Features in the Summer 2015 Issue of Edible Cape Cod:
Between our house and Cape Cod Bay is a cluster of cottages designed and named to evoke the buildings of a quaint New England village: Captain’s House, Candy Shoppe, Little Red Schoolhouse. Measuring around 500 square feet, many of these cottages have been owned by the same families for decades, even generations. Several years ago we wanted to stage a photo shoot on the beach we share with the cottage colony, so we went to its governing association for permission, which is how we came to know Paul and Nancy. Paul was the head of the cottage association at the time and their home was the de facto social hub of the colony. Frequently they would hail us from their porch as we returned home from the beach to join them for cold libations and to trade recommendations for local restaurants. On one such occasion, they invited us to meet their guests visiting from off-Cape. Wine and cheese and crackers turned into an invitation for dinner. Nancy was roasting a boneless turkey breast. It was a sweltering July day and, although hot turkey makes for a curious choice for a summer meal, we were game. While the meat was cooking, we went home and harvested some greens from our garden to make a salad. By the time we returned to Paul and Nancy’s, the ranks of diners had swelled to ten. Paul and a guest had brought a picnic table inside to accommodate all of us. The other guests contributed potato salad, corn and watermelon to round out the meal, and then we all sat down together to eat and drink and laugh. That one humble turkey breast nourished ten, with leftovers to boot! Reading Dave Paling’s reminiscences about childhood clambakes in this issue got me thinking about some of my favorite food memories, and that loaves-and-fishes-like experience is definitely one of them. The spontaneity of the gesture, the incongruity of the menu, and the conviviality of a group of strangers (at least to us) coalesced into a happy memory that still makes me smile.
This summer, we encourage you to make some food memories, whether it’s hosting a traditional clambake or roasting a turkey. To quote Laurie Colwin, one of my favorite food writers, “A person cooking is a person giving: even the simplest food is a gift.”