Summertime means the end of Sunday Supper and the launch of Sunday Lunch because by 3 p.m. The Ranger must strap on his gear and spend swing shift protecting the campers around Fish Town from overcooked marshmallows, the stench of dead sea lions, black labs gone arwy and City Folk complaining of sand in their new Keens.
Today, one of our favorite food sources, Local Ocean, suggested spotted prawns, simply cooked without fuss or muss. I love it when the Fish Goddess wrinkles her nose and whispers, "no Teriyaki sauce, for Godsakes," with the same hiss usually reserved for chewing gum at the table and men in argyle socks.
We quickly snapped up a pound of the spotted lovlies and turned them on the flame after a brisk rubbing in olive oil. Pink and grill marked, they swirled for a bit in a bath of butter, garlic and cheap Chardonnay (you know THAT bottle a dinner guest brought, hastily procured from the discount bin at Safeway -- good for prawns, but not for palate). Finished with a pinch or two of Piment d'Espelette because it's the crack we put on everything from scrambled eggs to T-bones.
Once, a neighbor, while walking his Akita, stopped by with wrinkled brow, "It seems you people grill every day, rain or shine." True. Even when the maniac cop shooter, David Durham, was on the loose, we broke quarantine and continued to grill. Not even a man in full-body camoflauge prepared to battle aliens (the space kind, not the apple picking kind), with a snapping blue heeler and an automatic weapon can keep us from our hot coals. But I digress.
A chilly Sauvignon Blanc (three blueberries at the bottom of each glass for good luck) and an easy salad completed the circle. As a yogi, I must bow to the many contributors to this luscious mache: The Ranger, of course, for growing the peppery greens and grilling the corn, Gathering Together for the tomatoes and herbs and my Mexican family for inspiring the dressing of fresh-squeezed lime, cumin, splash of apple cider vinegar, garlic-chile sauce, sea salt and olive oil. Ay carumba!
Maybe it was the heat of the day here at the beach, or the heat in the dressing, or the fact that spotted prawns must be eaten with fingers, buttery and salty, garlicy and spicy. But time slipped away.
Those happy campers will have to wait.