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8 February 2018

Wednesdays have always been a special day in our week. From high school on, they were the day we put the weekly magazine to bed to mail it that night so subscribers would see it in the morning.

After Lunch. Captured at f4.1, 1/1600 sec. and ISO 200 before the Raw was worked over in Camera Raw.

Lunch would be delayed until the last pages -- which were the front page with the latest news and the back page where the editorial was -- had been proofread and corrected and shot and stripped and plated and come off the press for a final check.

One of the first good sheets of the eight-page signature would be folded and assembled with the others, confirming we had a magazine.

Then we'd go to lunch.

With our foray into Web publishing that all went away as unnecessary overhead. And, come to think of it, there wasn't much romance to it either. It was work.

It was easier to get a table downtown going to lunch after 2 p.m. but a lot of kitchens were closed by then too. And the late lunch often ruined dinner.

We'd come back from lunch and pitch in on the final bindery work, folding the wet press sheets, stacking the gathering table, gathering the signatures into open magazines, stapling the magazines, trimming three sides off, addressing them, bundling them into sacks according to ZIP code, hauling them to the mailing dock.

We don't always stop for lunch but we always stop for lunch on Wednesdays.

We thought we'd never escape it. It felt like a sort of gulag.

But we did escape it. And Wednesdays now are celebratory. We don't always stop for lunch but we always stop for lunch on Wednesdays.

We go into the kitchen and concoct something. Yesterday is was a cherry tomato and large prawn dish with spaghetti. Just thinking about it now makes us smile.

We slice seven cherry tomatoes in half, put them in enough oil to coat a frying pan in a ring around the edge, drop some bruised garlic in the middle (not chopped, not minced but bruised), some pepper flakes and salt that. The prawns, quickly unthawed, are marinated in garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, basil, lemon juice, oil and a little tomato sauce while the water boils.

When the quarter pound of spaghetti goes into the salted water with a spritz of fresh lemon juice, the tomatoes are sauteed in the frying pan without turning them over. With about four minutes left to cook the pasta, the prawns go into the frying pan with a dollop of butter to emulsify the sauce.

The pasta is lifted out of the water and put into the pan to finish cooking, absorbing the sauce.

We add a little torn basil to the finished dish and resist taking a photo. Which isn't hard because the alternative is to sit down and start eating.

But when we were done yesterday, we saw the winter sun strafe the cutting board where we'd left the squeezed Improved Meyer Lemon grown in our yard. And we had to take that shot.

It had to be a Raw capture so we could decide what to do with the shadows later and so we could recover the highlights, which we knew would be blown in a JPEG. Autofocus just missed but came close enough. We really couldn't see the LCD in the brightness of the kitchen to tell.

Camera Raw let us leave the background dark and restore some detail to the highlights, including the cutting board itself and the top of the cork. A judicious crop brought it all together.

Now we have little reminder of why Wednesdays are always special around here. And we can't wait until next week.

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