Sunday, August 4, 2013

Coquilles St. Jacques

One of my best meals ever was the day (yep, just one day) I went to France and ate in a seafood restaurant in Calais. Steve had a short term assignment in southeast England and I went to visit him. For a week, I was on my own during the day. One day, I took the ferry from Dover to Calais.

My French seafood vocabulary consisted of this: things I liked such as homard, crevettes, saumon and best of all, coquilles! And what I didn't like: huiles and  moules. I think in school, the only word we learned was 'poisson' which to me sounded apt as I wasn't much of a fish fan. Most of the menu including the Prix Fixe was a big mystery to me but then I spotted the coquilles...yum!

Last night I took Shanna for her belated birthday dinner to this pan-French -Italian place that has been here for years. She planned in advance to get 'saumon en croute' until I said something about how I couldn't believe she overlooked the scallops and she quickly switched her choice. That is one way we are the same, never by-pass scallops. Also never overlook anything almondy, the  more  almondy, the better. Thus our almond torte dessert and garlicky 'crevettes' for an appetizer. And wine though she prefers white, not red.

I awoke to fairly strong north winds this morning for my bike ride. Going north on my usual route means going uphill so it was tough going for a while..but then, a breeze coming home.

Will I finally get cracking on my project? I better.

Steve is outside trying to capture the boy hummingbird on film, hard to do. One of the females is much easier as she spends a lot of time just perched near our feeders guarding them against the other hummingbirds whom she will chase away but she isn't as pretty.

My friend the other day had several types of swallows very quickly skimming her lawn for bugs. I was trying to identify them all, hard as they are so very fast. The most common kind are the ones that tormented my son dive bombing his face in groups of 5, barn swallows. They presumably fly 600 miles a day catching bugs mostly in tight circles. I couldn't see their very forked tails as they were a blur but I saw their orangish chest. There were white bellied ones flying around too. Near our house, the nature center has filled to the brim purple martin houses. They prefer to skim water for bugs. And my chimney swifts, who fortunately have not chosen for a while to live in my chimney, are gone already. They noisily hunt for bugs way up above the roofs. They allegedly fly to Peru for the winter. Usually they hang around a few more weeks. Do they know something I don't know?

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