April 1, 2005
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Now that we're no longer cooking on a hot plate, I can once more boil water.

So, I grabbed one of those 2lb bags of nice, farmed mussels from the Cambridge Museum of Fruits and Vegetables. It cost $3.50 or so. Bourdain says mussels are too dangerous to eat in restaurants you don't know intimately. But you will take reasonable care, so they're better to eat at home. (I've never done this before, either.)

Anyway, I rinsed the mussels, tossing three open or damaged mussels and one that seemed kind of lightweight.

I got out the really big pot, dropped in a half stick of butter, and softened a big diced shallot. Then, I added three shots of calvados, half a diced apple, and a cup of heavy cream. (You've got to use cream here; milk won't do) Bring to boil. Add mussels. 10 minutes. Shake. 1 minute more. Serve.

Very, very nice. (Yes, lots of butterfat in the sauce. You aren't going to eat all that sauce anyway; some of it's just for cooking.)