Mussels and Mashed Potatoes
Yesterday we went to the seaside, seeking souls. That sort of fish is never caught but remains in the sea of humanity, free to choose to use the Water to care for the seed of divine within or not.
We did buy a nice bag of mussels to bring home for today’s dinner. My favorite way to eat them is the way my husband’s grandmother fixed them.
Clean the mussels, removing their “beards”. Put them in a large pot with a cover.
Start the potatoes. (Peel, cut, boil.)
In another large pot, gently cook 2 shallots or one onion in a little bit of butter, just until translucent. Add a chopped clove of garlic.
Put the pot with the mussels on high heat, shaking often.
Add some white wine to the shallots, let reduce. Add some cream . When the mussels have opened, turn off the heat and drain off a bit of the water they have released. Let it rest a few minutes to settle any grains of sand, then carefully add some to the sauce. The sauce should be about 1/3 each wine, cream and juice to begin with, but the wine evaporates.
Meanwhile do the mashed potatoes; if you are lucky, your husband can do them while you tend to the mussels. The difficult part is the timing, having everything done at once without anything going cold. If needs be, you can reheat the mussels.
Add about a teaspoonful of cornstarch (diluted with cold water) to the sauce and stir until it thickens slightly. Add some chopped parsley and pepper. No salt is necessary due to the juice from the mussels. Using a skimming ladle, transfer the mussels to the pot with the sauce. Stir and serve.
A joyous appreciation of life, of our Creator’s blessings, is part of being a penitent, part of changing oneself so as to be good. There is no specific recipe, but the main ingredients are love, peace, letting go of grudges, freeing oneself from prejudice and developing the heart’s intelligence.
“My Salvation does not result from forgiveness; it results from penitence.
I do not forgive the sinner; My Will is (done when) he stops sinning.
The penitent is not the sinner who sits in dirt and wraps himself up in a sack,
but the man who stops sinning, even though he wears festive clothes and scent and sings to the music of flutes and trumpets; besides, do joy and finery not suit to him who has changed his life?”