when I woke up this morning I didn’t say a word until I saw the sun come up from behind the broken wall at the back of the garden behind the fig tree that after a long dry spell has begun to bear fruit. One fruit. Enough. Enough to show there is something in there.
I put the music on.
I said, “C’mon everybody, (that’s me) let’s clap.” My signal to move.
To get up.
I thought about hake with clams from the Spanish-French border. My sister wrote to tell me she had her DNA done. Cells from this border are apparently swimming in my blood stream.
Rinse your clams.
Rinse the bones and head of a hake body and bring it to a simmer with a bay leaf, a parsley sprig, and a spill of olive oil. Keep it going for about a half hour. In a heavy frying pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 3 small cloves of finely minced garlic and 1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley and quietly give the garlic a hint of color. Add 1 level tablespoon of flour and whisk until the flour tastes like freshly baked shortbread. Pour in half a cup of a good sharp white wine. Simmer. Add a few ladlefuls of skimmed fish broth. Reduce for 2 minutes. Add 4 hake filets and very gently simmer, almost like the pan is holding its breath, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fillets. Add the clams, tiny as you can find them, and cover without every leaving what is happening until the clams pop. Serve with the best bread you can get your hands on.