Dit dit da dit dit dit dit... Dateline, 11-20-08, 2113hours PST, somewhere over Montana, some 36000+ miles above the earth, en route to Portland, OR.
Hello Faithful Blog hounds, all three of you! When you read this, it will be dated material, as I am up above, flying high in a jet propelled tin can. My time on the east coast is done, and as always, it is wonderful to have been there, but there is a bit of excitement of getting back home. But let me fill you all in on some of the fun, food, friends and family encountered in lovely, chilly New England.
When I last left you, I had spent some time in Boston with my good friend Sam, and had spent an evening in lovely Brewster, Ma. I spent much of the next day there as well, got to see my late mother's dog, Blue. Blue is an Aussie shepherd that won't call it quits. He is 16 or 17, and he looks every bit the part. He and I were inseperable after my mom passed away, and upon seeing him it was very apparent that senility had set in. He didn't know who I was, and remained aloof over the half hour that I spent with him. At first it made me a bit sad, but upon reflection, It's ok. In the past, he would freak out upon seeing me, after even a short period of time of being away from each other. With him not remembering me, it allowed me to see him without him going through the moping period and the confusion of my leaving that was a part of our lives when I had to go somewhere, even if it was to work. Bravo Blue, and I hope the time you have left is comfortable and without pain.
A few hours later, an old college friend, who I'd not seen in quite a long time, picked me up, and she took me on a tour of the lower Cape. Beaches, surfers, lighthouses, drive in movie theaters, her lovely Rottweiler, a 'Stuffie' at Land ho! Restaurant, where her boyfriend runs the bar. Now you dear readers who may not know what a 'stuffie' is, let me shed some light on this oh so wonderful culinary delight. A stuffie is a little treat that you find in the south eastern areas of New England. I've had stuffies from Portsmouth NH to Hartford, CT. In my experience, the best come from the RI and Cape Cod areas. Since I was in that area, I decided that I should dig right in, and did, to my delight. A brief description of a stuffie- shuck a nice sized Quahog clam. Save the shells. Grind the meat of the clam, keeping as much juice as possible. put into a bowl and mix with diced onions and celery, salt, pepper, cayenne, and possibly a hint of Old Bay if you wish. Fresh bread crumbs are then added, to make a stuffing, with maybe a bit of melted butter added if you desire. stuff the mixture back into the clam shells, and then bake in a nice hot oven. serve with lemon wedge and tabasco, or my personal preference, Cholula. If you and yours are on the lower Cape around Eastham, Wellfleet, Chatham areas, get your stuffies at Land ho! or at the Chatham Squire.
An evening bus ride and a commuter train brought me out to Norfolk, MA for a nice session with my Uncle Jim, cousin Alex and Jim's lovely girlfriend Rita. A few libations to wash down the grand bruschettas that Rita served up, coupled with fall out of your chair, side splitting stories, well that just makes for a memorable evening. Food Note- the Bruschetta's were smoked gouda, sweet red pepper, pulled turkey meat and anchovie. A very nice combination. In the conversation, I mentioned my love of the Boston Bruins, Jim said he could get tickets, so the date was set for the night before I left. More on that later.
Tuesday found me in my Uncle John's car, which I picked up in Warwick, RI, after Jim was generous and kind enough to give me a ride down from his area. I pointed the nose of that machine to New London, CT, to see my old friend Brendan. We met up, went to 'the Dutch', a quaint little locals hangout in downtown New London. A petite steak sandwich with extra onions and cheese, a burger, and a Black and Tan later, I was satiated, both with food and with good company. B still had some work to finish up, so took a quick ride over to where the Coast Guard training vessel Barque Eagle was tied up. A friend of my father's is stationed on it, so stopped in to pass on salutations, had a nice visit and a nice tour of such a historic boat. I won't go into much detail, just to say if you are interested in learning more of the Eagle, it is all over the web.
On the way back to Brendan''s palatial estate, in the woods of CT, we picked up some thick juicy ribeye steaks, red bliss taters and some fresh broccoli. As stated in a previous blog, good friends make simple food something that is over the top. Grilled ribeyes,bone in, with a rosted garlic and onion mash, broccoli sauteed in white wine, Brendan, his lovely girlfriend Laurel and myself and a piping hot woodfire was the setting. Does anything more need to be said? Nope.
The next day saw me oversleep, due to night visitin old friends can produce, an stellar breakfast, as hearty as they come was served up- two eggs, bacon, whole wheat toast and the secret ingredient, on rarely seen but one of my favorites, crispy pan fried scrapple. Not heart healthy, but too good to pass up. A late lunch with B's sister and nephew and I was off to Boston to see my beloved team play the Buffalo Sabres. An extra ticket was proffered to my aforementioned buddy Sam, and the stage was set. I could write a whole blog just on the game and the antics surrounding that evening, but suffice it to say it was probably one of the best games I've ever seen, and the fun we had in the stands was unparralelled. Bravo Bruins!
A lovely hike this morning(to work off all the fun and food I've had!) with my uncle Jim and Rita, then off to Providence for the plane ride. Got to see my Uncle Kevin one last time before I hopped on the plane, and that is where we stand! I hope you stuck through the whole thing, let me know if you think I got too carried away. Would love to hear comments from all of you, and let me know what's happening whereever you are.
Chef on wheels, signing off, till next time, New England rules!