A Bisque Move
In an incredulous tone of voice: “You’d be willing to move?”
I hear those words from people a lot. They always seemed so shocked if I indicated an interest in a job or other opportunity more than 25 miles, and at times up to 3,000 miles, away from where I’m currently located. My response is always a shrugging smile and two words “why not?”
I don’t understand the intense aversion some folks have to the idea of packing up and seeking out a new life in a new location. Well okay I understand the aversion some people have, it’s not cheap and it’s definitely not easy, but I don’t understand their shock at my willingness to do it.
After all I’m relatively young and have no major responsibilities in my life. I have a dog who would depend on me but that’s it and dogs are easy all things considered. I really don’t have any excuse not to move if given the right job opportunity. To be honest I really don’t have any excuse not to move now even without the right job opportunity. If I want to move, this is the time in my life when I can take that wild leap. I’m not tied to the community in the cultural wasteland that is Fairfield and really most of my friends are far and spread around the nation anyway.
I think a big part of my nonchalance and disconnect to people who think it’s a big deal is the fact that I moved around a bit as a child. Not so much to qualify myself as a gypsy but what I’ve discovered in life is that a number of people grew up in one, maybe two houses total until the age of 18. Fewer still ever left the city they grew up prior to college and a fair number settle down after graduating and move very few times after that. A number of people I know still live within 150 miles of where their family is. Strange to think that in such a small world these days with technology and cheap travel, people still stay fairly close to home center.
I grew up on the east coast; far flung from the west shores I currently haunt. When I did live on the east coast we moved a fair number of times. I was born in the far reaches of New England known best for lobster and Stephen King. Shortly after turning 5, and two houses by that time, we’d moved to Virginia where I would attend 4 primary schools and live under another three roofs. When I turned 13 my family trekked the entire expanse of the contiguous US only to turn around and move to a second home within a year of that journey. I guess I’m just used to non-permanence and I don’t find upheaval quite as daunting. For a long time I was jealous of the kids who had the same bedroom from toddlerhood through high school but now I find there is great utility in being undaunted by the thought of new walls and unfamiliar kitchens.
Well okay, maybe not undaunted by a new kitchen. Having a kitchen you are comfortable in is rather nice. Still I like the adventure of exploring somewhere new and finding joy in a comfy nook or the goofiness of a badly designed cabinet. That’s not to say I want to be a nomad for my entire life. I’d definitely like to find somewhere to establish myself and my hope is to do that soon. I’m just not averse to doing it 300 or 3,000 miles away right now. I would love a chance to go back to the east coast or move to L.A. to be nearer to some of my cosplay companions. I also wouldn’t mind finding a quaint, one bedroom in San Francisco to hang up my coats in. I just need it to come with a job that lends some permanence, an opportunity to grow and I’m down to plant seeds that sprout roots.
Another advantage to having lived coastally like I have is my exposure to both coastlines for food. Whenever west coast raised people wonder why I’d possibly want to go back to New England, the naughty Jewish girl in me devilishly responds in one word: shellfish. Nothing beats Maine for the plethora of crab, clam and superior lobster meat that it produces. California may be pretty snazzy with the sushi front but good shellfish? That’s just impossible to find, especially on a budget, outside the rocky shorelines that produced some of the greatest murder thriller novels of all time.
Still that didn’t stop me from attempting to make this Havarti-Crab Bisque back on Father’s Day. It was a delicious sounding recipe that combined something I love more than almost any other foodstuff on earth (Crab) with the Danish cheese called Havarti. Havarti is an interior-ripened cheese, whatever that means, and has a very soft texture at room temperature. It is strong in flavor, like Swiss, and buttery with a nut (hazelnut) finish. In my experience it is sweeter rather than dry and often comes in flavored batches. Dill Havarti being especially popular. My other big preference would be caraway–another east coast flavor I find lacking solid representation along the Pacific. There really are NOT enough Jewish Delis in the SF Bay Area region.
This place back in my college hometown just announced that it will be closing down. The first thought in my head was “that would be a great spot for a Jewish Deli/Bakery” and then “I should open one” and then “with what money you crazy girl?” Still with all this talk about settling down and making roots, there are worse places than Davis…..
Dill-Havarti Crab Bisque
from The New England Soup Factory Cookbook
- 3 TBsp butter
- 3 whole cloves garlic
- 1 large onion (I used vidalia) peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 3 new potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 TBsp tomato paste
- 8 cups lobster stock
- 1 cup sherry
- 1 pound crabmeat
- ½ pound Havarti Cheese
- 3 tsp dry mustard
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce (wtf is a dash anyway? I used a tsp)
- 6 dashes Tabasco sauce (see above)
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
- Kosher Salt / Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Add the tomato paste, stock and sherry. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for approximately 35-40 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the crabmeat, cheese and mustard. Let the cheese melt into the soup and then puree using a hand blender. (You can work in batches on a food processor or blender instead but be prepared to probably burn yourself if you do so. I always do.)
Once smooth add the cream, worcestershire, tabasco and dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed/desired/wanted.