I’m going to skip the part where I talk about how long it’s been since I’ve posted anything on here. You don’t mind, do you? Good stuff.
Well, what a year, amiright?
We’re over here experiencing one extreme to the other. I hit the ground running on my new show Family Law (not literally running, thank god, can you imagine?) in March, and comfortably got my family into the groove of that new normal, and then promptly got shut down two weeks into filming due to the star of 2020, Covid-19. So our little family lulled and worried and quarantined until July, when the engine started revving back up again and shooting finally– blissfully– recommenced. So back I went to 14 hour days, early 5am mornings and rushing home to try to see my child at the end of the day before he went to bed. (And most of the time I made it, thanks to you, best crew in town). I felt like my brain was close to going into overdrive, tiny cogs whirring, memorizing lines, managing my life, muddling in the managing of our son’s life, which Charlie was handling quite well… I was level 10 tired, especially in our last week of shooting in October, so once we wrapped, my body let it all hit me at once and I turned on the TV, gave my to-do the list the finger, and sat on my couch for two weeks.
But the weird thing about being an actor is the rest period does not last, because the anxiety levels do not rest. For me, it takes exactly two weeks to start the fretting about ever working again, or, if you’re lucky to book a series, worrying about whether that series will get a season 2. It’s all so nauseating and self-indulgent, it’s enough to make you ignore your blog!
What’s also helpful in the not-resting department is the return of a local Covid surge here, our phase 2 or 3 or whatever fresh hell this is permeating our every day lives while we accumulate a rather impressive mask collection and try not to grind our teeth down to nubs. We are out of our show cast and crew bubble and back into our teeny family bubble, with the inevitable prospect of Christmas being just us three. I have already decorated in the hopes that the end of 2020 will come faster if I just hang enough Christmas shit around the house.
But hey. I do have a lot of time on my hands, which means I can return to saying hello a little more often. Because you know what me and free time and not having to fit into pencil skirts means! Cooking and eating and talking about cooking at eating!
I will acknowledge, though, how lucky we are for a quick sec. (Mostly because I read my last blog entry and wanted to shake me. “Oh but DO use the EXPENSIVE olive oil!” My god. Barf.) We not only have stayed healthy, but we still have each other, and I’m beyond grateful when I sit back and realize that gift, every single day. Even if the tiny one is temperamental and prone to fits and tiny fist-shaking. I also got to live the dream of being a part of an insanely beautiful TV show with a cast full of sweet, big-hearted dreamboats and a crew that laughs all day, even while masked for 12 hours and lugging equipment and dealing with their own Covid anxieties. Plus, did I mention how good the show is? Oh, I can’t wait for you to see it.
Also, there’s a new season of The Crown on Netflix, so, really, we all have something to be thankful for.
Here comes me sounding like a twat again, but Charlie caught some delicious ling cod over the summer, so I’m all about using it in different ways. It being cold and damp around these parts, I’m channeling and celebrating our precious Ina Garten and cooking rich, stick-to-your-ribs type dishes that just make you feel good, because lord knows we could all use some comfort food this year. Ina has a crazy-good baked cod recipe in her new book Modern Comfort Food, along with a recipe for some of the best English-style roasted potatoes I’ve ever had. Even the young emperor enjoyed them before looking down his nose at me and proclaiming them, “New Food.”
I’m going to share my version below, with full honesty that it was all Ina’s idea. I just figure we should all be sharing the wealth at the moment, and it made me happy as heck, so I hope it makes you happy, too. But do go and buy her new book. It is full of delightful things.
Baked Ling Cod and Roasted Potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cod fillets, skinned (ours were about an inch thick, 6 oz each)
1/4 cup Ritz crackers
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley, minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp dry white wine (oh look! This bottle’s already been opened!)
sea salt and pepper
6 small Yukon gold potatoes, about 1 1/2 lbs, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp parsley, minced
the juice of one lemon
sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Bring a pot of water to boil, and boil the potatoes for 6 minutes. Drain and let them steam on a baking sheet so they dry out a bit.
Pour olive oil on another baking sheet and put it in the oven for five minutes, until the oil smokes. Spread the potatoes onto the oiled baking sheet, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and give them a good stir to coat. Roast them for 45 minutes, turning once halfway. Season them again to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle them with parsley and lemon juice.
Once the potatoes have been at it for 25 minutes, prep the fish. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a baking dish. Turn the fish over in the oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 minutes.
Melt the butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl for 45 seconds. Mash up the Ritz crackers over the bowl with your fingers, then add the panko breadcrumbs, the garlic, parsley, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Take the fish out, pour the wine directly over the top, and squeeze over the lemon juice. Pack the breadcrumb mixture on the top of each fillet, pressing down so it sticks. Bake for another 6 minutes until the top is golden brown. Drizzle with the juices in the bottom of the baking pan, and serve alongside the potatoes. Take that, 2020.
Stay safe, wear your mask, make it fashun.