wwcitizen: (S&M In Ptown)

The subject covers two aspects of Ptown: 1) Provincetown, MA, in the winter when tourists aren't around... and 2) Matthew acting in an episode of a TV show called Off Season.
It's exciting to be in Ptown in the winter! We had a big, blustery, SNOWY winter storm Sunday - all day. And we made the absolute best of the day. We got up late and played on our pads for a while. The snow outside piled up to about 10"!!  Eventually, I dug us out to the road. Not a big deal, since the snow was fresh and light. But I had a small, trunk-ready shovel, so I had to be careful not to throw out my back. :-)
On Saturday, we drove around and took pictures, but it was dreary and rainy. We had our postponed anniversary dinner at Ross's Grille, which was fantastic! To drink, we had a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay. For dinner, it was raw oysters first, then locally sourced, sauteed mussels & clams - delicious broths! Our entrees were the Cape Cod Seafood Stew.  The Off Season dictates what restaurants stay open throughout the season, and which ones close for a while after the tourist season and WHEN they close before the tourist season starts up again.  Ross's Grille closed the day after our meal and we were served the last mussels, clams, and stews that they had. We really lucked out!
Sunday night, our dinner was at the Bistro @ Crowne Pointe, which is less than a block up the hill and has GREAT views of the Pilgrims' Monument, the Town Hall, and other historic buildings. We had Cake Chardonnay with deviled eggs, Italian bread, steamed mussels, and New England clam chowder for apps. Then, of course, we HAD to have a New England steamed lobster. Really great dinner, too.
Both nights we took in the "leftover" Ptown nightlife, which was light but fun and totally cozy. Most bars have a warm, cozy and glowing fireplace. The fireplaces reminded me of places in Germany, Austria, and Prague.
All throughout the weekend and in the weeks leading up to today, Matthew & I have been running over his lines over and over again.  It's been really fun.
Monday, we relaxed and got Matthew ready for one of his scenes. The shoot started at 3pm, so I drove around Ptown on my own to take pictures of the town with the snow. It was a bit disappointing because the incessant high winds blew away most of the snow in the course of the day.
I think I got some really great shots that capture the winter Provincetown, which most of the people that come to Bear Week every summer never see or can imagine.  Matthew hadn't messaged or called that he was done, so I went to the Governor Bradford pub for a glass of Chardonnay.  I had never been in that bar before; it's quite old and charming in its own right but I think there's no A/C in the summer, which is always the first and major deterrent.
While sipping my wine at the bar, I had probably the funniest experience ever by myself in Ptown - EVER!!: 4 fishermen in from their boats at the corner of the bar trying to outdo each other with their impressions of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It was so difficult not to even crack a smile in the hopes that they wouldn't stop on my account and that they might take on other characters with their (pretty decent) impressions.
I made my way to the location of the shoot taking place in a restaurant that was new to us, Sage. Matt did an excellent acting job; members of the crew were very impressed and came to me tell me they were. *happy dance*
So, this trip we went to places and areas of town that we'd never visited before. We went to the Shipwrecked Lounge, the Porchside Lounge, The Little Bar at A-House, the Governor Bradford bar, the Squealing Pig, Sage, the town's US Post Office, the very end of Commercial St, and areas of the Province Lands and National Parks that were new to us.
All in all it's been amazing trip and it does not feel like 6 days. Given our druthers, Matt and I would probably want to stay until Sunday but he has to get back and teach on Thursday evening. Can't wait to review and post some pictures of Ptown in the winter!










wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)

Matthew did a fantastic job again this year with the Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes.  It's an Italian, Catholic, Christmas Eve tradition. I'm not Catholic. I'm not Italian. But I LOVE this tradition!!  Matthew is holding to most of his mother's recipes and has added a couple of things (or tried out a couple of new things) for a bit of a flare to keep the interest in the affair going. There's nothing difficult about picking out fish - truly. We all love seafood.  But, to prepare them in such a way that there are different dishes with at least 7 different fishes, that's the ultimate challenge.

For example, we made an octopus salad with roasted potatoes and onions. Matthew slow-cooked the octopus overnight in red wine vinegar and white wine with spices, pulled off the suckers, and marinated the octopus meat for 2-3 days. Then I roasted the potatoes and pearl onions and mixed in the octopus, which warmed up the octopus and olive oil marinade. YUM!!

Then we made the standard (and VERY scrumptious) seafood salad with squid (calamari), shrimp, cuttlefish, scallops, and baby octopus. Matthew made a lemon/olive oil marinade for the mixture and they sat in the fridge for about 2 days. I chopped up red, yellow, and orange peppers, celery, two garlic cloves, and parsley and mixed it all together on Christmas Eve. DELICIOUS!! And so fresh.

Matthew worked extra hard on battering and sauteeing soft shell crabs. I never liked soft shell crabs that much until I met Matthew. Also, his prep is by far the tastiest I've ever had. I could not stop eating these this year - and we were able to glean about 10 for leftovers.  He also made stuffed calamari, which might fall off the list next year.  Also, he did the shrimp with lemon and basil and I learned how to chiffonade basil for the preparation!

That's 6 fishes so far (yes, arthropods (crustacea), mollusks, and cephalopods are included as fish since squid, octopus, mussels, and shrimp are all from the sea). Then, we got lobsters steamed and removed the meat from the shell for a "raw bar", which included mussels, lump crab meat, and snow crab claws. He also added a beurre blanc sauce and a minuet, of course, for dipping.  On Christmas day, Matthew's brother-in-law steamed clams (littlenecks). YUM!! 

As for actual fish, Matthew prepped smelts, which I always love. Smelts are similar to sardines. Matthew rolls them in a flour/salt & pepper covering mixture, I sprayed them with olive oil, and then we baked them.  Once they're out, they get tossed in a lemon/olive oil sauce to bring out the flavor of the fish. On Christmas Eve, Matthew grilled Chilean sea bass steaks, which he had carefully tied into round filet "mignons" of fish. Typically, there's a Baccala salad (salt cod), which is a smelly, disgusting, but ultimately tasty (albeit kinda dry) dish, but this year, the Baccala didn't happen - no one likes it that much and the prep is such a PITA, that it's just not worth making.

Matthew really wanted to make quenelles escoffier (Jacques Pépin) - a French fish preparation of one or two fishes blended into a mouse, poached, and baked with a white cream sauce. We made a haddock-based "test run" for ourselves about 6 days early, which turned out wonderful. THAT dish would have been an amazing addition to the array of fishes dishes, but the blend we made with turbot and cod for the Christmas Eve feast bombed for some reason - maybe because the fishes weren't as fresh as the haddock we had used earlier.  :-( 

Of course, he made broccoli rabe and green beans for veg, and with leftover stuffing from the stuffed calamari, he stuffed some PEI green shell mussels.  For dessert, everyone whipped out chocolates, store-bought cream puffs and sfogliatelles, but the biggest hit were Matthew's cookies, which he finished baking about 2 weeks before Christmas.  He made two kinds of biscottis, rainbow cookies, and pignoli nut cookies. Those are the basic standards and about all he could muster with all the other stuff going on throughout the holiday season.

Everyone truly enjoyed all the preparations and were fully amazed - again - at Matthew's cooking and gourmet cheffing of the Feast.  Enjoy the pictures!!

BLAAK

Oct. 20th, 2011 02:40 pm
wwcitizen: (Open Wide-r)
So, this past spring when we visited Sharon Springs, NY, and the Beekman Boys, we put ourselves on the "exclusive list" for this BLAAK goat cheese.

We got our notification about a month ago that it was ready to go and we declined. Then, about a day later, I put us on the list again because, after all, I love cheese. Though it's not cheap, it's also not sold in very many stores. We'll be getting some of this cheese within the next week or so - and I'm looking forward to it!

I love cheese...
wwcitizen: (Open Wide-r)
It's become clear that I'm addicted to truffles. Not the chocolate kind, though they're wonderful, too. No, this addiction is to black and white truffles - the underground mushrooms that are hunted and found by pigs or trained dogs in France (and parts of the US, namely Tennessee and North Carolina!).

This addiction is to black & white truffles and black and/or truffle oil. They are VERY tasty and yummy and delicious, but a very expensive thing for an addiction. Unless one has a connection for excellent quality oils at very low prices, as do I, thanks to the Fancy Food Show at the end of June. They are rightly called the diamond of the kitchen at costs ranging from $350 to $500 a pound for black truffles (the richer in flavor of the two types).

Here are examples of my most recent indulgences: Last week, I had a truffle/tomato snack Thursday evening. For dinner on Friday, Matt made us truffle gravy to go over our roasted chicken; we removed the skin and flattened the breast in order to pour the gravy into the meat - amazing. Saturday night at a birthday dinner in Manhattan, one of the restaurant's best dishes, and the one I ordered, was the parpadelle with beef and truffle oil in the sauce - VERY yummy.

And, last evening I had to have yet another truffle/tomato snack. I love summer tomatoes. It's a simple snack bursting with flavor and exploding with delight: I cut 1/4" thick slices of a large New Jersey beefsteak tomato onto a plate, lightly sprinkle Baleine's sea salt and freshly ground pepper onto each slice. You must use Baleine's (fine) sea salt. I turn each slice over and season each again. Then, I open a bottle of either black or white truffle oil and waft the aroma toward my nostrils with my hand as one would do with a fresh bouquet of flowers. The oil drips slowly over the thick, seasoned tomato slices and the slices glisten invitingly.

Cutting each slice into succulent quarters or thirds, I can sense the truffle as the slice passes onto my tongue. The tomato juices moisten my tongue. The salt brightens the taste throughout my mouth. The pepper bites my tongue just enough to round out the experience.

My eyes close. I chew slowly and dream. In a forest in southern France, the wind blows through oak trees where future truffles are growing, waiting to be found and end up on my taste buds.

To Matt's surprise and excitement, he's discovered that, for me at least, the taste of truffles is somewhat of an aphrodisiac. Let's just say, he's not kept the truffle oil away from me since we got it!
wwcitizen: (Default)
Pates, olive oils, gourmet chocolates, wine, cheeses, spreads, marinating sauces, polentas, breads... You name it, they had it. Teas, coffees, new spring and bottled waters, ouzo, baby veggies, cooking and garnishing utensils. Even though there were easily two floors and some extra conference rooms used by the show, we only went to the exhibit hall. We ate our way through 77 countries, 6 continents, and at least 5 languages from 11:15 till 5:30. It was truly an amazing experience.

I can't imagine that such a trade show would be that good for all these international companies that were there - some for the first time. I suppose in a way, people come for the educational aspects, the networking, and foodie contests.

Oh, and speaking of foodies, we ran into Craig - the short guy with the tall hat who got kicked off during the 2nd or 3rd show of Hell's Kitchen - who was really nice. We chatted for a bit. He's working at the Hyatt Regency out on Long Island around Syosset, NY. That was cool.

All in all, well worth the price and the back story we created so that people would stop asking about the word "consultant" on our badges. Don't know why that was there, but it helped start some good conversations.

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wwcitizen: (Default)
Stephen Lambeth

May 2017

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