We are lucky to have some very good friends here in Chestertown. Yesterday, we got together with two families we love very much for a celebration of great company and truly remarkable lox.
Our hosts were Amy and Glenn. Amy teaches at the boys’ Montessori school and is a gifted potter. Glenn is a chef. Their son Brooks drives a John Deere, and let his pal Kato take a spin around the yard.
Glenn, master of gustatory delight and personal hero of mine, cooked our breakfast sausage over an open fire.
Before our arrival, he had made waffles and flatbread.
He had sliced pineapple and placed it alluringly with blackberries. Kato was impressed. We seldom splurge for such aesthetic delights in the barn.
There was also fritata. And a pot of stewed apples. And fresh whipped cream.
But let’s cut to the chase. I was there for one reason (other than friendship and etc.).
We had provided Glenn with one of our sockeye fillets, with which he worked his magic. When we arrived, it was magnificently displayed on a cutting board in all its cured glory.
I was tempted to pick the thing up and eat it like a burrito, but my respect for the occasion and for Glenn/personal hero/maker of said lox kept me in check, if barely.
With the confidence and precision of a master, Glenn demonstrated proper lox-cutting technique.
The fruits of his labor were soon piled alluringly within easy reach. Again, I was tempted to fall into a frenzy.
Instead, I channeled my desire into emulating Glenn. He let me borrow his magnificent lox-slicing knife (rounded tip, flexible blade) and encouraged me to give it a try.
But my lack of experience soon proved disastrous. I squandered precious millimeters of lox with a failure to cut at a sufficiently low angle.
As impressionable minds looked on, I gave it my best. What I lacked in actual skill, I made up for with flair. Or so I tell myself. Glenn chef/demigod’s daughter Lily was clearly skeptical.
Eventually, the pile of lox was sufficiently high. The various small people there assembled started agitating for a chance to fill their plates.
In case you were wondering why, in the photo above, I was wearing such attractive purple pants, this was no ordinary lox-inspired gathering of friends. This was a pajama party.
A pajama party with the most inspiring array of lox and related garnishes I have ever in my 40 years encountered.
Avocado, pickled onions, jalapenos, sour cream, pickled cucumber.
Thanks to Glenn’s largesse, I felt that somehow I was part of the glorious spread, that I had somehow contributed to this gathering of delight and happiness and promise and glory.
Though I realize that, in fact, I contributed nothing other than a salmon fillet that I did not catch and did not clean.The truth is, I am a lox freeloader. A pretender. A hanger on.
And I am ok with that.
I filled my plate, assembling a carefully considered combination of lox and related garnishes on the aforementioned homemade flatbread. The final touch: an array of geranium and lavender leaves carefully selected and placed by Glenn. By GLENN! Maker of lox and all things delicious, my personal hero and redeemer. My heart was aflutter.
It is not every day that one is invited to eat art.
Especially in such very good company.
After a glorious passage of eating, we headed back outside.
There were chickens to be held.
And babies to be kissed.
And dress-up to be played. (Eschewing the traditional “princess’ motif, Alden and her friends chose to emulate college juniors on the first day of their summer internships at Goldman Sachs.)
And impressionable young women to be impressed with reckless driving.
Thanks to Glenn and Amy and Ben and Jane for being such excellent friends, for raising such wonderful kids, and for letting me be first in line at the lox bar.
I kind of worry about what might have happened if you hadn’t.