Friday, March 29, 2019

Oh, my!

Whether it was all that stuff I've lately been reading on Country Life about Italy and the Mediterranean or whether it was just my burgeoning voracity for pasta, olive oil and Maldon salt that finally overtook me, this evening I not only went up to the trough but I got into it! Good bye diet and portions control! We had made the mistake earlier this morning of agreeing to go grocery shopping late this afternoon so I had all day during which to plot my scheme. It was not even 4:30 pm this afternoon when I willingly withdrew from my pleasant camp on the beach and headed to the apartment intent upon mischief! I can only add by way of expiation that I had earlier walked on the shore of the beach to the pier and swum back for the last quarter-mile. The sea was amazingly clear today.

Before I went to the beach around 1:00 pm the day began with its usual restraint at breakfast - black coffee, sliced green apple and steel-cut oats with bits of California dried figs (all my Sun-Maid raisins are gone in anticipation of our departure next week). The accompanying music this morning - should it matter - was the local FM radio station (I have momentarily exhausted my love affair with Ludovico Einaudi). Then I was on my bike to Bayfront Park. I presume - though honestly I cannot accurately recall - that along the way there I contemplated what I intended to cook this evening, reactivating in my mind the list of ingredients for Caribbean Pasta. My thoughts must have wavered in any event because I distinctly remember having fancied telephoning my addlepated alcoholic friend in Vancouver. But the wind on Sarasota Bay conspired against the utility of that proposal.

The afternoon on the beach was once again magical - almost cloudless blue sky, dazzling sunshine and burnishing heat. Oddly the temperature of the sea was not as warm as I would have expected - especially on such a calm day with only a light westerly wind - but otherwise perfectly agreeable. The walk to the pier made me wish I had taken my iPhone to capture some photos but I will have to rely upon my memory. When I regained my chaise longue after my walk and swim I chatted with a Canadian confederate who concludes her 3-month stint here and leaves on Monday next. She too will return next year - as she has reportedly done for the past five years or more. Her only complaint is that she misses companionship following her matrimonial separation. We agreed that having to go it alone is no fun at any age. Otherwise we confined our dialogue to travel and related matters.

Detouring the visit to Publix and getting down to the business of the evening meal, we began with sliced dried sausage and pickled hot peppers stuffed with prosciutto. The pasta was laced with olive oil, chopped garlic, fresh Cilantro and parsley, spicy pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes Julienne, slices of organic field tomatoes, shards of red pepper, halves of black and green pitted olives, all smothered in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. For sides there was a 5-grain baguette with Kerrygold Irish butter and a salad of sliced English cucumber swimming in fresh squeezed lemon juice topped with dried basil. Dessert was a choice of Key Lime pie and vanilla cream with berries wrapped in a cookie dough made with chocolate. There was no Maldon salt at the grocery store so I got coarse Kosher salt instead.  I put more than enough on my food but there was so much left over that I have added it to what remained in the pot and frying pan. The saltiness should mollify accordingly.

For the time being my plan is to drink more Perrier and get back to my regular eating plan.

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