Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back from the Beach

Spring break is over, alas. We had a lovely week in Orange Beach, Alabama. The kids played in the surf, I sat on the beach in a chair with a fruity drink reading Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck, the perfect book to read while on the road in America (although it made me miss my dogs). Then we drove home via New Orleans, and the kids got to experience Bourbon Street on a Friday afternoon. We had everyone inside by dark because there was plenty to do in our nice hotel, Le Pavilion on Canal Street.

We had lots of great food including several helpings of delicious oysters--not veg, but I hope the slimy little creatures will forgive my sincere enjoyment of their oystery essence. We also tried Royal Red shrimp, a large deep-water shrimp from the Gulf that is absolutely delicious--sweet and soft and melt-in-your-mouth.

As I walked the dogs through the woods yesterday morning, I was crunching snow beneath my feet again, but I couldn't help thinking how similar it was to walking over the white sandy beach. Subtract the spectacular spring surf and add a sweater, scarf, and gloves.

It's back to the kitchen as well. Today I'm picking up an order of wild-caught seafood from Nick Wallace of Wallace Farms, who finds the best, sustainable sources of wild-caught fish as well as locally raised organic meat and sells them out of his truck. This will help determine what I cook for the family in the coming week. In the meantime, I'm looking longingly at the strawberry leaves poking out of the soil already, and the seeds I started before we left for vacation are all sprouting vigorously. I hope for a strong and hearty growing season with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Meanwhile, I'm thinking about what to eat today. I'll keep you posted.

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