The Phoenix fridge

It’s an amazing transformation that my refrigerator goes through when my husband leaves. There’s nothing in there but refreshments for Ferdinand and a head of broccoli. I’m hoping that Child Services doesn’t come around to do an inspection, because it’s not going to look good, and I can’t see them willing to think creatively about what I could possibly make for dinner for Ferd from what I have available.

My mother has many hidden talents, and another one of them is making something from nothing. It’s true that it can be embarassing when she goes so far as to steal lobster from a sea gull who had temporarily dropped the lobster on the beach. Or when she collects coals from other people’s finished fires to start her own in order to cook the thing, to make one darn good lobster salad. But we never went hungry, or had a dull meal.

Tonight Ferdinand is having a little minced shallot fried up in olive oil, with a few basil leaves from out back thrown in and the broccoli. (Steam the broccoli first for a minute before you throw it in with the shallot.) I have a lemon in the fridge, and I’ll zest some in, along with a squeeze of the juice, some freshly ground pepper, and some salt. Pecorino Romano wouldn’t hurt to finish it if I can find some, and my friend Teletha won a contest at the tomato festival yesterday and said I could come by to take a few. There you go. Nothing like a few sliced heirloom tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and salt on the side. Use the best olive oil you can get your hands on, one that speaks to you, moves you, and tastes like the fruite of the olive and grass you want to lie down in.

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