As I sit down to write the sky is a looming grey and if you had never looked out the window that faces West until tonight you might think that it was not the sky at all but a great big lump of granite that sits not far from this house. There is a thin slice of brightness between yet another layer of grey and above that, the sky is a duck egg blue. I should stop now and let the sky talk, allow it to linger and gather admiration. But I will not.
Down the hall someone tunes a guitar until the right chords knit. The dogs finally settle. I made Fish Pie tonight and it has to be the ultimate comfort food and that's what I felt like, a big solid dose of comfort. Cooking is a great dictator of mood, isn't it, if you are feeling cool you can have a light pasta and salad, and if one is in the slightly darkened state, a good beef stew always does the job, crab claws could say something about an unvoiced mean-spirited period, but Fish Pie states that all around the table require a certain sense of stick to the ribs, honest, no nonsense food.
I like the method of Fish Pie. The initial gathering of ingredients at the fish market. The interactive quality as I announce my plans for dinner. The suggestions, the ensuing discussion on the enormous Lobster that is brought out and placed on a bag of seaweed before the ice is brought in. Antennae twitching, tremendous claws bound in twine, like a great big prisoner waiting on Death Row. Why did I feel ill? Afterall I was buying fish for dinner. Except my fish was dead, the life knocked out of it. This Lobster was clearly in excruciating pain. I resisted the urge to lift the creature and put him into my canvas bag and run out to the dock side, cut the twine and release it, plop it back into the murky waters and screw the consequences. I wondered if there was a difference to say, putting a half dead cow in the grocery store, hanging it up from a rope for all to see. Look, this is what we eat, it fills our bellies, its pain is inconsequential, you don't have to consider that part, just eat it.
I still made Fish Pie tonight but I might not make it again because no matter how hard I try, I cannot get that Lobster out of my mind, he swims in glorious colour, the ocean above him sparkles and shines, the sun cuts through in swathes that causes him to close his eyes and not worry about his destination.