August 22, 2009

Here we are at the beach. With the edges of Hurricane Bill skirting up the East Coast, we enjoyed a spectacular and massive rain last night. Today the ghastly humidity of yesterday is blowing away, replaced with puffy clouds and bright sun and a huge, scary surf (12′-16′ waves expected!)

We packed up Janet & Doug’s van and our station wagon and got on the way yesterday morning. Here’s a picture of how an obsessively organized and manically planned beach week starts:

Yes, there was still enough room (barely) for five adults and one small dog.

Arriving at the beach house there was such a nice flurry of activity that we were settled in, food in fridge and freezer, in about an hour. The most wonderful part was Janet’s contribution – rushing about and covering scarred tables with colorful cloths, setting farmstand flowers around and generally beautifying an otherwise simple (rustic?) little house.

We had Janet’s fantastic guacamole spiced with fresh cayenne peppers from the garden. I roasted two small ducks (semi-successfully – will not blog that recipe without more testing), butter & cream corn, tomatoes with mozzerella, and fresh lima beans. Several bottles of wine were consumed. We finished up with a sour cherry pie (from filling canned in June.)

Here’s the gorgeous table by Janet. I should have taken a photo including the vases of fat sunflowers at the end of the table to provide a full experience, but …

This morning, around 7, as Dennis rode off on his bicycle, hoping to avoid the hottest part of the day, I stirred together our traditional first morning’s breakfast, Blueberry Corn Cake. A curious combination that is amazingly delicious.

Blueberry Corn Cake

5 Tbls unsalted butter
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1-1/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c maple syrup
2 c blueberries
1.5 c corn, cut off the cob, either raw or previously cooked

Preheat oven to 375. Put the butter in a 13 x 9 pan and let it melt well and brown a little bit.

While the butter is melting, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl (or the cup measure, which makes for fewer things to wash), whisk together the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk and maple syrup. Add to the dry ingredients.

Remove the pan from the oven and pour the melted butter in and stir quickly and not too much. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. With a pastry brush, coat the baking pan with the butter so the cake won’t stick.

Now, fold in the blueberries and corn and pour the mixture back into the baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. That’s just enough time to walk out to the beach and smell the surf.

Serve with fresh butter, maple syrup and strong coffee.

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