Monday, August 30, 2010

My Beach Version: Eat, Pray, Love

At an airport bookstore I scanned the book: Eat, Pray, Love. I passed on the purchase. Yet, the Trifecta Search mode is what I have been doing these past five beach seasons!
My version?
Buy a Beach Shack:
*****EAT****SWIM****VOLUNTEER (for Endangered Species Birds and Plants)*****
Upon arrival my very first stop in Dewey Beach is to purchase local fish, produce and baked goods! This past weekend I purchased Fifer's Roast Chicken and Baked Corn Salad which I threw together to make the weekend's salad!
For four seasons running my reason TO LIVE was TO SWIM in the ocean! I LIVED for my daily beach time with at least 2-3 swims. I was bereft if I could not swim because of the surf, my schedule or the weather.
I knew I had to find my "dry land swim time".
My dry-land time found me at Cape Henlopen State Park ( CHSP). I fell into several volunteer events before I found my gig projects for DNREC's Endangered Species ( Shorebirds and Plants).
At a volunteer event DNREC thanked me for my service.
Oh, no. Thank YOU, DNREC!
My volunteering is self-serving and self-fulfillment.

*****EAT****SWIM****VOLUNTEER ********************************

Beach Blessings,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Midway's Screening Room and SJC.

One of my most favorite Summer socials is Seaside Jewish Community's ( SJC) Movie Night!
We were a small group....... ~ 20........ definitely the retired age group. The chosen movie, "Defiance"........ the extreme violence was not for a family night-out.
I love having The Midway's Screening Room "all to ourselves". It is fun and intimate, bonds form with the food and the ability to vocalize during the movie our "oh's and oy's".
For the menu we had a salad bar with ordered-in pizza! Lots of desserts from fresh figs to chocolate torte. Of course, Popcorn was served at movie time!!!

The Point, Lunch in Lewes and Beach Time in Dewey

As a kid my day was made if I made it in one day to more than one beach! Same for me as an adult!
If low tide is in the morning, Cape Henlopen's Point is my first destination. I wandered the tidal flats, found birds, and socialized with a birding group.
The most fun was watching a Father with two small daughters use a casting net to catch Mullet minnows. His daughter, "Maya The Brave" caught the squiggling fish and dumped then in the bucket. Her delighted squeals fought off the Laughing and Herring Gulls!
For once I did not pack a lunch and off I went to the Lewes to the "The Barbeque/Church Pavillion". My box lunch and I then went to Lightship Overfalls Park for a picnic.
Back in Dewey, the afternoon was for socializing and swimming too!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Non-Beach Day in Lewes

Friday was not gonna be a "beachy-day" so we headed to Lewes. I wanted a " Local Lewes Day" ...... not totally going touristy.
First on the list was the Lewes Library for a computer hit to check email. The Lewes Library makes my heart sing for joy! Varnished wood shines with big glass windows looking out on Stango Park. I adore the pie-shaped glassed-in room for the Historic Lewes collection.
We wound our way to the Lightship Overfalls Park which was in full volunteer mode: putting in brick pavers. After a history lesson at the Life Guard Station, I found locals fishing and chicken-necking for crabs off the park's pier.
What a set-up! The fishing pier is more "gazebo" and has running fresh water to keep the deck, crabs, fish and children sparkling clean!
Off past University of DE's Windmill we went to MERR where we viewed the whale skulls and talked to a Professor of Aquaculture in charge of the "Oyster Garden Project".
We were getting hungry, so with our packed lunch in hand I thought to picnic at the Lewes Ferry while viewing the Kalmar Nykal! Afterwards we chatted with crew members. I shook the hand of the Steersman: 14 years old!
My last planned spot was Cape Henlopen State Park's The Point. It was low tide! Time to walk the flats and find some birds. Although we were losing light, and it was "spitting" tiny rain drops this spot never fails to touch my heart.

Beach Blessings,

Lewes's Fish On!

At 5 PM, oh, I was not so happy facing Dewey's bumper to bumper Sunday-Out-Of-Town-Traffic to make my dinner date at Fish On! Luckily after an hour or so the traffic subsided, the traveling time proved no more than 20 minutes.
Fish On's restaurant is right out of Los Angeles. Bold with a clean deconstruction look, a fine open bar, and a great view where ever you look, we easily found our spot. The menu is at once homey and surprisingly clever. Sundays offers a fixed price menu which is well valued.
This is a great locals choice for Sunday dinner: a handsome spot for dining, a fun and delicious menu, and easy parking.

Rehoboth's Hobo's

We headed to Rehoboth's Hobo's with an advertisement coupon in hand:
free appetizer with purchase of an entree, but in fact we were after the
most jiving possible scene. Baltimore Avenue seems to be the place.
Score! Seated in Hobo's outdoor cafe, we had across the street the
sardine-packed Iguana Grill and to our right the indoor Hobo's view of
their tiny bar, a lounge singer, dancing Grandma's and squirming children.
Our waiter inquired if we might have food allergies! After we promised
not to code on the spot, our orders were taken.
The appetizer proved to be entree sized and teeming with asiatic flavors, half of which
made it home for a midnight snack. The entrees were mesmerizing and made our senses
Happy, we lingered as long as possible and later toured
Rehoboth's bars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zany Bandz Camo Backpack: Thank you DNREC!

The first time I showed up for DNREC's Fish and Wildlife's Red Knot Duty I sported a beach bag. WRONG!
The second time I showed up for Red Knot Duty I proudly sported a hot PINK backpack! WRONG.
I quickly learned that black, brown and camo were the accepted colors.
( Also at Hawk Watch my girly pink backpack got wide-eyed stares ).
I missed out on attending the Volunteer Reward Party. I thought my reward might be a coffee mug???
At the Friends of Cape Henlopen Meeting, I was astounded when my "reward" showed up and it was a CAMO-color Back Pack with the Delware Park's Logo!!!
I was stunned! Beautiful and appropriate for all my "true Volunteer" duties.
Certainly someone suggested that I needed to lose the Pink Backpack!
I love this backpack, but like a new kid returning to Middle School: I just had to make it my own.
Off I went to purchase a set of neon-colored Zany Bandz!
I put the Zany Bandz thru each pull tag and then as decoration the remaining went into the outside mesh pocket.

Thank you, DNREC!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Small Kitchen Stories: Steamed Shrimp Summer Meals

How to have wonderful Summer meals for two hungry beachy folks, and not heat-up the kitchen?
Steamed Spiced Shrimp, 1 Lb.
Tabbuleh Mix: I like Fantastic Foods.
Creamy Tomato Soup: Pacific Foods
Meal #1
A rather complicated Tabbuleh that started with the mix and then I added in: chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, and sweet red and yellow peppers. A can of tuna, mashed, and generous amounts of crumbled Feta. Extra olive oil and lemon juice gave it a nice finish.
On the side serve the in-the-shell spiced shrimp.
A nice cut up peach slices decorated the plate.

Meal #2
Soup with Old Bay Spiced Shrimp
Peel the remaining Spiced Steamed Shrimp and chop up, coarse to fine. Throw into the soup pot with a chopped tomato, and mushrooms. Add in the package of Creamy Tomato Soup. Add in a dash of milk, dried dill-weed.
Heat up!
Serve with a big dollop of Greek Style Yogurt.
I knew this would be good...... but it was exceptionally "yummy"!
Serve dessert: cream cheese frosted brownies!

Ta Da!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dark Star Orchestra and History Lesson:

It's never too late to Grow Up and Be a Dead Head!
I was a bit too young for the era of Dead-head-ness. But the music was around me via two older siblings.
Despite already having put in a long day, off I went to the concert with a Trance-head. He declared my outfit as a West Hollywood Hipster: I took this as a high compliment.
Dark Star Orchestra's (DSO) 8:45 PM performance start was in favor of the time needed to recreate the concert and the gently- aging-Hippie group. 60 year old guys wore their favorite but now decades old and rotting Dead-Head tee-shirts.
DSO Perfume: Scents of weed, beer, sweat, and a rain soaked awning.
DSO's rich complex lines expand and contract astounding me. Trance Music lines came forth and I pointed these out. "No WAY" was the response!
Ah ha, so at the only 30 minute break in the 3.5 hour+ performance we made our way to the Sound Technician and talked shop. Trance-head received the history lesson of The Foundations of Trance Music courtesy the Grateful Dead's Psychedelia and Space Rock, LSD, Ken Kesey, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary..... . ETC!
Trance-head was entranced.
The evening ended with Johnny Be Good! 12:45 AM but Party ON!
DSO members slay me: when the music ends they just walk off the stage! No bows! No personal acknowledgment of their magnificent musicianship.

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stalking the Wild Beach Amaranth

Having spent a good portion of my childhood wandering the dunes it is a wonder that I now do this same thing for the good state of DE in search of the "Wild Beach Amaranth".
Part of the Beach Nester program is locating the plants in the very same federally protected area for our endangered species beach nester- birds. As our Director Matt Bailey says, "what is good for the Piping Plovers is good for the Wild Beach Amaranth".
Two weeks ago on a very early Saturday morning we met for our three hour survey. As we entered the dunes the heat and humidity was already in charge of the day. Our team of 5 found three plants all in a high probability area.
After a lesson on viewing a beach-nest, I thrilled to later find my first Least Tern Nest! It was like finding a miniscule version of an ancient archaeological site!
So what is the natural heritage of the Wild Beach Amaranth? I've asked and searched; no information comes forward.
After noticing that the Beach Goldenrod is in good play at this very same time of year, and knowing it is a dye plant..... I wondered if the Wild Beach Amaranth was too. Maybe for the Indians it was a very special dye plant and ritual color. The seed is mahogany red-brown...... I need a seed to test my theory!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's a Niche-y-Life

All of a sudden it hit me: Sussex County is where you can make your mark. A niche mark, but a mark nonetheless.
Rehoboth: the gay scene.
Dewey Beach: the bar life and live music. Starboard has a life beyond it's own walls.
Craft Brews: Dogfish Head Brewery plays into the above, but has taken on Milton and Rehoboth as it's very own.
How many musicians happily make the rounds and round again of Ocean City/Dewey/Rehoboth?
Clearspace Productions: why live in NYC or LA when you can live at the beach and find your audience?
Food artisans: a line of jams and jelly based on the local produce including our indigenous beach plums!
Restaurants: SoDel Concepts array of restaurants captures our imaginations.
Real Estate: Who has not noticed that Lewes is niched-out by nearly a single real-estate company?
Publishing: Dave Burris dominates with his virtual weekly news.
Dairy: Lewes Dairy!
Seafood: Big Fish rules.
Kayaking: Quest takes care of it all.
Skimboarding: Alley Oop: mentors the little sand crabs and makes them their own for life!
Seaside Jewish Community: the only show in town and is it ever beachy with Havdalah on the dunes!
Birding: Seashore and Migratory Birds R'US.
My point is: if you can create your dream, then we of Lower Slower Sussex County might be your beach dream come true.

Beach Blessings,