Life Continues on Cape Cod & Tuna Chowder

   The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are starting to fall and not come back to where we have been accustomed to having them. There is talk of frost on the pumpkin, for real, and the smell of leaves burning and fire pits and fire places going. You actually need a jacket going out and some would say a nice sweeter, but I'm not a sweeter person at this point in my life. I am finding that since my back surgeries the cooler air and changing barometer are not as kind to me as it once was and the impending winter season that I used to look forward to and not really bother me a bit, well that's a story in change and I'm not even 60 yet. And now on top of it all I need to find someone new to get a flue liner into my chimney as the one I have is out of commission due to bad wood that I got. Someone did not care what they were giving their customer and just scooped up what was left sitting at the bottom of the pile in the mud in the standing water and I was the lucky son of a gun. Not only did I not get heat last year but the creosote is so thick I can not ever use the liner any longer. So I need to replace the liner, and the guy who put in the last one has raise his prices so much you would think I live in a house that was worth 7 figure or that I make a 6 figure salary. So I guess unless I can find someone quickly no firebox for me this year. Oh well. Life we think sometimes only happens to us, that others certainly don't have these problems. And that is why I write, to share the frustrations of life sometimes so that someone else realizes they are not the only ones having issues or problems. And I am not here to complain about life but just share so that someone else can get encouragement that someone else is leaving to live with inconveniences that they would rather not. Life on the Cape is all paradise, right? Well, reality is, we still have to pay the mortgage, still pay the insurance bill, pay the taxes, put food on the table and put in 8-10 hours of work a day. We do get to see the sun set over the Cape Cod Bay or over Bass River (which is an inlet by the way) or Buzzards Bay. I know I have talked about this in the past and will continue to share living the dream here on the Cape, as some will boo hoo, folks that move here than realize it's really no different than living any place else, we just have some extra perks, like high winds, hire cost in housing, favorite restaurants that are only open for 3-4 months and the list goes on. So why live here, why put up with the quirks and irritations. This time of year there are the sunsets, there is the seafood, there are the nature trails, there are whale sightings from the cliffs of Wellfleet and Truro, there are lighthouses to go visit, there are historical places that due things up for the holidays, there are strolls there are, tell me when to stop. And if you really do have to leave the Cape, within a couple hours drive there is Rhode Island, the Berkshires, New Hampshire and Vermont, Maine, Boston, Plymouth, and again the list goes on. So life on the Cape encompasses so much beautiful, nature, community, It has it's faults, changing weather, being the biggest, and limited heat from limited sun angles. You need to be fairly hearty to really make through the winter, although todays Cape Codder is nothing compared to years gone by. But with endurance and patient's and persistence you will be able to experience all that Cape Cod has to offer not just one season, but all seasons of the year. A flew that needs replaced seems so small to everything else. It will happen I am sure, I may be thin on wood and have to learn to like sweaters, but I will not lose my love for old Cape Cod. Hope to see you seen.              

      Small business report, I have a big one but it only has 4 more weekends, as they are a seasonal ( and I mean cranberry seasonal) business. That is Annies Crannies, find on line at www.anniescrannies.com, or on  Scarsdale Road across from the Dennis House off Whig Street in Dennis. The gift shop will be open from 9am-5pm on Saturday and Sundays for the 5 weekends starting on Columbus Day weekend, October 6th. If you see Annie's Crannies signs on 6A, we are open. They may not be the easiest to find but when you get there you know you are getting the real deal. They do, do a tour each day at 11 but please email Annie or call her to confirm the time. They also have a store where you will not buy cranberries anywhere else any fresher than what she is offering, cause she harvested them that day. She also has other products available and there is an online store that you can order her products from as well if you can get to the farm physically. So get to Dennis on 6A and find your way on Whig to Scarsdale Rd and across from the Dennis House look for the sign to Annies Crannies. 
      While in Dennis, you could do lunch or brunch at Scargo Cafe, super yummy, I love this place. Grace staff and even better food. Then wonder across the street to the Nancy's Candy Shop and take some delicious chocolates to go. or visit the Pottery shop or if you need a good coffee or you are looking for breakfast or a lighter lunch there is the Underground Cafe located behind the Post Office. Take your time and drive up and down 6A and stop into so many fun shops from one end to the other. But please don't stop in the middle of the road with other cars behind you trying to make up your mind where you want to go, pull into the parking lot and then decide.  
      Welcome one and all to one of several beacons in the night here on the Cape. Yes folks, as night time falls earlier and earlier the beacons along the coastline of Cape Cod becomes very important. Both fisherman/fisherwomen leaving early in the morning or coming back later afternoon need that site guide to help them find the opening of the ever shifting channels and tides, along with staying out far enough to avoid the seal population before making that turn into the harbor. We also support those freighters scooting off the coast of Cape Cod on their from Canada or Maine down to New York or Baltimore or even before turning east to head across to Europe or the Mediterranean Sea even though they use more GPS satellite guidance systems. And let's not forget the cruise ships that come passing through the the Cape Cod Canal going both ways north and sough hitting all the tourist spots they use us as landmarks to stay on track along with the digital guidance systems they use. Anyway we are in great demand along with aircraft pilots using us, now again that is more smaller private planes but that is were all the airport beacons came from is from us lighthouse towers. Any way with the shifting and changing winds September through January have been some of the harder months for ships over the years for wrecks. So again our beacons and horns are most important. Now for a quick update on the Fall Harvest / Halloween festivities. This past weekend we were packed to the gills, what a fun time we had. Weather for the most part played our direction and we picked up many who after going to the Oyster festival stopped by our place on the way back. The maze was doing its wonderful job of confusing the heck out of people, the bond fire was going, and the hot cider, donuts and other goodies we barely had enough. And towards the end had a few reports of some haunting sightings. But I am not going to get into that as there are some skeptics out there and you will just have to come find out for yourself. So I hope to see you over the next couple weekends while it lasts. Well that's about it for now, have a great and wonderful especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.       
      Now as we are in a full on change of seasons this week, what better time to get the chowder pots going. This time of year one of the fish that run is tuna and from what I've heard it is as exciting if not more than catching a marlin or swordfish. But what is even more exciting is eating fresh tuna, regardless of how it is prepared, whether in sushi, or grilled or as we are going to see chowder. So get out the pots, check the list twice to be sure you have it all, I usually don't like a lot of ingredients but it really is not as bad as it looks, and is evening easier to prepare. So get them chowder pots out and let's get to it. 
 
      This week's recipe: Tuna Chowder
 
      4      Tbsp    butter
   1/4      cup      chopped celery
      1      cup      chopped onion
      1      cup      diced potatoes
1 1/4      tsp       salt
   1/4      tsp       pepper
   1/4      tsp       thyme
   1/4      tsp       dill weed (dill not the other weed)
      2     Tbsp     flour
      1      can      stewed tomatoes (8 oz)
      3      cups    milk
      1      can      tuna, drained (6.5 oz) (or go fresh)
      2      Tbsp    minced parsley
      1      cup      Monterey Jack Cheese - shredded
 
      Saute celery, onion, and potato in butter for about 15 minutes. Stir ion salt, pepper, herbs and flour. Add tomatoes, milk, tuna (cooked if you are using fresh and shredded) and parsley. Heat, stirring until chowder is thickened and comes to a boil. Stir in cheese.   That's it, nothing more to it, have fun, eat healthy, and eat well. 
 
 

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