This and That

It’s mid-year.  Almost July.  The Fourth of July weekend is on deck and summer is decidedly here.   Is there much better than life here in the land of Pleasant Living?  I didn’t think so.  A few random thoughts have been bouncing around…

  • Our favorite Kennedyville BackYard eggs are now available at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.  Look for the Snyder/Malone table over by the Fountain and especially look for their blue cooler, where you can reconnect with the best eggs in Kent County money can buy.
  • So, how’s that 5:2 diet going?  We’re still on it and still fairly successful.  Kevin has dropped almost 20 pounds and I’m down a solid 6. I know, I know,  big difference.  I think maybe if I stopped dipping into the candy drawer I’d see more progress (ya think??) but I’m still not unhappy.  And this last two pounds I want to lose have been with me for at least 25 years, so they are very reluctant to go.  I’m not giving up.  And I also haven’t had to give up fruit pie! It’s getting much more pleasant with the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit we can add to the plate.  And while I sort of can’t wait for the maintenance days to begin, it really has been the most painless diet I have ever been on.  (Well, at least 5 days a week it is painless!) Here are a couple pictures of the last two fast-day meals we had:
  • We have not been doing much to support the local restaurant industry lately, I am reluctant to say.  Too busy, too nice out.  Last Thursday we had solid plans to visit Barbara’s Deck on the Bay, got home, poured a pre-dinner glass of wine (first mistake), sat down on the patio (second mistake), looked at each other and said “Do we have anything here to eat?” and that was the end of the going out plans.  That being said, we’ve managed lunch at a couple new neighborhood joints that are worth mentioning, both reincarnations of previous venues.
  • First is Las Marias, which took over the space Monica’s Country Kitchen held in Galena.  Yes, this is the Mexican restaurant you have been looking for.  We went on a Sunday for our inaugural visit and our only mistake was that we were starving.  Since we couldn’t decide what to get, we just got everything!  We had way too much to eat, but oh! it was all good, better than any local Mexican-American we’ve had in for ever.  And very, very nice people both in the front and the back.  This is going to put Galena on the map, for those of us craving cilantro and carnitas!
  • Second is the “new” Molly’s, in the Mason complex outside of our hometown of Kennedyville, formerly known to the world as “Vonnies”.  Having a lunch place just down the road from the office is obviously quite appealing, especially here in Center City Kent County, but close is no substitute for good.  The first Molly was fine, if uninspiring.  The second Molly completely missed the mark of the market they were supposed to be targeting (the market that would actually be supporting them) by a mile, a country mile, so to speak.  Even though the food was “creative”, it had to get past the local audience which was vital to its survival.  And to do that it had to be more than “creative”.  Good bye.  The third was okay if you wanted a grilled cheese sandwich and didn’t mind some of the worst service ever.  Now the fourth.  Word on the street is that it is being run by the fellows who own 1861 in Middletown.  Atmosphere is only slightly different, menu also tweaked, with a Southern food subtitle.  We had the crab bisque, a side salad ranch and two sandwiches – their twist on a Cuban and a BLT.  The cons – was that cheese in the crab bisque?  The pros – everything else.  (Except maybe the AC blasting down on me, but that happens to me everywhere I go this time of year…)  We left thinking we would most likely be happy to return, since it was close and close to good.
  • Summer in Kent County means crabs, and in particular, soft shells.  Here are the six we got last week, fried up in Bertha, just the right size for a sandwich. (disclaimer – I used these pictures all over our social media accounts, so bear with the repetition; there is no such thing as too many soft shells!)
  • Yes, that soft crab sandwich is on a split-top roll, made by our resident chef.  Last week he made multiple loaves of bread in the oven within a dutch oven, which come out looking like this:

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  • One of our favorite occupations in the summer months is to take the Ruby for a swim on Still Pond Creek and maybe, on the way or on the round-about-way back, we’ll come across a Farm Stand, selling just picked produce that you can see growing in the garden or plot or field just over the wagon.  I mean, I know we can always succeed with Redman’s wagon on Route 20, or hit Arnold Farms stand at KingsTown Tractor or the newest one at Los Jarochos in the Austin Complex on 213, but I’m talking small, like the one you might have set up at the end of your lane when you were a kid.  That is the inspiration for our new summer menu item – FarmStand Salad.  Made up of a melange of whatever is looking good at the FarmStand, be it the one we like to go to outside of Kenton or the one down the road from Ruby’s favorite swimming spot.  This week we couldn’t say no to “candy” onions, the just-picked green beans, summer squash, new potatoes, freshly dug radishes or the local Arnold corn. So it all goes in. With a light dressing of Kevin’made mayo and fresh backyard tarragon, it is the essence of summer.  And of course, with someone else doing all that chopping and dicing, blanching and roasting, what’s not to like?  This is the salad you will see on our Market Menu all summer long, with variations on that FarmStand theme prevailing.
  • And pie!  This week I am making six.  Five blueberry and one cherry.  Four of the blueberry are 9 inchers, made for Fourth of July carry-outs.  I’ve got the shells all rolled out, the crumb topping made and tomorrow I will bake three of the blueberry; Saturday will put the rest in the oven.  Hopefully there will be something left over for Sunday breakfast…

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  • In closing, I leave you with a little smiling sunflower for one more seasonal dose of summer.  Let’s toast to a beautiful Eastern Shore Fourth of July holiday weekend, with all the food that goes with it!

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Cheers!

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