Fish People / Pets

scallops with mexican corn salad (elote) recipe

ode to one-eyed mary and a great corn salad ::::scallop-corn2

Our move to Atlanta was successful but trying in travel and in settling. For seven days, we traveled most along old Route 66 in our car with our three kids and our cat, down to Southern California, through the Mojave Desert, the tip of Texas, into the lush green of Oklahoma and Arkansas before hitting Alabama and Georgia. (More on the trip on a later post perhaps. I barely have enough focus to write this, let alone cook with limited cookware. The movers BROKE my heavy ceramic mixing bowl but managed to save the cheap wine glasses!) In honor of our friends we left behind and the great community we miss so much already, I give you a dog. This little one, Mary, is our dear friends’ dog. She is dainty, about the size of a rabbit, and has one eye.


Little Mary has been around for a very long time. She first entered our friends’ family when she was a puppy, about 15 years ago. I remember when she first met us after we moved in to the townhouse complex when we lived in Northern California. She waltzed out along with her friend Buttacup, her adopted sister dog, prancing over to delicately sniff and peer up at me holding new baby Grub in my arms and almost three-year-old Peach focused on her tricycle riding. She often would wile her way outside when her door was cracked and not monitored, sometimes ending up crossing the main street over to the park. How she made it across the busy road without getting hit by a car can only be attributed to a lightly trafficked road that day or to her quick prancing.


Spry she may be, it has not made her immune to other health problems. She developed glaucoma in her right eye, eventually developing pain and possible infection, necessitating its enucleation. I remember when she came back from surgery, Peach noted that Mary had “long eyelashes” which looked cute. I loved the naivete of her comment, so much so that I almost didn’t explain that Mary’s appearance of long, lush eyelashes were actually sutures. She healed well and was soon back to her inquisitive and dainty self, while her fat dog-sister Buttacup still snarfed down any scraps that fell on the floor before little Mary had a chance, barked any time we knocked on the door, and would glare at me with her slightly strabismatic eyes while licking her toothy overbite as I snacked and socialized with my friend M. The two dogs seemed like total opposites.

It wasn’t until Buttacup died suddenly (possibly from a bee sting allergy) last summer just when Sky-Girl was born, that I realized the close bond they had. Despite the loss of her eye, Mary remained a very industrious little dog to find attention. Given that Buttacup was gone and she had no other doggie playmates, Mary would often sneak out of her backyard into the neighbors’ yards during the day. One of those yards was often ours. I remember more than once looking out the back patio door and seeing a little face with one brown eye staring back at me.


When barricaded into her yard more securely, she resorted to still digging out under the fence to visit other yards. When the weather chilled, she stayed inside more during the day, I think, because she visited less (but I also was working more)…. Our last days in California, we stayed in M&M’s home while they were on vacation in Mexico with their kids and Mary. The packers worked on placing our sundries and delicates in boxes. I spent time in M&M’s place, the layout a replica of our soon-to-be former home, comforted by its familiarity.

What drink do you serve with this salad? A One-Eyed Chihuahua, of course. Check out my next post for that grapefruity, sassy drink. The kids and I are flying to Maine soon to spend the rest of the month with my parents and some of my siblings. I hope to have some fun Maine-created posts when there is more focused time (away from a new home that Eat can organize himself, the way he wants it done).


We really miss you, California neighbors, especially the Cunningham family and our church family! Here’s to getting used to the southern humidity and a brief cool down in Maine.

One year ago: berry yogurt popsicles

Two years ago: single-crust cherry pie and perfect pie crust

Three years ago: apricot liqueur and peanut butter granola bars

scallops with mexican corn salad (elote) recipe
Recipe type: fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 8 small ears of corn, husked
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
  • 4 ounces cotija, crumbled (1¼ cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • lime wedges, for serving
  1. Light a grill or heat up a large skillet on very high heat. In a large bowl, toss the garlic and onion with the lime juice and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Brush the corn with oil and grill/cook over moderate-high heat until charred and just tender, about 10 minutes. If doing on a skillet inside, turn on your stove overhead fan (the corn will smoke!). Cool slightly. Transfer to a work surface and cut the kernels off the cobs.
  3. Whisk the mayonnaise and chile powder into the garlic, onion and lime juice. Add the cheese and corn to the bowl and toss. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
  4. Brush the scallops with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat (or use a skillet as you did with the corn) until nicely browned and barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Spoon the corn salad onto 4 plates and top with the scallops. Serve with lime wedges.
  5. Pairs very nicely with Allagash White beer.


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