Toward the Next Thing
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I heard it all, the lovely sounds of the State Fair in the background, the crowds, the children giggling, and I could almost smell the deep fried delicacies I so long for this time of year — the sausages and cheeses and breads, donuts with fillings and glazes and sugars and nuts. Mmm. Comfort in its simplest form, apart from the human hug, which I have been craving since last Thursday, on which day sometime in the afternoon before the sun began to fall, I drove away from my daughter, the oldest, the first to fly, leaving her to her new home, her roommate, and four years of pure joy ahead.
I love quotes. I search for words, and stumble upon someone else’s thought — someone who hits the nail on the head — and I say, yes, oh yes. A woman named Elizabeth Stone nailed it when she said, “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
I am thinking there is always a kind of ache in the space left by a child flying away into her own life. I try to see it, rather, as a full-circle beautiful thing, the way beauty is flawed and everything is broken but it is the right way of things, and good, and healthful. It is as it should be. However, I will admit to stumbling through these past few days in a weird kind of longing for my little girl, and avoiding her bedroom because it is so quiet and all I can smell is her. I also hear echoes.
At the same time, I am so happy. Life is happening. I will have my Big Cry, and who knows when. There are two children here who miss their big sister, and I have them to hold and lift on up. There is homework to do, and string instruments to repair, and walks with Mr. Sundberg when he’s home for a stretch. I have a freezer full of salmon and halibut, and autumn is not long off. Neither is Fall Break, thank goodness, and the Homecoming. Onward then, toward the Next Thing.
Though it’s salmon and halibut I’ve a boatload of, there’s still some walleye from the summer’s fishing, and this recipe lends a nutty savoriness to a walleye fillet that’ll have you asking for one more small piece, if there’s any left.
Pecan Crusted Walleye
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt
1 cup ground pecan meal
4 (4 ounce or so, each) walleye fillets
1 T butter
1 T vegetable oil
Beat the egg with the garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and salt until evenly mixed. Spread the pecan meal into a shallow dish. Dip the walleye fillets into the egg mixture, then press into the pecan flour.
Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place walleye fillets into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides and the fish flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side.