By the time we set out the fixings, our guests had been there for hours. It was a potluck, of sorts—a celebration. The gifts piled up in the form of venison, wagyu steak, fresh dug steamers, and pollock.
Once a full inventory was taken, we set the menu: fish, game, and beef tacos, with a primer of Orleans clams.
I threw together a tortilla dough, and began thinning the dense flour balls with a rolling pin. A friend joined in using an already empty wine bottle, and the room began to sweat. The gas ran high, another friend manned the pan, and we churned out a full stack of soft, pliable wraps.
Meanwhile, another friend took to the toppings. He chopped cabbage and lettuce, simmered beans and spice, and finally sliced a lone tomato before looking around for more. A basket of ground cherries caught my eye, and we dropped them in to soak, half-ripened green balls falling from their dusty husks.
By the time we finally settled into our chairs, the gentle comfort of good food and company sat heavy in the air. There was a toast; perhaps two, and we talked into the night—plates scraped clean, dogs licking their chops, women bustling through the kitchen with dishrags and soap. We gave thanks for family and friends, and for the lingering fruits of the season, and settled in for a restful fall night.
FALL FISH TACOS
Make ahead a double batch of flour tortillas. Keep warm (wrapped in cloth) in the oven. Cut 6 pounds pollock into 12 steaks. Mix 1 tablespoon each of: cumin, chilli pepper, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Rub spices on fish, drizzle with olive oil, and set aside. Arrange on a long platter 1 cup cabbage, cut into very thin strips, and 1/2 cup ground cherries. Make a hot aioli from 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Sriracha). In a hot pan, sear pollock for several minutes on each side. Bring out to table along with tortillas, and let guests create their own tacos.