Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
It’s the one time a year when the house gets cleaned from top to bottom, hard to get to cobwebs removed, unused rooms opened; So even though Summer Girls won’t be joining us this year because of the Covid-19 dangers, we’re doing all the preparations as if they were about to arrive. I’ve entered the waxing phase of the dining room floors, which is fantastic. Just a few more coats to go.
And for the sake of those who haven’t been following this story, here’s what was on the floor before:
With some difficulty, we’ve managed the effect we wanted which was for the floors not to look brand new, which would have made them stand out from the rest of the house. We’ve got a pretty good match now (thanks to mixing waxes), we even left some defects like slightly darker edges in parts of the room to give the impression of aged wax – even a couple of light stains for character
A few months ago I bought some inexpensive but quite attractive ceramics for use outside because when Summer Girls are here we eat mostly outside. We also got another Laguiole cork-screw because our last one died. They are the best, if you’re in the market for one don’t even dream of considering another brand. Their customer service is also outstanding. We had a little problem with our last one which they fixed immediately.
I’m thinking Italian or Mexican hand blown glasses with the bubbles inside to go with the blues/greens ceramics, but I haven’t chosen them yet. And if I don’t find exactly what I want right now I do technically have until their real arrival in summer of 2021. I’m also preparing a little package this year to send to Summer Girl #1 because I know she has a big birthday this year. I got her a little Victor & Hugo bag (minaudiere), which I saw an extremely elegant woman sporting the last time we went out to lunch before the pandemic and made a mental note that that was a good and practical gift. And if she doesn’t like it she can always pass it on as a Christmas gift for someone else 🙂
In food related activities for the summer, I’ve tried out a few versions of Venetian Pesce in Saor. It can be served at room temperature which makes it a great option on a hot day. Not to mention you pre-make it so it’s all ready in the fridge. The winning version for me is with butterflied sardine fillets (skin on), but you can also make it with any firm white fish. For 4 people you’ll need:
500 grams white onions which you’ll slice, lightly caramelise and then set aside
500 grams filleted fish pieces which you’ll dredge in flour and then fry
Once those two things are done, you’re going to add to the pot with the caramelised onions:
120 ml vinegar
80 ml white wine
A handful of raisins
A handful of pine nuts
Salt to taste
Then lay the fried fish on top of that and give it a gentle mix. Turn the burner back on and let the whole thing simmer together for 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, refrigerate. Fantastic with salad and bread, but also on warm rice. Lasts a good week in the refrigerator and can be repurposed in many ways. That’s it.
Have a great weekend!