At the most inconvenient times low lying clouds can settle in and leave me on the couch with nothing between me and the rest of the world but a blanket.
There are days I can build lists of everything that has to be done and check them off one by one, build a business, build a hair do, build confidence and then without more notice than a knock, days come few and far between and unpredicted. They lay in wait, heavy as concrete.
Nothing to do but grab on. I suggest buying a center cut 2 lb. piece of salmon with the skin still clinging to the flesh, smashing a few tablespoons of peppercorns with half as much fennel seed, same of coriander, 2/3 cup of kosher salt and 1/3 cup of sugar. Give it a drizzle of vodka. Put half on a sheet pan lined with parchment and plastic wrap, set the salmon over and rub the rest of the salt mixture on top. Cover with sprigs of thyme, parsley and bay leaves. Cover with another piece of plastic and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours, turning every 12 hours. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry. Slice as thinly as you can and serve it with your best pumpernickel and a mustard or creme fraiche. Pull out the cornichon and the tiny tomatoes and the French radishes and serve it with a main course of a whole chicken in a pot and a lemon pudding cake for dessert.

Chicken in a pot: make a huge pot of stock and leave it live and breathe on the edge of the stove for an afternoon with leeks, fresh sprigs of thyme and parsley, celery stalks, carrots, bay leaves, maybe even a tiny piece of bacon and an onion studded with a clove. After a while add a whole chicken and let it go for another hour. Eat it just like that or with a side of sliced saucisson and and thin slivers of carrots, celery, shallot and fennel tossed with a mustardy vinaigrette and some tiny capers.

Leave a Reply