scallops and eggs



These are remnant pieces of exceedingly large sea scallops that were previously sliced into eights or tenths and wrapped in rendered bacon with a messy smear of brown sugar then baked to finish for hors d'oeuvres -- a variation on standard ramaki. I didn't attend because by then I was too tired, but reports indicate guests flipped over them. Milled popcorn polenta spread into a baking pan, cooled, sliced, and fried in olive oil with house red chile pepper flakes. Grated pecorino Romano, garlic powder, cayenne, and balcony basil.

I prefer eggs flipped over easy but they don't photograph as dramatically so in these small ways I suffer for art.

Wanna hear something a little bit funny? One person asked, "What was inside those bacon things?" I go, "Scallops." Bless her heart, she goes, "What are those?" I go, "They're tender white fibrous sea creatures in the shape of a disk that grow the archetype ribbed sea shell shaped like a fan, from which the word 'scalloped' is derived." Then to befuddle that perfectly clear description, suspecting if anyone unfamiliar with scallops might be also unfamiliar with famous paintings, I added, "Think: The Arrival of Venus."

But I do have sympathy for not knowing basic things. As a tot, my dear mum used to bake prepared breaded scallops. More awful than fish sticks, I didn't much care for them, their texture was odd, as you can imagine they would be over-baked due to the breadcrumbs. I picked off the breading and ate that then played with the white discs that remained trying to think of ways to make them go away without eating them. Examining the discs, lining them up, smashing them flat, I asked my mother if they were a chopped up snake. She laughed and said, "Yes." At that age, I believed everything she told me and held that as sacrosanct truth throughout life up to the age of twenty-one when I challenged a fish vendor on Cape Cod about his poster depicting seafood. With all the confidence of a self-assured twenty-one year old, I said to him flatly, "Your poster is wrong." He grinned menacingly and said, "O yea-uh? Wut's wrong wid it?" I told him it's got scallops looking like a clam when in fact they're chopped up snakes. He roared laughing, he in his sweat-stained white t-shirt and goo-stained apron, then patiently and carefully set me straight by making sense and putting the lie to my mother's b.s. I'll not forgive that woman for messing so carelessly with my trusting mind.

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