First was a tremendous weekend in Morehead City for the annual Seafood Festival. DeeGee's Books had me signing in front of the store, on the street, so that I could watch the folks and their goodies go by. By far, the one that "took the cake" was a cheesecake on a stick, deep-fried, then dipped in chocolate.
As expected, there were shrimp and scallop burgers, and lots and lots of beer flowing. Heard over 125,000 folks attended. We sold quite a few of THE OUTER BANKS COOKBOOK.
Since we were staying at the family condo, we got some fresh scallops from our favorite market, Atlantic Beach Seafood, the one with the mermaid on top, run by Sonja and her parents. I had brought down the last of the pink eye peas I found at the Raleigh farmers market, and gussied them up with some sweet red pepper, sweet onions and a tad of ba
con. Scallops were quickly browned in a combo of olive oil and butter, just three minutes per side, no touching allowed, then removed from the pan. Lemon juice was squeezed into the hot butter/oil and the bits and pieces scraped up, then poured over the scallops. Out onto the screened porch overlooking the ocean and watching the moon rise and Cape Lookout Lighthouse and its 15 second twirl.....and, well, heaven. A nice, chilled Chardonnay made the dinner just perfect.
Early morning walks found fishermen - and women - lined up on the beach, some with their
4-wheel drive vehicles backed to the surf. One fellow caught a ray while I was nearby, and had a dickens of a time trying to get him off his hook. Others reeled in large flounder - they must be at least 15 OR IS IT 17? inches - and lots of tall tales. At the dimming of the day, Hubby caught a few, too. One made a great dinner, filleted, buttered and seasoned and baked with crab spread on top.
The next week found us at Zydeco Moon cabins in Ashe County for a bit of fly fishing and hiking. We love that place. Steaks, then lamb chops, both grilled and enjoyed by moonlight on the porch, and an evening spent with Joe and Sally, owners, and their friend and neighbor, Ben. We tasted smoked trout I had bought in Asheville from Sunburst Trout near Cold Mountain, with smoked gouda and a smoked chevre. Sally made Shrimp etouffe, which showed off her native Louisiana cooking skills, with a most delicious Caesar salad made with greens just picked from her certified organic garden at the base of the hill. I brought the Upside Down Apple Torte I've been working on, which travelled well.
Over the winter and spring, Sally and Joe cleared an additional 4 acres at the top of the mountain, where they grew squash and tomatoes, esp. Sally said she had a good year at the Watagua Farmers Market, and also sells directly to a few Farm-to-Table restaura
nts in the area. Joe was to help Ben the next morning install a new electric fence to keep deer away from his apples and garden. We later heard that since it was solar powered, it was not fully charged during that first night, so the deer trampled the posts!
Steve was not enlisted to help, so he went fishing instead, and caught several decent trout - although sadly for him it's only catch and release after Oct 1st. That's a native Brown trout in the photo, and considered "large", or so the Hubby insists. Another day we enjoyed some spectacular hikes in Grayson Highlands, just over the VA border.
THE OUTER BANKS COOKBOOK was left as a little lagniappe for our hosts, and our new friend Ben left us a bag of Staymans and winesaps which made a great pie and a terrific apple torte. I'll share those recipes later.
SOUTHERN FOODWAYS SYMPOSIUM
Another posting soon will make your tastebuds jealous when I tell of all the good stuff I ate and drank down in Oxford, Miss last week. Stay tuned!