Family Feasting

August 27th, 2015 § 2 comments

Toby, The Wonder Dog, breakfasted this morning. Looked around his Prince Edward Island domain. Where has everyone gone? Just HG/BSK seemed to be at home. Toby trotted up the stairs to check bedrooms. Empty. Yes, daughter Victoria, the New York restaurateur (Cookshop, Hundred Acres, Vic’s, Rosie’s) and husband-partner-chef Marc M., left PEI early this morning. SJ, Exquisite Maiko, Handsome Haru and Teru, the wee dynamo, left last night. Unusual quiet reigns. Victoria and Marc braved a ferocious storm to arrive for a three day visit. Much beach fun and lusty feasting took place. It was agreed that chef Marc would cook only one dish, his incomparable brandade, during his visit. He, of course disobeyed. Made an wonderful ceviche of fresh sea scallops in a puree of jalapeno pepper, cucumbers, cilantro and lime juice to jump start the first feast. There were also some briny Malpeque oysters, EM’s signature sauté of sole and bok choy dotted with crisp garlic chips plus a very savory platter of EM’s stir fried shrimp. Oh, my. The next day a birthday party was planned for EM. Victoria, Marc, BSK, Handsome Haru were off to Panmure Island for clamming, swimming and paddle boarding (with a stop in Montague for sweet corn and birthday cupcakes). SJ, HG, EM and Teru were off to the fishing port of Naufrage (EM wanted to pick up some fresh-off-the-boat mackerel in order to make EM’s superb tataki). No mackerel came in that day but the group watched as a 500-pound bluefin tuna was unloaded, quickly processed (this is a gory spectacle involving chainsaws and sharp knives that didn’t faze wee Teru at all) and sold to a dock-side buyer. HG picked up a batch of just cooked lobsters plus Colville Bay oysters at The Lobster Shack in Souris. The clam team had good luck. Dug some four dozen quahogs. Ingredients for a big EM birthday feast were set. Once more, Marc got got busy in the kitchen and constructed a sumptuous stew of clams, corn, potatoes, herbs and plenty of smoked Spanish paprika. Wonderful taste of the sea. This was followed by lobsters with melted butter, loads of sweet corn, little potatoes from Yossi M.’s spud patch. Gifts for birthday girl EM. Much hilarity. Next day was breezy and sunny. (SJ and family left early for Brooklyn with stopover in Rhode Island). At the end of the day, Marc made his lush brandade with fresh haddock (rather than the typical salt cod). Ate it on the outdoor table facing the glistening sea. Magical moments. This was preceded by shucked Colville Bay oysters. Then, indoors to watch the sunset and eat Marc’s pasta with broccoli and chickpeas. More Marc mastery. Finished with green salad. Drank a lot of Spanish red wine. Goodbye hugs for Victoria and Marc. A joyous visit.

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