So as if by design, upon my return our neighbor Kenny had just brought some rainbows he caught at one of his favorite spots upstream. Combined with the (not quite seamless, but pretty close) overlapping of the bolting winter greens and fast-arriving new ones, the stage was set for exactly the kind of homecoming dinner I had been craving while I survived on coffee, carbs, and wine all weekend. Milo was so happy to see me; he told me over and over again how much he missed me and loves me and couldn’t wait for me to come home. It was mutual. We toured the yard and garden, choosing the components of our dinner (the wife works late tonight.)
To begin with, for those of you with kids, I offer this free bit of advice. If you’re like me (and I know I am) you make smoothies with some regularity since they’re sweet, creamy, and decadent yet can be completely vegan and sugar free; they’re the perfect guilt-free treat for a kid who needs a little boost or reward. In this case, it was soy milk, a banana, cherry juice, a bit of cocoa, and honey. Now if you take the smoothie that choice and/or circumstance have dictated and then run it- as is- through your ice cream machine for 20 minutes, you’ve turned it into the ne plus ultra of guilt-free kid treats and made yourself look like a god at the same time. Plus, it makes a light and elegant dessert for the big people later on. You’re welcome.
So for the trout, my favorite preparation: en papillote with garlic, butter, and garlic chives. While it baked, I made polenta and cooked a big handful of garlic chives in a 50-50 mix of butter and olive oil. Once bright green, I puréed them in the blender, let them sit for a bit, then strained the oil into a small bowl. I briefly sautéed our radishes and ramps, then wilted turnip greens with a splash of rice vinegar in the same pan.
The flavors were just right, but being short on time the chive oil suffered from not being able to sit for a day to infuse before being strained. Having said that, the fact that fish and polenta (and even butter) were super-local- and we grew all the plants- combined with the ultra-adorable company made it into the epitome of homecomings; the flowering trees may all bursting forth in NYC (and they’re beautiful) but since I was indoors nearly the whole time I didn’t get to enjoy them. While down there I also picked up the rest of the wine I bought from Mary, and thus was finally able to enjoy a 2005 Jacky Blot “Domaine de la Taille aux Loups” Vouvray that is a tangy, buttery joy with this kind of honest food.