Yon Swanson that opens this book is a fitting tribute to fishermen’s wives.
As fast and easy, and seemingly unsophisticated as it is, this dish is immensely enjoyable in its own rustic fashion, reminiscent of rich and rewarding history of the region. The original recipe is here copied from the book – enjoy!