Ever so often we head west and anchor ourselves down in the State of Colorado. Last fall when settling into a weekly resident in Mancos, Colorado I scuffled through Ansley’s stash of readable material and found Edible Magazine. From there started a lengthy conversation and sharing of regional recipes. The premise of Edible Magazine is to feature a region and its local, seasonal culture. (There is not one for Western NC just yet but I am definitely keeping my eye out!) I always enjoy chatting with Ansley about food, gardening and babies! Just our thing!
There were some specific recipes that caught my eye that had been shared in the spring edition of Edible San Juan Mountains. (Mancos is located in the San Juan Mountain region of CO) Excited to share Ansley’s hubs, Barry, headed to the printer to make copies for me. For nearly six months now I have been looking for an excuse to make this drink, The Green River Martini. It is infused with Honey Lavender Simple Syrup. Seriously.
When our beach trip arose and our friends, the Wheeler’s, agreed to join us for one of the two weeks I knew I had found my excuse. We headed out to the yard and picked 4 cups of fresh lavender and set it out to dry (makes two cups). Packed the lavender and the honey and loaded it to the Outer Banks. Week one consisted of making the simple syrup and letting it marinate. It smelled exactly like it was going to taste. Floral, light, heavenly.
The martini itself is a bit complicated in flavor but over ice it mellowed out and was pleasant to sip on a warm afternoon. But the syrup has many purposes. The best I’ve experienced thus far is over vanilla bean ice cream (yes!) or dolloped in a warm cup of green rice tea. The taste of lavender is delicate and floral and purely satisfactory. A pleasant way to embrace summer.
Boy, is it good to be home!
Something I adore about holiday, as much as the actual holiday, is the return home. Stay away long enough and a certain deep gratification is aroused. We’ve returned to cooler temps, lovely afternoon showers and happy animals.
Also upon return is the motivation to really get things done. We’ve talked long enough. The flower beds have an appointment with my shovel and hands as well as the mulch pile. The dead locust trees have finally met their end, leaving their sole purpose to warming the fires this winter.The grass is cut, the house is clean and the corn is canned! Other projects on the to do list, each with their own appointment, will be met with determination!
Other things I appreciate about holiday is the reminders while away. When you slow down, put work aside and really partake in the break, you are reminded of things you like to do. Like, sitting on the porch and reading a book. Doing yoga. Coloring with the kid, etc. Prior to holiday I did loads of coloring, but rarely any reading and definitely not yoga. Coming home I have brought these little treats back. Making it a point to treat myself. Balance the day with 15 minutes of reading. 10 minutes of yoga in the morning. While those aren’t ideal amounts of time to indulge in these habits, it is still a treat. I don’t lose my day, my work or my time with my child. And that is exactly what a holiday is! Sweet reminders that, yes, somehow, it can all be done!
Finally got around to baking the triple berry buttermilk bundt cake.
The original (grand) plan was to bake it sunday night so the kids would wake up to a pirate breakfast on monday morning. The pirate breakfast happened but the bundt cake did not. Instead, there was a marvelous spread of italian sausage, turkey bacon, eastern nc bbq and pancakes. It was that good. Got the pirate energy going!
However, the bundt cake ingredients were gathered and waiting in the side stage for their grand entrance. Determined to get it baked we decided that our beautiful, stormy afternoon was a perfect time to get it rolling for breakfast the next morning. The blueberry, strawberries and peaches collected from the fruit stand across the street were perfectly ripe. A blending we will go! (surprisingly there were no blackberries available so we went with peaches. They work magically!)
While it was moist from baking on a rainy day it turned out fantastically! If you ever find yourself on holiday with a hankering to bake something, go for it. You don’t have to have all the fancy (while those make life a lot easier) kitchen tools to get it in the oven. A little patience, a kid or two to help with the stirring and the laid back energy you gain on vacation, you can get it done. Everyone around you will appreciate it and enjoy it!
Who says you can’t eat well on holiday?
With friends, family and birthdays upon us we have been blessed with a bounty of local goods. Enough local goods to last the remainder of the holiday and into the canner upon arrival of returning home! My brother (yea, that guy) graced our tables once again!
The corn has arrived.
As well as a bushel of fresh, local Blue Crab
It’s what’s for dinner!
For RCB’s 5th birthday (!!!!!!) we gathered around the table, cracked the crab, slurped the sweetest corn and chomped shrimp. It was fun, full of laughter, sheer enjoyment, not to mention absolutely delicious.
However, 10 of us could only eat but so much leaving us plenty of leftovers. On holiday, this is great! Lunch the next day was just as delicious and grand as the dinner. Cracked crab to make crab salad for crab rolls (mimicking lobster rolls), cut the corn and blended it with raw vegetables, ginger and jalapeno (oh. my. so. good.) for a vegetable salad. A super compliment to the crab roll.
Dinner served the shrimp its final purpose. Tossing the shrimp in some fettucini noodles with asparagus, avocado, red onion and garlic. Seasoned with sea salt, black peppercorn, and olive oil. Sprinkled with red pepper flakes and parmesan chunks. Light and satisfying, full of flavor. A nice meal to round out the rainy afternoon while sipping on a crisp white wine.
Our future consist of ferry rides, island tromping and lunch al fresco. The kids are getting their groove, sharing and playing nicely. Waves have been surfed. Sandcastles built. Epic card games played. Happy food consumed.
At least for the next couple of weeks!
(all photos by sweet cove musings. Taken with the i-phone 4. Please ask permission before using)
Happy 4th of July! Wherever you are may it be full of fireworks, fun, family and friends!
Choose your celebration and be safe!