On his birthday

L is a lucky boy, at least that is what I always believe.

His birthday was very closed to Chinese new year this year and I was very busy with the major spring cleaning in the house and half-crippled due to my injured foot. I had no mood at all to search for interesting recipes, nice ingredients etc like I used to. I even thought of going out for a restaurant meal for his birthday. In the end, he asked for a lunch at home and he wanted the whole seabass we bought earlier as the main dish.

The moment I heard his request I screamed in my head.
“Lunch? Can’t it be dinner? How early should I wake up to start the preparation and cooking?
“I am tired these days…”
“What else he would love to eat and I never cook that before?!”
“We can’t just only eat that whole fish! That’s the protein, where are the greens?”
“He made a special request this year. He never request anything on his birthday. Should it be 3-course or 4-course meal? Man, it was so tiring last time I did it.”

Well, that’s the crazy perfectionist me (I must say I am a very bad example). I bet L thought this way:
“She said baking a whole seabass is quick and easy earlier and I never try a baked seabass before.”
That is it.
No concern of a balance meal. Of course, there will be no expectation and imagination of a fancy meal as well. That’s him.

Eventually my fatigue won over my perfectionism. Forget about looking for new dishes, I went to take a look inside my fridge and decided to cook whatever I got from there.

I told you L is a lucky man earlier right?
Our fridge was amazingly packed, as usual. Besides our favourite ingredients like bell pepper, lemon, scallop and bacon that always station in our fridge, we also had very nice prawns, imported cherry tomatoes, baby spinach and even pistachio there. Thanks to the coming Chinese new year and my spontaneous wet market shopping last weekend. I can do a lot of things with them without much planning.

On the actual day, I woke up normally, not super early. I first put the tomatoes, asparagus and yellow bell peppers on roast in the oven until they are soft and sweet. Meanwhile, I started to wash the greens for salad and frying bacon bits then deshell and devein the prawns. Once the roasting was done, I made the tomato and bell pepper puree, each added with a touch of chopped basil leaves and chill flakes respectively. After that I stuffed a handful of thyme, crushed garlics and lemon slices into the fish belly, seasoned it generously with salt and pepper. I ended the fish preparation with a splash of dry white wine and few drops of butter and covered the whole fish with a foil.

roasted vege_scaled


While pan searing my scallops, I broiled my prawns with plenty of minced garlics in the oven for 2-3 minutes. When the scallop and prawns were ready, I plated them on top of the tomato and the bell pepper puree, spreading parsley flakes and bacon bits all over. Right after I put the fish on bake, we started enjoying our appetiser over the table.

scallop and prwans02_scaledPan seared scallop and garlic broiled prawns with tomato and yellow bell peppers puree


When the fish was about to be done, I mixed the roasted asparagus together with baby spinach, onion slices and cherry radish slices, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top. The salad was served with the baked whole seabass as our main dish. After washing the dishes together, I took out the chocolate pistachio biscotti I made the day before for his afternoon coffee break.

seabass02_scaledBaked whole seabass with thyme, lemon and white wine.

pistachio choc biscotti04_scaledChocolate pistachio biscotti


L was lucky on his birthday to have a much better lunch than what he was firstly imagined.

*   *

Many times I was in extreme sadness and frustration and wondered where has my luck gone to?  I looked at L and asked that question. “Well, I think you have used up all your luck to marry to me.” He answered proudly and shamelessly.

I don’t know how true is that but so far this funny answer worked well every time. I chuckled then my rational thinking started to work again. I would say we are both lucky but I still think he is slightly more lucky than me most of the time. It is because he doesn’t need to put in much effort and things often turns out fine eventually , in contratry to me who always work in full gear on in everything I do and many times things still turned out bitter (not even just okay).

I guess that is just how life is and how we behave differently. Maybe if I take things easy just like him, I would feel more lucky, who knows? Anyway, I happy that L has been lucky and I hope he has his luck in the rest of his life. If he comes to me one day, sadly complaining about he is really unlucky, I will definitely say this

“Well, I think you have used up all your luck to marry me.” And then we will laugh.

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