Suzy Says
Radio Nowhere
April 23rd, 2005 by suzy in Uncategorized

While ambling some errands yesterday (more like practicing my old lady walk, since I kind of overdid the fluff removal the past couple of days), I saw an abandoned glove on the sidewalk. Sleek, dark leather fingers curled toward the sky as if in supplication.

I was immediately reminded of an incident from my now-distant youth:

My father and I were going somewhere in England by train (the destination, I’m afraid, is lost in the mists of time). In those days, there were still corridors in the carriages, and you opened and closed the carriage doors by reaching through the open window of the door and turning the handle.

Just as the train pulled out, a very pretty young lady leaped on board and collapsed into the seat opposite ours. She settled her handbag on her lap, with a glove — and then she looked out the window. There was the glove’s mate on the platform. She flung open the window and gaily tossed the other glove to the platform to join its mate, clearly thinking that whoever found the pair would get some use out of them, whereas the one she had was no good to her at all. She then settled back in her seat, eyes bright and cheeks aglow. The spontaneity and charm of that gesture remains with me still.

Yesterday turned out to be one of those days that seeing Dad’s writing reduced me to a puddle of tears. It’s been almost four years since he died, but there are still days like that when grief jumps out of its lurking place, both surprising and surprisingly intense. Suddenly, you feel as horrible as you did when it first happened.

I was planning to make one of his recipes for dinner, and this one happened to be included as part of one of his weekly letters. The letter was breezy, amusing, and poignant all at once, and whammo! There I was, sobbing over the shrimp.

Here’s the recipe, which I promise will not make you cry. In fact, it will have quite the opposite effect, being as it is, delicious. (Notes in parentheses are mine.)

Shrimp and Artichoke Salad

2 cloves garlic (I tend to use a little more)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (I like the seedy kind)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons shredded basil
1 red onion, thinly sliced (I find half an onion is enough for me)
12 ounces cooked, peeled shrimp
14 ounce can of artichoke hearts
Lettuce (I use mixed greens)

Coarsely chop the garlic and then crush to a pulp. Mix the garlic and mustard together to form a paste, then beat in the vinegar, and finally, the olive oil. Season with freshly ground pepper. Stir in the basil and onion and let stand at room temperature for half an hour, then stir in the shrimp and chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more. Drain the artichoke hearts and halve each one. Make a bed of lettuce, place the artichoke hearts on it, and spoon the shrimp mixture on top.

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8 Responses

YUM! I am so making that this week. Thank you for sharing it. I am going to tell everyone that is the recipe of the famous Dr. Peakall of England.

Lovely story. You could call it “The lady and the glove” and set it early in the 20th century, perhaps during the Great War, after which some gentleman returns the gloves…

Sorry, I need some sleep.

The story just made my day! Thank you for sharing it!

I have a whole bunch of your Dad’s recipes which sound fabulous, but haven’t actually made of them yet, as I’m a lazy cook – i.e., I cook maybe once a flippin’ year!

That is a lovely story.

Enjoy the recipe(s) – and I’m glad you liked the memory. It’s funny what the tide can cast up on the beach of your mind, isn’t it? I hadn’t thought of that incident for years!

If it weren’t you telling the story, it’d be just some crazy bitch throwing a glove out the window. LOL That’s awesome. You’re a fabulous storyteller. I really do think you should write for a living.

I’m sorry you still get overwhelmed with grief. I know it never really goes away. Some of my happiest moments end up turning on a dime because I’m forever wishing that my grandma were still around to hear about them.

One of these days I am going to sit and write down these tempting recipies made all the more important for the strong emotional tie to each ingrediant. Thank you for once again sharing a beautiful story so well presented.

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