Posted by: lisetta | May 27, 2009


In an ideal world, my job wouldn’t demand so much time and energy, I’d have family and friends to eat with every night (preferably with them cooking at least some of the time!), and a fabulous market right around the corner (to support my utter inability to plan out a week of meals). In my inner fantasy world, these are the optimal conditions for the ‘good life’, yet none apply tonight. 

In my real world: I work 10-11 hour days, arrive home exhausted from nonstop problem solving, and either don’t make or need to cancel social plans with my friends. Instead of experimenting with Ben and Rachel’s mango pasta tonight, I arrived home to find only an empty refrigerator and a hearty appetite … and a Verizon land line.  

Carlo suggested cooking the shrimp in coconut milk, or breaded and pan friend, but I was most inspired by what was in my fridge: 

  • a quarter fennel bulb
  • two Campari and some grape tomatoes
  • an unfinished bottle of white wine

I could do something with all this, right?

Sauteed the thinly sliced (and salted) fennel in some olive oil, then braised it in white wine.  

Added sliced/chopped tomatoes and cooked for a few minutes, then added the shrimp and cooked for a few more.  

While I was far too lazy to travel down to my garden to pick parsley,I wanted some herbs, so I add a bit of chopped basil I found in my freezer. One bite into the dish and I realized that the spice of choice here should have been saffron! Pazienza!

In the end, the meal was totally adequate. As soon as I began cooking, troubles of the day moved to the back burner. Talked to Ann while eating, discussing a trial she attended yesterday, and felt grateful that my worries pale in comparison. Put in another hour of work, and still had the energy to type here a bit. Satisficing isn’t so bad after all…



  1. I probably would have used the same combo for dinner.I’ve had nights where I’m too lazy to walk outside for the fresh herbs too, so don’t feel so bad.

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