Today is here and I can't help but feel a bit sad and happy at the same time. My husband and I will be driving to Eugene to move our son out of his college apartment permanently. He will be home for two weeks, and then off to his new job. In the previous months, I have felt nothing but excitement for this moment. But over the past couple of days, it all seems so bittersweet. I have found myself thinking a lot about when we first dropped him off to start his freshman year at UO. It was so overwhelming for ALL of us. We are a tight knit family and as much as my son wanted to have this opportunity, he expressed how much he would miss us. Of course we felt the same way.
When we first walked into his freshman dorm, I about died! Mainly because of the "bed". I felt so guilty that he would endure a full school year on that thing while we slept in a nice, comfy bed at home. I remember having tears in my eyes the first night he slept in his dorm as I wondered if he could even get comfortable. He made it through that year though, and with no complaining. But I know he was happy to get his own apartment with a real bed the following year! When we said our goodbyes as we dropped off our freshman, I wondered how he would make it. Would he make friends? Would he eat healthy foods? Would he find his way around campus? Would he get good grades? Would he be okay? So many questions bombarded me. As my husband and I drove home that day, I knew everything would be fine when one of my all time favorite songs came on the radio. It was "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears For Fears. Not only was it a favorite of mine since its debut in 1985, it has been my "theme" song for my son for several years. He has always shown such determination in life that I knew he could achieve whatever goals he set for himself. Another thing that made me feel better on that drive home was receiving a text from my son as he and his roommate were enjoying all of the activities the university had planned for the incoming freshman. I do have to say I thought the school did a fabulous job at helping those kids acclimate smoothly.
Over the past four years, I have had the pleasure of witnessing my son grow into such a mature, responsible, and brave man. When I think of all of the ways he has stepped out of his comfort zone, tried new things, been in unfamiliar environments, and sometimes not knowing one single person, I am in awe. That's hard to do! He is definitely braver than I was at his age! In case you are wondering about the academics part of it, he did better in college than in high school! He loved it, and his grades showed it. So I guess when I think about all of these things, I'm so thankful for the opportunities that he had and how he grew from them, but I'm also sad because we are saying goodbye to something that was really good. As we pack up today, I know I will be fighting tears as the memories flood my mind. Apartment #9 has been his home for the past few years and it has been good to him. Sometimes goodbyes are hard and this will be one of them.
Not only is our family celebrating a graduation, but a lot of you are as well. And with Father's Day just around the corner, I thought the timing was appropriate to share with you one of my family's favorite seafood dinners. Seared scallops are so delicious with golden brown crisp. Many years ago when I first attempted to cook scallops, I didn't do so hot. They were either overcooked, or just tasted pretty bland. I needed to step up my game and learn the tricks of the trade when cooking these little guys. Actually, it didn't take long before I realized some of the mistakes I was making. One of which was not having a high enough heat setting. My neat freak self just didn't want oil or butter to splatter over my stove. Once I told myself to get over it, I did. Having a bit of a mess to clean up after just goes along with the process. Another mistake I was making was cooking the scallops for too long. I was always so paranoid about serving something under cooked. The beauty of scallops is they only take a couple of minutes on each side and they are done. No exceptions!
You want the scallops to brown on each side when searing them. To have that work successfully, they need to be completely patted dry after you rinse them off. If they still have moisture on them, they won't brown properly. And finally, just the right combination of flavors to add to them make a huge difference. I came up with a basic brown butter sauce and added some garlic, white wine, parsley, chives, lemon, sea salt, and ground pepper. A very simple list of ingredients and you are on your way! This meal can be prepared in no time. I think you will spend more time cleaning up your butter splatters on your stove than you will searing the scallops. But trust me, the clean up is worth it.
1 lb wild caught scallops
2 Tbs ghee, divided (or unsalted butter)
1 Tbs coconut oil
2 Tbs minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
1/2 lemon, zest and juiced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 Tbs cold, unsalted butter
1. Rinse your scallops gently under cold water. Pat dry completely.
2. Prepare your butter, herbs, lemon, garlic, chives, parsley, and white wine so everything is ready as you need it. The cooking process goes quick so you will have to time during the cooking to prep.
3. In a large pan, saute' the coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of ghee over hot heat until it starts to reach its smoking point. You can test it with a drop of water if you are unsure.
4. Place the scallops gently into the pan leaving space between each scallop. Cook them over a medium high heat without moving them for two minutes.
5. Flip them over and cook them for two minutes more. They should look golden brown. Once they are cooked, remove them from the pan and place on a plate while you prepare your sauce.
6. Using a paper towel, wipe away any excess juice that may have accumulated in the pan after searing. It's fine to leave any brown crusty tidbits that have been left behind for flavor. Add the remaining tablespoon of ghee along with the minced garlic to the pan over medium heat. Cook for about one minute and then add the white wine. Stir everything together and allow to cook for about 3 minutes.
7. Add the parsley, chives, lemon juice, zest, sea salt, and ground pepper to the pan and stir. When the sauce has started to bubble, add the cold butter one tablespoon at a time and stir.
8. Place the scallops back into the pan and gently stir them around in the pan to coat them with the sauce. We enjoy these with my Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and some green beans. Serve immediately.