Everything about it.
- a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan heated on top of the stove until hot, its cooking surface brushed with olive oil, and once the oil was quite hot, one pound of rinsed and carefully dried large squid from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, which had been selected from the bucket right in front of me by the fisherman himself, Phil Karlin, who had come in with the catch from eastern Long Island early that day, quickly arranged inside, immediately sprinkled with a heaping teaspoon of super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, most of one crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino, also from Buon Italia, and a section of orange/golden home-dried habanada pepper, picked up fresh from Norwich Meadows Farm last summer, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, followed by a douse of 3 tablespoons of juice from an organic Whole Foods lemon, and a splash of olive oil, the pan placed inside a pre-heated 400º oven and roasted for only 5 or so minutes, when their bodies had ballooned, removed, the squid distributed onto 2 plates and ladled with a bit of their cooking juices that had been collected in a glass sauce pitcher
- two sliced heirloom tomatoes, one red, one orange, from Tamarack Hollow Farm, slipped into a 13-inch seasoned cast iron skillet in which a little olive oil had first been heated, seasoned with salt and black pepper, sprinkled with some whole leaves of a Full Bloom Market Garden Connecticut Valley basil plant from Whole Foods, arranged on the plates and drizzled with just a bit of balsamic vinegar
- ten ounces or so of a mix of small green and purple okra from Lani’s Farm, sautéed over a high flame inside a very large seasoned cast iron pan in only a little olive oil [I’ve just learned that the cast iron causes even green pods to blacken, but I’ve never really noticed that, at least not as a problem], adding a good part of one crushed dried dark habanada pepper, half way through, seasoned with sea salt
- the wine was an Italian (Calabria) white, Scala, Ciro Bianco, 2017, from Flatiron Wines
- the music was Handel’s 1726 opera, ‘Alessandro’ [as in, ‘The Great’], in a production largely featuring Greek performers, George Petrou conducting the Armonia Atenea, with Max Emanuel Cencic, Karina Gauvin, Julia Lezhneva, and The City of Athens Choir