829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

There Were Houses There

From the Mantoloking Bridge, facing East.  You could always just see
the horizon from this vantage point; forever, there had been three layers
of houses between the beach and the bayside.  This is an image I find
very hard to come to terms with.  It's like a vision of my childhood
has been erased.   Unimaginable.

We kept ourselves busy today by cleaning up all the leaves tracked in
the house by our wet shoes and bare feet from going back and forth 
to the garage and generator, and we spent a good deal of the 
afternoon picking up twigs, branches, and roof shingles that had 
been blown about our yard last night.  We also agreed that it was 
time for all of the patio furniture to be put away, and the snow-
blower to be positioned facing 'out' in the garage.  It was a good 
distraction from sitting inside all day watching the unfolding 
devastation on local news channels. Several times I caught my wife 
going for the tissues, having been overcome with emotion after 
watching piece after piece on one shore town after another, 
brutally dismantled by Hurricane Sandy. 

I walked around as usual today, snapping photos of my yard and
composing witty captions in my mind for each, hoping that when 
I got inside, I'd not forget them.  These would form another
 'aftermath' post, showing what the Jersey folks endured the night 
before.  No image that I got today came close to the above photograph.

We escaped unscathed, compared to the people living on the coast.
We lost power for less than twelve hours, and it never rained hard
enough to worry about the sump pumps, although I was ready to
hook them up.  In a way I feel like we should have had a tougher
go of it, seeing what the shore-dwellers will be dealing with for 
weeks and months to come.  I still don't quite realize the scope of it.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

It's 5:17 Somewhere....

Saved For A Rainy Day

What to do with the shrimp shells saved in the freezer?
Shrimp broth, of course.  If we still have power at dinner
time, it'll be a seafood extravaganza.

God Shed His Grace on Thee

Friday, October 26, 2012

On The Hard: Season Over

With a smudge on her ass, Bay Rhumb was hauled today at about
12:30 p.m.  It was a hasty arrangement:  I called yesterday and 
inquired about a Friday haul-out, after getting an update on weather
disturbance 'Sandy", who may cause some bothersome winds and
unusually elevated water levels.  Rick's Marina obliged, realizing the
monetary opportunity, and before I knew it, I was swiping my Visa
rewards card, emitting a sigh of relief.  I'll look at the bill next week.
BTW, it was a slimy bottom I saw after spending the last six
months as far up Forked River as you can possibly go.  It's a trade-
off:  Slime up-river as opposed to massive barnacles downstream.

They stopped and asked me if I wanted a super-soap wash, or just 
a simple power wash.  Guess what I said. 

After leaving my girl in the yard, I felt I needed to bring some shore 
home with me.  Jonah crab claws fit the bill.  The crabs are hauled
up in lobster pots, and the lobstermen rip one claw off from each
crab, and throw the crab back in, allowing it to survive and generate
another meaty appendage.  It works.  They're the delicious, but 
cheaper version of the Miami stone crabs.  I made some whole-grain
mustard mayo to go along with the crabmeat.  Yum. 

Barnegat littlenecks, steamed with vermouth, onions, celery seeds,
mustard seeds, and basil.  I thought we may have had too much to
eat before dinner but I was proven wrong, happily. 

Mise en Place.  I felt obligated to sprinkle some Old Bay on the 
blowfish, seeing that it was the only item from Maryland. I hope 
Mitch appreciated that mild shout-out.  It's a collateral catch. 
 In Maryland, when they pull up the crab pots, there are blowfish 
swishing around inside, since these puffers are bottom feeders 
whose  preferences are shellfish.  They have a mild, white 
flesh, and it's easily pulled from the bone.  The other fish is flounder 
from Barnegat Bay, which is the go-to choice for anyone looking 
for a taste of New Jersey.  It happens to be Baywife's favorite.    

The last of the Jersey Tomatoes, with Mozzarella Bocconcinis, 
Cured Olives, Garbanzo Beans, Basil, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, 
and Sea Salt.  A bowl of soul.  ( I had to do something with the can
of Garbanzos I opened just for the stupid jury duty post, O Docker).

Spinach.  Mature spinach.  Baby spinach is over-rated and more
expensive.  I'm strongs to the finishk when I eats me spinichk.

Flounder with Brussels Sprouts ripped from the stalk, with a ton of
butter, served with another ton of butter mixed with white wine,
capers, and lemon juice.

Blowfish with sauteed mature spinach, and the same delicious
sauce pictured in the previous photo. 

After leaving my summer behind today, I needed to at least bring
some of it back home with me.  I'm going back next week to 
take the sails down and winterize the nether regions, and I plan to 
once again cull some flavors from my memory of the warmer months 
one last time, to savor the essences of my favorite time of year. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Five Beans

At least I only had to serve one day.  Apparently, the
day after Columbus Day there is a light case-load in
the Mercer County judicial system.  Only one case 
pending, and they settled minutes after our two hour
 lunch break.  A third-rate cheesesteak lunch at that.

I've served my state honorably as a petit juror five
times since the late eighties.  The first time in 
Somerset county, I went all five days and was 
never picked.  The second, in Mercer County, 
I was selected as one of twelve and sat for a week 
in a cocaine-bust trial. I did all I could to stay awake 
in the courtroom; the high setting on the thermostat 
and the white-noise machine challenged my ability
to remain conscious.  We convicted the guy.

I was relieved of duty on my third tour due to the
conviction on my second.

Three years ago, I was tapped and made the 
obligatory call every night before the next court
day, and was told I wasn't needed.  0 for 5.

Two weeks ago, my number was called and I, along 
with 149 other upstanding citizens of Mercer County,
showed up at the courthouse in Trenton at 8:30 a.m.
I read half a book and fought aggressive assaults on my
resolve to stay awake, just barely staving off those attacks
with a loud snort and a quick shake of my head like nothing
had happened.  We were sent home with the promise of
being eligible for petit juror duty in three years.  I've 
already marked it on my calender, because I know 
they can't carry on without me.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Sail?

Today could very well have been the last sail for us this year.  It 
was a splendid day out there:  sunny and mild, with a cranky, puffy 
NW breeze.  Nobody else out there except for the eight or nine
sailboats and a handful of pleasure craft/workboats.  And everyone
minding their own business.  This is the best time of year.

Baywife checking in with family while Hallowiener soaked in the 
October sun.  I managed to come home with a slight sunburn.

Charley from My life in the Florida Keys and Beyond, with wiener
dog on his lap, photo taken a month ago.  She's totally into human 
contact, as was confirmed in the previous image. Good thing Charley
likes dogs.  Time to call Rick's Marina and schedule the haul-out.
Now begins the winter of my discontent.  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Win Baby!

Good preparation has its rewards.
Monday and Tuesday off.  
But let's keep our eyes on the prize, Gentlemen.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo Quiz

What is this?  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Respectful Visit

Steve from Spartina dropped in on Sultana's dock recently at the
end of his cruise down Delaware Bay.  Chestertown is where my 
Dad spent the last several years of his life as a volunteer shipbuilder,
and then as a sometimes 'docent' of sorts, offering his take on the
ship's construction and more specifically, the significance and 
operation of the 'swivel guns', the small cannon posted up and
down the gunwhales of the ship.  He loved everything about 
gunpowder and lead, and he jumped at the opportunity to shoot
those guns and talk about it later. 

This ship's boat was named in my Dad's memory.  I would love
someday to row her around the docks on the Chester River.
While someone fired a swivel gun.  Thanks Steve, for stopping by.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Photo Quiz

1. Which way are we looking?  
2. Where was the photo taken? 
3. Where is the nearest sailing club?  
4. What was I thinking when I took this photo? 
5. What flavor was the fro-yo underneath?
6. What was it that brought me here?  
7. What will I eat later that includes Chinese sausage? (oops)
8. (New question) On which side of the river did I venture home?

1.  Name 3 proteins
2.  Name 4 main vegetables
3.  Name 3 root/bulb vegetables (having grown underground
     -mainly flavoring agents)
4.  Name 1 common Asian-ish herb
5.  Name 1 noodle

Extra credit

1.  Name 1 bottled Asian sauce (made from something of which I am 
     most fond)
2.  Name 1 most-ever used salty condiment
3.  Name 1 fermented Asian cooking liquid
4.  Name 1 thickening agent