Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Thoughts on fish, arts and crafts, and love

February 14 is becoming more and more of a non-event in the Aquino household as each year passes. Tonight Derrick has an office thing (or is it fling?) so I'm "celebrating" with my son and Yaya Beth.

Joaquin brought home a huge red card for me today, decorated with paper hearts arranged like petals of a flower, with a tiny, grainy picture of him right smack in the middle. Inside is a cut-out of a joyful bear hugging a heart, and a red crayon, held in Joaquin's tiny fists like a prisoner, obviously ran amuck. I know I should be touched, but it was undoubtedtly the handiwork of a teacher's assistant. I can't wait for the time Joaquin becomes nimble-fingered and gets his creative juices gushing; I wonder what poignant display of affection he will bowl me over with.

Tonight I concocted a grilled sole fish platter, using an unusual combination of chopped pistachios and mustard for the crust; cayenne pepper, salt and freshly ground pepper for the fish; and sundried tomatoes, grape tomatoes and diced mangoes blended with olive oil for the salsa.

I was afraid it would turn out sporting a bizarre and sickly yellowish-green crust, while tasting too peppery for its own good.

Luck must have been with me. It looked appetizing enough, and the salsa tempered the spiciness. Served atop grilled red peppers and squash marinated in herbed balsamic vinegar, and accompanied by a cream of tomato seafood soup, it was a simple dinner that I thoroughly enjoyed, all by my lonesome.

Note 1- I weeded out all the sundried tomatoes from the relish because they tasted out of place. Next time, diced kiwis will figure in this recipe.

Note 2- A dash of lemon or lime, which I didn't have, could've elevated this dish to divine status.

After dinner, I watched Love Actually for the nth time on Star Movies. My favorite story? Colin Firth and his witty, sharp-tongued Portugese cleaning lady. Bumbling and funny, moving and realistic, all at the same time.

"My favorite part of the day is driving you home."

"My saddest part of the day is leaving you".

"You learned English?"..."Yes."

"Why?"..."Just in cases."

Not your usual hot secretary flirts with stolid, secretly repressed boss, adolescent vows undying love for the campus sweetheart, guy feels unrequited love for his best friend's wife, powerful man falls for a most unexpected commoner, office girl nurses a not-so-secret crush on her macho colleague.


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