Nothing takes only ten minutes, cookbook be damned.
Nothing good, at least.
But there they were at the end of only eight minutes, shells open, wine simmering, garlic rising with the steam. I was opening the lid on the first dinner of mussels that I had prepared on my own.
I had shaken the stock pot back and forth from time to time just as the directions said to do. Fresh parsley, chopped and then scraped off the cutting board onto the closed shells eight minutes earlier, clung now to the yellow meat of the mussels.
I scooped the opened shells out of the pot with a slotted spoon. I strained the broth through a mesh colander and poured it over the bowl of mussels. I pulled off three pieces of sperlonga bread. I treated myself to a glass of the simple wine in which the mussels had been steamed.
Why had I not done this sooner?