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Posts Tagged ‘provincetown’

cranberries

 

At the beginning of the month we were in Provincetown out at the end of Cape Cod.  The stay is our most favorite fall get-away which we have been doing annually for over 10 years.  Not only is the fish and shellfish extraordinary, but the Saturday farmers market gives us all of the earthly goodness to accent it.  The last Saturday we were there brought the first cranberry harvest of the season.  I bought a few pounds which I’ve turned into spiced cranberry relish for the upcoming holiday tables.  Here’s the recipe, but you can find other cranberry recipes in my book, The Best Little Book of Preserves & Pickles, should you want further inspiration.  This recipe should make about 1 quart of relish.

4 ½ cups fresh cranberries
¼ cup each freshly grated orange and lemon zest
1 tablespoon minced fresh hot chile, such as jalapeño or Serrano
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup light brown sugar
⅔ cup red wine vinegar

Combine the cranberries, citrus zest, chile, mustard seed, and pepper flakes in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and stir in the sugar and vinegar.  Bring to a boil; then, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the berries have popped and the mixture has thickened slightly.
Remove from the heat and either spoon into clean containers and store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.  Or, pack the relish into clean, sterilized jars, cover tightly, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.  The latter method will allow you to store the relish at room temperature for up to 6 months.

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oysters_2563

 

I think that oysters are the one food that most people take a long time to come around to liking.   Their looks impede the progress, I think, although I find the shells quite beautiful.  They are also one of those foods that get you to wondering about the first person who had the smarts to figure out that there was something delicious inside that shell.  I’ll bet the first taste-tester was an otter, a raccoon, or some primitive relative of either of them.  Then, humans saw the clever creature slurping up the sweet-salty mollusk and, as they say, culinary history was made.
On our annual Provincetown run, raw oysters are on the menu every night – usually with a glass of champagne or prosecco.  We never tire of them.  Sometimes I make a mignonette – the classic French dipping sauce – but usually we simply eat them “au naturelle” because they are so fresh, so saline, so sweet, so meaty that they need nothing to accent their almost indefinable taste.   Either way, if you are not an oyster lover, I encourage you to close your eyes and lift one to your lips – give a quick slurp and enjoy the wonderfully sensual taste and texture of a perfectly fresh oyster on your palate.  You will become a convert!

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We were trying to figure out how many years we have been making a fall trek to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod to walk the beach, eat great seafood, and toast the magnificent sunsets, usually with our best buddies Lynn and Doug.  (And this year our “almost-daughter Anne and her husband joined us, too.)  Neither Steve, Lynn, Doug nor I can remember, but for however long it has been – 10 years or more – we have begun each day there with breakfast at Café Heaven on Commercial Street.  It is the most welcoming spot run by 2 open-hearted guys, Alan in the front and Patrick in the kitchen.  We walk in the door and find a seat and Alan has coffee on the table, 3 regulars and 1 decaf.  The menu is imaginative and the food delicious.  One specialty, Crab Cakes Eggs Benedict, is seen on almost every table every morning.  We usually opt for simpler dishes.  Open for breakfast and lunch early and late in the season and for 3 meals a day during the height of the summer crowds, Café Heaven is truly a little bit of heaven on Cape Cod.

 

 

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Oysters

 

You either love ‘em or hate ‘em – I’ve found there is no in-between.  We happen to be a family that loves them.  Steve and I have just returned from our annual fall visit to Provincetown where oysters are on the menu every day.  Always on the half shell – never fancied up.  No mignonette, no lemon, no dippin’ or drizzlin’ at all – we just slurp them right from the shell.  This year they were particularly salty/sweet and very plump.  I don’t offer a recipe ‘cause, for us, only nature can provide the perfect dish – just some photos so you can enjoy our feasts just a bit.  And, along with the oysters, Steve shares a snap of Lynn’s (our vacationing buddy) found beach treasures.  The little starfish seemed to be everywhere on the beach – some struggling to make it back to the water and some for whom it was too late to make the dash.

 

 

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