Build Up to Vacation Time & Roasted Mushrooms w/ Snap Peas & Tomatoes

Wow we are in May, I remember as a kid that once we hit this point I had pretty much my summer planned. Our school let out the week of Memorial Day or no later than the first weekend in June. Now from age 11 to 15 June was my home time. I would do jobs for the neighbor like mow lawns, wash cars, or help them out in other ways, then July I would head off to camp. From 16 on up I left for camp in June and worked there through the summer in many different capacities. But then August would come and for the earlier years Mom and Dad would get everything ready and packed up and on their way to the Cape would pick me up and off we would go. After 16 I would finish up after Mom and Dad left and I would catch a ride into Pittsburgh and then fly into Boston, where Mom and Dad would pick me up and out to the Cape we would go. I was on countdown days every year to camp then the Cape and could not wait for it to come then always went to fast by. But as soon as Labor Day would come the count down would begin again for the following years trips to camp and the Cape. So how ready are you? Are you on countdown days? Are you ready for the kids to head off to camp and then a trip to the Cape? Whatever your set up is, however you get here, get the days counting and make it a time to look forward to every year. I hope you are enjoying finding places to see, things to do and looking forward to seeing old friends and relatives. May the experience that leads you up to coming to the Cape this summer be as enjoyable as the upcoming trip.Hope you see you soon and looking forward to having you come. Now go have a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.  
      Small Business report; Let's start with a place I have not been in for a while but they are a year round place. The name is the Bird Watcher's General Store, located at 36 MA-6A, Orleans or online at, and on Facebook. If you are a bird watcher, supporter, feeder, decorator, this is the place for you. They have everything from food and feeders to clothing to gifts and decorations for those bird lovers in your life. Check them out and take something home for the birds that frequent your property. Remember, birds around the house is a natural way to control the bug population. 
      When you get done there, take a stroll next door to The Local Scoop located at 34 Cranberry Highway (RT 6A)
Orleans or on Facebook. What do you get at The Local Scoop, well in their words: COLD Options: Frozen Yogurt, Soft Serve, Homemade Ice Cream, Ice Cream Cakes & Cupcakes, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Frappes Organic Ice Cream  / Vegan / Gluten Free / Sugar Free Options Abound HOT Options: Dessert Crepes, Brownie Baked Alaska, Nutella Hot Chocolate, Melted Ice Cream Cocoa, Affogato, French Pressed Coffee & Tea. And the fun thing that is not all. They also have a great array of local gifts and products to purchase from local roasted coffee to take home to chocolates, to jams and jellies and more. So get on over to The Local Scoop and get your fill on frozen yogurt and more.  
      Last but never least you can start your day or end it right here at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow located at 5 Old Colony Way, Orleans or online at or on facebook. Hot Chocolate is not all they have, and that is a good thing, they have coffees and they have tea. Yes folks you tea lovers have a place to go that understand your love for tea. They have pastries, they have sandwiches, they have soup, they have ice cream, they have season things and the ever famous Frozen Monkey. Oh did I mention the chocolate shop also located in the shop? No oh my it is wonderful stuff and they do a good job at making all kinds of chocolates, if you are lucky they will be making it when you are there and you can watch them make the different kinds they sell there. So get to Orleans and check all these places out.     
      I feel like I should start out my segment with more of a quack, than a formal greeting. Wow, has this weather since Easter been the most fowl thing I have seen for some time. But through all this rotten to the core weather we have been having I am starting to see some hints of spring all around the lighthouse. The flowers are actually starting to bloom all around. The tulips the wife has planted are about to open up in an array of techno colors that would make any sunrise and sunset jealous. The crocuses are carpeting the grounds and giving new life where only tan sand has been showing the past several months. The leaves on the trees are starting to bud all over and it gives me just a little hope that we may be onto something here. Although how can the grass be growing so quickly with the temperatures still not normal. We have a sad story to report this week, as I am sure many of you have heard, one of our older gals, a female Humpback that has been gracing our waters since at least 1984. We morn for the lost of our whale friend. This is the time of year we are seeing more whale activity so if you are getting out in your boats more frequently now please be aware of your surroundings and stay clear of these gentle giants. We need to help preserve them in any way we can. Other than that it has been quiet on the waters, but hopping in here at the tower. Weekends are open for discovery and we are starting to wrap up the school tours as we are coming down to the end of the school year. The grounds are always open and the view from the lookout area can not be beat, it's just the lighthouse and the station that are closed until the weekends. Well thats about it, however I am thinking by the end of the month we should be having some more activity going on. So until then I hope you dry out and see and feel the warm of the sun and we hope to see you soon. Until then have a great and wonder, and especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      Hello and time for another side dish week. Since we are on odd number month must mean we are roasted vegetable time. Now I love mushrooms and am always looking for ways to incorporate them into dishes. But I also like mushrooms on their own. Now when it comes to mushrooms, if it can be sautéed it can be roasted as well. The benefit to roasting is it frees up the stove top, it allows for better coverage of herbs and spices, and allows for deeper flavors to the mushrooms. I like both and see the use for both roasting and sautéing, and will eat them however they come. I feel like I want to start quoting Dr Seuss, I will eat them in a box, I will eat them with a fox, I will eat them,, and so on and so on and you get the point. But the point here is, this is an easy way to get into mushrooms (edible ones here not the funny ones) with a nice twist. I hope you enjoy it, and have fun with it. You can make this with one type of mushroom or all different types of mushrooms, and if you want to mix other vegetable into it go for it. The idea here is to have fun and enjoy another way to cook and use mushrooms. Remember mushrooms cook up in size so use your good judgement on how much mushrooms to use. Now on with the recipe. Oh and yes this is my recipe, if you find it someplace else, great but I just did this, this past weekend with no recipe in front of me. 
      This week's recipe: Roasted Mushrooms w/ Snap Peas & Tomatoes
       2      ibs      Mix mushrooms (about 1/2 lb per person before roasting)
    1/2      ib        Snap peas, ends trimmed 
    1/2      ib        grape tomatoes 
                          Sea Salt & Ground Pepper
              dash    Tabasco 
   1/8      tsp       Old Bay Seasoning
   1/2      tsp       garlic (chopped)
   1/2      cup      extra virgin olive oil
                          juice of 1/2 fresh lemon 
      Clean the fresh mushrooms (do not run under water), trip and cut up into chunks and put into large bowl. Trim ends on Snap peas an put them in bowl along with tomatoes. Put a dash or so of Tabasco and the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lemon into oil and mix, pour over mushroom mix in bowl. Add garlic sprinkling liberally over mushrooms then toss vegetables gently till all are covered with oil, mixture. Spread mushroom mix out on a large baking sheet (lightly oil so there is no sticking), sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot.   
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