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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Zoloft Market

There is nothing quite like Granville Island market on a sunny day to cure all that ails you. I've been feeling kinda blue/lonely since I lost my job, and as soon as I saw it was sunny out, I thought what better way to kill the blues than to go to the market, smell the smells and see the sights, take some pictures, and pick up some small fresh treats to make a killer lunch for myself. And I was not disappointed!

I take the Aqua Bus, because it's easy, cheap and drops me right in front of the entrance, so I can begin at the beginning and walk slowly through every last corner. I passed fresh sourdough loaves steaming up the display window, oysters on chipped ice, chubby grape hyacinths wrapped in cello, raspberry flavoured sea salt with rosemary sold by a guy who was a ringer for Ringo Starr, and throngs of tourist for whom all this was new. It was heavenly. I mean, look at these tomatoes:

The flower stores are amazing too, and I snapped this gauzy photo of a peony right across from those tomatoes:

I walked around everywhere, but stopped in my tracks when I saw the fattest, blackest tiger prawns, deveined (I hate deveining) with the tails on hanging out on some ice. Expensive as fuck, but so fat they were practically lobster-sized, I thought it wouldn't hurt the ol' pocketbook too badly if I only got 5 of them. This purchase kicked off the meal plan: I would grill them and pour them over fresh pasta in a recipe I invented per my mood.

So, I got a shallot, garlic, fresh angelhair pasta, a bag of sweet lemons, and a bottle of crisp white wine along with a small bar of creamery butter and hauled the whole mess home and started cooking. I did some kind of weird prancy little dance through the hall and into the kitchen when I put down my groceries, I was so excited to get going. This is what I did, and this will be the first recipe I will use to kick-off a series I would like to start, called Jess's Messes. These are recipes invented by me, tested and found to be good, and then provided to you:

Jess's Messes, Vol. 1: Lemon Tiger Prawns on Angelhair Pasta

zest and juice of 1 Meyer or sweet lemon
2 large cloves garlic
1 large shallot
3 tbsp salted butter
5 large, raw tiger prawns, deveined, tails on
1 sprig fresh tarragon
1 sprig fresh citrus thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 loop fresh angelhair pasta
splash white wine, preferably dry

Set a large pot of water to boil with sea salt, when water comes to a rolling boil, add the fresh pasta, cook for 3 minutes, remove from heat and drain.

Chop garlic and shallot fine. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, allow the butter to go from foamy to clear. Add the garlic and shallots, pan fry until lightly golden. Add the prawns, white wine, lemon juice and zest, stir and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes on one side, then flip. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once prawns are cooked through, add pasta into saucepan and stir into sauce for 1 minute. Plate and serve.

I've been making myself sit at the table lately, especially if I'm by myself, and enjoy meals like a civilized person, instead of in front of the computer, writing or watching tv. I think it's a great practice because it forces you to pay attention to what you are eating, every bite of it. This was a fantastic combo of some of my very favourite things to eat. I ate it slowly (another thing I'm trying) and felt much better for having embarked on the whole day.


  1. Just in case you think you're talking to yourself, I have been lurking on your site for a couple months. I also live in Vancouver. Love your attitude and willingness to throw caution to the wind in trying new things. I was in a similar employment situation about 5 years ago and now have the BEST JOB OF MY LIFE! Hang in there and thanks for the recipe. I will be treating myself to this Friday evening (bachelorette as my husband is out of town at a conference). Stay cool! :)

  2. Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. How was your dinner last night?

    J :)

  3. I didn't make it to the grocer to get the prawns which was disappointing. Also did not get the tarragon (which I'm not a fan of anyway) but I made the pasta and substituted my homemade preserved lemons for the fresh ones. Love simple pastas... it was very tasty!

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