Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beach food

How can it be January 31st already? I’m so in the weeds. My vacation at the beach already seems like it was months ago, and yet I still haven’t managed to post about it.

When I go to the beach on Cape Cod with my sisters and the kids, there are anywhere from six to twenty of us sharing a house, depending on which combination of brothers-in-law, parents, and passing friends is in residence. Hardly a day passes that someone doesn’t have to make a run to the grocery store, usually involving at least 2 bags of food. Since there were only going to be three of us on our recent beach vacation, I decided to plan ahead and try and avoid grocery store trips if I could. The area where we are staying has one very small and expensive grocery store/café, and the closest supermarket is a 15-minute drive. I knew we’d be heading into town for dinner at least once, and I could tack a quick grocery run onto that if need be; but for the most part I attempted to go prepared.

I brought staples and condiments from home, and mixed up batches of dry ingredients for bread, pancakes, and cake at home, so I could minimize the amount of packages and equipment I was transporting. I did a pre-trip grocery shop for things I knew we would need. I made a basic meal plan. And on the way out of Canberra on Saturday morning, we stopped at the farmers’ market so I could stock up on fresh meat and produce, which we piled into a cool bag already filled with ice and stuff from the fridge.

And it worked! I only had to use the beach café for sliced bread and milk, pretty much. And we got some pretty yummy, seasonal dishes out of the farmers’ market haul, including the following (please excuse photo quality; phone camera alert!):

Corn salad: the last of my first corn purchase of the summer. We ate it on the cob the first night; on the second night, I cut the remaining corn off the cobs, warmed it in some olive oil, and mixed through some chopped tomatoes and basil. Summer in a bowl.

Fridge-Clearing Frittata: we had a beach picnic dinner on Friday night, and I took the opportunity to mix up a bunch of leftover bits and pieces into a tasty, chunky frittata (this one includes chunks of grilled sausage, roasted potato cubes, the end of a batch of ratatouille, and some feta cheese). We ate it with a tomato and roasted green bean salad and some rolls, and shared it with any wildlife that happened to be passing (a friendly lizard and some relatively polite seagulls).

Cake!: because, for the first time ever, I got to spend my January birthday at the beach. Baking my own cake in a cottage kitchen was totally worth it. (I did get taken out for Thai food for dinner, also.)


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