June 30th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

HG was famished last night but stomach rumbling was quieted by BSK’s big pot of flavorful chowder. It is a dish focused on the glories of life by the sea on Prince Edward Island. So, what was in the “chowda”? Mussels from St. Peter’s Bay. Cod from the North Atlantic. Local bacon. Clam broth from a previous meal of local steamed soft shell clams. Dry white wine. Saffron, Thyme. Potatoes. Onion. Garlic. Cherry tomatoes. A melange of herbs and spices. HG looked at the savory pot of goodness and murmured: “Huge. We’ll never finish this dish.” HG/BSK each had three helpings. All gone except for a few scraps. HG finished the meal with the ultimate Canadian dessert: A pecan butter tart topped with much vanilla ice cream. Life is good in the Canadian democracy (not led by a lunatic neo-fascist).

A Night Out

June 30th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Long quarantined HG/BSK finally had a night out and it was glorious. It was dinner at the farm/equestrian center of BSK’s sister, Noel M., and husband, Yossi M. Located on the southeast area of Prince Edward Island (not far from Panmure Beach), their property is verdant, colorful, beautiful. Five years of hard work have made the barn, livestock areas, vegetable gardens functional. And, there are cherry trees, blueberry bushes and much more. Dinner was delicious local lobster for HG (plus salad and mineral rich potatoes). Crustacean allergic BSK had juicy PEI sea scallops. Generous Noel and Yossi gave HG a lobster and a bnunch of lobster claws to take home. Deight will continue. The meal ended with lavish helpings of vanilla ice cream. HG sipped Bagaco marc distilled on PEI. A jolly night with family.

Shopping Day

June 27th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Quarantine is over and HG/BSK went shopping in Charlottetown. HG had been in self-isolated quarantine for almost four months–first in New Mexico and then on Prince Edward Island. (BSK, with great care, shopped weekly in New Mexico). So, for HG, a shopping day was exciting (and tiring). The day began with a visit to the fish store (soft shell clams, cod, haddock, mussels, smoked salmon, chunks of cooked lobster knuckle and claw meat). Then, banking followed by a long session at Atlantic Superstore. Followed by wine purchases at the liquor shop. Last stop was at Atlantic Shellfish in Morell where HG paid an accumulated bill and bought 36 big oysters. Dinner was a tribute to the sea. Steamed clams with butter and clam broth. Fried haddock with steamed asparagus. Early bedtime after dining enhanced by a blazing sunset.

Heavenly Hake

June 25th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

There are few fish dishes better than fried filets of hake. This is a dish rarely seen on American restaurant menus. It’s a staple in Paris bistros. In the USA and Britain, other fish are used for the omnipresent “fish and chips.” HG is a master of the celebratory fish fry, so fried hake seemed an appropriate nod to Juneteenth. BSK’s sister, Noel M., brought the fish to the door of HG/BSK’s Prince Edward Island oceanfront home. (HG/BSK are still quarantined). HG gave them the following treatment. A light dusting of flour. A dip into a bowl of beaten egg. A roll in bread crumbs. Then, into a cast iron pan of sizzling canola oil. From long experience, HG’s timing is precise. The lightly browned filets emerged from the pan, cooked to a crisp but still firm. BSK served them with delicious little Canadian potatoes and a salad of chopped tomatoes and sweet onions. That was tonight’s happy meal and, fortunately, there was enough fish to repeat the dinner tomorrow. Joy!!

Oyster Heaven

June 23rd, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Murmurs of pleasure emanated from HG/BSK’s Prince Edward Island oceanfront home as HG ate the best oysters HG ever ate. HG asked Cindy Dockendoff, the wonderful manager of Island Shellfish, Morell, PEI, for large oysters. (Yes, size matters). And, that’s what HG got. Big, briny, meaty, full of flavor Malpeques. Yes, better than Paris, Reims, Brooklyn, Rhode Island, Maine. Even better than the oysters at New York’s Oyster Bar in Grand Central and Rodney’s Oysters in Vancouver, B.C. HG plucked the oysters from the fridge and devoured them when appropriately cold. (Too cold, oyster flavors diminish). Pinot Grigio was the drink. BSK usually likes smaller oysters but BSK acknowledged these big guys were the best. Oyster Lovers: Look at the photo of HG shucked Malpeques HG ate last night. Try to control your envy.

Tasty Bird

June 21st, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK is very choosy and discerning about chicken. When in New Mexico, BSK selects special chickens (free range, no chemicals or additives, etc) at Whole Foods in Santa Fe. BSK has the butcher spatchcock (remove the backbone and flatten) BSK’s selected chicken. The chicken then gets a soak in BSK’s special marinade and is roasted into succulence. Since HG/BSK are in 14-day mandated self-isolated quarantine on Prince Edward Island, BSK’s sister, Noel M., and husband, Yossi M., (they live on the Island are not quarantined) filled the HG/BSK refrigerator before HG/BSK’s arrival. So, a few nights ago, BSK removed a plump chicken from the fridge. The bird went through the usual program of spatchcocking, marinating and roasting. HG/BSK did not have high hopes for the supermarket product. Happy surprise. Turned out to be super juicy and flavorful. HG/BSK, lovers of dark meat, ate the thighs and wings. The ample breast meat got other uses. One use was a very good salad of homemade curry mayonnaise with chunks of chicken, walnuts and raisins. The other was BSK’s innovative Vietnamese pho with chicken and wide Chinese rice noodles. Much pleasure from an underestimated supermarket bird.

Sea Feasting

June 19th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

Prince Edward Island is a paradise for lovers of seafood. (As HG writes, two boats are netting lobsters in the waters in front of HG/BSK’s oceanfront home). HG’s excellent son-in-law, Yossi M., came to the HG/BSK doorstep (HG/BSK are still quarantined) with two live lobsters. BSK is allergic to crustaceans so the sea critters were the centerpieces of two consecutive HG dinners. Dinner one: Ten Red Head oysters from Island Shellfish (thanks, Cindy). Lush lobster with plenty of melted butter spiked with lemon juice and sriracha. Drank chilled French rose. Finished with pecorino cheese, honey and French pinot noir. Dinner two: Same meal augmented by Massimo R. selected prosciutto wrapped around bread sticks. Also, drank pinot grigio with the oysters and lobster. A very happy HG.


June 17th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

In the absence of maple syrup or jam (HG/BSK are in the sixth day of 14-day self-isolated quarantine), HG has been supplementing breakfast yogurt and after dinner cheese with delicious, crystallized honey from the middle east. The brand is Alisha. HG presumed this delicacy came from Lebanon, source of much good food. However, when HG examined the honey jar, HG learned the product was from Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is not HG’s favorite country. The 9/11 destroyers that killed thousands of Americans were Saudis. The country’s policies regarding women are horrendous. The legal system is a sardonic joke. Criminal punishment is medieval. Recently, a journalist critical of Saudi’s autocratic rulers and religious fanaticism was murdered (seemingly by government orders). HG knows there’s an abundance of petroleum in Saudi. But, honey? A surprise.

PEI Dinner. Beautiful Light. Beautiful Food.

June 16th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

There’s nothing like dinner at HG/BSK’s oceanfront Prince Edward Island home. Streaks of sun illuminate the skies and the horizon. As night proceeds, a blazing sunset colors the sea. The colors keep changing until darkness. Seen through some 40 feet of windows, this is HG/BSK’s private panoramic nature show. Dinner tonight began with a dozen Island Shellfish (thanks Cindy Dockendorff) oysters. Expertly shucked by HG, these are the best oysters in the world, sorely missed when HG/BSK reside in New Mexico (Hatch green chile and menudo are consolations). Main dish was grilled Italian sausages (selected by Massimo R.). These were served over vinegar peppers (inspired by those served at long closed Delsomma Restaurant in New York City) and onions. Accompaniment was cheesy, buttery orzo. Delicious food highlighted by BSK’s magical way with peppers. Drank many glasses of red wine. With a snifter of Bagaco (a Portuguese marc distilled on PEI) in hand and BSK by HG’s side, Mozart on the sound system, natural light show, HG was enveloped in PEI magic.

Home At Last

June 15th, 2020 § 0 comments § permalink

BSK was prepared with ample documentation, so HG and BSK were able to cross the provincal border into Prince Edward Island with no problems. So, oh glory, home at last. BSK’s sister, Noel M., and husband, Yossi, came to the HG/BSK home earlier and filled the refrigerator, freezer and pantry with lots of food. Brought mussels and much fireplace wood. Plenty of wine, beer, spirits. Pantry shelves bulging with pasta, spices, condiments, etc. HG/BSK will not starve (or stay icily sober) during the mandatory 14-day self-isolated quarantine. Lots of meadow and bluffs to roam so cabin fever won’t be a problem. Found our home neat and in good shape. The panoramic sea views and breezes are majestic. Dinner was mussels over linguine. Every element was perfect. BSK did some magic with the broth and it was so tasty that HG/BSK used most of a loaf of bread to soak up every bit. Drank much French pinot noir with Massimo R. selected creamy and pungent gorgonzola. And, then an event that summed up the kindness that is customary on unique Prince Edward Island: As you may have gathered, HG is passionately in love with oysters. And, none are better than the Redheads and Malpeques at Atlantic Shellfish in nearby Morell. HG called Atlantic Shellfish and asked (mentioning quarantine) if 36 oysters could be delivered to BSK. No hurry, said HG, deliver when near St.Peters bay. Voila!! At BSK’s door in the early evening was Cindy Dockendorff, manager of the shellfish operation, with a big bag of oysters. (Dockendorff is a famous name in PEI shellfish). Cindy, a radiant young woman, didn’t want HG to suffer from oyster deprivation. The oysters are in the fridge. HG/BSK will eat many tonight and raise our glasses to kind Cindy.

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