A little more than 20 years ago an ancient Croatian lady, after presenting me and my travel companions with an enormous platter of steamed black Mediterranean mussels, demonstrated how to take a mussel shell and use it as a pincher to pluck the briny, meaty little mollusks from their abodes and pop them into your mouth. It was one of a handful of transforming food experiences that I can clearly identify as a signpost on the road toward my career and lifelong passion for things edible.
Last night we steamed a pot of mussels at home and showed Tiz the drill. She had fun with the exercise and ate more than her share of the mussels. You couldn't have found a prouder papa anywhere.