On the Road Again

October 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, it’a nice Willie Nelson song. But, long distance auto travel is not a delight. Toby, The Wonder Dog, is a pleasant traveler, only demanding many cuddles. BSK does all of the driving. Does not trust HG behind the wheel. Silly BSK. First leg of journey from PEI to New Mexico was to Augusta, Maine and the Senator Hotel. Mediocre seafood meal. Not a credit to Maine. Then, a few days with family Riva in Riverside, RI. Daughter Lesley R. welcomed HG/BSK with chicken shawarma and muhammara, an extraordinary Armenian condiment (pepper and walnut), that lifted the dish to the skies. Midday meal was at Hemenway’s, the very good, Providence seafood restaurant. Oysters, clams, shrimp, lobster, Rhode Island clam chowder and sub-par fried calamari with hot peppers (What happened?). Dessert was a creme brûlée that rivaled anything in Paris. Once HG/BSK hit the midwest, horrors began: Nasty pizza in western Pennsylvania. Ludicrous parody of Chinese food in Illinois. Japanese (are you kidding me?) takeout in Oklahoma. HG did not follow Saul Sternberg’s advice: “If you want to eat well in the midwest, eat breakfast three times a day,” Next time, HG/BSK will concentrate their dining on reliable Waffle House.

Goodbye Pee-Eee-Eye

October 13th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Yes, it’s farewell to this gentle, green island with its beautiful ocean, meandering rivers and open lakes. HG/BSK (plus family and friends) have had summers of joy on Prince Edward Island. Basking in the sun. Swimming and kayaking in the sea. Collecting beach glass on long walks on the shore. Cycling on Cable Head Road. Oysters. Clams. Fish from By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peters. Neighbors and friends (true originals). Skies filled with shore birds. Walks along the sea bluffs with Toby, The Wonder Dog. Sunsets. Dramatic moonscapes. Shopping at Farmers Markets in Charlottetown and Cardigan. Long, vinous dinners with BSK, the love of HG’s life. Next stop: HG/BSK’s New Mexico home. Hey, New Mexico is called “Land of Enchantment”. Accurate description. Lucky HG/BSK.

Italian Shakshuka

October 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK are very fond of Shakshuka, the Israeli / Middle Eastern egg dish. (BSK uses Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe from the “Jerusalem” cookbook). Cool and windy last night on Prince Edward Island so a hearty dish seemed appropriate for dinner. BSK, in one of her remarkable improvisations, combined elements of a Shakshuka with a recipe for Italian sausages with onions and peppers. BSK added chopped fennel and fennel seed to the fried onion, pepper, garlic mix. Added a splash of wine vinegar before mixing with the cooked and browned hot and sweet sausages. Fried eggs on top. Accompanied by a baguette to soak up the juices and yolks, it was a tasty dish. The sausages were locally made, good, but they needed the addition of fennel and fennel seed to approximate the “real thing.” In the future, HG will have to go online and order sausages from Esposito’s, the venerable Manhattan pork emporium.

Oatmeal

October 9th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Leaves are just beginning to turn into gold, russet and red on Prince Edward Island. Autumn is here. Clear skies. Whitecaps dotting the sea. Snappy winds. And, as temperature descends, there is nothing better than a steaming bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. By an odd coincidence, HG/BSK’s Israeli brother-in-law, Yossi M. (now resident on PEI with wife, Noel), lives close to another Israeli transplant, Amram, a guy who grew up in a kibbutz near Yossi’s. Amran is a dedicated organic farmer with a colorful past (he farmed in Turkey for a number of years). He and Yossi trade foodstuffs, farm equipment, etc. HG/BSK are the beneficiaries of the relationship. HG/BSK have big containers of Amram’s oats, the basis of the best oatmeal ever. Yes, better than McCann’s and all the other Scots, English and Irish imports. (Boxed supermarket oatmeal such as Quaker’s, are gluey and insipid). This chilly morning, HG/BSK breakfasted on oatmeal covered in PEI blueberries and gilded with Canadian maple syrup. Nice way to start the day.

Bottarga

October 8th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

What is bottarga? It is magical Italian substance. Dried fish roe (tuna or mullet). Available in powder or a solid block wrapped in wax (must be grated). It gives a pasta dish a pungent burst of the sea. Thoughtful daughter, Lesley R., brought HG /BSK a little jar from her travels in Portugal. BSK put it to good use tonight. BSK constructed a sauce of olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, chopped fennel and sweet onion, capers. Plus a can of superior Ortiz tuna (a stellar Spanish product) and sliced cherry tomatoes (these sweet wonders are a seasonal Prince Edward Island treat). Mixed it with a few spoonfuls of bottarga. Gave it a hit of hot pepper flakes. A dash of raw olive oil. The pasta was spaghetti cooked al dente. One of the best pasta dishes HG ever tasted (and chubby HG has consumed much pasta). Of course, the best pasta dish is tagliatelle with slices of white truffle. HG/BSK ate this wonder in Bologna, Bergamo and Florence. Killer.

Glad They Were In Prince Edward Island

October 3rd, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Eric M., HG/BSK’s massively muscled nephew, and his wife, the very beautiful and equally muscled, Lisa, have lived in Las Vegas for a number of years. Eric is the impresario (and a star performer) of “Gladius”, an extraordinary equine show featuring huge draft horses. Lisa also stars in the show and, in addition, is an aerialist in another Vegas extravaganza. Happily, they were visiting Eric’s parents, Yossi and Noel M. (BSK’s sister and brother-in-law), when the insane and tragic Las Vegas massacre took place. Sadly, when they get back to Vegas, they will be poring the lists to see how many of their friends were slain or maimed. At the same time, Trump and the Republican pieces of excrement, will be uttering their usual bullshit about “thoughts and prayers.” Gun control? Fuhgeddabout it. The GOP is puckering up, the better to kiss NRA’s ass and keep those campaign funds flowing. Tragic. Before E. and L. left PEI, HG/BSK hosted a dinner of Portuguese fish spreads (courtesy of daughter Lesley R.), pappardelle with Ragu Bolognese. Dessert was that midwest fave: Tin Roofs (vanilla ice cream covered with Hershey’s Chocolate syrup and topped with Planter’s Cocktail Peanuts). The combo of sweet, salty and rich is a killer. Before leaving, Eric carried a very heavy six foot table top to BSK’s recently completed studio/garage. HG/BSK couldn’t budge it. Powerhouse Eric carried it as if it was a puff of meringue.

Miss Vickie’s

October 1st, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Is there anyone who doesn’t like potato chips? Don’t think so. However, good potato chips aren’t always easy to find. Prince Edward Island supermarket and convenience stores carry loads of potato chips. Mostly Lay’s and Old Dutch. Not good. Thus, it was a happy occasion when HG discovered Miss Vickie’s Original Recipe Kettle Cooked Potato Chips. The Canadian company has been making these thick, crunchy, lightly salted chips since 1987 and the package promises: No trans fat. Low in saturated fat. No MSG. No preservatives. Made from Canadian potatoes and cooked in kettles. BSK likes them but has an allegiance to Cape Cod Kettle Chips. Of course, nothing compares to Trader Joe’s Ridge Cut Salt and Pepper Potato Chips (see HG’s May 18, 2017 post). Like TJ’s product, Miss Vickie can be addictive. Disciplined HG limits intake to 15 chips (about 120 calories).