Salmon and Socks

Salmon from Faroe Island is my favorite even after I learn it’s farm raised. I’m going to believe that fish farming in the Faroe Islands is more sustainable than other places. The water is icy and pristine. You can’t ruin this particular salmon by over cooking or under cooking.

I offered my granddaughter three choices for her sixteenth birthday dinner: Greek-style shrimp in tomato sauce served with feta and mint rice; shrimp scampi baked with toasted orzo; salmon with coconut-tomato sauce and coconut jasmine rice.

Or a different fish substituted for any of the above. Salmon won.

She always loves rice. My rice.

Feelings well up at birthdays for me. And turning sixteen! At least you’re out of the dreaded fifteen-year-old pack. And hopefully eighth grade is a distant memory and not a nightmare. Uphill from here I tell her.

The salmon is foil-covered and roasted in a pan with a quarter inch of buttery-water in a hot oven. After 15 minutes I turn the oven off and open the door a crack, forcing myself to not open the foil to peek. I let the fish and broth commune while I gather my wits.

Delicata squash lightly sautéed and steamed broccoli go to the table for passing. We plate in the kitchen: creamy rice centered with a plump square of salmon on top, tomato-coconut sauce encircling the mound like a moat.

We toast the birthday girl with varying drinks: hard cider, wine, a kombucha spritzer.

When the grandkids were small, it was easy buying clothes for gifts, but now not so much. Granddad is in charge of wrapping because he has his way. Paper bags stapled shut. A bonus if the bags have labels from some store to confuse the recipient. Numerous bags for fifteen pairs of socks litter the floor. When she was eleven I gave her multiples of socks and leggings. She was due for another bounty.

Writing this now I wonder why I didn’t buy sixteen pairs to match her years on earth. I guess once you get beyond the normal gift of two or three maybe four pairs, no one’s counting because there are too many. 

Kind of like who counts birthdays after sixty-nine?

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