01 March 2005

Oral pleasure

Yep, it snowed last night. Again. It snowed. Another 8 inches.

It was supposed to be just 2 to 4 inches followed by rain, by they lie, lie, lie. Lies and deceit, that's what they give me. Nothing but lies and deceit.

I drove home from rehearsal last night through the worst of the snowfall and high winds, and I was foolishly driving a very nice high school freshman girl home at the same time. Now, if I had been alone, I would have been white-knuckling it all the way, freaking out and making faintly Beeker-ish noises to myself (MEEEP! MEEEP-MEEEEP!). As it was I had to force myself to be all cheerful and calm, saying shit like "well, this is really somethin', huh?" trying to chuckle heartily and make some reassuring dimples magically appear on my cheeks as I go cheerfully skidding into the oncoming traffic.

There's nothing quite like driving a very young person around (for whom you are suddenly legally responsible) to make you painfully aware of the mechanical and safety deficiencies of your thousand-dollar-car. Oh, that clicking noise you hear near the front wheels? Oh, no, dear, that's certainly not my CV joint about to shatter into a million pieces! Anything but! That inspection sticker with the big capital "R" prominently displayed in the center? Gosh no, that doesn't stand for "Rejected!" Where did you hear that? It, um, I think it stands for "Right on!" And that excessive skidding? Well, I can tell you that has absolutely nothing to do with bald tires. No siree! Is your seatbelt fastened? Can you see my dimples? Reassuring, aren't they?

This winter is really starting to get to me.

So tonight I had a little culinary therapy. It's my favorite kind of therapy, especially if you count mixing dirty martinis as a culinary skill. After soothing my nerves with a delicious martini with extra olives and a bowl of roasted cashews (very 1950's, but really, you should try. there's a reason such things were popular) I shucked a half a dozen littleneck clams and placed them, on the half-shell, in a neat little circle on a small, fancifully decorated plate, garnished with a dab of cocktail sauce and a lemon wedge. Then I broiled up a lovely bit of fresh cod (and on Cape Cod, it had damn well better be fresh) with just salt, pepper, lemon, and olive oil. A little pile of long-grained brown rice steeped in saffron and garlic on the side, and we are good to go.

If you ever need to remind yourself that yes, one day it will be summer, and there will be sunshine, and traffic, and seagulls, and tourists, and seasonal workers speaking a babel of languages on the beaches, and the singular aroma of suntan lotion and hot baked sand mingling in your nostrils, just slurp down a few littleneck clams on the half-shell. They are exquisitely tasty this time of year, and you deserve it. (They also cost about a quarter a clam if you buy them at the fish market and shuck them yourself.) That's summertime, baby, right there. In your mouth. On your tongue. Oooooh, heaven.

But don't forget the martini. Even heaven needs a little help.

No comments: