The moment of meltdown. Everything is prepared, the fish has 10 mins left in the oven. The scallops are about to join the chorizo, the clams are ready to go in the wine. The last couple of hours have all been working to this point and suddenly everyone is asking me questions. Where is this? What about that? I don’t have the best focus in the world, all I want to do is finish my symphony it is at its penultimate moment 10 busy focused minutes and suddenly everyone is clamoring for my attention!!!
Moments later, they have all disappeared and my sister who has seen it all and knows just what is happening walks in laughing and I shrug my shoulders, shake my head and speak…
This is my labour of love, this is for mum.
Mum loves seafood, she loves prawns, crab, scallops, lobster, oysters, mussels, she loves calamari, ocean trout, salmon, tuna, snapper, and dory.
If it comes from the sea – she loves it. The best treat you can give my mother is to take her out for a meal, the best meal is a seafood meal. Once on holiday she ate so much seafood she had gout!!!
But she has one challenge, she lives in a small country town in Western NSW where the only seafood that is very occasionally available has traveled hours to get there. It’s ok but it’s not like walking into Charis seafoods on New Years Eve where the smorgasbord of food from the water is piled on mountains of ice. In Charis bros Fish Market Mum is like a kid in a lolly shop she wants to buy everything.
She only visits us here on the Gold Coast every 12 to 18 months so every visit especially if she is here for New Years Eve has to have a trip to Charis Bros Fish Market and a Seafood dinner. This year is no different, we have bought Snapper (oops forgot to ask for cleaning and scaling). It’s going to be cooked whole in banana leaves, but hang on there hasn’t been a lot of communication here and Mum who is a whiz at cleaning fish has chopped off its head before I notice. Good job I saw what was happening before she started filleting.
We also bought scallops, to cook with chorizo and brandy. Clams to go in garlic, white wine and lemon juice. Prawns already cooked and a crab that for a little while got lost in the fridge.
I don’t really know how to cook seafood. Out of four in my family two are not very keen, One outright hates (the beautiful daughter had a meat pie for dinner). So it is a challenge, cooking three unfamiliar recipes with 8 people for dinner on New Years Eve.
But I have made a plan, I’m working to it and it’s all happening!
When my sister laughs, I speak in mock frustration “this is my labour of love” I realize it’s true. I do this simply because my mother loves it, she enjoys it so much and is so delighted that I will join her in this wonderful adventure.
Suddenly it’s all worth it.
This amazing mother of mine has had a health scare recently. This fast moving bundle of energy who is so involved with her church, and community, who gardens, bakes bread, makes cakes and loves having dinner parties. Plays scrabble, reads to the elderly, edits two newsletters and has a myriad of friends.
This woman loves people and always knows what is happening with them, she is interested in everything and everyone. A few years ago she was awarded Gilgandra senior citizen of the year.
My mum has recently had some health issues, but now she is well. We have had a lovely day, a simple day of shopping, buying beautiful seafood from the Fish Market, fresh vegetables from the produce market, eating Fish and Chips for lunch whilst watching the holiday activity on the broadwater. Following by cooking all this lovely food.
The meltdown only lasted a couple of minutes because this meal with its challenge and celebration was all about Mum and every time she visits we will continue to enjoy this adventure together.
A beautiful labour of love was fulfilled, a very happy content Mother has just gone to bed and what joy it was to cook all that lovely seafood.
Happy New Year everyone. Lots of blessings RosieG.