Friday, June 20, 2014

The Weekly Round-up

A lot of food pictures this week.

We'll start with my favorite seasonal fruit:

Yes, those are buckets of fresh sour cherries, picked by someone else.  One of our regulars has a "cherry connection", and she hooked us up with three gallons of this elusive gem.  

Antwan set right to work pitting most of them Wednesday night.  (Meanwhile, someone is working alongside him with the trout...)

The first gallon are sitting in vinegar, the beginning of a nine-day process on the road to pickled cherries.  My absolute favorite pickle, made with either sweet or sour cherries.  And this year we are making both!

A small portion were cooked into sauce for the panna cotta...

...and a few more found themselves inside this pie.  Which sold out in rapid order Thursday evening.  One pie, one night, once a year!

The last gallon is going to either be sour cherry jam - my favorite of all jams, needless to say - or maybe another pie.  The problem with pie is it is so fleeting, while pickles and jam can sustain you months from now.  That being said, nothing beats sour cherry pie...

 But cherry jam won - two batches this morning.

The prix-fixe Wednesday night featured an unusual starter - a variation, I agree, on mozzarella sticks.  The version Kevin supplied was squares of house made pasta layered with fresh mozzarella, dipped in buttermilk and our seasoned fritto mixture, then fried until appetizingly gold in color.  The crispy kale on top was the perfect foil for the creamy sweet cheese.  I am really hoping this makes its way to the small plate corral in the near future - it was just too good to never see again!

The main course was also unusual in that it was comprised of seafood - salmon and shrimp with a red pepper sauce.  For dessert, bread pudding with caramel sauce - maybe not the best choice for an extraordinarily hot Wednesday night in June, but hey, the rest of the meal was relatively light!

This is what the new chicken dish on the menu looks like - chicken sausage with lemon on the arugula and fettuccine.  Kevin has really nailed this sausage, as far as I am concerned, but we'll just have to see if anyone agrees with me!

The rainbow trout has also had a make-over, now appearing with a crab glaze and spinach saffron risotto.  

The Langenfelder pork shoulder on the menu is draped with a tangy ginger barbecue sauce, which I can anticipate being requested by the gallon for private backyard ribs on the grill...

The fish this week has included mahi-mahi with our classic lemon crab sauce.  As I was spooning up the last of the last sauce pan of this sauce - my occasional treat from the Chef - I suggested to Kevin and Jay that perhaps this should just be the crab soup!  A bowl of crab butter anyone?

Tiffany was very proud of the results of her first lemon icebox pie on Thursday.  She might not be so happy on Friday when she finds out it is pretty much sold out and she'll have to make at least two for the approaching weekend!

This is my new screen saver - four quarts of fresh sweet Redman peas.  Tiffany, Debbie and Sheronda spent part of the morning shelling them. I don't know where the peas will make their first appearance, but like the cherries, this is such a fleeting annual special, it's nice to put a few in the freezer to bring back that particular seasonal taste later in the summer.

And finally - my favorite all time meal:

 Yes, that is a soft shell crab sandwich.  Two dozen small but fat crustaceans came by the back door Thursday afternoon and I was granted two of the more papery ones - notice a few claws missing as well - but I could have cared less when I sunk my teeth into this messy sandwich.  Heaven!  We sold most of them last night as a small plate, but I'm hoping there might still be a reject or two left for me!

Peace out!  Enjoy this most glorious weekend.  If the National Weather Service has anything true on its website, it looks to be just about perfect for the first weekend of the summer.  Get out to Godfrey's and pick cherries.  Stop by Cathy's stand to pick up some of the first yellow squash of the year.   Bring the kayaks out to Eastern Neck Island, and take your crabbing gear with you.  Bike down to Betterton and take a stroll along the bay beach.  Take a drive to Sassafras Wildlife Management area to hike the Bamboo Trail.  Have a beer at Waterman's dock bar while you watch all the tourists eat crabs. Take the dog to Still Pond Landing for a swim.  The summer is just beginning and you have only three short months to appreciate all the bounty that we have here in the Land of Pleasant Living!

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