We're drinking and dining earlier than usual today, as tonight it will be time to haul the boat back home for winter. I don't like to rush that task, and want to start early enough to ensure we don't get home too late. The boat returning to Philadelphia for winter is a sign that our weekends at Cape May are nearly over. We've got only two such weekends left to us, and both will be spent readying the house for winter and putting it to bed.
So this is a good time to indulge in seafoods - in the latest catches from damp and windy yesterday, and in what we love the best. Our Cocktail Hour is beer, wine, and all the Usual Suspects, paired with these small bites:
- Stuffies - Stuffed & Baked Quahogs
- Vietnamese Crispy Fried Squid - Muc Chien (recipe previously posted)
- Beer-Battered Dogfish (sustainable, low-mercury local shark; w/ tartar and chili sauces, malt vinegar)
- Baked Mushrooms Stuffed w/ Crabmeat Imperial (previously posted)
Come dinner time, our starter is Nantucket Bay Scallop Chowder - the familiar New England creamy chowder that swaps out clams or white fish for bay scallops. Just small bowls will do. For our main plate, guests can pick their favorite from this weekend's catch (stripes, blues, or black sea bass) and we'll prepare it as Slate-Grilled Fish,. If they want some red drum we'll grill it up as Redfish on the Half-Shell (both fish recipes previously posted). We've got tartar sauce and a Salsa Verde to go with those. Rounding out the plates we have Spinach Salad w/ Dried Cranberries, Walnuts & Pomegranate Vinaigrette, and Broccoli & Bow Ties. Dessert tonight is Pumpkin Bread Pudding, probably served with Ina Garten's lazy vanilla sauce - which is good quality vanilla ice cream allowed to melt.
Then we hitch up the boat trailer, and head home. Every year I wonder if THIS will be the trip when finally go Full Griswold. When we're heading up the Atlantic City Expressway and I glance out the driver's side window into the left lane, and notice that we're being passed by our own boat trailer. "Hey Honey... isn't that our boat up ahead, taking the exit for 295-North?" Every autumn, that happens to somebody, and I don't know how they do it... But it's Full Griswold.