I texted my wife:

ARE YOU BUSY CAN YOU PICK ME UP ITS FREEZING OUT THERE as I would be returning home around 7ish or so by bicycle, but there was no response.

Berkeley Bowl stays open till 8 pm (much to employees’ chagrin but much to shoppers’ delight) so I had time to run past and grab a couple of items…and warm up.

1 lb mussels, coconut milk, two Persian cucumbers, galangal. Yes, it would be Thai night. I had found a great recipe at about.com/thaifood by one Darlene Schmidt whose regular newsletter will fill your inbox with more Thai cuisine facts than you might ever use, but as my wife and I are big mussels fans, this recipe with coconut milk, garlic, galangal, shrimp paste, fish sauce etc. really hit me. And moreover, a pound of mussels are only about $4.

I decided to counterpoint the mussels dish with a classic Thai salad of cucumbers, peanuts, and shallots in a sweet and spicy sauce cuz I thought it would complement the main dish well. Reheat some jasmine rice, stop off at Trader Joe’s for a bottle of their cheapass $2.49 special…what could go wrong?


Wife’s mouth was inordinately pleased, and she kept at the coconut basil sauce like it was soup. Big hit–I decided to save the remaining sauce and try it on chicken tomorrow night.