Of cod fish cakes and…

The snow falls, turning the town into a fine example of an illustration for a Dickens’ story. Or, as the man I met along Tobin Street this evening remarked, “It’s like Christmas, eh?” This ongoing winter weather, as I have learned, tends to make the locals grumpy–and I feel somewhat guilty for being–still–enraptured by its white fluffiness. And today it’s not cold or windy; in fact, the temperature is just about a hair beneath freezing, so the sidewalk is grey mush and the streets are clear. It’s the rooftops and trees and lawns that are white and pillowy.

Some of the locals were cheered by the special at lunch today. Apparently everyone’s mother (including mine) made fish cakes in our once-upon-a-time youths, and so we happily ordered them almost all around. Ducky’s version leaned more toward the potato than the salt cod, and the side was salad, rather than beans, but it looked and tasted handmade.

For supper (at Henry House), I ordered the bruschetta and got a plate of bread and chopped tomatoes that reminded me again of my mother. Not that she ever made anything faintly Italian (and rarely made anything at all, except the aforesaid fish cakes and beans, and a noodly dish that involved canned roast beef of all things). But she had a phase, when I was about five, when she doted on a not-quite-dive called Palazzo’s Restaurant where the equivalent of bruschetta–but I no longer remember what it was called–was slung as a very early breakfast at a bar that seemed to serve only truckers and us.

A week ago, I was dining in high style, and the weather was warm and fine. But I think I’d be more homesick now if it weren’t snowing and there were neither fish cakes nor Henry House here.


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