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I will sound like a broken record but what in the world is going on with the Wednesday Shopping Fever? Unless you have a Batmobile, don’t even bother looking for a spot at the parking lot in front of our local grocery store. Not on Wednesday at least. Instead, I propose you leave that stinky car in the garage, arm your pockets with shopping bags, and march ahead to the store. You’ll thank me later when you’ll have come back with a healthy blush on your face licked by the sun and with the Lance Armstrong’s heart rate when he’s asleep. That man is a power horse, and we have got to start somewhere.

Speaking of eco-friendly commute, have you ever dreamed of time traveling? My accountant has afforded me such trip the other day and I wasn’t sure if I were dreaming or we really went back to 1954. I met the guy last year when doing my taxes. Jason has been a client for a number of years and swore by him. This time we went together. When Jason’s finances of 2009 were sorted, the CPA reached out to my pile to organize that pathetic proof of my income. To call it an INCOME is a solid exaggeration. Nevertheless, he put the numbers into his columns and I peppered him with questions regarding starting my own business. Since, as you all know, I recently began working as a personal chef, I wanted to learn about the expected proper behavior of a responsible taxpayer when self-employed.

And that’s when I heard this deafening squeak as if a giant wheel was turned. Lightening cut through the skies, a sinister horn sounded off in the distance, the ground shook beneath our feet, lights in the room went off and icy wind swirled around me causing my nipples to stand up in full alert. I didn’t fully comprehend we were back in the early 50’s until I realized the CPA completely ignored me and began to answer all MY questions regarding MY business directly to Jason, all the while referring to me (yes, I was acknowledged) as a SHE.

“She should open a separate account, and she should use it for all business related transactions”…

I sat there dumbfounded with my eyebrows slowly rising and pushing my hairline dangerously close to the tip of my head, while my nipples completely deflated.

“I’m here. And I CAN hear you.”

I uttered at last throwing the accountant completely off track. He looked at me confused and then with a bleak smile he turned his attention back to Jason as if he were asking his fellow penis:

“What does she mean, mate?”

It’s been 48 hours since the incident. I am still trying to shake that off. The crazy part is that the dude is MAYBE ten years older than me, if that. Who are his parents? Where has he come from? Was he an Amish offspring that had escaped the regime too late to recover and absorb the rules of the Western culture? At least he didn’t have a knee-long beard. Ok, I’m done.

That same night we set off the clock once more with the movie of my youth based on the books I read back in my days of innocence – “Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. I was all in tears within the first five minutes of the film, the sentiment being stronger than any reason.

“You know it’s a three hour long movie. Are you going to cry the whole time?”

Jason was quickly learning that night about the role Anne has played in my life. It is a series of books about a redhead orphan child that I had devoured one after another, multiple times (the books, and NOT orphans). My mother was the one who introduced me to Anne Shirley, and we would read those stories together alternating the tomes.

The movie is as girly as they come, and yet Anne is such a delightful and amusing character that even Jason was quickly engaged in the story and sat through the entire 3 hours and 15 minutes of the film with me, enjoying every minute of it.

If I were to complement the charm and charisma of Anne of Green Gables with food, I would choose something fresh and bright, and yet complex in flavor and texture. Something oozing with comfort and yet elegant and authentic. One thing comes to mind – SALADE NICOISE.

The salad is a beautiful arrangement of tuna, cherry tomatoes, soft-boiled eggs, green beans, new potatoes, olives and often times anchovies on a bed of butter lettuce. All the vegetables are drizzled with vinaigrette and thus complement the lightly seared tuna steak on a plate. It truly is a painting and you are the artist. Salad Nicoise is a French classic you can make your own by adding your own twist through the presentation, a choice of vinaigrette, or the method of serving tuna.

Here’s mine:

Be inventive, be creative, and let your own personality shine through any dish you prepare. You are the cook. Your knife is a paintbrush, the plate is your canvas. You are the artist.

I didn’t go to the store today because I fell in love with Jason.

I had no money, nor my driver’s license for that matter, as he took them along with my car this morning. We switched “horses” today, and my wallet drove away along with Jason into the horizon. Why was it in the car in the first place, you ask? It’s all Jason’s fault.

I was never the girlie girl who bought jewelry, handbags, shoes for every possible outfit, and all the other elements in THE ACCESSORY CIRCUS. I had a backpack, or a back pocket to store the stuff I needed when out and about. Then, while still living in New York, I met a girl as girlie as they come, who through her brains, charisma, and heart, was and still IS the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Her name is Aveena and she’s a dear friend.

Aveena in Italy

It was under her influence that I finally went shopping for earrings, an extra pair of stilettos, sunny colored shirts (frocks would be pushing it), and a couple of purses. It took all Seven Dwarfs and two weeks at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to teach me how to carry myself in all that armor and look a tad less awkward than Ellen DeGeneres in her prom dress.

Flashforward a couple of years, I make myself at home in Baja enjoying the beaches and rollerblades, when this guy crosses my path at a Downtown art show and sweeps me off my feet with no warning. Meet Jason. We start hanging out on a daily basis, and I find myself carrying fewer things each time I’m with him… less make up, less clothes, less of a purse. I stick my driver’s license and a credit card in my back pocket to free my hands and alleviate distraction while with that boy. As the Friendship progresses and turns into a Flammable Romance, I no longer feel the urge to carry shit around. These days, I only leave the house with items that fit in one hand or in Jason’s back pocket.

So now you understand why I didn’t get the groceries today, because I fell in love with Jason. It’s annoying how disgustingly wonderful he is. He’s just the best there is, and I love him to pieces – from the top front to the back end.

Jason The Man

He’s also the reason I make an effort in the kitchen and come up with dinners like tonight: SEA BASS IN MUSTARD SAUCE WITH BUTTER-STEAMED FINGERLING POTATOES DUSTED WITH DILL. Consequently, YOU get those recipes! The Jason’s Fan Club suddenly no longer sounds like a joke. Feel free to send in your vote.

In the meantime, let’s get cooking. Get the following items handy:

-       1-1.5 lbs of fingerling potatoes, cleaned, skin on

-       2 fresh fillets of Sea Bass, washed and patted dry

-       1 tbsp of Dijon mustard

-       1 tbsp of whole grain mustard

-       2 tbsp of sour cream (organic, if possible)

-       1 shallot, finely chopped

-       1 tbsp of drained capers

-       salt + black pepper to taste

-       2 tbsp of butter

-       bunch of fresh dill, roughly chopped

In a non-stick pot, melt the butter and throw in the potatoes, sprinkle with salt, cover with a lid, stir around the whole pot and set on a low heat. The starchy bulbs will cook themselves in their own steam. However, make sure to give the pot a shake every so often, without uncovering it, to prevent the guys from burning their rear ends. It will take 20-25 minutes to complete the task. You can test if the potatoes are ready to rock & roll by sticking a tip of a knife inside one of them. If the tip slides in smoothly, you’re good. Next, sprinkle everybody in the pot with a bunch of fresh chopped dill, another pinch or two of salt and pepper, close the lid again, shake the pot around, and voila – you’re ready to serve the Fingerlings.

However, while they’re still steaming up on the stove, heat the oven to 425˚. Lay your fillets comfortably in a baking dish, sprinkle with salt and slather with the Mustard Sauce you made before.

Oops, have we not talked about that yet? Then grab a small bowl and dump you mustards and sour cream inside along with the shallot and capers, a dust of salt and paper, and mix them all up.

Your fish is ready to go into the oven to get warm and cozy – for 10 minutes. That’s it. Don’t put too much sauce on top of your fish, as you don’t want to overpower the delicate flavor of the Sea Bass.

It’s time to plate the dinner. If you think something’s missing, I bet it’s salt. Just a dash of salt brings the flavors out and the meal (any meal) starts making sense again.

Fingerling Potatoes

Speaking of salt, get rid of that nasty iodized salt that tastes like a high-school chemistry lab in a box, and replace it with kosher salt. It’s clean, healthy and as inexpensive as the other crap.

It took no more than half an hour and you just made yourself a Royal Meal … for no special occasion. Just celebrate because it’s Wednesday and begin the festivities with a masterpiece din-din your dining table has never seen before.

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