Jean and I have been married for some 40-plus years. In that time, I can honestly say that most of our disagreements have been centered around my love of the outdoors.
She quietly sat aside her ambitions while I fished the circuit, managing more because of enthusiasm than talent to finish in the money enough times to pay my entry fees.
In business, she became my partner on three missions, keeping collectors at bay while we managed to eke out a living. She mildly objected when I headed to the mountains to find myself, only to be found and delivered to her doorstep tired, exhausted, unshaven and glad she decided enough was enough.
After all this time, we still butt heads over hers and mine. Mine is anything that needs to be fixed, replaced, moved, updated or disposed of, and hers is everything else. Simple enough, until I trespass into no man's land -- the kitchen.
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She usually accepts my efforts with a grain of salt ... until I get into my experimental phase. I love to cook and she knows it. The problem is I manage to use every utensil and container in the kitchen.
Maybe it's a male thing, but for the life of me I have never found another option. It just happens. She tolerates this as long as I clean up, which usually takes about two hours after the meal. She claims many of her things get lost every time I enter her domain. I'm usually very careful with the compactor, though on occasion it does make strange noises.
This past week, I treated her to one of my famous cobia dishes. She was so pleased with the results she let me sit one out -- she did the dishes.
Over coffee later in the evening, we had a few laughs and a promise was made. The outdoor kitchen I had started last spring will now become a reality, complete with my own gadgets, pots and pans, and a very large water hose.
She's a keeper.
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Lee's Famous Pan-Seared Cider Cobia
4 cleaned 6-ounce portions of cobia
3 cups apple cider
1 pound diced unsalted butter
4 fresh sage leaves
2 ounces heavy cream
1 ounce olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat one ounce of oil in a medium saute pan. Lightly score and season each cobia portion with salt and pepper. Place cobia in hot saute pan, and place pan in 400-degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until firm but tender. Add cider to another saute pan and cook down by half, then add heavy cream. Add sage and slowly whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.