Stay, We Mussel Lose Our Senses

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Stay, we mussel lose our senses, mollusks who stick at no offenses, will anon be here!

Stay, We Mussel Lose Our Senses - a classic shellfish recipe inspired by the Pirates of Penzance!

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As I’m sure you’re aware, the editors of Life is a Cabernet have performed in their fair share of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Pirates of Penzance is actually where Georgina and Angus met, circa 1482. And luckily – as mentioned in Away Away, My Heart’s On Fire – we can feature this show on our musical themed blog thanks to the 1998 “jazzed-up” version by Joseph Papp(Like I can stop you posting whatever you like! – Ed).

Stay, We Must Not Lose Our Senses comes at the point in the show where young Frederic has discovered a group of young maidens and warns them about the impending arrival of dastardly pirates, conveniently not mentioning that he, too, is a pirate. Sheeeesh. Youth of today. (Actually, the operetta originally opened in New York in 1879… just after Angus and Georgina met… kind of… – Ed)

Stay, we must not lose our senses,
Men who stick at no offenses
Will anon be here!
Piracy their dreadful trade is;
Pray you, get you hence young ladies,
While the coast is clear!

“While the coast is clear” is OBVIOUSLY a reference to escaping to the shore line to look for mussels. See what I did there? Like it? (No. – Ed) Oh, you’re never satisfied. (Wrong show. – Ed)

ANYWAY. Mussels. Lemon, garlic, white wine, parsley. It’s delicious, it’s French, and before I go any further I have to confess that I kind of cheated by using cooked frozen mussels, rather than live ones. Well what do you expect? Fresh mussels? For ninepence? On Jewish New Year in the rain? A bare fortnight after the dreaded mussel plague of Cornwall? With the fishermen’s strike in its 15th week and the Dorset Mollusk Fetishist’s Fair tomorrow?

And my second confession (and way more important): I’ve failed to find a Muppet sketch about mussels. But enjoy these killer lobsters instead.

To cut a long story short (Too late – Ed), here’s the recipe. Enjoy. 

Stay, We Mussel Lose Our Senses - a classic shellfish recipe inspired by the Pirates of Penzance!


Yield: Serves 2

Stay, We Mussel Lose Our Senses

Stay, We Mussel Lose Our Senses - a classic shellfish recipe inspired by the Pirates of Penzance!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 lb cooked frozen mussels in their shells
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbs white wine
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • salt and black pepper
  • chopped fresh parsley


  1. Melt some butter in a large sauté pan and add the frozen mussels. Place a lid over the pan and steam until all the mussels are open, shaking the pan occasionally. Note: discard any that will not open. As the mussels thaw and cook they will release a wonderful seafood broth.
  2. Remove the lid and add the cream, white wine, garlic, and lemon juice, and continue to cook until the sauce starts to thicken. Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Transfer the mussels and the broth to a serving bowl, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
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