By Paul Suplee, MBA, CEC, PC-3
I don’t know why anyone, including myself, spends so much on sunglasses. You can fill my head with all the hooey about techno-gobbledygook, but once you perfect one technology (polarized lenses, for example), it’s a cheap process to mass produce.
But, just like those headphones with the letter on them that cost $14 to manufacture that so many people pay over $200 for, sunglasses pull us suckers in like a fish to a worm.
When I was in the Marines in California in the late 80s, Oakley Razorblades had just come out, and of course we thought they were insanely cool. So, a week’s “salary” went to score a pair of them from any of the local surf shops in Oceanside and Carlsbad.
As time went on, though, I got away from spending too much cash on glasses.
Last year, though, I decided to splurge and dump some cash on a pair of Smiths, to date the most comfortable and functional pair of glasses for the water. I wore them religiously, or at least until I sat on them on a road trip. Yes, I sat on them; I heard and felt the crunch. I was devastated.
I contacted Smith, told them what happened and did not expect them to honor the warranty. But, they did. I was happy as I ran to the mailbox like Ralphie in “Christmas Story” waiting for his decoder ring. I put them on, and it was like reuniting with an old friend. I usually don’t get connected to accessories, but when you find a pair of shades that fits you perfectly, you stick with them.
I wore them for a total of four days, and then realized that I could not find them. I searched high and low, not able to locate said optics.
When I went to bed that night, I kicked something under the sheets. I reached down and pulled out my mangled pair of brand new shades, courtesy of my golden doodle, Dr. Winston. Apparently, he had designs on the new glasses when they arrived. Like George Plunkett, “he seen his opportunity, and he took it.”
And so I sit here typing away, having just sent another warranty request to Smith. I can hardly imagine that they would even remotely consider replacing them again, but – credit where credit is due – the company has been amazing so far. I love good customer service.
I need my sunglasses soon, as summer is in full swing. As I grill and fry everything outside this time of year, it’s nice to know that my retinas are covered. And here is a great summertime dish, with grilled romaine and peaches accompanying a seafood cake; a nice twist of our local crabby friend.
This is a perfect starter and can even be its own meal. Crispy, fatty and balanced with a citrusy vinaigrette, it just screams summer. Sunglass season. Sigh … and mine are dead once again. Thanks, Winston.
Duck Fat Seafood Cake, Grilled Romaine & Peach, Lemon Vinaigrette
4 four-ounce Seafood cakes (recipe follows)
2 hearts of romaine, grilled (recipe follows)
2 peaches, grilled (recipe follows)
1 cup Lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Herb oil, as needed
makes 4 cakes
4 ounces salmon
3 Large shrimp, peeled
3 Large scallops
1/2 cup Mayo
1 tsp. Seafood seasoning
splash Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. Fresh chopped parsley
1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
Pulverized Ritz crackers as needed to bind
Panko bread crumbs for coating
Duck fat for frying
- Chop seafood into small pieces and set aside
- Combine everything from the mayo to the egg and whisk
- Add seafood and cracker until you can form cakes
- Make said cakes, and roll them in the panko crumbs
- Heat the duck fat to 350F and fry the cakes until cooked through and golden brown and crispy on the outside
Grilled Romaine & Peach
2 hearts of romaine
Oil, as needed
S&P, to taste
- Split the peaches in half and remove the pits
- Brush with oil, salt and pepper and place on a hot grill
- When you have grill marks, move to a cool spot and allow to cook for about 10-15 minutes
- Split romaine hearts in half lengthwise, ensuring to keep the end intact
- Brush with olive oil and season and set aside for now
- When the peaches are about ready, grill the romaine for about 30 seconds cut-side down. This will be the very last thing that you do
makes about 2 cups
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. Poppy seeds
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 cup Grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper, as needed
- Place the mustard, juices, seeds and sugar in a bowl or blender
- While mixing/whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil
- Adjust seasonings and keep chilled until service time
makes about 1 cup
3/4 cup Good EV Olive Oil
a handful of Fresh herbs (basil and Italian parsley, for example)
Salt & Pepper, as needed
- Put the oil and herbs in a small sauce pan and bring to a low-to-medium heat
- Remove and allow to steep for a few minutes and then puree with a stick blender or a good Vitamix
- Season and cool, setting aside until ready to use