829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toss Me A Cigarette

This song is not by any means my favorite, because that would
be difficult to choose.  But it contains references that really
touch on my fondness of my country and home state.
  Turnpikes and pies are good examples.
And I have been in the Greyhound terminal in Pittsburgh as well.

The underlying, and seemingly undetectable purpose of this post
was to build up to the 4th of July weekend, when an almost
overwhelming feeling of pride and patriotism washes over
me and turns me into a huge mass of sentimental mush.
BTW, careful with that Roman Candle, Pepe!     

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last full day in paradise

This T-shirt reminded me of someone.

Friday night in Corolla, NC.  North Banks was a good choice for
dinner.  We waited over an hour, but were prepared for it.  This
plate looks a bit messy, but the flavors were there.  Grilled Yellowfin
Tuna, rare, and served with mashed red potatoes, slaw, wasabi aioli,
ginger, and a sweet soy glaze.  Fresh is an understatement.
Dad was quiet and happy.

My wife always says if there is an afterlife, she's coming back as a
pelican in North Carolina.  I'm there with her.  Up and down the
beach they fly, all day long, in perfect formation, following the break
in the waves about a foot above the water.  Effortlessly, absolutely
mesmerizing.  Cameras can rarely ever do them justice.
This picture is no exception.

Looking north toward Corolla.  These beaches are never crowded,
 only attended by the renters of the houses that line the beaches.
If you park your car on the road next to the beach,  Cha-Ching!  

Looking south toward Duck.  Same parking rules apply.

She who keeps watch on the upper deck.  An overturned chair
prevents her from discovering the back stairway that leads all
the way down to the ground, where she could pursue her
trespassers and tear them to pieces.  If she wanted to.

The last supper.  Aforementioned braised oxtails with mezze penne
and their natural juices.  Yum.  A simple salad and pinot noir
completes dinner.  As many simple dinners as we had this week,
I had to make something that made my wife shake her head
and roll her eyes. 

The view from the front of the house. 

After the last supper, my wife and I went back to the beach
for probably the last time.  We tried to take pictures of the 
moon rise and me swimming in the dark, but to no avail.
We need a real camera for that.  Underwater, I could hear
the porpoises clicking loudly nearby, which made my
evening swim completely worthwhile.  It will take me
several days to get over my sadness and depression
about leaving this heaven on earth. 

Great Run!

Awesome game. Every one of their games was a nailbiter.
Goes against everything I've ever said about soccer,
and there have been many things. What a great bunch
of guys.  I'm gonna go cry now.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Scot!

We rented a Flying Scot this morning for a couple of hours.  There
was a nice southwesterly breeze blowing across the Currituck Sound
and it sure beat sweating it out on the beach.  It proved to be the
perfect boat for the six of us, with plenty of room in the nice long
open cockpit. 

  It's been four years since I've steered a boat
with a tiller, and eleven years since the boat didn't have a keel.
Man, it felt good.  Less is more, the simpler the better.
I almost suggested we practice roll-tacking, but it's hard
to get six people in synch, four of whom probably would rather
be on a motorboat.  They were good sports, though.

 The crew started to get hot and bothered and the idea of
jumping ship was being whispered amongst them.
My wife and I obliged, sailing back and forth for
around five minutes while they cooled down.
Spirits were lifted and they were refreshed for the sail home.
Definitely the highlight of the day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lazy, Hazy Days

Livy Pulitzer

Crabs from the Machipongo Clam Shack just south
of Exmore, Virginia on the DelMarVa peninsula
just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

BBQ Brisket sandwich from Pigman's on the Outer
Banks.  Great Cole Slaw, Fried Okra, Corn Bread,
and the most insanely good Hush Puppies with
supplied honey butter.  Can you tell by now that I
like black pepper?

The promised Para-sail ride, on the Roanoke sound.

The sail was only about 12 minutes, but they
seemed fairly thrilled with the high.

The big girls on the beach after dinner.

The little girls on the beach after dinner.

A ghost crab.  By day they are the most elusive
creatures on the planet.  They spend all day
digging their holes, and if you so much as blink,
they scurry back down their holes.
At night, they are all but paralyzed by the
flashlight, like a crab in the headlights.
They are basically there for the taking,
if they were worth taking.

Wiener Dog in her most content state.  Way too hot
during the daytime hours, she stays inside and watches
the World Cup.  She got a bit nervous, but Germany
beat Ghana.  She would have otherwise shredded
the couches. 

Way too fat and happy..........

That this one still loves him like she does.

Who brings oxtails to the beach?  I do, of course.  They were
cryovac-ed, and frozen and made great freezer packs to
keep my Enbrel cold for the two day trip to NC.
I threw them in the oven to brown at 250 at about 10:30, and
went to the beach.  Just before noon, I came back to check
on them, and the US vs Algeria game was in the 84th minute,
tied at nil-nil.  I couldn't go back to the beach before the end
of the game.  It didn't look good, but around two plus minutes
into extra time, the US scored on a Landon Donovan goal and 
I screamed so f'in hard for so long, I kinda lost my voice.
It was worth it.  It reminded me of the last Giants' Super
Bowl win.  Yes, when it's US against the world, I'm a
soccer fan, a big soccer fan.  It's all about patriotism.  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Fathers' Day 2010

Kleenex, please.  Really.....
It was just that, a Happy Fathers' Day.
Could not have had it any better.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Carolina in my mind

We set out for the Outer Banks of North Carolina today,
and decided to stay overnight in Exmore, Virginia.
We asked the concierge at the hotel where we might 
get some seafood for dinner, and she readily suggested
the Island House in Wachapreague, a sleepy fishing 
village on the eastern shore of the Eastern Shore of
the DelMarVa peninsula.  I asked about the scenery
and she kind of scrunched her nose and said, "you'll
see a lot of marshes and docks and stuff".  Oh well,
I guess I won't be very happy.
(view from the dining deck with a nice stiff seabreeze)

And they probably won't have any local shellfish

There probably won't be anyone arriving back after
fishing all day with anything to show for themselves.

Every Prompt Rescue Is Beneficial

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pieces of eight

The Jersey Devil made me do it.  There are eight components in this
Dagwood, not including salt and pepper.  One main ingredient was
leftover from a couple of days ago.  How good are your eyes?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The finer things

By now some of you might be wondering where the oyster
obsession came from.  It may have stemmed from my parents'
love of oysters and the trips we made to Maryland when I was
little.  I'm sure I didn't eat them at that time, but a seed was
definitely planted and farther down the road, there was a Eureka
moment when I knew that they were to be one of my
favorite foods.  My kids even enjoy them from time to time,
which makes me so proud.  My wife, on the other hand,
will stick to shrimp and lobster thank you very much.
I'm still very proud of her as well.
P.S. - I so tower over my mom now 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Home Cookin

Food from the last couple of nights Dad's been home
for dinner. Friday was hand-formed burgers (we like
Bubba Burgers too, in a pinch). I made a cucumber
salad with dill and sour cream for my girls, but I sauteed
a bunch of kale from the farm for myself. Can you
guess what the dark brown pieces are in the kale?

Sunday dinner after sailing. Orzo salad
with vegetables from the farm: sauteed spinach,
roasted fennel, sauteed zucchini, chopped oregano,
thyme, tomatoes, black olives, and queso fresco
with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Next month,
I can use Jersey tomatoes, and throw in some
roasted Silver Queen corn to add some extra
texture and sweetness. I can't wait.
BTW, thanks to Sharon for my inspiration. 

I grilled some oysters for about 5 minutes on high with
 the lid closed. When you start to hear hissing and popping
 and you smell the oyster liquor dripping and vaporizing
 on the burners, you know you're close to chowtime.

A couple weeks ago, my wife came upon a deal that
could not be passed up.  The Stop and Shop was running
a Snow Crab Cluster special for $4 a pound.  She got
4 pounds.  Steal of the week.  My family loves crab.
We re-used the New York Times for the tablecloth.
Sometimes I think it's better used that way first. 
We pigged out, and then had Entenmann's donuts
for dessert.  I'm not sure Entenmann's is nationwide,
but they should be. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another great Friday

It's cool to motor by this creaking hull on the way down the river.
We don't know if she's still working; she wasn't there last year,
so at least she's mobile.  Awfully rusty though.  This may very
well be her final resting place.  Good choice, I think.

One of dozens of Catalina 30s on the bay.  This one's in need of
some TLC, although the name and port of call seem to be freshly
applied.  I like the all-encompassing idea of just saying plain,
"Barnegat Bay, NJ".  I really do.  The thought had crossed my
mind before.  Who do I know of that sails a Catalina 30?

As we spilled out into the bay from Forked River, this barge was
straining hard to port in hopes of avoiding this can.  He did, barely.
When we came back up river later, we saw these guys pulling
 a huge stump out of the water directly in front of a launch ramp.
That wouldn't have caused too much of a problem, would it? 

Pete at the helm as JT sings on the newly installed stereo. 
Living large now.  I intended to post a story about the James
 Taylor/Carole King concert last night in Philadelphia.  One of
 the best I've ever seen.  I'm 49.  I've been to a few good
 shows.  Unfortunately I wimped out and didn't bring my
camera inside, and therefore used my cellphone for pictures
 and video all night.  It was a complete waste of time.
  Using the cellphone.  Not the concert.

Sailing south, approaching channel marker 40, just east of the mouth
of Cedar Creek, the scene of my launching mini-nightmare, regarding
Sea-Tow, low tide and late starts.  Water under the bridge.

"Gumbo" is a unique fishing boat; I don't quite know what she goes
out for.  Maybe oysters and okra and andouille.  Dunno.  If I ever
come aside her, I'll ask for sure.  You'll all be the first to know.

The view from the BI marker, inside the Barnegat Inlet, looking
 out through the inlet itself, with Old Barney standing guard just
 to the right.  The inlet is notoriously rough and tricky to navigate.
The town that hosts the lighthouse is named simply "Barnegat Light".
That is the northern tip of the world-renowned Long Beach Island,
aka "LBI".  You'll see those oval stickers and magnets on cars 
from Canada to Mexico.  I think Martha's Vineyard started the
whole foreign car "oval sticker" thing with MV.  I've got a couple
of those plastered on my original Playmate cooler, which is missing 
the spring in the release button to open the lid.  Come to think of it, 
my wife threw that away the last time the basement flooded .
The land directly north of the inlet is the southernmost tip of
Island Beach State Park, a long strip of pristine beaches and
dunes enjoyed by beach-goers, fishermen, kayakers, and sailors.
Come visit us.  You'll be hooked from the get-go.

City and State please.....

While we're at it, the name of the ship and bridge as well. 
Winner gets clams casino and all the gin you can drink.
And a ride with the wiener dog.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Starting at the end of our backyard neighbors' driveway, my daughter sits on my old skateboard from high school, with our dachshund on the end of the leash. From 200 yards away, we start calling Hazel, and she finally hears us and bolts in our direction. Nantucket sleighride.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Salad Days

My family and I are members of a local Community
Supported Agriculture program at
Honey Brook Organic Farm in Pennington, New Jersey.

For a few hundred bucks a year, we get weekly shares of
incredibly fresh, organic, and local vegetables and herbs
from May through October. Vegetables that are harvested
 are separated into bins and displayed in the farm shed (above).
  There you learn your allotments for that week..There are
 pick-ups seven days a week, it's so popular.  We've
 got Sunday morning, which sort of forces us to get up
 early if we want to sail that day!

We actually have an individual membership, but still
come home with a ton of stuff.  We've only just begun.

Sometimes they give us a choice of two items.
This morning was either a bunch of gorgeous
scallions, or a bunch of these super breakfast
radishes.  Which do you think I chose?

Early in the season, we get alot of lettuce  like red leaf,
bibb, red bibb, and then other greens like arugula, spinach,
chard, collards, kale, and bok choy to name a few.

Fennel.  My mouth is watering.  Sliced paper thin and
added to salad,  sliced in 1/2 inch discs and
then drizzled with olive oil and roasted until browned.
Even the fronds lend flavor to any dish, and look cool to boot.

Some of the U-pick items include snow peas.  You need
to train your eyes to detect the pods, because they so handily
blend in with the leaves and vines.  I eat the large pods when
I come upon them so as not to waste the time of the pickers
after me.  No doubt they would leave them to become
tough and stringy.  They can all thank me later.

In the super-heated wind that washed over us on Sunday,
my wife and I persevered and managed to pick the absolute
last strawberries of the Jersey strawberry season.  No need
to venture out in those patches again this year. They gone.
I must admit, I'm proud of myself for sweating my butt off
and searching out every last berry.  Twenty years ago, I 
would have said, "U-pick?", Nah...YOU pick.  I eat.
It's amazing how patient I've become with certain things.
24 years, remember?  Didn't get there by accident. 

We ended up with a gallon (4 quarts) of strawberries.
Our prescribed amount was supposed to be 6 qts,
but the ones rotting on the plants were not making the
trip home with us.  Can you guess what we're having
for dessert tonight?