TOGETHER ALONE

christmas wreath

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, we were able to have Christmas dinner together. I had not planned to make anything special for dinner today but last night he mentioned wanting to make fish with roasted potatoes. So this morning I drove to Whole Foods and purchased a piece of sea bass.

Not being much of a fish person, my knowledge of fish and their varying tastes was limited. Initially I had been eyeing the cod fillets but recalled the wonderful sea bass filets prepared by my boyfriend earlier this month whilst visiting him in Ireland. Whilst waiting for the customer ahead of me to complete his large order of Atlantic farmed salmon for his party of seven, I looked up 'cod fish' on Google. There was mention of 'mild flavour' but I needed more information.

I asked the guy at the fish counter the difference in taste between the two. 'Oh, they are very different...' he started. Then he continued to explain and compare fish to beef. He likened cod to ground beef and sea bass to filet. I went with the sea bass this time. Remembering looking up ways to prepare sea bass a couple weeks back, I went to the produce aisle to grab a lime and fresh ginger for the fish.

sea bass dinner

He finished work early today - around noon my time. We chatted for a short while on Skype then he went to visit a neighbour who was also spending Christmas alone whilst I went downstairs to work on cleaning and rearranging the living room. It wasn't exactly how I imagined spending the day but things needed to be done. My new daybed, the one sitting in three separate boxes since before Thanksgiving, needed assembling.

The replacement daybed had its faults yet again but I did not wish to fuss with it further. The sides did not fit perfectly and the slats were stapled too close together which I had to rip apart in order for them to fit. I vowed to have a couch to sit on by the fireplace before the year's end. I should have taken my green chaise lounge when I moved out but it meant renting a moving van. Perhaps next year when I move I will take it.

Whilst waiting for one portion of the floors to dry, I reconnected with him on Skype. We talked about how it was difficult to spend Christmas alone this year but realised we were not really alone. Despite the distance, we managed to spend this day together. Together alone. It is all we have now and we are making the best use of the technology available to us.

french malbec

He received a phone call from family and would call me on Skype later. I took the time to make preparations for my dinner, starting with the potatoes. Baby Yukon gold potatoes were halved and placed in a pot with water and salt to boil until soft. After browning almond slices for the haricots verts, I sliced half an onion and browned the slices in olive oil. The fish I placed on parchment paper and topped with butter, lime zest, grated fresh ginger, salt, and Urfa crushed chilies.

I sent him a photo of the fish, letting him know it was ready to go into the oven. The haricots verts were combined with the panko crumbs, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and almond slices and were sitting on the stove. The potatoes with sautéed onions, his specialty, was already in the oven.

Reconnecting yet again on Skype, we sat down together and enjoyed our Christmas dinner. Late for him, early for me due to the six hour time difference. He poured a glass of Spanish wine whilst I enjoyed a glass of French Malbec. Albeit not the ideal situation, we made it work together alone.