Due to what threatens to become a chronic condition, I’ve been under a doctor’s care recently.  Fortunately for me, I’ve found it quite easy to schedule appointments with him, and he’s exceptionally attentive.  He even made me dinner this past weekend!

After a rather long and trying week, I somewhat miraculously found myself hanging out on a couch with a book, sipping a glass of Lagavulin and nibbling on Chimay and olives, while this good doctor toiled away, quite happily, in the kitchen.  Sounds of sautéing and scents of garlic and onion drifted into the living room.  A table was set, candles were lit, and a pinot noir was poured.  I was called to dinner.

When he’s not waging war against Alzheimer’s disease, this doctor can sometimes be found putting in a little time at a local farm, in exchange for a share of the harvest.   He thus found himself with a few pumpkins in his pantry and decided to prepare “Sicilian Spicy Pumpkin” as an accompaniment to the seared tuna and spinach with pine nuts and raisins.   It was an inspired choice.  The pumpkin was not so much spicy as it was sweet and sour, and played nicely against simple white rice.  For the seared tuna, my host encouraged a dollop of saffron and shallot butter.

And with this meal, though I did indeed find myself restored from the work week, the above-referenced condition was far from improved.  Turns out a home-cooked Friday night dinner serves merely to exacerbate the symptoms. . .