|Shrimp, Mussels, and Clams in a Buttery Fennel and Pernod Broth|
It doesn't help matters that my anticipation--and expectations--have been fueled by careless weather forecasters, along with the hum of city trucks and bustling workmen in preparation for what, thus far, has turned out to be a whole lot of nothing.
That said, I couldn't help myself from getting swept up by the romanticism of the first real rainy weather in months. While I dreamed of torrential downpours and flickering lights that would necessitate dining by candlelight, I settled for a light, but steady rain and an afternoon in the kitchen, sorting through a sack of seafood purchased from my local fishmonger.
Though Cioppino is a California mainstay and the French Bouillabaisse is a personal favorite, I was pining for a rich herbal broth laced with thyme and fennel, garlic and onions barely caramelized, and generous additions of both Pernod and dry vermouth. And while I wasn't lucky enough to be swept up into the arms of the mysterious and elusive El Nino, I did happen upon a stash of Mr. B's famous crab stock while rummaging through the freezer. Of course, it proved an ample dose of love--for both the assorted shellfish and myself and while a light rain tapped steadily against the window, Mr. B and I greedily tucked into big bowls of seafood stew, mopping up the juices with thick chunks of sourdough bread.