Changing Seasons & SeaFood Party Dip

      Just when you think we are making the turn with the weather something makes a change and the temperatures takes a dip again. But through it all the sun is beginning to shine more and there are flowers starting to come up. I even have daffodils up in my front yard and I am seeing wild flowers coming up along the route i take on walks with my dog. The colors are vibrant purples, yellows and whites just popping up. Folks all around the neighborhood are getting their gardens together and ready for May to get here to start planting new flowers and plants that need a little warmer weather to endure. Landscapers are working overtime with all the seasonal properties trying to get things ready for the upcoming tourist season and home repair contractors can't get a moments break after being dormant for most of the winter. And me, I refuse to touch the lawn mower before May 1st and would prefer to wait till more like the 15th before I see that thing come out of the garage, but we will see how long that lasts. But at least the bushes are trimmed and the deck furniture is out and I have pulled most of the ivy and vines away from the house, so those are the big jobs that go on around my house to get ready for the coming warmer season. 

      So do you own a place or does Mom and Dad or even Grandma and Grandpa? Are you coming out on the weekends to help or even get the cottage or summer house ready for them and you? A good number of our winter snow birds have come back to the roost and more are on the way. And speaking of birds I have noticed that the noise level in the trees are getting louder and the different sounds have multiplied since the middle of last month. So as you are out and about, greet the returning seasonals whether they are land lubbers or air bourns, and make sure you get reacquainted with those neighbors you have not seen now for 4-5 months, and reaffirm old friendships and maybe just make a few new ones along the way.
      The only other thing that I am noticing a real change is all the boats that are already in the water and a couple of new boats showing up in driveways in the area. I am still not at the point where I can do that, not that I would not like to, but a new roof is still needed and I prefer to be dry and stay warm year round that have a play toy for only part of the year. And I still can not get out of my head the two best moments in a boat owners life, the day they buy the boat and the day they sell it. So with that I guess for now I will dream and put my money were it really needs to go and that is in doing necessary repairs to my humble abode. If you are blessed enough to have a boat, enjoy it and may you stay afloat all season long.     
      Well this past weekend Ring Bros put on it's spring fling thing that was another hit out of the ballpark. There were several new vendors there and a few of the old timers with new products. I can not thank the Ring Bros family of shops enough for putting this on again for the area and allowing us to come in and invade their space for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. Yes I understand that the idea is that they get new customers out of it. But it is still a big disruption to the normal shoppers and business, but oh it is so fun to go in and try so many new things and be exposed to products and local companies that I would not normally get the chance to meet and try. With that said one of the companies they brought in was the Nantucket Vineyard group that also includes Triple Eight Distillery and Cisco Brewers. I was familiar with Triple Eight's Cranberry Vodka, but had a chance to sample their BlueBerry Vodka. Now I will tell you the two fruits I am not a big fan of is raspberry and blueberry. I don't know what it is but it has never appealed to me that much. I love the fruit itself, naked, on cereal, in jell-os, in pies but not in juice form. Well, let me tell you, I found a BlueBerry brink that I would be happy to drink anytime, anywhere. This stuff is really good and does not leave the typical blueberry after taste in the mouth. And to add a bit of lemonade as a mixer to it or some kind of lemon-lime soda totally has summer written all over it. The Vineyard side had several of their wines with them and to my hearts delight they had a Cranberry Wine with them, that I will have to admit is pretty darn good. It is a little different from the other wineries here on the Cape but that is good as I like variety and this will make a nice addition to the fruit wines that I enjoy. And what can I say about there beer. I will have to say we are blessed here on the Cape with several different brewers of beer and I have not found one that does not like me yet. So next time you are needed to add a little something different to your bar, think Triple Eight, for a change in wine, don't go off Cape just go to another great local winery Nantucket Vineyard and with summer coming up and then football season for an added local delight get some Cisco Brewers beer for a refreshing change of taste, I think you will enjoy all they have to offer. 
      Well it's about that time and I need to make my rounds, tonight I need to put in a whole new wick so it's gonna take a bit more time, but we want to be sure we don't burn her out in the middle of the night. And the old lens really could use an extra cleaning, not sure if the old wick was giving off a something extra but it is as dirty as all get out, and then give a check on the oil tanks and be sure we have enough to make it through the next stretch. So until next time have a great and wonderful especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      This weeks recipe is to the appetizers since it is a fifth Wednesday evening of the month. As I have been doing for the past 2 years I love to do things with seafood. Isn't that what reminds us a lot of what the Cape is all about, is the food that comes right out of the sea around this peninsula. So what better way than to start off a good meal with something we all can enjoy, and if you really have it in you and the license to go with it, you can go pick your own and have them even fresher than if you went and bought them at the local fish market. (But don't tell them I told you to go do that.) So without much further ado, bring on the appetizer direct from the sea. 
 
      This week's recipe: Baked Mussels
 
  •       5      pds      mussels, cleaned, bearded
  •       1      cup      water
  •       1      cup      white wine (the stuff you would drink, nothing less)
  •       1      can      plum tomatoes, drained and chopped (16 oz can)
  •    1/3      cup      Panko bread crumbs
  •    1/3      cup      fresh parsley chopped
  •       1      tsp       Old Bay Seasoning
  •       1      tsp       pepper
  •                           Olive Oil
 
      Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place mussels in a large saucepan, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white wine, (you can use all water or all wine), cover and steam mussels till open. Drain and allow to cool. Remove mussels from shells. Place 2 to 3 mussels in one shell until all mussels have been used. In a small bowl combine rest of ingredients except olive oil, and mix gently. Place a small amount of mixture over each mussel and drizzle with olive oil. place shells in a baking dish and bake for about 5 minutes or until slightly browned. Serve while hot. 

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