ShellFishing & Sausage Balls

      This week as the cold continues and the snow has shown it's wicked beauty, all I can think about is what is the weather suppose to be on Saturday and what time is low tide. Am I really this crazy or have I completely lost my senses. A couple weeks ago when we had the rain on that Saturday, I had worked a half day and clicked off the computer, just in time to look at the radar. Sure enough there was a break, so I through in the rake and basket, pulled on the waders and headed out to the Cove. As I pulled up someone was kind enough to leave me a place right up front., I got out of the car and the rain started to let up. I grabbed the rake and my basket and before I could take 2 steps off the parking lot the rain turned into a mist and by the time my feet hit the water that had stopped. It only took me about 30 minutes to get what I was there to get, and I headed back into shore. As my feet hit the beach the mist started again and when I got to the parking lot, wham bam the heavens opened up. I hurried to the car got the stuff in and slipped out of my waders and into the car. When I got home it was a hoot to see the line on my jacket from the wader line down was dry as a bone and above one soggy doggy. But the clam chowder did taste good.
      What is bumming me out though is I need these temps to get up over the freezing mark so I can go get some mussels, maybe a few razor clams or a few sea clams. I am really getting hungry for these extra morsels of goodness. Just with the oyster and scallop gathering was decent in Dennis this year, but nope, and I really am not up on top of Chatham enough to know where is the good spots to gather. But a good seafood stew or chowder and maybe pull in a fish or two to add to the base would just hit the spot on a few of the cold days.
      One of the things that got me thinking of all this was, do any of you remember the old shellfish rings. When I went to get my gear two years ago, I went to ask for the ring gauges, I guy looked at me like I had just stepped out of a time machine. He laughed and handed me this square thing that I almost asked ok so what is this? But thought better to look at it first and read the description. I asked when these things started to be used, he asked me how long had it been since I last dug. I got the picture. But remembered it was many years prior that Al Crocker of Hyannis, took my folks and I out to the north side off Barnstable beaches and taught us how to dig for steamers. I think my father, now 86 still has that ring that Al gave us. I was good to have the shellfish warden teach you, then you are pretty sure to get what you are allowed to and not what you aren't suppose to.
      I have to say, here in Dennis, I am really appreciative and impressed with our Shellfish constable. His willingness to talk and help educate on where to dig, what to look for and just plain put up with the dumb first timers questions. I also have watch as he has interacted with the old timers and listened to their concerns while also taking the time to just shoot the breeze with them. I have also watched as he has lent a hand to a few of the older ladies out digging and just taking time to build relationships, instead of being to busy or feeling the need to just stay put in the truck, when in reality he could have. Thank you to you and your staff.
Well all this food talk is making me hungry, so time to wrap this up, and go for some grub, just wish I had a dozen or so oysters on the half shell, Yum. I'll go check out the lighthouse, fill the oil tank, clean the lens and trim the wick. And with all the blowing snow and it being as thick as fog better give ye old horn a blast or two to clean out the cobwebs. Have yourself a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it on the Cape. Stay warm and eat well.
      This weeks recipe is just in time for super bowl Sunday. These are fun little morsels of goodness that will most likely be a bigger hit than the game itself. ( Ok so my team did not make the Super Bowl this year.) But still for those of us who are diehard football fans there are 3 reasons to get excited about this weekend. 1st a good reason to through a party and invite friends and family, 2nd to watch the new commercials, and 3rd to pig our of finger foods till your gut busts. Of course we all go on a diet the Monday after. Anyway, this appetizer is something that can be used year round, winter sports to summer outings, to work pot lucks. This one is easy and few ingredients and does not take a lot of skill to do, so this one is a plus on all levels in my book. Well enough of the gab, it's time for the show:

      This week's recipe: Sausage Balls

  •       1/2    lb        bulk ground sausage, browned & drained
  •       8        oz        shredded cheddar cheese
  •       1/4    cup      milk
  •       1                    egg
  •    1 1/2    cup      complete pancake mix (Jiffy Mix or Bisquick)
  •       1/4     tsp      cayenne pepper
  •                              paprika

      Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cooke sheet. In large bowl, combine sausage, cheese, milk and egg. Blend well. Measure pancake mix exactly. Add pancake mix, pepper to meat mixture. mix well.
Roll into 1 inch balls; place on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and serve warm.

      *** Just a short word about this recipe, this one comes from a collaboration book that came from my Dad's second wife. She spent much time in Illinois and especially in the Chicago area. This book is from one of the Catholic parishes in south Chicago that had a wonderful ministry to that area and this book had to come from the late 60s or early 70s however there is no date listed in the book at all. They gave the name of "GOOD STUFF" to this collection,, and if you like it eat, it really is full of good stuff.  

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