PEI Wonder Women: Sheryll & Gladys

June 15th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Prince Edward Island. At last. Culmination of 2,800 miles of motor travel and well worth it. The moment HG/BSK opened the door of HG/BSK’s home on the sea, the duo were filled with serenity and well being. And, why not? Sun was shining and the sea stretched out to the far off horizon. Gulls. Osprey. Cormorants. Yellow finches. Crows (alas). Plovers on the beach. Delicious, salty air. Nary a sound from the human world. Peace. And, then there was reunion with ladies of By the Bay Fish Mart, owner Sheryll O’Hanley and her efficient aide, Gladys. By the Bay provides HG/BSK (plus family, neighbors, friends and visitors) with months of culinary delight. Last night, HG/BSK dined on pounds of steamed mussels from St. Peters Bay (BSK added a chunk of the Mart’s cod to the savory stew). This was preceded by a dozen lush, briny oysters. HG thought they were from Savage Harbor, the Mart’s usual source, but was informed by Sheryll they were from St. Peters Bay where a new oyster farm is in operation. The mussels were plump and juicy. Paragons. HG/BSK were overjoyed. Last year was a bad year for PEI mussels, Tiny and flavorless. The mussels have made a tasty comeback. Dessert was a Canadian specialty–Pecan Butter Tarts. These are addictive, flavorful and fattening. Hey, seize the day.


A Wistful Farewell to PEI

September 20th, 2015 § 4 comments § permalink

All good things (and, thankfully, bad things) must come to an end. And, so HG/BSK and Toby, The Wonder Dog, are wistful as they say farewell to Prince Edward Island. A saving grace as HG/BSK and Toby motor to Riverside, R.I., is that Toby will have a chance to romp with Pip, the Riva family’s talented dog. And, HG/BSK will join in a birthday party for Brilliant Granddaughter Arianna. The site will be Los Andes, a great Peruvian restaurant (HG has praised it in a recent post). Looking forward to New Mexico and the colorful turning leaves of autumn; swims in HG/BSK’s heated indoor pool; seeing the fish gambol in the Koi pond; watching light flicker and change across the Barrancas (colorful cliffs and mesas). Much of New Mexico’s air will be scented by roasting chilies and BSK will make good use of them in flavorful dinners as piƱon logs blaze in the fireplace. These last days on PEI have been busy with a variety of household chores, packing, etc. HG said goodbye to Gladys and Sheryll, the gracious ladies of By the Bay Fish Mart, who keep HG/BSK supplied with good things from the sea throughout the PEI summer. HG/BSK ate a big platter of By the Bay’s Malpeque oysters. (These will be much missed. Both for their taste and modest price.) Had a very good (and very big) piece of fried haddock and crisp fried onions at Rick’s Fish and Chips in St. Peters. HG had been concerned that Rick’s might be going downhill but it seems to have recovered its mojo. HG will miss PEI seafood but will be consoled by menudo and a host of other Northern New Mexico treats. Tonight, HG/BSK will dine at the delightful 21 Breakwater Restaurant in Souris. In the meantime, off to the Land of the Brave, Free and Trump (plus many other Republican dimwits and lunatics).


Goodbye, P.E.I.

September 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

This week we left gentle, green Prince Edward Island in a deluge. Thought we might see Noah coming around the bend at any moment. Yes, heavy moisture but not the roaring floods that hit Colorado, HG/BSK’s former home. Sad moments as HG/BSK approached the Charlottetown airport. Will miss our Prince Edward Island neighbors,the Peretts and the Eppigs. Sheryll and Gladys at By the Bay Fish Mart. Caretaker Chris. Postmaster Ceyline. Colville Bay oyster king Johnny Flynn. Andrew MacDonald (and his superb mussel chowder). The Cardigan Market and the Charlottetown Farmers Market. Blueberry and raspberry picking on our fields. The sweet guys who mow our lawn. The sun, the sea, the beach glass, the breeze carrying a whiff of salt and beach grass. Sunsets and endless ocean views from every room in the HG/BSK home. Our kids and grandkids who love PEI. Cuisine by Exquisite Maiko and Gifted Lesley. Until next year…..


Holy Mackerel!!!

August 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Watch out Barney Greengrass, Zabar’s, Russ & Daughters. The By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peter’s, Prince Edward Island, is catching up. The proprietor, HG’s favorite fish purveyor, Sheryll O’ Hanley, has added smoked mackerel to the store’s pungent treats which include Nova Scotia smoked salmon and peppered salmon spears, cold smoked in the Pacific style. The smoked mackerel is remarkable. Moist. Full of flavor. Accented, but not overwhelmed, by smoke. HG has enjoyed mackerel in the form of sashimi and sushi (daughter-in-law Exquisite Maiko crafts these Japanese treats beautifully.) Gifted Daughter Lesley does broiled mackerel in a tasty Provencal manner. In Paris, HG has often relished marinated maquerau. But, HG has never encountered smoked mackerel anywhere but Prince Edward Island with By The Bay purveying the finest example. Great appetizer with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a grind of pepper. Equally nice on a bagel with cream cheese and sliced, sweet onion. Sheryll told HG her mackerel is caught off PEI and then shipped to a venerable smokehouse in Novia Scotia. Sheryll sells the fish freshly smoked, never frozen. Reminded HG of HG/BSK’s days on historic Nantucket Island. A young man sold freshly smoked bluefish door-to-door. It became so popular he expanded his operations and soon only frozen was available. Sad. It neither tasted the same nor did it texturally hold up. HG hopes that his favorite smoked mackerel avoids that ignominious fate.


Seafood Perfection at By The Bay Fish Mart

August 19th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peter’s, Prince Edward Island, is a mainstay of HG/BSK’s cuisine during their long summer by the sea. Sheryll O’Hanley, a sunny faced, efficient woman, opened the store eight years ago and it has become a favorite among the Island’s lovers of fresh seafood. All of the fish (hake, cod, sole and haddock) is from the waters off PEI and Nova Scotia. They are wild caught. There is also farm raised Atlantic salmon. The salmon is free of hormones, chemicals and additives and it the best farm-raised fish HG has ever tasted. When the fishermen are fortunate, Sheryll sells some very superior local halibut. Sea scallops (even better than Nova Scotia’s Digby Bay scallops) come from PEI’s North Lake. Oysters are from South Lake and Savage Harbor. Quahogs and steamer clams are harvested locally. Lobsters (alive and kicking or cooked) are from PEI waters. The excellent little fresh water shrimp (similar to the schie HG devoured happily in Venice) are from Newfoundland. Sheryll departs from her locavore emphasis by importing some firm and tasty Tiger shrimp from Ontario. Mussels, PEI’s signature bivalve, are farmed in St. Peter’s Bay, just yards from the seafood store’s front window. Sheryll, married and mother of a 10 year-old daughter, is a special ed teacher in the off season. She comes to her seafood knowledge quite naturally. Born and bred in St. Peter’s, both of her parents were fishers and she absorbed sea lore daily. In her absence, By the Bay is tended by Gladys MacPhee, another native Islander and mother of four adult Islanders. She has kindly instructed HG in how to steam lobsters to maximize flavor. When HG moves back to Santa Fe (not exactly a seafood center) HG acutely misses Sheryll, Gladys and By the Bay. HG has to comfort himself with New Mexico menudo, burritos, chile peppers and the other delicacies of the region.

Sheryll O'Hanley

Sheryll O’Hanley

Salmon Surprise

June 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

During HG/BSK’s long residence in Vancouver, British Columbia, much fresh salmon was consumed. Salmon from B.C.’s Fraser River, Washington’s Columbia River and the icy waters off Alaska were featured in Vancouver’s fish markets. Friends often brought HG/BSK slabs of great salmon they had caught in exclusive fishing lodges in northern B.C. All great, tasty stuff. HG/BSK were spoiled. The flavors and textures of the good stuff nullified the thought of ever buying insipid farm raised salmon again; however, events of last night may have created a mind change. HG peered at the great salmon filets at By the Bay Fish Mart in St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island. “Is it good?,” inquired HG of the plain spoken woman behind the counter. “It’s from across the water in Nova Scotia and everyone likes it.” No mention of farm raising. But, it had to be. Nevertheless, HG bought a big piece. HG likes to cook salmon the French bistro way — pan frying over high heat, skin side down, no turning. However, this chunk of salmon was just too thick. Had to be turned. Was fabulous. Crispy skin. Lightly browned top. Full of juice and flavor. Cooked medium rare. Cold left overs for lunch (with mustard mayonnaise) were equally good. This doesn’t mean HG is going to buy American farm raised salmon. But, By the Bay Fish Mart had made HG a convert to their product.

st. peters brochure 014

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