How Missing Boston Pride led to Fideos Style Mussels
On Saturday June 6, 20ll Boston hosted its fabulous annual Pride Parade and alas we missed it. I’m certain it was a glorious glitter fest and can’t wait to see the photos that will certainly hit Facebook in the days to come. So why did I miss all the glitter and rainbows? Well as it turns out I’m one of those people who just can’t handle last minute rescheduling very well. Admittedly few events ever make it onto my calendar but if an event does make it, it puts me out in the worst way when I am asked or in most cases usually forced to rearrange my schedule. It drives me insane. Saturday June 6th my little calendar square held such an event. I had scheduled us both cut and styles at Changes Salon (http://www.changessalon.net/) and I just couldn’t bare the aggravation of rescheduling yet again. I was also still recovering from the slight melt down caused by the second rescheduling of my precious Fee’s knee surgery. I was all emotionally prepared to leave my little fur-baby at the vets and then the surgery was pushed back not once but twice. Needless to say, when friends called us at the last minute asking us to join them in Boston for the Pride Parade I unapologetically declined. Our salon appointments were kept and Pride missed. Edward, my fabulous stylist, spent and hour and fifteen glorious minutes making me feel absolutely gorgeous and so it was worth every speck of glitter I missed.
After we were both properly pampered we meandered across the street from Changes to Thornes Market and enjoyed a bit of window shopping. Then we drove over to River Valley Market & Co-Op. (http://rivervalleymarket.coop/) for a gorgeous slab of their fresh cured bacon, which Amy craves from time to time. Now River Valley Market is the sort of place, just like Whole Foods, where I remind Amy before entering the store, “DO NOT leave me alone with the cart!” The Market has so many wonderfully fresh, local ingredients and a plethora of hard to find tidbits I need for my exotic recipes just lying around pleading with me to take them home. It’s just not the sort of place I should be left alone.
It seems I have a serious condition akin to a blackout. Let’s call it a locally grown, farm fresh, organic sensory overload blackout. You see, Amy has this tendency to disappear in the red wine section. She loses herself somewhere between the red blends and Petite Syrah isle. It’s like she’s stepped into a red wine wardrobe leading to the enchanted Land of Vineyards. During her quest for the perfect bottle of red (or two or three) is when I experience my blackouts. Time slips away from me and with it my consciousness. These artisanal blackouts frighten me (and our bank account) but when the siren call of red, red wine sings to Amy she’s little help to me. Inevitably she leaves me unattended with our shopping cart every single time. Once she’s battled the difficult decision of which red wine will rule over her weekend, Amy finally finds her way back to me. Bursting with excitement, Amy begins describing her choice of wine to me and somehow this manages to pull me back into reality. I stand next to the cart halfway listening to Amy while silently asking myself, “What’s all this stuff ? None of this is on my list!” I am completely dumbfounded as to how dried Seaweed, a bottle of Champagne, Chicken Chorizo Sausage, and two pounds of P.E.I Mussels found their way into my cart. We just came in for a slab of bacon! Maybe I’m allergic to something in these marvelous organic stores that causes my bizarre blackouts. They are an unsolved mystery for sure, maybe even an X-File. All I know is I have a serious condition and I’ve been far too ashamed to talk about it before now. If anyone is aware of a treatment program or support group please let me know.
So with both of us finally back in reality, we make our way to the butcher counter for the bacon and it’s decided our very next stop is the cashier, with no additional detours on our way there either! Slab of bacon in hand, we make our way to the cash registers and wrap up our shopping trip at River Valley. A whopping ninety-five dollars poorer, we silently walk the green mile from the cash register across the parking lot to the Baja. Without a word, we tuck the groceries safely away and take our seats in the truck and then slowly make perplexed and shameful eye contact with one another.
After a few awkward moments of silence Amy finally says, “We only went in for one thing T.”
“Well you were the one who wanted bacon and I warned you not to leave me alone with the cart”, I reply a little too defensively. Five minutes later we are discussing what we should do for dinner.
So with P.E.I Mussels and Chicken Chorizo Sausage in hand I definitely know I am enjoying the flavors of Spain for dinner. However my precious Amy will not eat Mussels and she is slightly frightened of meat in tube from. So I had to put my thinking cap on and devise a plan for two separate dinners. Of course I am exhilarated by the challenge. For my dish I chose a play on the Spanish dish Fideos, which roughly translated is broken thin toasted pasta usually tossed with seafood in a tomato sauce with saffron and smoked Spanish Paprika. For the second dish I had a bottle of French red wine and nothing else for inspiration really but since it was pasta for me I decided it was pasta for her as well. So for Ames I whipped up a rustic yet delicious red wine and mushroom sauce with fresh tomatoes and basil tossed over whole wheat chiocciole. We each enjoyed a healthy helping of our beautifully different pasta dishes for dinner, and then wrapped up our evening freaking ourselves out watching episodes of “Ghost Adventures: Haunted Hospitals”
By the end of the day both of us had completely forgotten that we missed the Boston Pride Parade.
Toasted Vermicelli with Mussels and Chorizo
1-2 lbs Mussels
1 link Chicken Chorizo Sausage (use pork if you like)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 gloves garlic chopped
1 generous handful of Fideos, Angle Hair Pasta, or Vermicelli, broken into pieces about the length of a thumb
EVOO ~ roughly measured so about 2 tablespoons
1 can chopped tomato with their juices
1 cup of dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, more or less to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a medium sized Dutch oven, heat the EVOO until shimmering. Add in the chopped onion and sauté until golden in color. Add next the broken pasta pieces and using tongs toss the pasta consistently until it is golden in color. Remove toasted pasta and onion onto a resting plate. To the Dutch oven now add the Chicken Chorizo Sausage and stir until broken up and sausage begins to brown. Add next the chopped garlic and sauté a couple of minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the cup of dry white wine releasing all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula. Bring to a simmer and add the tomatoes, saffron, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and toasted pasta. Allow to simmer at least 15 minutes on med-low or until pasta has just cooked through. Lastly add in the Mussels and cover with lid (at this stage check to make sure the dish hasn’t thickened too much and if so add in a splash of water and adjust seasonings). Cook the mussels 4 – 5 minutes or until they open up. Immediately discard any Mussels that do not open Serve hot and garnish with chopped fresh parsley.