Sunday, April 4, 2010

In the Flesh

In the '90's, Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson, the wonderful actor-singers who played Jesus and Judas in the 1973 Norman Jewison film, came to Vancouver several times with a great stage version of "Jesus Christ Superstar."

It was my great pleasure to hang out with these two guys and get to know them a bit.

Neeley was wonderfully laid-back and relaxed and gracious.

Anderson was intense and dedicated and political.

Anderson died at a very young age in 2004.

On stage they were magnificent and electrifying.

Seasonal Plea

Old Mother Hubbard

Do you eat sardines?

Do you always keep one or two cans of sardines in the cupboard...just in case?

I mean...just in case you feel the urge for a fishy snack or want to top the salad or pasta with something sharp and oily and healthy?

I keep tins of tuna and salmon in the cupboard for exactly these occasions.

They are cheap and heart-smart and simple and have long shelf lives.

When I add tuna or salmon to a salad or pasta - as I will tonight (papardelle with green beans, peppers, tomatoes and fish) - I mix and mash the fish first in a bowl with Dijon mustard.

[Sidebar - Did you know that Dijon mustard last year left the town of Dijon for some obscure economical reasons and moved down the road to one of those French hyphenated places that would be impossible to put on a small jar? Like, Surneims-aux-Plaxeville...or something like that.]

Back to sardines.

The sardine has fallen on hard times.

Or at least, sardine production in the Americas has fallen on hard times.

In Prospect Harbour, Maine, it is an endgame for sure.

The NY Times headline
is conclusive: Last Sardine Cannery in the U.S. Is Clattering Out.

If you Google "Canadian fish canneries," you get 140,000 responses in 0.37 seconds, which sounds fishy to me and gives me a nosebleed.

But how many are sardines I cannot guess.

You certainly don't see sardines on restaurant menus, do you?

Well, you do in Venice, where there is a famous and delicious local dish of sardines and raisins.


Among my happy tins of salmon and tuna, awaiting their fate atop the next pasta or salad or pasta salad, are very few and very occasional tins of sardines.

I guess that is one of the few signs that I haven't totally yet succumbed to senility and toast and tea.

Soon enough, I know.