Monday, January 25, 2010

Pour Moi, Le Deluge

On Saturday, the torrential rains finally stopped...and I'm not altogether happy about it.
(Sunset over Hollywood, 1/22/10)

For six days, we had taken blissful refuge at home and reveled in the exotic weather.
Soups simmered.
Scones were baked.
Books were devoured.
Blazing fires went head-to-head with the fierce crescendo of midday thunderstorms.

Life became infinitely simple.

I knew at some point the sun would come out and we would all have to go outside and enjoy it, but until then, we remained happily indoors. Cooking was pure pleasure. During mealtimes, we lit candles and cranked open the kitchen windows to let the smell of fresh rain mix with the aromas being stirred to life on the Aga.

If there was a recurring theme to our meals, it was that they be largely composed of steaming liquids. One particular seafood stew called "Cioppino" made so many repeat appearances at our house this past week that I was almost afraid it would start asking for royalties. (This is Hollywood, after all). We served it at a dinner party last week, ate the leftovers the following day and I still can't get enough of it. Hearty, fresh and not heavy at all, it's my new favorite winter meal.*

Saturday night's rendition was ladled generously into big bowls, each serving plentiful with of chunks of fresh cod, mussels and scallops. For a grace note, we sprinkled it with fresh chopped parsley. Earth meets sea.
(Cioppino stew, Saturday, 1/23/10)

Sunday morning, Piero caught glimpse of the fresh snowy peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains and decided it was going to be a ski day. For breakfast, he added some linguini to the cioppino and transformed it into a stick-to-your-ribs mountaineering meal. Suitably fortified, he and Luca were out the door 25 minutes later.
(Cioppino and pasta, 1/24/10)

Now the house is quiet, the tea is brewing and I have time to write, sew and think. If it was just raining outside, it would be a perfect day.

P.S. My friend Maryam from "My Marrakech" is a finalist in the Bloggies for "Best African Blog." If you've ever been on her site, then you know how deserving she is of the award. Her stirring prose and soulful photos not only transport her readers to the furthest reaches of the globe, they are a poetic sanctuary from hectic times. Please click HERE to vote for her (and scroll to the right to see the categories). Thank you.

*Note: Unfortunately, I don't have a recipe for the cioppino because Piero is an improvisateur and never writes anything down. But I'll ask him again....


pve design said...

Just this morning, delivering my daughter to school - (normally a walker to school) during a deluge - she exclaimed, "Oh what a dreadful day!" I was a bit taken aback and said,"what?" She then proceeded to say, yes, this is the sort of weather that makes one wish they were home curled up by a fire with something good to read and to nibble on."
I will make her take a look at your post today.
What are you reading, sewing and creating now?

Laura said...

I adore "bad" weather for just the reasons you've described. I suppose that's why I've put up with New York winters for so long rather than return to my native California. And please, you must wrestle your husband to the ground and demand some sort of guidline, if not a full blown recipe for cioppino!

Jessica Thor-Miller said...

I find rainy weekends a blessing. They allow one to finally relax and address all of the little luxuries we never afford ourselves because we feel we should be out doing something more monumental.

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

Et le deluge continu... on the East Coast this time. If only it could be followed by some California sun! Rainy Sundays are the best - chores and errands are run, house is somewhat clean, list of "to do's" forgotten. Rainy Mondays, not so fun! I could really use some more of your Marakesh marvels!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

PVE: Oh, your daughter sounds wonderful! Please tell her I think her mom is the coolest. And I'm still sewing on my "project" that debuts May 1st (details soon) -- I have months of work still to do.

Laura: So funny, I always assumed you were on the West Coast! Now I'll have to change my mental image of you and imagine you on the East Coast instead. :)

Modern Traditionalist: Beautifully said, my dear. xx

Diane James: Yes, I's one thing to hunker down in the rain and quite another to have to get out and drive in it. :(

Cathi said...

It was definitely pure bliss this last week, staying indoors due to this unusual California weather...I also did the same - read, cook and enjoy! :)

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Laura: Re: recipe, I'll try again, I promise!

Cathi: We are birds of a feather. xx

The Glamorous Housewife said...

I like rain as much as the next girl, but 6 days was just too much for me. But instead of soup, I found myself making stew in my new dutch oven. But the sun is out again, and I am happy to get back to my old routine. (And have the kids walk to school instead of having to shlep them 'cause of the rain).

Thanks doll,
The Glamorous Housewife

Denise said...

Until you post a recipe, Lisa, the best cioppino is still to be found at Admiral Risty's in Palos Verdes, at the end of Hawthorne, al a carte in the bar, view of the ocean. More rain tomorrow!

froogal said...

When I lived in Santa Fe the sun shined even when it rained (which was not often)...which made for world class rainbows but was the number 2 reason on my list of why we should move back to Chicago...I missed the rain...people thought I was nuts!

So Lovely said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Peacock Salon said...


This lovely post conjures up images of Stokesay Court house where Atonement was filmed. Rainy days spent inside reading by the fire always make me think of the English countryside. There is nothing more romantic than a day spent reading an exotic novel. That cioppino looks divine too!

The Peacock Salon

Joanna said...

You had me at "soups simmered" and "books were devoured": two very good reasons to embrace last week's torrential weather! I love the coziness that gray, stormy weather encourages. It suits my inner Anglophile to a T. Luckily, round two will commence tomorrow. :-)

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa - Happy to type that voted for Maryam outside of my Chicago home.

in florida i do roam

Reggie Darling said...

This morning when I woke up here in NYC it was pouring rain, expected to continue all day. So I checked my BB saw that I didn't have anything pressing at work, and took a mental health day. Only left my building to give Pompey a quick walk. Delightful!

materfamilias said...

I haven't made cioppino for ages and ages . . . used to be my oldest daughter's birthday request. I'm going to dig out my recipe this weekend and make enough to have leftovers -- you've inspired me, thanks!

abodewell said...

Cioppino! I almost forgot about cioppino. What a great idea for a rainy day!
Reminds me of a trip I took to Italy. I would buy fresh seafood in the outdoor market in Padua from a vendor who cooked it in this tiny stall. He was so busy every day that he would serve you your food and tell you to come back when you were done eating to pay. He had a mob of people everyday (mostly locals) but when you came back, he remembered what he served you and did the math in his head. It rained a lot there too. Maybe that's why it reminded me. Thanks for the idea (and the memories)!

Angie Muresan said...

Ah cioppino! My favorite of winter stews. Pietro sounds like the best kind of chef ever! Only those who cook with passion don't need directions and lists of ingredients.

123 said...

Now there are several ugg boots online store providing ugg at different prices. Meanwhile the quality of the uggs is different. It will be a bad experience to buy inferior ugg classic mini boots at high prices. Everyone wants to have a pair of genuine sheepskin ugg mini boots in winter or summer. However not everyone is lucky to get top quality ugg mini at reasonable prices.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin