Cooking the Kitchen during my deep despair of the Trump Presidency….
See end of post for recipe for Broiled Red Snapper Fillet with Garlic Sauce
We hosted Thanksgiving this year again, after a year’s hiatus. Last year we did not host, because we were still grieving the loss of my husband, Dan. Also, my leukemia/lymphoma had started to progress. This happened after three years of watch and wait, during which I could forget that I had these diseases and live a normal life. Last November, life was not normal in many ways.
Another way that life was no longer normal was that Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump won the electoral college. Women did not break the glass ceiling in the most important way, after all.
I went to a neighbor’s election night pot luck party, where we neighbors gathered together by the light of the television set, ready to celebrate our first woman President. I will never forget the shock and feeling of dread, as it became clear that Hillary did not win, as we had expected her to do. The initial revelry and high spirits quickly dissolved into a heavy despair, and everyone left the party early, too depressed to stay longer.
While I may come to peace with my husband’s passing, and learn to live with the uncertainty of an incurable disease, as long as Trump is President my life reels. I experience the consequences of our most recent Presidential election results daily, and mourn the chipping away of our Democracy under Donald Trump. I am Jewish, and most of my family was killed in the Nazi holocaust. So I know the cost of living under an evil and destructive government.
The social contract in the U.S. has been undermined. It is almost a month since Puerto Rico was devastated by a hurricaine, and most of the electricity has not been restored. People on that island have little to no drinking water. I think the Republican plan is to let us all eventually suffer and die. The treatment of the people of Puerto Rico is a sign of how the rest of us will be treated in the future, too. There will be no government protections or aide. We will be left to our own devices for survival.
This week, the GOP is ramming through a tax bill that will give corporations huge tax breaks. It will allow a huge deficit which the Republicans will use as an excuse to gut Medicare and Medicaid down the line. That is just one example of how the bill is bad for the people of this country. See the links for a NYT article and an opinion on why this tax bill will be so bad for all but the wealthy and corporations.
There are so many things wrong in this country right now, that I am in despair. I come from a generation that helped end the war in Vietnam. But while there are resistance groups in the nation to fight the consequences of the Trump Presidency and the GOP agenda, I feel helpless. We seemed to have helped change the world once, but the world seems to be a different place today. I have little confidence that we may may get Trump and the GOP to be responsive to our voices and truly represent all of the people of our country.
As a cure for my despair, today I broiled a red snapper fillet with garlic sauce. If only the garlic sauce would ward off the evil that is the Donald Trump Presidency.
Cooking the Kitchen after the all carb. diet of the Thanksgiving holiday….
As I have said we did host Thanksgiving this year. Passover is my sister-in-law’s holiday, and Thanksgiving is ours. For Passover, we join up with the family in Rhode Island. On Thanksgiving they make the trip to us, in Brooklyn, New York. We had fourteen people at our table this year, which included both family and friends, and our table is always a delight to see. It stretches the length of the parlor floor, and every one pitches in to carry trays of food from our garden floor kitchen.
I often feel that the warmth of this gathering is an inoculation against the dark and cold of the winter days to come. My memories of our celebration together will get me through winter, to the delight of renewal that comes with spring.
One of the problems with hosting Thanksgiving is that one not only enjoys the feast of the day, but that one can live on the left overs for days after. While I share the left overs, there are consequences to having them live in your own fridge, and indulging in a diet of some vegetables, but mostly carbs like yams, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and the pies, for days in a row. Not to mention the bagels and lox we eat for breakfast, before our Providence relatives make their return trip to Rhode Island.
The wisdom of yoga….
I take various yoga classes at the Y, which is thankfully only two blocks from my home. Being so close makes it very easy to actually get to classes, especially when leaving the house five minutes before the class begins. Today’s morning class was with Elias, who loves to philosophize, inspire, and teach us during the first fifteen minutes of the class, before om-ing and moving on to the asanas. Elias’ theme today was to “do no harm.” He spoke about finding that place between going too far and perhaps hurting one self, and making an effort, where you align your body correctly and get something out of a pose. Elias tells us that this may be applied to any effort one makes in life.
In terms of Cooking the Kitchen after Thanksgiving, applying “doing no harm,” would mean in part, engaging in self care by having healthy prepared meals in the refrigerator. And so, after yoga class I returned home, and cooked a few recipes, one of which I will share with you right now.
Broiled Red Snapper Fillet with Garlic Sauce
The Park Slope Food Coop always had a frozen fish case, but more recently it started to carry fresh fish as well. There are usually about three different kinds of fish in the fresh fish case area. The choices change with the seasons.
On Tuesday when I did some food shopping, I chose a fillet of Red Snapper. I adapted a recipe from the cookbook, “Fish, The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking More than 500 Recipes for 70 Kinds of Fish & Seafood,” by our esteemed Mark Bittman. The front cover of this fish cookbook has a seal announcing that it was the winner of The Julia Child Cookbook Awards.
I must admit that I have hardly ever cracked this cookbook open. Often, I just cook my fish in a very basic way. I oil the fish, season it with salt and pepper, and bake it in the oven. When you have a good piece of fish, like that coming from the Park Slope Food Coop, you need to do very little with it. With a well sourced, quality product, the end result is usually delicious in itself.
My son swears that the best fish that he ever ate was at a restaurant in Greece where he would be presented with a choice of fish retrieved by divers or local fisherman, just hours before the evening’s meal. I like to think that our coop fish is a close second to that type of quality and freshness.
Here is the recipe that I cooked today, for broiled red snapper fillet with garlic sauce. I hope you will try this recipe, and enjoy it as much I did, for today’s lunch. And I am looking forward to my non-carb red snapper left-overs.
Lastly, if you want to weigh in with how you cope with the Trump Presidency, and what forms of resistance in which you engage for Justice and to save our Democracy, please write a comment to this entry of Cooking the Kitchen. You will find the comment form at the end of this page. I would love to hear from you!
- The red snapper I cooked was a little over a pound. You may adjust the recipe according to the weight of the amount of fish you have purchased.
- ⅓ C flavorful olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 C cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, more or less (I substituted balsamic, as I was out of sherry vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Pre-heat the broiler.
- Rub both sides of the fish fillet with some of the olive oil. Then lay it skin side down on a baking pan or dish.
- Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
- Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Arrange the cherry tomato halves on top of the fish fillet.
- Put the fish in the oven to cook under the broiler, about 4 to 6 inches from the source of heat. I let the fillet cook for six minutes, and then flipped it skin side up, with the cherry tomatoes under the fillet, and then let it cook another twelve minutes (I checked it at six minutes, and turned the pan a bit under the broiler before retuning it to the oven for the other six minutes).
- While the fish is cooking under the broiler, place the remaining olive oil and the garlic in a small saucepan over low heat.
- When the garlic is very lightly browned, turn off the heat and add most of the vinegar and some salt and pepper. Taste for balance and add more vinegar if necessary. Stir in the parsley.
- The fish is done when nicely browned on both sides. Serve it by scooping sections off of the skin.
- Sprinkle the fish with the sauce, and serve.