Heckled By ParrotsBlue Sky WritingRebecca K. O'Connor

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A (New) Tradition of Scallops

Nantucket Bay Scallops

Nantucket Bay Scallops

Last year, a falconry friend who I met on Facebook Fed-Exed me a box of Nantucket Bay Scallops fresh off the boat. I cooked them, shared them and made them into a kitchen story. I have thought about them all year. So as the end of the falconry season approached and I knew it was about time for the scallop harvest, I found myself wondering where I could get them again this year and daydreaming about what I could make with them.

When Mark offered to send me another batch I was beside myself. If you love seafood, there is really nothing comparable to very very fresh Nantucket Bay Scallops. Nothing.

They showed up at my office in DU and I immediately opened the box and shared. My coworkers, some being hunters, others foragers and gardeners knew without me explaining the value of sourced food, both in taste and in the pleasure of knowing the path your food took to find you. We all nibbled on raw scallops out of the box. Then I had one quickly seared batch at home.

Scallop Pizza

Scallop Pizza

The next round of scallops topped a pizza with white sauce, mushrooms, goat cheese and caramelized onions. I cooked it with a friend and was reminded how relationships are sometimes mixed and measured and slowly perfected in the kitchen.

Scallop Quiche

Then I took some next door where they were making brunch the next morning for friends and neighbors.  Part of our brunch was my neighbor’s recipe, scallop and onion quiche which coupled with a mimosa was just about heaven. We told stories, laughed and further sealed the bond of our small, wry but fierce neighborhood watch.

Leek, Potato, Cauliflower Soup with Scallops

Leek, Potato, Cauliflower Soup with Scallops

The last incarnation of my scallops was eaten on a cold drizzly day. I threw together a cheesy leek, potato and cauliflower soup, in the last few minutes of cooking throwing in scallops. It was hearty and soul-warming and I was sad to eat the last bite, yet could hardly stop myself. I ate it alone, already nostaglic for scallops past, but grateful for how far this year’s batch of scallops had gone –in so many ways.

This is what food means to me. Food is the hard work of someone to harvest, the heart of someone to prepare it and the friendships that are built around sharing the pleasure and gift of a perfect meal. So thank you, Mark. What you have sent me these last two years is so SO much more than a bit of tasty seafood. Cheers!

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