Charlie Brown and I have been on our own for the past 10 days or so. Vince is out of the country and Joe College is (surprise) at college.
My youngest imp has always been the adaptable, accomodating and quiet one in our family of opinionated chatterboxes. He spent the first 13 years of his life being an undemanding 4th wheel in our family dynamic. When Joe College moved to Leiden, suddenly Charlie Brown was an only child. He started talking instead of listening all the time and Vince and I finally had the time to give him our undivided attention.We are getting to know our second son.
Charlie Brown is clearly on the path to self discovery. This summer the fact that he’s rather bright finally sunk in and he’s getting comfortable with that instead of fighting it. He’s finding it hard to connect with his classmates, who are all into voetball (soccer), “Idols”, and “hard style techno”. They try very hard to be hip. Charlie Brown doesn’t have to try. Charlie Brown is a true hipster. He’s found his “people” outside school and they are hippies and hipsters too.
One of the things I love so much about Charlie Brown is that DNA seems to have given him all the good qualities of my brother, the Prince of Darkness: his wacky sense of humor, his musical taste, his ability to enjoy a Kung-Fu film or an art film in equal measure and discuss them at length. He “gets’ art. He likes to dream aloud about “what if?”. He is kind, protective of the weak and a true mensch.
I love that he’s got his father’s good nature and long fuse. I love that when his fuse blows, it blows like Vesuvius which is just like me. I’m pleased that he loves books, like me, and that he likes to spend time painting his Warhammer armies, which I’d never have the patience to do. He’s House Stark and I’m House Targaryen, but we both hate the Lannisters . The TV series was too graphic, we switched to the books—we are both visual thinkers.
There are quirks I love that are all his own too. His friendliness, innate sense of cool, and his deep dark voice to name a few. I won’t embarrass him any further with a longer list, but the real list if very long.
We both love mussels, which Joe College and Vince do not eat. When we’re on our own, I cook mussels for a special treat. It’s our last meal on our own. Vince comes home tomorrow morning, so it was mussels for two tonight.
About 2 lbs mussels
A good lump of butter (about 1/3 cup)
Garlic (as much as you like)
Dry white wine (about 1/3 bottle)
Throw mussels in cold water to check for gappers. Toss any that stay open after being immersed in cold water.
Put mussels in a big pot or mussel pan
Put butter in pot.
Toss in garlic ( you can mince it, but I like it roughly chopped)
Splash in the wine
Steam until mussels open (about 12 mins)
Serve with bread or french fries and the rest of the wine to drink.