Mussels mania continues unchecked at Harbal!
For many years, Thursday evenings at our place have been reserved for “Jesus dinner”, a simple repast befitting our Lord consisting of fish, bread, and wine. It grew out of my weekly foray to East Ann Arbor (EAA) medical campus, where higher ups deemed I should go see patients once a week. Out in EAA, you see, was the geriatric population and Lord knows how they might need a rheumatologist. My attachment to Geriatrics began long before they moved their clinic from the Cancer Center (joke: triage at entry, relief at which clinic you’re assigned). Old folks tend to appreciate the attention they get from doctors more, and their ailments can often be remedied by a light tweek. Unfortunately, they treated EAA as just another rheumatology clinic and I saw all comers. Eventually, I was able transform the resource into just for injections only. Patients and fellows liked this setup, patients as they were getting needs met at the hands of someone who knew what he was doing and fellows as they got concentrated exposure to doing these procedures. Still, the duty was a pain, requiring a 12 minute 5 mile drive right after Rheumatology Grand Rounds (I’ve always hated any clinic assignments you had to drive to). But the staff was nice and patients appreciative, so o.k.
Which brings us back to Jesus dinner. Right on the 10 minute drive home is Plum Market, with excellent bread, fish, and wine, which makes for simple delicious dinner. We weren’t doing this for long before we thought a certain pair of sandals would be welcome at our table, and the name stuck. During COVID, its helped that they do virtual wine tastings once or twice a month, conducted on Thursdays. You pick up your 2-3 bottles beforehand, then consume them while Madeline Triffon, their head wine babe, and her earthy vintner guests, talk you through the tasting. We’re happy we always have most excellent fish snacks to go with.
So I have a huge hankering to make more mussels after Tuesday’s big success. Aren’t mussels seafood? Could be a big problem for Jesus, as a Jew subject to those dreaded dietary laws.
“These you may eat, of all that are in the waters. Everything in the waters that has fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat. But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you. You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses. Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is detestable to you.”
No fins or scales on them mussels.
But I think Jesus was no big fan of the dietary laws
“Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”
So we proceded with our animules lacking fins or scales and took several liberties with last Tuesday’s recipe. Fewer mussels, wine not beer, more tomatoes, and some others; we invited our Lord, as always, and gave thanks and praised him for the goodness of our victuals. We shall ever watch what comes out of our mouths, as that is what defiles.
Here’s what came out of the pot
Per a recommendation I came across on-line, we paired it with the same wine I made it with: a least the first bottle. A rosé was called for, but our rosé stock was depleted, with a South African number from Kathy’s stay there years ago and a Lads 2 from our trip to the mission peninsula maybe 5 years back. Out tastes have changed since, and we poorly tolerate any sweetness. So we mainly drank our “fruit friendly” Bastide Miraflors 2018, a red. Suffering was minimal.
Here’s the recipe