Spring is here again. Warm, sunny days and cool nights. Occasional rain. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, baby goats are frolicking in the field on Greenwald Ave., and college acceptance letters are arriving in the mail.
Well, everything was so peaceful, wasn’t it, until I mentioned college.
Since my eldest child is a high school senior this year, there’s been a lot of dialogue about college at our house. So much so, that at the beginning of every conversation the younger two kids ask, “You’re not going to talk about college again, are you?”
We don’t dialogue exclusively about our son’s potential college choices. With so many friends in the same high school senior boat, we also chat about other people’s children and their prospective college selections. It can be all consuming at times.
So, you can imagine my joy that we had a chance this week to get away from thinking about acceptance letters, financial aid awards, and dorm room décor. We spent the day on an old-fashioned school field trip to SeaWorld in San Diego.
When my children were in elementary school, our favorite places to go for an educational field trip were the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park and SeaWorld. They loved being outdoors, learning about animals, being with friends, and thinking that they were ditching school for the day.
I loved the field trips for all those reasons, plus the chance for me to reconnect with my friends and other moms from our homeschool group. It was a refreshing change from our normal week of school and something we always looked forward to.
Since we were going to be getting back home late in the afternoon on field trip days, I had to plan ahead for dinner on those nights. Many times it was a crock pot meal. With a little advance prep, I could have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes after a long day out and about.
As my kids advanced into the junior high and high school years, the school subjects got harder and harder, and it seemed the field trips became fewer and fewer. When you’ve got the Pythagorean Theorem to memorize and the distance between two points to find on a coordinate plane, a visit to the reptile house at the zoo isn’t as attractive as it once was. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
But now, here we are in the senior year of high school. And SeaWorld was patiently waiting for us to return. So we went. And it was like old times. My kids loved being in the San Diego sunshine, revisiting the animals, reconnecting with friends, and ditching the Pythagorean Theorem for the day.
And when we got home late that afternoon? Dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes, thanks to this week’s recipe from Ina Garten on the Food Network website. This is a healthy fats recipe that features good fats from two sources: salmon and olive oil.
At SeaWorld, I loved catching up with my friends and other moms in our homeschool group. Did we chat about college? Of course, but more than anything we enjoyed our time with each other and the beautiful spring day.
Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 to 2 1/2 lbs. skinless salmon fillet
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 cup minced green onions (white and green parts)
- 1/2 cup minced fresh dill
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Lemon wedges for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the salmon fillet in a glass, ceramic, or stainless-steel roasting dish and season it generously with salt and pepper. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle the mixture evenly over the salmon. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the scallions, dill and parsley. Scatter the herb mixture over the salmon fillet, turning it so that both sides are generously coated with the green herbs. Pour the wine around the fish fillet. Roast the salmon for 10 to 12 minutes, until almost cooked in the center at the thickest part. The center will be firm with just a line of uncooked salmon in the very center. (peek by inserting the tip of a small knife.)
Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the salmon crosswise into serving pieces and serve hot with lemon wedges.