Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This my friends was the ending to a perfect day.
After a few rather fun/sorrow filled weeks, sweetie and I needed the kind of healing only the beach could bring. Instead of waking up as early as possible to drive to our favorite beach before the parking lots met maximum capacity, we opted to kick it old school, and ride the train to Manchester (by-the-Sea not to be confused with lesser Manchesters without a shoreline).
The ride was nice, the weather was perfect, and the water was less than excruciatingly cold. Perfect.
We had uncharacteristically planned ahead and our ride home was filled with anticipation for the yummy little critters in the crisper. I love mussels and I love how cheap they are, easily the most affordable seafood I'll put in my mouth. At the train station I asked Hubby if I should pick up a bottle of white wine for the broth, he said we probably didn't need it for a red sauce. While he wasn't entirely wrong, but I do regret listening to him.
We got home, and after a shower to wash off the saltiness I got chopping, onions, garlic, and ...drumroll ... fennel. I have never cooked with fennel before, it was a bit daunting. I have awful memories of blackjack gum as a kid so I've always stayed from anything even fainted anise scented, but this week I was feeling adventurous. I was late picking up or CSA box for one reason or another and by the time I made it down the hill the "supplemental items" tables was pretty picked over. There were some green beans, and more lettuce, and a few lonely fennel bulbs? plants? (how do you discus more than one unit of fennel). If i could get Hubby to like beets I could get myself to like fennel damn it, so I took it and didn't look back.
So I made my lovely broth with the onions and the garlic, fennel and diced tomatoes (really could have used a splash of wine) and it was fabulous. I loved the flavor the fennel added to the broth and the musells, it made for great sop. I even used the pretty little fronds for garnish. I went fennel crazy my first time out of the gate and I'll be honest I liked it.
Along with some oven fries and AMAZING corn on the cob our meal paired perfectly with our sun-drunkenness.


annu said...

while i whole-heartedly applaud your daring foray into the world of fennel, i have to say the best ever beach day in the history of time (slight exaggeration) was the full day we shared of eating, drinking, swimming, eating, drinking, seals, swimming, drinking, eating, frisbee, seals, eating, drinking . . . on cape cod.

caitlin said...

you forgot about waving at the sea dogs!