Even though I live in a coastal state, I struggle to find affordable, wild-caught, non-frozen fish for dinner. Mussels are reliably good and inexpensive, but J doesn't like shellfish; haddock and pollack are dull but predictable; smelts are delicious but there aren't that many different ways to prepare them. . . . So yesterday I settled for haddock, which I cut into serving-size pieces and breaded with seasoned flour, egg, and a mixture of sourdough bread crumbs (from my own bread), parmesan, fresh parsley, and garlic. Then I browned the pieces in a small amount of peanut oil. The result was fine but not scintillating: next time I'll use olive oil and lots more garlic. The problem is that haddock tastes like nothing, which I find disheartening in a meal. Fortunately I also made butter-and-parsley potatoes, which tasted like real food, as did the arugula and tomato salad. I tried to think of them as a pleasant outline around the negative-space main dish.
Meanwhile, Monday has arrived with a bang (i.e., the dog threw up on the rug).
What would John Fletcher say?
Weep no more, nor sigh nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that's gone;
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again;
Trim thy locks, look cheerfully,
Fate's hidden ends eyes cannot see.
Joys as winged dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no moe.
[from The Queen of Corinth, c. 1617]
I hope you made it all the way to the end of that ditty and are now laughing.
Also, if it's any comfort, Fletcher died of the plague, which I think I can safely say will happen to none of this blog's readers today. Don't you think there's something uplifting about starting your day confident in the knowledge that you won't die of plague? I mean, look for your joys where you can find them.