Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year Dewey Beach!

Happy New Year's Dewey and Rehoboth Beach and Lewes too!
  Except as a formality, throughout my life, New Year's never has been the start of my New Year.
 As a child having spent the entire Summer at the beach returning to school after Labor Day and coinciding with early Fall's Rosh Ha Shonah is my New Year.  This past year the High Holidays fell on weekends; I was so happy attending services with Rehoboth's Seaside Jewish Community!
The month of May is the beginning of my Dewey Beach Season!  My Summer Season New Year starts here!  Opening the cottage, new sandals and new swimsuits, renewal of good-times with  friends not seen for 6 months, opening businesses welcoming all.  
The Summer House "Formal Party" starts off the New Summer season.... we are shiny-new and wear gowns and tux's. 
By Labor Day with the change in sunlight, I follow the cue and ready myself for my Fall New Year.  By Halloween....... how fitting is the week when many businesses hold closing parties..... the end of their year. 
Dewey Beach, Many Blessings for a Happy ( that is a given ) and Prosperous New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Beach Sand & Mountain Snow

My six months of Delaware beach-side and ( legal) dune wandering does not translate well to scrambling Pennsylvania rocky trails.  Eight weeks after cottage-Winterizing, back "On The Mountain" and I am still trying to get my "trail legs".  
 Weekends I've favored flat trails.  My one adventure negotiating the rocky trail and summit of Waggoner's Gap Hawk Watch left me wondering why I left Delaware!
Fourteen years living at 1,200 feet and I am a flat lander, "sea-level" girl-at-heart still!
Perhaps because I first crawled beach-side as a "sand crab baby", I am hard wired for sand and water mobility and not rocks and boulders!
Delaware Fish & Wildlife Dune Surveys are the highlight of my Summer!  I get to legally wander the dunes in search of the endangered Beach Amaranth! Scorching sun or driving wind, I am still happy wandering the sand!  
In shoes or barefoot, on warm or cold sand, it is my medium. At Gordon's Pond and Delaware Seashore Park, walking along the low-tide shoals with the water just to my ankles, peering at the tide-pool life I am in my joy.  
This weekend's Snow Storm walk, I was almost comfortable again!  I pulled on thermal muck boots and walked and walked.  Slushing thru the 10-12 inches of snow I was almost on "sand".  Finding my balance, sinking-in, and leaving footprints............ snow is not sand..... but similar!

Mountain Snow and Beach Sand Blessings,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Swimsuit Is My Daily Dress!

As they say in Pennsylvania, I've been "readying-up" my closets. Three down and three more to go! 
 The purging of my Pennsylvania clothes tells the story of my Before Beach Cottage Life.  Now revealed is my former life, my present life,  what I have and what I need.
Missing are light-weight cotton pants for hiking.  But, I do have piles of crop pants for Summer beach walks and loads of sweat pants for enjoying the late-night bonfires.
Gone are intricate Summer dresses in favor of very comfy cotton tops and full skirts now my weekly "go-to-the-beach" commute uniform.
Gone are fluffy sweaters in favor of Nike techno-jackets for braving the ocean-side winds.
 Appearing out of nowhere are now stacks of  "cute going out tops" ..... now purged according to sun or beer-staining.
Carefully curated very-lady-like handbags are now ignored for ones that are big enough to hold beach commute needs, but whose color and style must shout : I am Going to Dewey Beach!
Gone are my closed-toe and high heel shoes!!!!  My feet could care less for anything but sandals, sandals, sandals, and clogs!
In high Summer my uniform is a two-piece bathing suit topped with a simple cotton seersucker sundress!   Off I go to use the computer at my beloved Rehoboth Library!  Off to Fifer's to get a fruit pie!  And then off to Cape Henlopen State Park for Piping Plover Monitoring and a Swim. 
A Swimsuit As my Daily Dress: silly happy am I.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mayor Ric's Holiday Message

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season! Dewey Beach is a little quiet this time of year but we are gearing up for big New Year's Eve slate of activities!  

From the Mayor and Town of Dewey Beach I hope you and all of the "I Love Dewey Beach" bloggers have a fantastic Holiday Season and a happy and prosperous start to 2010! 

I would also like to inform everyone that as we move into the first few months of the new year there are still activities occurring within town such as the Winter Gala in February to support the Dewey Beach Police and Lifeguard services. 

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year from Mayor Solloway and the Town of Dewey Beach!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dewey Beach is a Festival of Lights

Hannukha The Festival of Lights is this week.  At Sunset, in awe and wonder we light the Menorah, watch the candles dance, and then sputter.  Repeat for eight days.
The Light Show is yours daily at Dewey Beach.  We are a tiny strip of sand, a Barrier Island, we have Dawn over the ocean and Sunset over the Bay! 
In the morning the light is cool and opal-blue.  In the evening warm oranges and pinks paint the sky and reflect on the homes.
Sunset is when we walk our dogs.  Or walk the beach to Nalu's to take in the live music and Happy Hour.
Sunset is where we celebrate: on roof top decks, and Bay- side restaurants; Que Pasa, North Beach, and The Light House are favorites.
North Beach: the sunset "clock" hands point to the next days show-time.  We know how many days of Summer are left to us just by tracking the Sun's Bay-dipping point!
Que Pasa: When the glass garage doors are up, it is as if you pulled your pontoon up to the dock and got out for a drink!
The Light House's Friday Taco Toss is the "required" place to be.  The sunset backdrops the bar action and the Orange Crush drinks in hand.
At Sunset, Cape Henlopen State Park sees local romantic couples walking the Beach Pavilion Boardwalk, and Fishing Pier to survey the enchantment.  The breakwater and two Lighthouses set the scene along with sailing vessels.
Lewes's Roosevelt Inlet is " The Secret" local spot...... only a few fisherman are there to enjoy the end of the day.  The Bay flashes neon above and bounces off the sand beach.
July 4th Fireworks on the beach celebrates all above as it carries on the show just as Mother Nature's Nuclear Spectacle dozes, sleeps, and then..... repeats!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, December 7, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Roast Lamb with Butternut Squash

I remember a Dewey Beach steamy-July Summer House party where the food was slabs upon slabs of the most perfectly done roasted and carved beef and pork. I think a fruit salad joined in the fun, but not much else.  The now local host grew up on a farm and gifted us with what he loves most.   
After a Beach season of enjoying seafood, the holidays speak of a dinner that will warm the cottage and imbue it with it's primal smells.  Roasted Meat with herbs.
This is my special sit-down Holiday Dinner roast leg of lamb, surrounded by Butternut Squash.
The Summer House Life segues into Winter House.....  this is the dinner Holiday meal! Start with Champagne and slices of lox with chopped capers.
For the exceptional outcome, this could not be easier to prepare! 
Market for the dinner needs the evening before...... as imbibing starts as soon as the meal prep starts... which is just after breakfast!
Yes, as soon as breakfast is enjoyed......... prepare the meal.  Shove it all in the fridge.  Enjoy your day.... and then pull out the meat 2 hours before turning on the oven.
We are shopping at Giant Foods, Route 1.

Winter House Leg of Lamb

Leg of Lamb, 1/2 Sirloin or Shank End.  Mine was 2.75 lbs and took 1 hour to medium with a hint of pink.
Grey Poupon Mustard
Pam Spray Oil

Butternut Squash, Pre-peeled, pre-cubed, 1 container
Onion, chopped
Olive Oil
Rosemary, Marjoram

Potatoes, Yellow: for baked.

Take ~ 1/3 cup of the Mustard and mix it with ~ 1/2 teaspoon of Thyme. 
Spray with Pam a nice roasting pan big enough for the leg of lamb and surrounding vegetables.  Dry the lamb with a paper towel.  Put it upside down in the pan and smear with the mustard mixture.  Turn over and smear the remainder with mustard mixture.  Put the pan into the fridge until two hours before turning on the oven. 
In  a nice size bowl, put in the Butternut Squash cubes and the chopped onion.  Add in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle in the Rosemary and Marjoram.  Stir about until glistening.  Cover with  saran wrap and put into the fridge.
Turn the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the potatoes, wash, and pierce.  Place on the oven rack.
Surrounding the leg of lamb place the vegetables.
Place the lamb and vegetables in the oven.
Roast for 1 hour.
Let it rest for 5 minutes.
Carve lovely slices and nestle with the roasted squash cubes and onion. 

Dessert: Pomegranate doused with Cherry Liquor.

I love that this is such a Major Meal with virtually no clean up!

Major Ta-Da's will be yours!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Weekend Cucumber Salad

    Beach Life meal planning used to stress me out until I learned to "plan, but not plan"! Like the tides... I let one meal flow into the next.

    This past Beach Season I survived weekends just on my Cucumber Salad riffs.  This "salad" got me thru lunch, dinner, and the leftovers made it into sandwiches.

Cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Tomato, chopped
Scallions, minced
Fun part:  Find your enhancement:
     Smoked fish, bits of seafood from the previous night's dinner, leftover roast chicken, even sliced and chopped deli meat!
Olive Oil
Raspberry Vinegar

*Friday Night serve the salad as a side dish with your main dish such as seafood or chicken.
*Saturday Night serve the salad with the "enhancement addition" alongside hot steaming rice or couscous.
*Sunday Lunch: add in the leftover rice or couscous!

Ta DA!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Apple & Pear Sauce

 Forgotten Mile's Boze's Flower and Produce Market is closed now ~ 3 years.  I shopped there every weekend.  The store delighted me with Delmarva fare, always  homemade: refrigerator cucumber pickles, chicken salad, crab stuffed eggs.  Local jams, my childhood favorite; Beach Plum, lined the shelves.  The staff was beyond good natured and everyone was called, " Honey".
~ Three Beach Seasons ago, I pulled into the parking lot but the store was no longer there.  A fun and chic home decor shop was in it's place.  I entered the new establishment which was not quite up and running and inquired:
 "Where is Boze's"?
"They are gone"
"Where did they go?  They must have gone somewhere?"
"They are closed.  They sold out".
Tears streamed down my face. 
Mourning the loss of this Delmarva Gem I declared:
 " I will be my OWN Boze's!".
Luckily I only had to "Be My Own Boze" for one Beach Season before my beloved Fifer's Local Fresh Market arrived!  

Ode to Boze's: The Boss Sauce: Apple & Pear.

Apples and Pears: equal portions.  Guessing about 2 quarts.  
For the apples, Romes are nice.  For the Pears, any variety or mixture will do just fine.
Slice and quartered.  Discard the cores.
Sugar: ~ 1/2 cup
Lemon: 1, washed and quartered.
Water: ~ 2 cups
Cardamom Pods: 4
Cinnamon Bark: 1 small piece
Foodmill with the strainer
In a big comfy pot add in all of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer ~ 30 to 40 minutes until nice and soft.  Let cool.  Pick out the lemon peels and the cinnamon bark.
Put the mixture into a Foley Foodmill and crank it up!
Mmnn, serve warm and enjoy.
Mnnn, serve cold and enjoy!

Beach Blessings,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Running of The Lamb

My Dewey Beach Daze has come late in life; after 20 years of marriage and 1 kid. 
 I missed the 'Till Death Dewey Party- Debauchery Years of street Toga parties of 100's, when Police gave fines for "excessive blender... Marguerita... noise", or would march in and cut the cords of bad-ass speaker systems.
Never having done the beer thing in college or later, or now...... My Dewey buds instruct that special drinking events require special pre-drinking meals.... the better to get thru the bar event!  Pre-requisite: a bit heavy and fatty.
Ah, perhaps the Biggest and Silliest Drinking Event of the Season is: The Starboard's Running of The Bull!  Hours and Hours of Drinking "to prepare" for running with the crowd on the beach alongside the cutest Bull ever! ( I gave him pets and kisses ).  
( Shop at The Giant Foods, Rte One, the night before the event.  Morning of, does not work as the drinking starts in the AM!)
Thus I present: 

Running with The Bull, er Lamb.... umm-yuumm, Bull, uh, whatever.

Olive Oil
Ground Lamb, 1 lb
One Tub of Pre-cooked Rice, Lundberg Brand, micro-waved for 60 seconds
Tomatoes, 2 chopped
Green Olives, Pitted, ~ 1/3 cup chopped
Onion, 1 chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
Parsley, Flat Leaf, minced, ~ 1/3 bunch
Mushrooms, ~ 8 chopped
Red Wine, 1/2 cup
Marjoram, Dillweed to taste
Mustard, 1 tablespoon

In a nice big saute pan , add a very small ladle of olive oil and heat up.  Add in the onion, garlic, and mushrooms and let them get some nice color.  Then add in the ground Lamb and let that brown up.  Then add in everything else, except the wine.  Turn up the heat to high and stir and stir until a fair amount of moisture comes off.  Then add in the wine and stir some more.

Butternut Squash: pre-chopped: this is in a clear plastic container with all the other fresh veggys.
Butter, 1 Tablespoon.
 Place in a dish with a small amount of water.  Cover and microwave for ~ 7 minutes.  Drain.  Mash.  Add in a big pat of butter and mash again.

Ta DA!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Chicken Stew a La Dewey

One Memorial Day weekend, Dewey Beach's "Ed's Chicken and Crabs" caught fire.  Just a few hours  later Chicken Ed was back in  business with portable grills!
Chicken Ed's!  Passing it you get to inhale the Delmarva home-cooking smells: bay-seasoned crabs, roasted chicken, even the table cloth of  inky-newsprint.  Greeting every happy customer seated on the benches facing the street is pure Dewey Beach entertainment.  Soused and stewed, drunk or not, everyone has a gleam in their eyes and at their mouth.

This recipe is my:  Stewed Ode to Dewey Beach's, "Chicken Ed's".

*We are shopping at the Route 1: The Giant Foods :-)

Olive Oil
Chicken Pieces, 1 lb: I use thighs.  Nature's Promise brand
Fresh Peas, 1 package.  Ok to use frozen, Organic
Corn Yellow, 1 lb, frozen.  Nature's Promise brand
Tomato Canned, 1 Big, Nature's Promise brand
Red Sweet Pepper, 1, chopped
Onion, 1, chopped
Mushrooms, 6, chopped
Parsley, Italian Flat-Leaf, 1/2 bunch minced
Garlic, 2, minced
Red Wine, 1/2 cup
Water, 1 Cup
Honey, 1 teaspoon
Mustard, 1 teaspoon
Celery Seed, Marjoram, Dill, and half a Bay Leaf, ........ season to taste.

Choose a BIG comfy pot. Put in a small ladle of olive oil and heat.  Saute the onion and mushroom.  Put in the chicken pieces and brown on both sides.  Add in everything else!  Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for 45 minutes.

Serve over steamed white rice.
Fruit salad: Grapefruit, Banana and Kiwi cut with honey an Cardamom works for me!

Ta DA!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Meat Loaf

A baked dinner and stoking my little wood stove is the fastest way to warm my cottage and my starved-for-Summer soul.
Bomb into town on a Friday.... pick up the ingredients asap.... roll into the cottage and have a cozy home and meal by the time the beds are made.
The Route 1, One-Stop-Shopping Quest-Request Presents: Meat Loaf al la Giant Foods.

Meat Loaf Mix: Giant Foods brand: ground pork/veal/beef meat loaf mixture or just beef works too.
Wild Rice/Black Rice/Red Rice: Lundberg brand in the organic section.  It is pre-cooked, sold in a small tub, and is ready for the microwave.
Egg, 1
Favorite Additions: Chili Sauce or Ketchup, Mustard, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Barbecue Sauce...... you get the idea.

Microwave the rice for 60 seconds: put in a big bowl
Add in everything else
Mix, mix, mix until the mixture is more coming together than falling apart.
Dump into a "Pam" sprayed baking dish.
With your hands form the meat loaf shape.

Now add:
Yellow Baking Potato: cut in half, placed cut side down, snug up to the meat loaf.  You might want to grease the skin side with butter or olive oil

Bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes.

Ta Da!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Lentil Stewy-Soup with Chicken-Apple Sausage

Oh, Dewey Beach! Oh; Venus Restaurant where I had my "settled on my beach cottage celebration dinner". Venus who was born of the Sea, Daughter of Neptune, overflows her bay to meet the Ocean!
Shall I placate with this Soup Offering?
After the Friday The 13th, Storm Ida, I'd be begging to make this dinner or to have it delivered to my doorstep!
The One-Stop-Shop Rte One shopping continues with a quest and request for: Lentil Soup.
Lord only knows how long it has been since I made anything-lentil.  ~ 15 years?
Same parameter challenges to meet: hearty, totally delicious, cheap, easy!

BIG POT: mine was too small
Olive Oil, 1 ladle
Lentils, brown: rinsed
*1-16 oz package for Stew or 1/2 package-8 oz for Soup
 ** I suggest using only 1/2 bag or 8 oz.  This "soup" once made thickens like crazy!
Onion, 1 chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves minced
Chicken Apple Sausage, pre-cooked, 1 package: El Fiesta brand
Vegetable Broth, Organic, 1 quart: Pacific bran
Mushrooms: big handful chopped
Parsley, flat leaf, rinsed and minced
Big Can Tomatoes, 28 oz, Nature's Promise brand
Water, 3 cups
Red Wine, 1/2 cup
Apple, 1, peeled and chopped
Bay Leaf, small half
Marjoram and Thyme to taste
Honey, 1 big teaspoon
Yogurt, as a garnish

In a BIG pot, pour in the olive oil.  Add in the onion, garlic and let it get some color, add in the mushrooms and sausage and brown up.  Add in everything else.
Stir often!
Simmer for ~ 45 minutes.
Garnish with the Yogurt.

Ta Da!

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Cottage: Split Pea & Pea Soup

This time of year if I was at the beach for a weekend...... and wanted to warm up myself and the cottage asap I'd make soup! 
Now that my beloved Fifer's Market is closed, the only choice left is to face Rte One shopping.  This recipe : One stop on Rte 1 @ the Giant does it all!
This is a serious list and not one of my thrown together meals. It took a lot of musing to figure this one out.  Goals: had to be: delicious, easy to throw together, budget-friendly, "hearty".

Olive oil to coat the pan  and then another small ladle-full
Onion, 1- minced
Garlic, 2 cloves- minced
Ground Turkey, Nature's Promise brand, 1 lb
Green Peas: Ok to use frozen..... but I use the fresh from the produce section.  Make certain the package looks very fresh!
Parsley, flat leaf, 1/2 bunch: minced
Red Sweet Pepper, 1-chopped
Carrots: small bunch: peeled and chopped.  I used the packaged peeled baby ones.
Organic Chicken Broth, 1 quart, Pacific brand
Split Pea Dry Soup Mix: Manischewitz brand: discard the seasoning packet: disregard the  directions for the water required.
Bay Leaf, small piece
White Wine, 1/2 cup
Water, 2-3 cups
Dillweed, Celery Seed, Black Pepper: to taste
Sour Cream: as a garnish

In a nice big comfy pot, add the olive oil to heat up.  Add in the onion and garlic.  Let it get some color.  Add in the red pepper.  Add in the ground turkey.  Brown up.  Add in everything else.  Cover and simmer 1 hour.
Maybe mash up a bit with a masher directly in the pot.
Garnish with the sour cream.

Major yummy-tummy.

Ta DA! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tri-State Bird & Rescue Oil Spill Workshop

The end of October I attended:

OIL SPILLS AND WILDLIFE: Workshop for Marine Mammals and Birds

Sponsored by: Clear into the Future: A DuPont Delaware Estuary Initiative

Presented by: Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc.

Hosted by: Marine Education Research & Rehabilitation Center, Inc.

I am by nature "project oriented", thus as a newbie-birder I started birding not thru club meetings/ and field trips but by field projects.  

This past season I did: DE's Fish and Wildlife's Red-Knot Re-sighting and Piping Plover Monitoring gigs, and ended the season with CHSP's Hawk Watch.

Thus when a friend passed on the info for the workshop, I was compelled to attend!  

Who knew that after 9 hours of presentations and a hands-on workshop, I'd be curious to learn more; especially since further training is dead-on mind numbing FEMA ICS 100/200 regulatory stuff!

I soaked in every moment: driving on Pilottown Road, along the canal ( this is where I want my next home!) which is home to the Coast Guard and the location of the workshop, University of DE, the wonderful classroom with a low profile view to the outdoors, the smells of tea, coffee, bagels and muffins for our breaks..... but most of all a room full of DNREC, Coast Guard, and Meer volunteers.

It is possible that I was the only "bird" volunteer that is not part of Meer.

I loved it when my ~ 80 year old Meer volunteer friend showed up at least an hour late and took copious notes and asked spot-on questions.

Two hour lectures were condensed into 25 minute presentations!

Our brains kept apace and looked forward to the afternoon hands-on workshop. 

Our dear Opal The Whale's now cleaned skull greeted us at Meer's doorstep.  Soon we suited up with Tyvek jumpsuits, rubber gloves and then an over-glove and gauntlet!  Ooohh, how I wished I had kept the outfit for Halloween!

Soon we were peering over a metal washbasin with Dawn suds everywhere washing clean an oiled, very dead, very frozen Canada Goose circa 2008!

Later we tried our field skills holding stuffed birds....... and doing a mini field walk populated by more stuffed animals and decoys.

My favorite moment was when a gull came in to check out the scene and in particular a bright yellow rubber snake!

Tri-State is a historical name but is known worldwide for their work.

Have oiled bird: will travel to you.  They prefer The Islands!

*Our workshop certificate declared: OSHA training, 4 hours. Kind of a surprise, kind of not!

Beach Blessings,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Halloween @ Lewes and Dewey

Halloween weekend is when I close up the cottage for Winter.  Close Up.  Retreat into Winter, the cold, The Mountain, My Work. 
Underground I go for 6 months, down into Hades, Pluto's Domain.  ( Not to worry, G-D Willing and with Demeter's Blessing: In May, like Persephone, The Goddess of the Beach Returns To Dewey Beach with Spring on her heels! )
How fitting that Halloween marks my last days at the Beach In The Sun...... still building my sand castle and not wanting to come in from play and take that 6 months Winter's Nap.
After Hawk Watch and  closing up chores I did a Halloween Trick or Treat drive thru of the Historic section of Lewes.  Next year I will walk it!  
So-spooky Lewes which gets this vibe honestly, considering it's maritime and early-America settler history... condensed into the tiny town.... with the Cape May-Lewes Ferry's paved-over-parking lot of the Unknown Sailors Grave, neighborhood graveyards and Victorian homes everywhere.... is genuinely spooky for Trick or Treaters.  The homes with  the vast porches were filled with decorations and festive hauntings.  
Then off I went to Bethany Blues to meet up friends for dinner.  Loads of fun watching the staff in costume.  Our favorite: The Cereal/Serial Killer..... cereal box with a knife dripping blood!
Then it was time to run home... put on our costumes and attend Dewey's 8-Bar Halloween Crawl.
My crawl started and ended at The Starboard. Jimmi Smooth and The Hit Time played our favorite party tunes.  Jimmi looks even younger than seen at the September Town Party!  This guy is aging in reverse along with his energy level to match!
Costume trends: this year there was not one "French Maid" and such, but a decided "Law Enforcement" theme: policemen, fire chiefs, helmets and badges galore!  
Dewey Beach has a One Million Dollar annual budget for Law Enforcement!  Do the costumes speak to this????
Back at the cottage my costume was packed away for another year.
Next year, I'll dress as Persephone! Or Pluto???!  I'm working on my costume now.

Spooky Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Warm Caramel Ricotta Pears

For my Small Kitchen Stories" A La Beach Shack" I've been true to only sharing recipes created at the beach and for the beach!
My Warm Caramel and Ricotta Pears was created using old pears that should have been eaten beach-time and were made useful at my Big Kitchen On The Mountain. 
 Allowable ;-) 
  Yes, as beach-time has come to a close until May 2010!!!  :-(

Warm Caramel Ricotta Pears

Pears: Two: Chunky Chopped: use sad ones that must go into cooking or the trash
Walnuts: one big handful
Ricotta Cheese ( full fat; yum-yum)
Grand Marnier 

Choose a nice small saute pan.  Add in the butter...... heat until near to smoking.  Add in the chopped pears, walnuts, throw on ~ 1 Tablespoon sugar.  Saute until the caramel forms.  Turn the heat OFF.  Add in a big scoop, ~ 1/3 cup, of the Ricotta Cheese and 1 teaspoon of the sweet libation.  Stir gently until saucy.
Ladle into a nice comfy size ceramic bowl.


* I wanted to add cream........ but no such animal lives in my fridge.  But I had just finished making Lasagna.... one of spinach and the other with spinach and chicken...... and I still had Ricotta to use up.  Dubious I was as the Ricotta was dumped in..... as I stirred it I knew it would be brilliant.

Ta Da!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fantasy Trail @ Cape Henlopen State Park

As a child and as an adult my favorite bedtime ritual is a good read... always better with pictures!  As an adult I read books of mythology and as a child I inhaled Fairy Tale books with illustrations.  I remember the heart-breaking moment my Mom announced to me that there were no pictures in the evening's bedtime read! Devastating! 
As a 3rd year returning volunteer at Cape Henlopen State Park's Fantasy Trail, I  am the Illustration and The Story!  This annual event is now one of the highlight's of my Beach Season.
The Fantasy Trail is a 1/3rd mile trail, candlelit by hundreds of carved pumpkins and populated by "my" childhood fairy tale friends: Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hatter, Sleeping Beauty, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and tales from my son's era: Willy Wonka, Aladdin and Jasmine!
My character is truly the "Real Me" from my days entertaining my two year old, now in exaggerated format as "Disco-Era-Psycho-Stay-At-Home-Mom! 
I wear a wig of pouffy pink and black, glamour makeup, Halloween jewelry worn every which way, a proper starched and printed half apron, and a jogging suit!  This year I added in a magic strobe light "microphone" and a Tyrannosaurus Rex finger puppet worn on my thumb.  
My role is "Crazy Greeter".  I work the crowd while preparing them for the trail fun ahead.  Over my two nights gig I greeted, announced, and danced for ~ 2000 people!
You can not imagine my delight as I drove up to the trail head at the Nature Center and I was waved into the "VIP" Parking Lot by the Fort Miles World War II Re-enactor Officer!   Instantly I was in form!  
Every encounter is an opportunity for silliness.
Old men and even a Ferret got kisses on the cheek by my Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Little children got to announce their names louder and louder over my magic strobe.
I soothed scared kids promising them a "silly trail" and promised a "spooky trail" to the older kids who wished for such.
My purest delight is "running the trail" just minutes before it starts or before it ends...... as I run thru I am again a wee-one "reading the pictures".....  the costumed characters, backdrops and music.......... I become, I am the Story and The Fairy Tale.  

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Jazz Fest & Cream of Crab Soup

Rehoboth Jazz Fest weekend I took in the afternoon and evening concerts.  Beddy-bye time was near midnight.  Breakfast was Dewey Beach-late-late morning...... and then I ran off to the 1 PM concert.  
By the time the concert was over, heading back to my beach shack for lunch I was starved.  I need a good soothing,  hot and comforting meal as the entire weekend we were in a double North East'r storm.  But lunch could not be too heavy as it would be time soon enough to catch dinner before the evening 9PM concert!  
As I pulled out of my parking spot I figured it out!  I went into Rehoboth Seafood for Cream of Crab Soup!  I bought a pint.
The soup is incredibly rich and stuffed full of crab.  Way too rich as is.... and just right for "playing with" ;-)
Jazz Fest Cream of Crab Soup for Lunch and Dinner Too!

Cream of Crab Soup
Chopped tomato
Minced scallions
 Mushroom slices

Just heat all of the above together until the soup is steaming hot and the tomato, mushrooms and scallions are softened.

For Lunch: eat as is!
For Dinner: heat again and pour over crusty bread slices.

Dessert: Fifer's Caramel Walnut Apple Pie slices!

Ta Da!

Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest 2009: World Class, Baby!

This was my third year attending The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest.  Each year I am astounded.  It leaves me hyperventilating.  It takes me more than a month to calm down.  Why?
The live music performances are World Class, baby, and the venue is not even 2 miles from my beach shack!  ( Of course, I drive over 200 miles one-way just to be at my beachy-shack ).   World Class Jazz in the almost-sleepy resort of Rehoboth...... who pays attention?  Mostly Jazz lovers hailing from Baltimore, Wilmington, and the greater Wash. D.C. area, and yes, the locals too.  
Listen up World: Be JEALOUS: our Jazz Fest sizzles and steams.  It is the biggest music festival secret around. 
"This Economy", the Panic of 2008, The Recession did not even touch the ticket sales.  Most of the concerts were sold out!  Live music Feeds The Soul and one must put food on the Soul's Table.  People bought the tickets.
I took in the following concerts: Jason Miles and the Soul Summit 2, Jazz Attack, and Brian Culbertson.
Jason Miles: always puts on a production and the Soul Summit was smooth, sensual, and fun! Richard Elliot on the Saxophone gifted us with profound moments.  We stood up and "Woah-ed" in utter disbelief!
Jazz Attack brought back Richard Elliot, with Rick Braun and Jonathan Butler and their back up musicians. Their most urbane-urban jazz was sexy, smoking hot.  And they entertained too!
Brian Culbertson: I should say first that he is a freaking keyboard GENIUS Virtuoso, but I wanted to say first that he is Rock Star gorgeous and plays the role too! His 10 piece back up group are as fine as Brian ;-)  
Brian's gig on the keyboard, trombone and drums was "Bringing Back The Funk": his rock star emotional-physicality, played and wound  the smooth jazz beats, around and into "The Funk", funky rhythms.  We were on our feet, begging and screaming for more and more.
I also took in a "non" official Jazz Fest concert of Deanna Bogart at Dewey Beach's Rusty Rudder.  Deanna is a local favorite and did not dissapoint playing two sets, serving up her Great White Woman brings home Great Big Slabs of Juicy and Crunchy N'awlins Boogie-Woogie Blues!
Sunday Night many of the Jazz attendees and musicians poured into The Forgotten Mile's "The Just in Thyme" restaurant for drinks, mostly drinks, and an informal jazz session headed by keyboard virtuoso David Zipse.
Our small town loves Jazz and Jazz Loves Being At The Beach!

Beach Blessings,


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Big Sit and Hawk Wach

For the 2009 Cape Henlopen's "Big Sit" I promised myself I'd be a proper "Birder" and arrive on site for the 3:30 AM start.   Or I'd show for the 5:30 AM Dawn Watch. Or.... ? ;-)
  In the middle of the night I turned off my alarm.  I did awake at 8 AM and was at the Hawk Watch/Big Sit platform by 10:00AM! :-) So civilized!!!
I put off "Birding" for decades as I have no interest to be outside at DAWN!  But when I discovered the best Seashore Birding is at low tide..... say show up at noon...... or that Raptors do lift-off at ~ 10 AM....... then a Birder I became! 
Glorious beautiful weather with perfect-for-Raptors NNE winds graced us after the blustery front moved out making all Birders beyond gleeful.
The Hawk Watch platform was lush with glorious and delicious food offerings which added to the celebratory and record day of bird/raptor sightings.
This year, now having lost the opera glass optics and gained Nikon's Monarch 8 x 42,  I had the glass and knew enough "Birds" to appreciate fully the show! 
 I could not have asked for more fun "Birdy" companions! 
I copy below Forrest Rowland's official account which was posted on DE Birds List.


Observation start time: 05:00:00

Observation end   time: 18:00:00

Total observation time: 13 hours

Official Counter: Forrest Rowland

Observers: Bruce Lantz, Jeff Gordon, Sharon Lynn, Susan Gruver


Over 70 visitors out to join in the Big Sit! with many of them staying for much fun today!!! Matt Sarver, Lauren Morgens, and Jeff Gordon were there from the 3:30am start. Sharon Lynn, Sally O'Byrne, and Michael and Diane Kane came up at 5:30am. From 8am on it was a fairly steady stream of people including Colin Campbell, Bruce Peterjohn, Bruze Lantz, Liz and Lew Dumont, Ruth Draper, Jim Leach, Rachel Shapiro, Rob Schroeder, Andy

Urdqhart....too many familiar names to list all, or fit into the observer column. A fantastic crowd, with our friends Melody and Martin from Maryland being the last visitors to close out the day with us.


Clear and Sunny with high cirrus clouds much of the day, the light NNE

winds provided great weather for a hawk flight.

Raptor Observations:

More records broken! Bald Eagle single-day count record now stands at 36.

Single day Cooper's Hawk record is now 166. Another outstanding day, and

with so many people there to enjoy the spectacle! Many birds were right

overhead at varying heights.

Non-raptor Observations:

97 species recorded for the Big Sit! Best birds included Lark Sparrow

(which ended up coming 15 feet from us), White-winged Scoter, and

Orange-crowned Warbler. FOS birds for the platform yesterday were Brant,

Blue-headed Vireo, Orange-crowned Warbler, Lark Sparrow, Yellow-bellied

Sapsaucker, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow.>>

Beach Blessings,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Small Kitchen Stories: Salmon Lox and Veggy Saute!

Sunday Night and I was beyond hungry and yet again too tired to cook.  I was desperate for a good dinner....... but had very little to work with....... and needed to use up supplies as it is time to clear out the fridge for Winter cottage-close up.
I had a packet of good Salmon Lox, a small zucchini, a few scallions, a tomato, and sour cream.  Ah, ha!  I figured it out.

Make Couscous, instant type.  I used 1/2 cup dry and 1/2 cup boiling water.  Add a bit of butter and let sit.

Chop the zucchini, scallions, and tomato
Chop the Lox.  Put in a small bowl with a dollop of sour cream.

Heat the skillet and saute all except the tomato to get some color.  Add in the tomato.
Turn off the heat.  Add in the lox/sour cream combo.
Heat on low until the lox turns opaque.

Serve on the dinner plate beside the Couscous.
Dessert was a slice of fig and apple pie!!!!

TA DA!  

Monday, October 12, 2009

Greyhounds Reach The Beach and Get Wed Too!

Do you dream of getting married on the beach?  I do. And so do Greyhounds and their owners. And thus they did!
When Greyhounds Reach The Beach @ Dewey Beach, my goal is: how many can I pet? :-)
My Saturday Evening beach walk started out with nary a Greyhound in sight for a pet.  I was sad and contemplated going into Rehoboth just to find the pets!
While on Read Street my luck turned: I saw a gathering crowd of Greyhounds and Owners.  Soon I lost count of how many hounds I was petting....... but then I started to notice the fancy retro-1940's hat and dress party atmosphere.  The dogs in costume.... not the owners!!!
 I was informed to put on my manners for a Double Greyhound Wedding!  Two Grooms in Military Dress!  Two Brides in flowing white chiffon! Flower Girls and a Wedding Party all in fancy gowns and tux's and swish-swishing tails.
When the Minister of Ceremonies asked if any Man or Dog should object to the wedded union......... indeed five minutes of sad-dog-houndy-hound-ing-moaning and yelping ensued! 
The ceremony did continue despite the objections and upon completion everyone clapped and the hounds barked!
After the ceremony, one of the grooms lost his manners and pissed on the Bride Maid of Honor's pink chiffon gown!  Time to forget the faux-pas and party-on!  This is Dewey Beach!
A Wedding Cake and Grey Houndy-treat Reception followed at the near-by motel's pool-side.

Beach Blessings

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Musical Succoth with Pizza!

If I can arrive at Seaside Jewish Community in time for Shabbat services...... my evening is made. 
 This time it was even better with Grotto Pizza ordered-in for dinner, Pizza In The Hut, The Succoth Hut! Afterwards we had the Succoth Service in the hut as the evening winds blew about.... gently swaying the structure.  One gust blew into the entrance and did a heave-ho, but the Succoth hut remained sound :-)
For certain prayers we needed to face East.  I was in disbelief when 75% of the worshippers knew not the direction of East!  As in the direction of  THE OCEAN not even 2 miles away!!!! How can you live at The Beach and not know this? 
 Ok, we will excuse Dewey Beach members... as no one awakes to witness the ocean sunrise, maybe awake for High Noon, yes.
A lovely Oneg social followed and then on home I went to take in the Dewey Beach Music Conference. (See the preceding Blog posting).
I took notice that I was continuing the celebration of Succoth by wandering from one Musical Hut to another!  No other way to describe the Dewey Beach venues other than Huts!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dewey Beach Music Conference and Brother Joscephus!

I love beyond measure The Dewey Beach Music Conference invasion!   ~ 150 bands arrive to play at ~ 7 venues, with ~ 12 stages! The music industry scouts and booking agents do daytime workshops and mentoring.  For the general public there is no cover charge to take in the performances!
Our tiny town, not even 2 miles long is utterly given over to the event.  Walk the town and live original music is found at every step.  Fun moments are easy to find.
  ~ 12 midnight at The Grotto ( pizza shop) I saw a Mississippi Delta Blues group playing...... as it was well lighted and perfect for videoing. Patrons were in adoration mode.
One of the best people watching events of the season, I adore tracking the fashion.  This year the rockstar's girlfriends gave up their hippie Boho skirts and dresses, boots...... as in-oh -so-2008, for 2009's very skinny, dark wash jeans, shiny and seductive stilettos and sky-high platforms.  For both guys and dolls, shiny, long flowing hair was the favorite accessory.  "Brittish Invasion" style was heavily favored.
I started out at the Bottle and Cork...... two stages set up...... and on the bigger stage, took in "Roman Traffic" working progressive rock with atmospheric trance rhythms. 
I give a group 30 seconds..... and if I am not entranced, then off I go to the next venue....the next group did not make the cut.... I was off to the Rusty Rudder.
Out on the deck I was WOW-WOWED by "Brother Joscephus and The Love Revival Revolution Orchestra".  This group delivered the tunes and entertained! 
Hang with me for the descriptors:  top-speed smooth jazz gone N'awlins Gospel Revival, with the 80's "Village People" gone to Mardi Gras Party down in N-e-w O-r-leans!  
The group wore only white, pink and purple, campy costumes, and were loaded down with Mardi Gras beads which of course were flung into the crowd.
The keyboard player, wearing head to toe white tails, wore a King's Crown of Purple. 
Most bizarre was that he wore white gloves...... not a trace of humanity, ( no skin ), touched the keyboard...... thus the performance was otherworldly.  No trance rhythms here but the music and visuals transported!
And oh-how-I-loved-it when Brother J announced: Ladies, if you do not have a man, then one will be provided for you!
I provide a link:
Needless to say the crowd pressed upon the stage and went half crazy when the set was over....... as the next group was up!
 A classic Dewey Beach evening!  

Friday, October 2, 2009

Smithsonian Article: DE's Red Knots Re-Sighting Program

Smithsonian Article: 
DE's Red Knots Re-Sighting Program
How I spent my Sunday's May 2009!

Hmmn: looks like the big picture of the Red Knot taking flight is Not a Knot but a Short-Billed Dowitcher! 


"What I did this Summer" or Beachnester Final Summary 2009 via DE's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

Beachnester Final Summary 2009

October 2, 2009

Piping Plover

The piping plover 2009 nesting season was generally successful, although there is plenty of good habitat at Cape Henlopen State Park that could support more pairs of nesting plovers as the years progress. There are also other sites that have suitable habitat for plover nesting.  These sites will continue to be monitored. Also, in 2009, productivity for the plovers was fairly good, although an increase in numbers of chicks fledged is a reasonably attainable goal for future seasons.


There were ten pairs of piping plovers nesting at Cape Henlopen this season, which matches our record high from 2008.  From these pairs, 13 chicks fledged, a vast improvement over our fledge numbers in 2008 (3 chicks fledged) but just short of the record high number of chicks fledged (14 chicks in 2003).  As has been the case in recent years, Cape Henlopen is the only place in Delaware where piping plovers nested in 2009.


Least Terns

Least terns had another tough year breeding in Delaware.  It has been over five years since least terns have been observed to have fledged chicks in Delaware.  This season, four small colonies of least terns established in Delaware.  Two were at Cape Henlopen, one was at South Bowers Beach and one was at Fowlers Beach.  All told, there were just under 20 pairs of least terns nesting in Delaware this year.  A combination of frequent floods associated with tidal surges and predation caused the failures of the least tern colonies.


American Oystercatcher

American oystercatchers nested on shores of the Delaware and Inland Bays and at Cape Henlopen on the Atlantic Coast.  Due to the remote nature of the nesting sites on the Delaware and Inland Bays, attaining solid data on nest success was not possible with the level of staffing currently available, although oystercatcher chicks were observed on Middle Island which is just west of the Indian River Inlet.


The two oystercatcher pairs nesting at Cape Henlopen were closely monitored while staff was in the process of monitoring piping plovers.  One of these pairs lost their nest to overwash at Gordons Pond.  The second pair hatched their two chicks out on the tip of the Point.  The chicks were observed for about ten days and then disappeared.  Their fate is unknown, but it is not thought they reached fledge age.


Seabeach Amaranth

The federally listed seabeach amaranth grows in the same kinds of habitat in which plovers nest (i.e. sparsely vegetated dune slopes and overwashes).  This year about 40 amaranth plants were found at Cape Henlopen.  Unfortunately, frequent tidal surges (including powerful waves sent our way courtesy of Hurricane Bill) washed out all but two of the plants.  On the encouraging side, some of the plants that were washed out were able to set seed before being lost.

Despite thorough searches at all of the coastal state parks and at possible sites on the Delaware Bay, no amaranth was found outside of the boundaries of Cape Henlopen State Park this year.  Typically, the stretch of beach between Tower Road and Key Box Road at Delaware Seashore State Park hosts amaranth.  Although no amaranth were found there this season, seeds can persist in the sand for many years and it is likely that amaranth will be found there again in future years.


If anyone has any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.



Matthew Bailey

Wildlife Biologist

Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

Phone: (302) 382-4151