Monday, December 26, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories: Hannukha Lamb "Seder" Shank!

Who does not adore Giant Foods? At holiday time I love the entranceway filled with festive greenery and gift food items.
In preparation for Hannukha I shopped the end-cap only to find Matzoh and Gefilte Fish! Then over to the meat case I discovered, the "Sedar (sic) Bone", a shank half, very meaty and priced at $1.68!
Giant, you are killing me with laughter if the above situation was not so pathetic.
Foods such as the Seder Paschal Lamb Bone, Matzoh and Gefilte Fish are for Passover which is celebrated in Spring! In 2012, the first Night of Passover begins on Good Friday!
Dearest Giant, this time of year for Hannukha, we are looking for Golden Potatoes, Sour Cream, and Apples to make for Latkes with applesauce!
However, not one to pass up the bargain lamb for $1.68; I asked the Butcher to bring me 6 or 8 more! Even odder, I was informed that per "lamb case" there is only One Sedar (sic) Bone! ****Hilarious!****
Here is the Small Kitchen Recipe. This is how my Mom makes a leg of lamb, and most likely as did her Mom and all my direct maternal relatives before me!

Giant "Sedar Lamb Bone": or find a nice shank half. Mine was just over one pound.
Yellow Mustard: Grey Poupon, the classic original.
Yellow Potatoes: halved.
Baby Carrots: whole.
White Wine.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I used my toaster oven!
Smear the Lamb Shank with the mustard. Make certain to smear the bottom and sides, covering every little bit. Put into a nice deep baking dish. Wedge in the potatoes and the carrots. Pour in a layer of wine.
Bake for ~ 1.25 hours. 1.5 hours maybe too long.
When done, the lamb will have a dark baked on crust and oozing clear juices.

Serve with sliced oranges and kiwis sprinkled with Cinnamon.

To All My Dear Readers: Happy Hannukha, Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

Beach Blessings,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories: Oatmeal-Yogurt Pancakes.

Sunday mornings I crave a special breakfast with a minimum of fuss. My body no longer does well on traditional pancakes or French Toast, yet that is what I wanted! I wanted that buttery crispness followed by drafts of my own Assam/ Darjeeling blend tea!
As I woke up I remembered a South India recipe I lived on in my vegetarian youth: Oatmeal-Yogurt Pancakes a.k.a Diliya Dosa. Ah, my minimal but well stocked pantry could provide! All I needed was the quick cooking oatmeal and Greek-style Yogurt! I even found a jar of Ginger Chutney!

Serves Two.
Quick Cooking Oatmeal Flakes: ~ 1/2 cup
Greek-Style Yogurt: ~ 1 cup. *It is important to use the Greek-style Yogurt.
Ginger Chutney: 1 teaspoon
( Minced Onion and fresh Ginger would be nice for a brunch or light Supper ).
Butter: the real stuff!

Add the Oatmeal Flakes into the Yogurt to get a thick consistency. Add in the Chutney. Let this mixture sit 5 minutes or even overnight!
To a skillet add in a big tablespoon or two of the butter and heat until bubbling. Add in small tablespoons of the mixture. Pat it with the back of the spoon to make the round pancake.
On each side saute until nice and brown.
Serve on heated plates with a side of the chutney or even maple syrup!

Ta DA!
Beach Blessings,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Clear Space's Pirate Coast & Dewey Moment in Rehoboth

How excited was I counting the days to see Clear Space's: The Pirate Coast featuring Captain Kidd and his Treasure????
Yes, I was that excited !!!!!
I had it on my schedule for a full month! What an easy evening's planning this would be! The shows run every half hour for all of $5.00 for man, woman, child or ghoul! Afterwards we would find a suitably "boardwalk" dinner. Oh, and we could drive in and find a parking space too!
As I was on my way, I was giddy and singing: Yo HO! Yo HO! The Pirate's Life for ME!
I do NOT do scary and since it was advertised as "not suitable for 4 years old and under": I thought I was home free! Nope. It was Scary & Chaotic Silly-Hilarity for a fast paced 25 minute show.
As soon as we were gathered in the dark anteroom: the misty-mist swirled and we were introduced to the play. With high hopes of making it thru alive and well, we then entered the main theater and became part of the Captain Kidd and his Pirates a la "Slap Stick" a la 1600's period show.
We left the theater absolutely breathless and wanting to do it again!
Then we rounded the corner looking for dinner and bombed into Nicola's. The place was packed and for two people the only table was the "stagey" boat shape one, up two steps and almost a stage itself as it looks out on the restaurant floor and the street scene! Perfectly fitting into the evening's theme-fun!
Having Settled into the table: Dewey Comrades bombed into the restaurant: saw it was packed: saw us: and then piled into our huge table!
Come One, Come All! The Pirates Life for ME!
Yo HO!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dewey Beach Music Conference 2011

I love the Dewey Beach Music Conference for "filling our streets" with an influx of musician culture. Just taking in the on-trend fashion is high entertainment.
This year the British Invasion continues for the guys: with skinny jeans, and a well-worn but cool-cut dark tee-shirt.
Surprisingly for both the guys and gals long-long hair is out, most cuts were neck length. Most surprising was to see the women who still had long hair had it braided and piled up. My favorite was "Heidi Gone Bad-Girl or Bad-Girl Gone Heidi": with germanic model looks, blond hair braids a la ballet dancer, fringed black leather coat over a drab-tan tissue-thin fabric shepherd-like tunic worn over a slightly longer black slip. Ankle black leather boots finished off the look along with her video-camcorder.
Last year over the knee boots ruled. This season a few knee-high boots worn were shiny patent leather with any outfit that was non-shiny fabric: distressed jeans were favored.
Rudder is my goal where I almost always find my "Find", this year it was on the deck with, Brooklyn New York's: "Under The Elephant. I'll assume "Heidi" was the lead's girlfriend.
Seeing the deck set up for at least 7-8 musicians I was hopeful of a good performance. Instead I was wowed with a great one! Capable of zooming between House Dance Music with impressionistic soaring lyrics, hip-hop funk to New Orlean's Revival the crowd was awed and gave a standing ovation!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mission Impossible #2: Find Hurricane Irene Survivors!

This is Part Two of: Mission Impossible. Look for and Read First: Part One in September 2010.
Sing the Theme Song, please!
My Mission which I chose to accept: look for survivors of Hurricane Irene: Endangered Species: Wild Beach Amaranth @ Tower Beach.
Just weeks before on a 90 degree day, for a 5 hour "Search and GPS Plot" Mission, myself, another volunteer, and my Director of Endangered Species Beach Nester Birds (and plants) surveyed Conquest to Tower Beach. We were in giddy-Amaranth mode as it seemed every few feet we were finding our quarry! My self-appointed job was to mark it with found objects of shells and reeds and orange flagging while measurements were recorded.
As a child I walked the dunes. Doing so now as an adult for the good State of Delaware is SWEET!
30 Degrees less, in the 60's, and windy, wearing my field boots and a fleece jacket, my mood was not sweet as I surveyed; there would be no survivors of Hurricane Irene.
The tides washed to the foot of the dunes decimating the Amaranth and all accompanying annual vegetation. Dune grass and the PVC pipe fencing made it thru just fine.
The Amaranth set seed in August and thus a seed bank awaits under the new accumulation of 6-12 inches of sand.
I'll see you again, August 2012!

Beach Blessings,

Sunday Cook Outs @ Que Pasa!

This is why we Love Dewey Beach: $7.00 Sunday Cook Outs inside "the glass" @ Que Pasa! Earlier in the day I checked it out, and conversed with Chef Joe! Early evening I showed up with a friend, immediately asked for two portions of the Ahi Tuna reserved for our dinner and started to settle into the scene, including the scenery.
The dinner gives you a choice of the above or marinated steak or chicken, pork loin or chicken wings. I bet if you ask sweetly Chef Joe will do a combo! Sides are: grilled red onion, roasted corn, red rice and hot tortillas!
I will not be cooking another Sunday Dinner until Que Pasa mothballs the grill!
After one of the most traumatic election weekends in memory: having the Sunday cookout at such a "very-Dewey venue" soothed my Dewey-beachy soul..... even more than a shot or two of whiskey!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beach-time with the Birds Goes for Fall

A dear friend calls the tourists: Tourons. He said it, not me. But you get the idea and now I too look forward to having the place once again "all to ourselves". My commute to and from Cape Henlopen will be back to less than 15 minutes rather than 45 minutes.
Labor Day Weekend Cape Henlopen State Park was packed until Monday when it was near to deserted.
My Piping Plover Bird Police gig Bay-side is now given over to Hawk Watch. Now I can wake up late, get to Hawk Watch by 11:00 AM and be certain of getting into the park and my favorite parking spots.
No longer am I sitting low near the water, wearing my big straw hat, sweating, and sometimes fighting off green-head flies, staring at mostly loafing and foraging Shorebirds.
Now I am standing on a platform high above the ocean, wearing my waxed-cloth Brit-style hat trying to stay warm, occasionally bit by ladybugs, counting the Nascar-like Raptor Migrating Show.
Watching the Shorebirds was a movie in slow-motion, my heart beat slow and steady. Hawk Watch is a participatory "sports event" with an adrenaline-rush racing heart: spotting the incoming racing-raptors and cheering them on!
Fall is when I adjust my heart, and my eyes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beach Earrings: Lost and Found

The Summer before I entered Kindergarten, my Mom and her girlfriend, whose surgeon spouse would do the surgical-honors, got the notion to do an earring piercing beach-party.
My Dad gifted me with the sweetest earrings I ever did and will ever see: reversible posts: with a 14 carat gold ball on one end and coral ball-bead on the other.
Of course as I leaned over the sink to swab my ears and the earring: the one earring's coral bead landed in the sink and was forever lost to The Ocean, Neptune and Venus.
I was devastated. I swore then to always change my earrings while sitting on my bed. Thus I never have lost a pair of earrings again...... except for the one nuzzled off my ear and chewed by my now-passed Labrador dog.
Yet, almost a year ago, at the beach, I lost a beloved pair of earrings; lever-back drops of Moonstone and with a fringe of Coral Beads. I bought them as a gesture to the ones lost, so long ago and still missed.
How did the earrings get lost? Again I was beyond sad. Had I swiped my hair back after putting them on? Maybe caught in the hair brush? I looked and cleaned the beach cottage for one year with no luck. I kept the one pair as I could not bear to throw it away.
One year later the missing Moonstone and Coral Bead lost-earring was found by my housekeeper, as if thrown up by a high-tide into the wrack-line.
I broke into tears as I put on again my beloved "Beach" earrings.
Neptune and Venus: the Keepers and Givers of Coral: Thank You for the Return.

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Piping Plover: The Bird Stories 2011.

Cape Henlopen State Park Piping Plover ( aka PIPL) Bird Police Duty-gig 2011 ended this week with the youngest chick fledging; flying the required 50 yards. The Piping Plovers having done their job are ready to party Southward, many to call the Bahamas their Winter Resort.
Time for me to Party TOO! Time to celebrate the PIPL success and the 125 hours of "Bird Stories".
Finding the PIPL Story Line was what kept me glued to my " At The Ropes ( actually it is twine) Spot". In my third year of duty: I had a clue! Amazing to me, this season I recognized individual PIPL-s.
This was the year our Bahama-Banded PIPL Male, having successfully nested on The Point just for fun would fly in ~ one mile to The Ropes just to duke it out with PIPL glamour couple, Beckham and Posh! One witnessed fight lasted a little over one hour.
Beckham and Posh nested early and failed and then nested late and succeeded; chick mentioned above. The late nesting cost them their nearest foraging cove which was claimed in the interim by the Parents of Sturdy Chick.
Sturdy Chick as a baby was hilarious-fun; loving to rest in upturned Horseshoe Crab Shells and loving water. Once this baby was swamped by wave action, came out fine and a bit stunned. The Parent was FLIPPED-OUT and instructed the chick to not repeat the incident. One week later Sturdy Chick was Wise To The World. Another week later the Sturdy Chick showed out-right teen-age aggression towards The Parents!
Bird Police duty is keeping the public OUT of the Federally protected area. This year I cultivated my own little fleet of "GOOD Kayakers" to yell at "BAD Kayakers" who disdain to enter the closed areas. Good Work, Kayak Team!
PIPL: Hope one day I see you in The Bahamas!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dub Step Party and Planet Avatar @ Voodo Farm.

Not wanting to miss the first ever Dub-Step Dewey Dance Party, I bought my Bottle and Cork, DJ Dance Party ticket early in the week. I knew very little of this scene, and did not even know what to wear! I threw on a strappy floral beach dress and overtly flowery-boho silver and pearl earrings and entered the venue.
*I entered "Planet Avatar"!
I could not even take in the music until I met my fellow Avatars. Clean cut women and men in glamorous, deeply eco-conscious, but deconstructed art-house dress. Shredded one shoulder tops were favored; that sometimes flashed the audience with a now-naked view. Glamazon-sandals finished off the look.
The glamazon avatar's sported accessories: As the evening progressed they swirled a circus of lighted and flashing hula-hoops and strange and wonderful lighted string toys.
We were in-trance. But not drunk, less than 40% had drinks in hand. And how could you as you hula-hooped?
Earth's Flash Drive of Music landed on Planet Avatar and this is what they did with it.
Bashed it thru the middle and stretched it out Gumby-like.
Stroked it with a wobbly dissonant bass and drums with a reverberating rhythm so fast it can not be counted. Not with any human toes. Only with Avatar undulating bodies and hula-hoops.
On the stage the DJ's were on their own planet with a side-show of nearly-naked edgy-undressed women involved with their lighted props: hoops and more.
This is not electro-techo House Music.
It is Planet Avatar House Music!
The crowed loved Voodo Farm's "I Heard it thru the Grapevine" which was only recogizable at the begining and end of the set. This Human could clearly follow the Classic Dub-step hole punching and then gumby-stretching.
Dewey Beach: you are on the trend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Venus's Beach-Pedicure: Metallic Wins!

Who else plans their beach pedicure colors weeks in advance? Memorial Day to Labor Day is the window for the Summer Indulgence Whim Colors!
At last I found a color combo that is gorgeous with my tan and defies the sand-abuse! Metal-ics!
I adore O.P.I. and found a pinky-bronze. Then I used their gold glitter top coat which picked up the bronze lighter-notes. Of course a top-coat followed.
Five weeks later there is almost no wear or chips!
Next round I'm going to look for the same theme but in Silver!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Havadalah Service: Beach-Side

My Beach-life takes place at Cape Henlopen State Park a.k.a CHSP @ The Point and @ the Beach Pavillion/Hawk Watch. It's my spot. Thus when my community life joins me there; Life is Sweet! The occasion was to celebrate the end of Shabbat.
Our Seaside Jewish Community took over the Picnic Pavillion; we ate leisurely, timing the meal to end just before sundown, 8:15PM for the Havdalah Service.
Full of grilled steak, tabbuleh, and too many desserts we climbed over the now sand-dune covered WW11 Bunker to the Ocean Beach! A tight circle we became, with the children centered on their beach blankets....... thus the service began and ended with lots of singing.
Havdalah celebrates the senses: visuals of the lighted twisted candle and the coast-line, tastes of wine and salt air, the smell of the spice box and the salty-sea, hearing our voices in song and prayer and the waves crashing!
Afterwards, we had just enough time to see the Common Night Hawks catching their dinner above the pines and then take in the sunset over the Fishing Pier!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Clear Space Productions: Chicago!

I looked forward to the 2011 Chicago production as soon as it was announced at the 2010 Annie Get Your Gun performance!
From Dewey Beach I hopped the Trolley and there I was! There was no 3-hour trek to Wash D.C. and then fight traffic and parking. After the performance ( I was so hungry) I found a quick dinner at the Boardwalk's Go Fish! Dinner was served in 5 minutes!
The $25/ticket is nearly a gift as this rendition matches any on NYC's Broadway! I say grab the performances at this price while you can because it is not a $25/ticket venue; the re-purposed church is at once graciously spacious and intimate.
Adult gritty-sexy-happy-vibe described the Clear Space's play signature. This was a perfect ensemble piece with all players and musicians assuming equal importance. But for the bows we could not stop ourselves from clapping wildly for our favorites.
I loved how the singing was thrown out almost casually; as a side show of the acting. Then when listening carefully you were stunned as if transported to a Broadway Theater!
And what's this about a Halloween Pirate show?! I'll be there in costume!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stango Park Concerts: Rain & Acoustics

Did you know if it is raining in Dewey Beach it might not be in Lewes?
All day I looked forward to the Lewes Library' Stango Park Concert: Chesapeake Brass Band! Despite the spitting rain I headed to Lewes hoping the skies would clear for the 7PM show-time. And it did! Later I learned that it continued to rain in Dewey Beach!
Amplification was OUT of the set-up. It would not do to electrocute our performers!
When did I last hear a concert without "amps"? After a few minutes of music I was reeling back in time...... to the '70's and earlier. Bird songs notes fell like glitter among the performers.
I could hear and almost taste The Music!
"Slow Music"........ as in the Slow Food movement.
"Amps" just make is Fast Food for the Masses Music.
As for this "Brit-styled" Band sporting superbly silvery sounds: they deftly handled John Philip Sousa's "Rehoboth Two-Step" ( who knew?!) to Duke Ellington's classics!
*Hope someone wiped the rain off the musician's seats before they sat down!

Beach Blessings,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Running of the Bull: and find a Long Lost Cousin!

It is silly to try to ignore the Running of the Bull. I did so for years; but no longer. Learned my lesson, I did. I'm now a true believer! I wear my red swim suit and the Bud Light Bull Horns! The event swallows-literally the revelers and the town for the entire day! RTE 1 Traffic is messed-over all 9 miles to Lewes!!!!
Thus DELDOT invited themselves to the party to direct traffic and thus we had for the first time-ever an exact running-time of 2 PM! Showtime, Bully-Bully-Bull!
By my 10:30 AM arrival the party was in full gear. I planned my days 6-hour-party strategy; and found my patch of real-estate which I shared with a cute bouncer.
In year's past I never made it past the Running. This year: I swore my oath to attend the Matador & Bullfight!!!
The Matador arrived with his entourage! I peered into his face.
Good Lord, I recognized my own DNA! My long-lost Cousin!!!
Slobbery hugs and kisses ensued.
Thank you, Starboard!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fish Markets I have Known and Loved

Friends incessantly tease me about my fish market fixations. Weekly I look forward to finding my dinner catch at the local markets. This shopping adventure of My Youth is gone.
On Sunday mornings my Dad and I would buy the family fish dinner at the Indian River Inlet Fish Market.
The shopping promised a delicious dinner and yet the shop itself was a place of horrors.
Trailing clouds of cigar smoke my Dad walked into the shop full of seaweed-y-fresh and ammonia-rancid fish remains. In the case we picked out the whole fresh fish. The fish was scaled, hacked, gored, filleted, wrapped in paper, thrown on a pile of huge ice-cubes all decorated with dashes of the fish blood.
The always cheerful fish monger worked on a butcher block and behind the slop decorated with fish heads and bits of rolling eyes landed on the floor in splashes and canal-rivers. I remember a hose flushed the remains out the store and into the canal. The floor remained painted, stained and highly scented.
I was equally scared and delighted. No need to plead for an evening at Fun Land's House of Horrors!
When I made my adult return to this same store I was again in shock. Delighted as I was to find again the best fish, soft shells and scallops to be bought for 100's of miles around: the House of Fish Horrors was now a classy stainless steel surgical operation.

Beach Blessings,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Find the Music and the Music Finds You!

Without a doubt finding The Music keeps me going. The day starts with the bird-y Morning Chorus and by mid-day I'm in the midst of Shorebird Music .... more like noise... not exactly music.
Thus after Piping Plover Bird Police Duty off I went to the Lewes Library to take in the second free concert of the month: The Pegasus Trio. ~ 40 attendees delighted to the instrumental and vocal presentation which deftly played Classic, Romantic, original scores and original arrangements and Show Tunes!
We were so happy enjoying the music that we clapped after every movement.... heck we know better! But our enthusiasm could not be contained!
Later that evening, dressed a la '80's re-done for '11 in fishnet-capris and the biggest-ever disco-circle earrings attending The Party of Parties I danced the night away to the smooth Jazz original and cover tunes of The Comfort Zone!
Find the Music and the Music finds you .... and the party too!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, June 6, 2011

Formal Party gets you into The Starboard!

A Summer House Formal Party at the beach? It was all I could do to grab an outfit and work it! The outfit's inspiration was a to-the-max 1980's black beaded collar!
The Lion's Club venue was almost too fancy for us! We lived up to the challenge.
The party always segues to another venue. This time around it would be The Starboard.
Lines, lines, lines: there was NO WAY I was going to wait in line.
Wanna get into The Starboard without a VIP Pass? Formal Wear! is The Pass! The Bouncer hailed us in!
*When you are next at The Starboard and you want to see what truly drives the beat: step into the DJ Booth. Coming of Age Primal Ritual! Look up! Stars? Uh, no. Close! Look again! Only females are invited!
I was invited to Join The Club!

Beach Blessings,

Hanging "At the Ropes" : Sweet and Bitter

Hang Time @ " The Ropes" @ The Point @ Cape Henlopen State Park ( aka CHSP) is my theater where the scene can be ultimately sweet or bitter as can be.
Setting the stage with my telescope I turned to see a SWEET Hip-Hop performance "just for me and the birds"! I thanked the performer and asked "What is Goin' On?"
The 49'ers were taping a music video and CHSP provided the visuals.
Sweet! My day was made!
Yet, the rope hang-time can be BITTER: when the Bad-Bad-BAD Birder/Kayaker knowingly and defiantly entered and cruised the Federally Protected Bird Nesting Reserve just to get a bit closer with his binos and camera.
I called the intruder description into the "system" who next time will be met by the Park Police.

Clear Space Productions @ The Lewes Library!

It takes A-LOT to get me off the beach! Yet, I did just this, on a Saturday, to enjoy the Lewes Library: Clear Space "An American Songbook" free concert.
Fresh off the beach, in sandy flip-flops, I brushed off the sand and pulled on a sun-dress. My hair was in a ponytail with the ends flying everywhere. I entered a room of ~ 30 looking to be Lewes residents all nicely dressed and ready for the show!
This was an hour production, but fully scored and scripted, but minus the intermission, the setting and costumes.
During the first song I settled in fast and happy.
Deeply touching but intimate was this bare bones setting. Even the hard seat chairs were perfect.
Hard seat benches! My body remembered: Ah ha, I was taken back to numerous Summer Concerts, held in similar settings at my beloved youth camp, Michigan's Interlochen Music Arts Camp.
I looked around..... I was the youngest attendee by far. I was certain I could ask each and everyone who came, and they would admit: I bet you loved Summer Camp!
Or for a moment we enjoyed what was a tiny moment in what could ultimately be "A Lewes Summer Music Arts Festival"!
The production was wonderfully sweet, lovingly performed and as touching as can be.
And yes, afterwards I pulled off the sun-dress, and happily returned to the beach!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bonfires: The Fire Within and Without!

My favorite activity is crashing Bonfire parties! After the first crash I'm told: You are Invited!
Thus you should have seen me whining when I asked: Will we have our Bonfire this Holiday? The Host's yellow labby puppy's litter mate showed up and they played non-stop while the adult humans tried to relax non-stop.
An "Until Death Dewey Party" 60-something member twice repeated her "it's a ritual" of throwing shovelfuls of fire-y and glowing coals into the sea.
The music was provided by a 30-something iPad owner!
The volume hardly competed with the crashing waves.
I yearned for a boom-box.
I yearned for a guitar sing-out!
I wondered if the iPad user ever did KNOW a bonfire with yelping kids and dogs, hot-dogs falling charred into the pit and burnt fingers from licking clean the burny-hot marshmallow smored- sticky-gooeyness?
iPad liefstyle does not match the above.
I wondered what was the first bonfire "techno-accompaniment? Radio?
Our crazy coal throwing party-goer got it right. The fire is without and needs to stay that way. Put out by the sea.
iPad fire within is ultimately without: life.

Beach Blessings,

Monday, May 23, 2011

A SESA in my Hand!

I was nearly hyperventilating when I learned I would handle my first shorebird "catch". I've waited out numerous Sundays at the Field House hoping for such. The team works 24/7...... so Sundays are as low-key as possible..... and tourist disturbances discourage a "catch day".
This blustery Sunday afternoon the "walk-in traps" were set at a rising high tide for Semi-palmated Sandpipers a.k.a. SESA. I peered out the "conservatory" watching the team. By the body language alone I could tell this would take a while and the catch would be small.
At last 5 hapless SESA's foraged their way in to the burlap box; popping up and down like giant popcorn kernels. First outside the birds were "bled" for examination of bacteria. The physical measurements were taken inside at the " computer data lounge" despite the fact that an escaped bird would create utter havoc. Micrograms of chopped feathers destined for gas-chromatograph analysis could go up in "smoke" decimating 100's of hours of good data.
I sat next to Richard as he deftly handled and analyzed each bird. The SESA was trying to keep calm and was 100% aware. I was trying to keep calm!
Watching the SESA stuffed into his tube and then out again after weighing was comical.
Finally my moment arrived outside on the bay beach. I learned how to receive and "let go" my 25 gram charge of beating feathers. My SESA's took a second or two for their GPS to re-set and off they went with a date soon for Arctic arrival!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Knot Reunion

All year I live for the first sight of the returning Red Knots and their International Fans being the DNREC Shorebird Project Team.
When I walk into the field house immediately I pick up the excitement. Will it be high anxiety or happy exuberance?
Luckily the Red Knots are arriving in nice numbers so happy faces surrounded the breakfast meeting table. Last year it was 3 weeks of non-stop anxiety.
Out I went with the Netherlands' Red Knot PHD student Katrina and her adoring "Assistant" to survey Fowlers Beach and Primehook.
The six foot plus, gorgeous Katrina amazed me as she glided over the sand, on her shoulder perfectly balancing her $3,000.00 telescope. I trudged along trying to keep the scope from banging and bruising my arm!
Fowlers Beach Impoundment gave us a heart stopping view of 60 plus Black Skimmers neatly tucked into a sand bar. When we found the ~ 15 Red Knots tucked in between the usual sushi-eating-green-eggs-sumi-wrestler-comrades I broke into tears.
Shorebirds, how I have missed you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Little Town of DE!

This would never happen in my Big State of Pennsylvania.
My Sunday plan was to Bird at Prime Hook Preserve. Hey, I got there early....... @ 9AM! I smiled as I saw the parking lot was full of vehicles. So where were the birders who started at 7AM?
We quickly found each other. The monthly Sunday group of ~ 20 was led by our very own Rob Schroeder who had been hailing me since the moment I pulled into the parking lot.
I pleaded to join the group and into a truck I went for three wonderful hours of birding. I broke into tears when again I was amidst my favorite Shorebird Crew!
Delaware is a little town. All of IT!
Try doing this in Pennsylvania....... it would never happen. Even if you found yourself at a State Park birding and there was another bird group....... the parks are too big to "run into each other" and who in the group would even know me.
Delaware Knows My Name!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Buy The Beach!

Stocking the Pantry: Beach Season!

My Beach Rule: NO ROUTE 1 ERRANDS!
Today's goal: get the non-perishables together for the entire Beach Season!
Having been traumatized by last and this year's Winter, my own food pantry yielded up the season's groceries!
Only a few special "Beachy Shack Only" items need to be purchased: special salad dressings, herb teas, and instant rice!
And Vodka, my friend reminds me!
Oh, Beachy Shack: we will be together soon!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Piping Plover Volunteer Meeting: Announcement


For more information, contact Joanna Wilson, Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Training offered on May 14 for volunteer piping plover, beachnester monitors

LEWES (April 6, 2011) – Volunteers who would like to learn more about Delaware’s endangered piping plovers and other beachnesters and find out how they can join DNREC’s monitoring team are invited to a free training session from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Biden Center at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes.

The session will begin with refreshments and a slideshow, followed by a discussion on the monitoring program and how volunteers can help to ensure that our beachnesting shorebirds are given the peace and quiet they need to successfully rear their chicks.

Weather permitting, the group will finish out the session by going out to the Point at Cape Henlopen to look for piping plovers and other shorebirds that will likely be out on the tidal flats feeding. A few birding scopes and pairs of binoculars will be available for use, but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own optics if they have them.

Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey hopes the session will draw both new and seasoned volunteers – and plenty of them – to help DNREC staff in their efforts to protect beachnesters and educate the public.

“Volunteers are a critical component of our protection efforts. When posted at the boundaries of the nesting areas, they can help explain to the public facts about the breeding birds and the importance of keeping closed areas free of human disturbance. Without having volunteers to supplement the coverage that our staff can provide, many people might never have the chance to better understand how humans can make a difference in the breeding success of beachnesting birds,” Bailey said.

Preregistration is encouraged, but attendees also will be accepted at the door. Park entrance fees will be waived for volunteers attending the training by notifying the fee booth attendant. For more information, please contact Wildlife Biologist Matt Bailey at 302-382-4151 or email

Vol. 41, No. X


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lucky Magazine: Thrilled; Thank You!

I adore Lucky Magazine. Over ten years of readership has given me oooddles of entertainment and has taught me how to grab anything from my Beach Closet and make it work for almost any occasion. As well, walking Dewey Beach has made me an expert on sandals!
Thus on Facebook I have followed Lucky's Page and postings.
Lucky asked their readers questions! I answered a query on my favorite topic: Summer Sandals!
I am thrilled to report that my quote-quip is in this May issue of Lucky Magazine on page 96! Dewey Beach is the given reader ( c'est moi ) address!
Dewey Beach: you made it into a Fashion magazine!

Beach Blessings,

De State Park Pass Decal Removal: Chic Fix.

The annual rite of removing the old and adhering the new DE State Park Pass is the Spring Ritual indicating Beach Time is Near!
Yet, I dread this task. It is an 1.5 hour task and 2 hours adding in the time to fix my nails!
Here is the Routine:
Buy the old-fashion, Acetone based Nail Polish Remover. Soak the sticker and then go have a long lunch.
Now equipped with an elaborate Italian Dessert small fruit/cheese knife, Windex, paper towels and a plastic bag for waste....... start soaking and scraping. Be patient...... after about 10 minutes the decal starts to degrade and then it gets a tad easier. Allow ~ 30 minutes of scraping!
Clean the window with Windex. Dry it. Then apply the new decal!
Clean up the plastic bits strewn all over the car!
But you are not done yet!
I affix the sticker to the " approved alternate location", on the back driver's side window. The problem is this: the windows are tinted. The beautiful decal is rich with deep blues and greens making it invisible!
Now take a bright yellow sticky- note and write on it the following:
Now affix this to the window above the decal.
Go polish your nails as the acetone and scraping wrecked your most recent manicure!

PS: DNREC: maybe design the decal with a bright sunny background for visibility thru tinted windows?

Beach Blessings,

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sandals and Beach Clothes!

In my next life I am coming back with any foot size as long as it is a "Medium".
Having a 10-AA shoe size makes shoe and sandal shopping an on-going search for Cinderella's Slipper; minus the Fairy Godmother!
Glumly into the "Famous Brand Shoes" store I went. A tiny bit of hope always propels me forward. To my amazement at nose level there were two pairs of edgy but elegant Birkenstocks in my narrow size! I bought them both! Ha, the boxes were marked Medium! They were in wait for me!
Today I started collecting my Beach Clothes Pile for Cottage Opening Day! Just pulling out of the drawers various Summer tees, skirts, jackets and even nightgowns made me slightly giddy!
Giddy with relief of Winter and it's lined-jeans worn with huge socks and even bigger boots!
Flip-flops? Must run now and make certain I know where they are hiding!

Beach Blessings,

Monday, March 14, 2011

What Would Venus Wear 2011?!

Whew...... my beach clothes shopping for 2011 season is nearly done. Luckily it was only a filling-in job of worn out items.
The Delaware sun is hell on clothing fibers. The tee shirts and bathing suits last only a season or two.
The bars and house parties do their damage on cute outfits. It is nearly impossible to avoid spilled beer and last Summer a new cute top left the party with candle wax splatters. Thus I shop looking to pay no more than $15.00 per item!
So what won my cash?
Kohl's did the work for clearance priced tee-shirts and tanks, cute-going-out tops with ruffles and sequins, and a $10.00 crazy funky-punky-girly 40's-ish dress!
LL Bean Outlet yielded up the bathing suits. The LL Bean check-out lady who has helped me for 10 years gave me the news that the outlet closes in April 2011. I told her I was going straight to my vehicle to cry; which I did. LL Bean: You Broke My Heart.
Next on the list: hats and sandals.

Beach Blessings,

Monday, March 7, 2011

DE State Park Pass for Volunteers

I have to admit that I adore having a "free" DE State Park Pass! It signifies myself as a "DNREC Groupie". Who knew and not certainly myself until I started down the path of staring and counting: Red Knots, Piping Plovers and Raptors!
I love going thru the park "toll booths", being recognized by the staff while I simultaneously point out the sticker.
I will also admit that I did not like having to purchase the pass. It is not that I can not afford one.
My objection is this: I am a DE property owner yet I am required to pay the "Out of State" fee which is considerably higher than that of a DE resident. Or rather for those that own a DE registered vehicle as the fee is based on one's license plate.
When I paid full rate each and every time I pulled yet again into CHSP, Tower Beach, Keybox or Gordon's Pond, in my mind I'd pro-rate the sticker cost!
So happy I am with my sweet volunteer park pass reward even though sometimes the seasonal "police" can not find my sticker which is located on my back tinted windows.
I made a bright yellow sign with an arrow pointing to it: HERE IT IS!
And me too!

Beach Blessings,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories: Rice Pudding with Ricotta

OOhhhh, what to do with that left-over rice? Make Rice Pudding! This is a stove-top recipe that goes together in a flash. Let the rice with the milk and raisins soak while you have breakfast and then cook it afterwards.
The Ricotta addition makes it taste very "Euro".

Rice Pudding with Ricotta

Leftover Rice: I had Jasmine.
Milk to cover the rice. I even added in some left-over Eggnogg!
Egg: beaten
Raisins: soaked in hot water. Add in some Marsala or Sherry if you wish.
(Honey or sugar is not required as the raisins add more than enough sweetness.)
Ricotta: Big Dollop

Soak the raisins in the Marsala/Sherry and boiling water to cover. After soaking; drain.
In a nice deep pan soak the cooked rice with the milk to cover. As well add the beaten egg. Soak while you have breakfast!
Add in a dash of ground Cardamom and the drained raisins.
Turn the heat on low and stir often until the rice pudding bubbles.
Turn off the heat and fold in a big dollop of the Ricotta.
Pour into a lovely ceramic bowl.

*I serve this topped and drizzled with a fig and orange compote.

Ta DA!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories: Greek-Style Eggplant & Turkey Bake

I was craving the New York Times Cookbook: "Eggplant Moussaka" of my Youth! It was a Sunday affair which took hours to prepare and minutes to devour.
I had no intention of devoting such labor but I wanted the end-result! I had no ground lamb but I did have "organic" Ground Turkey and a small eggplant.
This dish astounded me! My rendition tastes of Lamb and the Bechamel sauce although neither are in the dish! Although one pound of Turkey is used; if you are to serve more than three people.... load up on side dishes as this main course will be demolished.
Our Giant, Rte 1 supplies the ingredients.

Greek-Style Eggplant and Turkey Bake

Big Baking dish smeared with Olive Oil
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Ground Turkey, "Nature's Promise" Brand, 1 lb.
Onion, sliced
Mushrooms, one big handful chopped
Spinach, three big handfuls, chopped
Eggplant with the peel, sliced
Dill, Marjoram, Celery Seed
White Wine
Olive Oil
Feta Cheese, Giant Brand
Greek Yogurt, Cabot Brand

In a big saute pan add in a generous amount of olive oil. Saute the onions and mushrooms. Add in the ground Turkey and brown. Add in the chopped spinach, the herbs, and saute until wilted. Add in some wine and simmer a few minutes.
Layer the above mixture into the baking dish.
Now add more olive oil to the pan ( no need to wash it! ) and throw in the eggplant slices. Just toss around until the eggplant picks up all the olive oil and adds some color.
Layer this on top of the meat mixture.
Now strew the top with lots of big Feta crumbles.
Now strew big dollops of the Greek Yogurt until you have a nice layer.
Sprinkle the top with more olive oil.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Dessert was Pomegranate with Cardamom and Honey.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kitchen Clean Out: A New Life!

Last year I determinedly sorted thru all my clothes; both old and new. What I was left with revealed the old life gone and the new life gained; my Beach-y Life!
But I never would have guessed that this year's Big Task of cleaning and re-organizing every Kitchen nook and cranny would reveal the same.
A life-time ago I had a baking life! Rustic Italian Breads, and 1800's Era English Scones was a weekly pursuit. Beautiful handmade baskets once used for rising the dough now are used to house produce.
A life-time ago my stove-top saw multiple pressure cookers churning out big soups and stews. The cookers are now sadly decimated and in the shed waiting disposal.
The 15 year-old electric Wok died; but I think a new small one is worthy for Small Kitchen Stories.
What is new? It is not so much what is new as what I have shed. Cooking now is given over to less energy use in pursuit of quick delightful meals. The oven is only used in cold weather when it is time to indulge in seasonal "comfort foods".
My adored Bosch Mixer still sits on the counter, but is rarely needed. Instead of using the "chopper": I enjoy the time prepping with a knife!
Daily kitchen life is now: grilling with the Pannini Press, sauteing, rice made in the fancy "R2-D2" noise-making cooker, lovely ceramic bakers for baked fish or chicken legs, covered casseroles for steamed vegetables, and pretty little bowls for sliced fruit.
Small Kitchen Stories: I'm happy to be at your table.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories: Baked Veal Steak "Granny-Style"

Pulling out of the oven fragrant Lemon Squares; I wanted to make further good use of the oven energy. I was way too tired for anything complicated. I wanted a Sunday Dinner thrown back to the 1950's!
That did it! The Veal Steak that was to be simmered was now to be baked.
This is a Two Way Recipe: The second day, boil up Egg Noodles and top with the leftover gravy, meat, and vegetable bits with a swirl-in dollop of ricotta cheese.
Our favorite Giant, Route 1, provides the ingredients.

Baked Veal Steak "Granny-Style"

Veal Steak, "cubed" and pounded with a meat hammer.
Onions, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Red Sweet Peppers, sliced
Potato: diced small
Mushroom Soup thinned with White Wine: I used the "Organic" Pacific brand.
Celery Seed
Olive Oil

Second Day: Ricotta Cheese and Egg Noodles.

In a ceramic baking dish smeared with olive oil, lay on the veal steaks. Layer on the vegetables. Pour on the Mushroom Soup which has been thinned with the wine. Sprinkle with the herbs. Bake at 350 degrees for ~ 50 minutes.

Dessert: Lemon Squares!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Small Kitchen Stories:Panned Veal Loaf with Ricotta Sauce

Sometimes I get a notion for a fancy-rich-gild-the-lilly dinner. As the dish is so filling; 8 oz of ground Veal easily serves two.
This Veal Loaf is made in a saute pan.
Panned Veal Loaf with Ricotta Sauce

Ground Veal, 8 oz
Egg, 1
Ketchup or Chili Sauce
Oatmeal/Bread Crumbs

Combine the above and let it sit in a bowl in the fridge for at least one hour.

Onion, Sliced
Mushrooms, Sliced
Plum Tomatoes, Chopped
Olive Oil
White Wine and Water
Ricotta Cheese, Big Dollop
Greek Yogurt, Smaller Dollop

In a big saute pan add in the olive oil and heat. Form the Veal Loaf into a long shallow oblong and gently place in the pan. Brown on one side for 5 minutes and flip it. Add in the sliced onion and mushrooms, let brown, and then add in the chopped tomatoes. Add in a good dose of wine and water until half way up the Veal Loaf. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the dollops of Ricotta Cheese and the Greek Yogurt. Swirl it into the juice and vegetables. Turn the heat on low just to heat up the sauce.

I served this with steamed spinach and steamed butternut squash.

Dessert: Clementines Sliced with Cardamom, drizzled with honey.

Ta DA!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dewey Beach Leaseholds...... Series 2.

A New Year! A New Lifestyle?
Could a life-style change be test-driven?
Yes, is the answer!
The Lease-hold Beach Cottage was my sports-car/boat variety indulgence test-drive!
I knew I had to change my life; but I was unwilling to throw it all up in the air just for a change. How could I find a new life while living the current one?
Could I hold up to the commute? Could my business hold up to the "time away"? Would I like a beach-y Delaware life? Would this be where I would "retire"?
I loved the idea of a second block from the ocean location! Where else on the East Coast can one find this option for "cheap"?
I loved the idea of a cottage devoted for a determined functional goal: beach/fun, beach/fun, and more beach/fun!
I liked the idea of a three-season cottage, that required "Winterization". I'd enjoy the cottage May thru October; close the cottage; and then focus on life's non-beachy demands.
By purchasing the Lease-hold Beach Cottage I'd spend not too much cash; have a wild good time, and simultaneously and soberly asses the area for my next move: my "full-time" beach-y location.

Beach Blessings,