Grilled Fish with Grilled Oranges, Quinoa and Mint
After a week that skipped along like an old vinyl record, Friday evening was met with equal parts relief and anticipation. Saturday was our first wedding shoot, and although the wedding was low key and smaller in size, it didn't take away those fleeting feelings of genuine excitement mixed with nerves and doubt.
Normally the long week that was disappears as quickly as it came. Friday night is met with a reunion of the minds between my wife and myself and it's followed by an early night to recharge and refuel. Usually we're asleep before a blink and dreams float through my mind at rapid pace, recreating past events. But not this Friday night. We woke throughout the night and struggled with rest. We were obviously jittery for the big day.
Saturday morning started like a scream in the dark midnight sky. Sudden and loud, the alarm clock welcomed us to a new Saturday reality as the light outside was trying to break free to greet us. The birds out back had just started their daily routine of sing-song and conversation and there was a cool crispness to the morning air.
This was just the beginning.
As my wife hurried about in the bedroom and ensuite, my eyes struggled with the hint of light through the window. Maybe my body felt cheated because I didn't get to sleep just a bit longer, or maybe I was afraid to face what was to come. Expectations, from outside and within, have a special kind of affect on us when we're faced with a new obstacle to overcome. And this was our biggest obstacle yet.
We left earlier than needed to scout the location and adjust to the light of the area. We wanted to be there for the set-up and arrival of the guests but deep down I think we wanted to feel comfortable. With our new surrounding and each other.
It probably wasn't until the bride and groom arrived that we felt that hunger pang first strike. It came fast and hard and was relentless in its warning. In the rush of the morning mental traffic, we had forgot to eat. Too many scenarios and checklists running through our minds had distracted us from our routine. The regular one.
Once the camera started firing and we felt the rush of the day sweep over us, we started to relax and let the day take shape in front of our eyes. One picture after another as we went through the images in our heads and started knocking off one required pose after another. In between we snapped up as many candid images as we could. One memory waiting to be discovered as we saw the future behind our lens.
When it was time to leave we were both exhausted and content. Happy, really. The day went off well and we were excited to be heading home to eat and celebrate our first wedding completed. Food was about to become our best friend.
I've heard so much about quinoa recently that it went on the must-have list when we stopped at the market on our way home. I picked up some fish, quinoa, onions and oranges and mint. This was going to be our celebration dinner. Something out of the ordinary for an extraordinary day.
I hadn't cooked with quinoa before so I just followed the simple instructions on the back and fired up the grill out back. I love spring when I can step outside and feel the soft lush grass beneath my feet as I set the grill up for the fish and oranges. It makes me feel alive inside.
So as the quinoa simmered away on the stove, I was outside monitoring the fish and creating beautiful grill marks on the thick orange slices. The aroma was enough to fill my senses for weeks. I used some of the oranges for warm juice and mixed it with the fluffy quinoa, mint and red onions. And I placed those beautiful bright orange slices on top and the grilled fish on top of that.
This meal was healthy, fresh and delicious. It tasted like spring as each ingredient stood out in my mouth. It was a great balance of aromatic mint, juicy warm oranges and quinoa with the texture from bits of onion mixed throughout. It was also the perfect way to celebrate a perfect spring dinner and the end to a day we'll never forget.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!