The Child is away this week on a school trip. She packed herself, working from a packing list that she printed herself from her school’s website; she did her own laundry as needed. She put up a to-do list on her bedroom wall, for everything she needed to get done the day before the trip:
•Pack for trip
•Do math homework!
•Relax a little!
I dropped her off at school on Monday, where she unloaded her bag from the car herself and headed straight for the bus without so much as a backward glance. It’s what she did on her first day of first grade, too: the only picture I have of her first day of school is of her backpack as she boarded the bus.
I always thought those parents who call their kids back to get a goodbye hug or kiss were a bit, well, needy, but on Monday, I unhesitatingly became one of them.
I’m enjoying the time to myself, and I’m getting all kinds of little things done that I don’t usually have time for. Still, there’s a strange emptiness hanging around me all week.
On Tuesday, I went to the library to pick up another cookbook (Bouchon Bakery – because all the baking books are suddenly available now that I’m on a diet). Driving there, I saw a North Carolina license plate, and had nobody to pinch because I saw it first. Driving home, I was able to play my own music, which never happens two drives in a row and felt so strange that I finally just switched the radio to one of her stations and listened to some song I know the words to yet can’t stand.
I had the idea that while she was gone, I’d spend the week making things for dinner that I can’t usually make because she won’t eat. You know: meat. Instead, I stared into the freezer for a while and finally yielded to the impulse to make something that she likes, something would make it feel more like she was here.
This recipe for Orange Grilled Salmon originally came from Cooking Light magazine, and it’s decidedly easy: It’s just a rub that you put on the salmon right before tossing it on the grill for a few minutes. It’s got a nice orange flavor from the zest, sweetness from the sugar, and a spicy kick to it that isn’t overwhelming. It’s supposed to make enough for six salmon filets, but I like to put a lot on, so I find it’s enough for four. The nice thing is that you can make the rub ahead of time and just put it on when you’re ready to go – or you can make it, use it on one or two pieces of salmon, and store the rest for another day.
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp grated orange rind
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 6 salmon fillets
- Rub mixture over fillets. Grill for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through.