Ch-ch-ch-changes...(French Fridays with Dorie: Curried Mussels)

"Pretty soon now you're gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time"

"Changes" by David Bowie

I have decided that the word for 2015 is "change".

This concept knocked the wind out of me in a very profound way the other day when I came home from work to find both of the girls on the couch playing a game together on their PS3 (I am surprised it still even worked - or that we still had any games left in the house). As they played through the game, I was transported back in time - to the days when they were still in high school. The days when everyone came home every night. When life was complicated, but nowhere near as complicated as it would become.

Thoughts of college and jobs were still years in the future. The milestones that we were facing included licenses, proms and making it to athletic events. Textbooks and tuition were not yet on the radar.

I realized that, as we continue to move forward in life that moments like this would be less frequent. Those simple moments when the world seems to come together, when life just feels right, will look different in the future. 

Runner Girl is half-way through her junior year of college. Culinary Kid is chomping at the bit to set off on a life of her own. Work life continues to keep us both occupied. Other changes at home and in the family are on the horizon - some days I feel like a passenger on the ride that is my life.

Realizing that each day is one step closer to a new reality has made it all easier to absorb. It's a balancing act - holding on to the highlights of the old, while embracing the best of the new.

Change can't be stopped, so I might as well roll with it.

Speaking of change - this week's French Fridays recipe was for curried mussels. This dish was intended to be a concoction of aromatics, wine and herbs with a dose of curry thrown in.

Small problem - curry contains cumin and cumin is high on the list of "things that no one will tolerate". Yeah, it's like that...

So, it will come as no surprise if I 'fess up to "changing" this recipe - instead of a base of both onions and shallots, I sauteed a couple of shallots and spoonful of Ethiopian berbere in butter. Once the shallots started to take on color, I added 3/4 of a cup of Sam Adams to the pot and simmered the mussels (I only used one pound) in the mixture. The dish was finished off with a dose of heavy cream and was served with hunks of rye bread that were used to soak up the broth.

The girls and I stood around the bowl and gobbled up the mixture straight out of the pot. I am not sure if it was the type of mussels we used or cooking them in the cream, but even my non-seafood eater ate a healthy dose of these. Broadening taste buds is one change that I can definitely get behind.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. A blogged version of Dorie's curried mussels can be found here.

Peace out.



  1. Well, Bill won't eat curry OR mussels. What's a girl to do??? I can't believe Nick is halfway through his junior year as well...yikes!

  2. I had to look up what Sam Adams was - beer! This combination sounds good - and if the girls liked it too, even better. Have a great weekend Cher.

  3. Aw Cher, change is inevitable but I am guessing it must be hard to face too! Treasure those moments with the kids standing around eating mussels out of the pot!

  4. Happy to hear that even your non-curry version was a winner. I love mussels, but even I was surprised by how much I loved this one. I too am guessing tha tthe cream may have played a role:-) Probably one of those discoveries which it would have been better never to make.

  5. My hubby doesn’t do curry, so I also changed things up a bit! I added paprika for the curry, and the sauce was amazing! Glad to hear you and the girls enjoyed this dish…your changes sound great!
    I can’t believe your daughter is halfway through her junior year…time stands still for no one! Enjoy every minute!

  6. I am really thinking to serve this with rice or noodles, should be really good. Probably adding some more seafood like shrimp and squid, and make a big pot of seafood curry. Because I really like this creamy curry sauce. :)

  7. Woah! Berbere and beer sounds like such a great mod! I'm keeping that one in mind. Have you ever had Ethiopian beer? It's really great with the food, but not such a great beer on its own. Anyway, Cher, it looks fantastic! Good luck with your changes in the coming year. It sounds like a big year for you and I'll send good thoughts for a smooth set of transitions. Reading your post reminds me that time will go by fast with my kiddo and that I do need to enjoy the good times as they are fleeting. :)

  8. I'm not too much far behind you with the kids getting older. I complain and wish for some free time, but I will truly miss it when they both aren't in the house. I plan on getting more dogs.
    Berbere never heard of it. I checked it out, sounds like a wonderful mixture of spices. Will keep it on my radar.

  9. I know how you feel about change with your own children, trying doing the same with grandchildren. Tricia's youngest is off to college this weekend
    and Jim and I are reminded of all the millions of events we have gone thru with all the the grandchildren. Let me tell you, it ain't easy. Your mussels look good, by the way.

  10. Your version sounds great, still lots of bold spices. I'm going to try this version another time. Do you know that even though I've sung along to that David Bowie song for decades, I didn't know he was saying "I can't trace time" until I read it in your post. I always thought he was saying change. Have a great weekend, Cher!

  11. Hmmm, no cumin or curry? That's rough....but hey, we all have things like that.

    It is a love/hate relationship with change. We have a lot of changes in our house right now, and not always easy to adapt to.

    Will keep an eye out for Berbere - I know I don't have that at home, and with the new low-sodium diet for Sous Chef spices are key!

    Happy New Year!

  12. I hear ya, Mom. I remember when we were all about getting Runner Girl into and then off to college. We were all commiserating with you about your first child leaving home. Remember when I told you that driving Melissa to St. Olaf was the worst day of my Life.....ever. Then following that day with Daughter #1, Change just torpedoed me. Wham. Wham. Wham. That's sorta what happened to you over the past 2-3 years with your girls and your Life, hasn't it. I continue to be amazed that you can keep all your balls in the air and also cook/make/bake every week and write great Posts about them all. You may be going through Changes constantly but you are rolling with them. You should be proud of yourself and proud that your girls still like to hang out around the Pot with their Mom and eat dinner!

  13. Hi Cher, I haven't visited in awhile. I am glad you enjoyed the mussels. They must have been yummy?

  14. I didn't mean to say "yummy?", I meant "yummy!"
    Have a great weekend.

  15. Dear Cher, what a wonderful post to read through on a Saturday night as the girls are watching the Aristocats on TV -.a bit of time to read through all my favorite blog posts...your spice mix sounds wonderful and intriguing, I had never heard of it! So glad that you all loved this recipe - to my great surprise, we all loved the Curried Mussels as well. Btw, love your beautiful Le Creuset pot...great color, just perfect for cooking a dish like this.
    Have a nice weekend,

  16. I loved your thoughts on change. My son is 11 and I already fear that he will be starting off to college like tomorrow. Time is flying to fast for me. Glad you were able to make this recipe work for you.

  17. Hi Cher! I do indeed understand feeling like a 'passenger on the ride that is your life'. I have had the very same feeling. I am trying to let go and grab hold. I know that makes no sense but perhaps you understand. One time when both our boys were home from college for a weekend the ice cream man came by. They are both young men in their early twenties and run out the door screaming for me to bring the money as they run out to stop him as they hear his music head down the street. Of course, I grabbed my wallet and followed but seeing them standing at the curb, choosing their treat stopped me in my tracks. I stood on the porch crying for the end of our family life and the changes we were going through, until one of them runs back for the money and wonders if I've lost my mind. Its so bittersweet when your kids start their own lives. I still miss those days:) Good luck on your changes Cher.

  18. I like your concept of change - a lot is happening right now and 2015 will certainly be full of twists :D
    Beautiful looking mussels, bet they were bursting with flavour!

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. One of the things I like most about cooking is that it doesn't change. Even when things around me are chaotic and changing, I still try to cook dinner most nights. It grounds me. I can only imagine how hard it is to have kids leave home, but you are so lucky that they do come home and enjoy dinner with you. I love the idea of berbere spices and beer. What a fun substitution.

  20. Oh my, just finally catching up and this is the most recent of your posts (I think). Yes and yes. Can totally relate. Have spent much of the holiday period wondering where my little ones went and who the two men in their places are. But they are young men who still watch the Simpsons and fight over the Trader Joe chicken nuggets like it is 1999. So it remains a bit surreal. And likely will. We are all just along for the ride :) By the way- you made the mussels look fab in that gorgeous blue Le Crueset. And recall that I don't like mussels......:)


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