Clams with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon + Angel Hair

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Though our Midwestern constitutions don’t always feel at home in the South, we fully appreciate just how lucky we are to live on the Atlantic shore where seafood is not only abundant but caught-that-morning fresh. Today’s bowl of goodness features briny sweet NC littlenecks, but takes its inspiration from memories of travelling to two other coastal areas.

First are Roaring Water Bay mussels that we steamed in a heady Sligo County brew with bacon and cabbage. A feast taken watching the moon rise over the inky black waters of Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland. The other, cherrystone clams cooked with garlic, chillies, lemon and a splash of a local white wine. In the postcard village of Lubec, ME, perched at the northeastern tip of the US, it was a meal prepared in the shared kitchen of our inn and enjoyed in our room overlooking the Quoddy Narrows and Canada in the distance.

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WEEKEND POST 138

From the Author

There’s something to this sit spot concept. Basically, find a piece of nature nearby that you can regularly return to — preferably close to dawn or dusk when it’ll be just you — and then: sit. Be still, but use your senses to take in and better understand the surroundings and wildlife without being a disturbing presence. I like to think of it as a quiet adventure. An almost meditative ritual that always puts me in a laid back mood.

In our backyard, the formally dressed eastern kingbirds flutter around me at sunset, chattering and chasing off a mourning dove pair, a blue jay, the fig-hungry mockingbirds who dare perch in their sit spots in the pear and sumac. Further afield, our osprey couple continues the confusing fortification of two separate nests. On a particularly calm evening this week 30 minutes slipped by watching the male deftly swoop into the neighbor’s tree, break off dead branches, some nearing three feet, and work each into the nests. I could actually hear his wing beats and the snapping of wood. Instant calm.

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Colombian Chicken Stew with Potato and Corn on the Cob (Ajiaco Bogotáno)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Knee-high by the Fourth of July,” or so the old corn farming adage goes.

Growing up in the upper Midwest, where there are only a handful of months in which farmers could plant, cultivate and harvest, you quickly learn — and learn to anticipate — when each of these precious few crops is ready and at its peak. Here in the south, the lines blur as the growing season is twice that of my former home, if not more.

Still, no matter how quickly the stalks rise skyward, the first ears of ripe sweet corn in our kitchen will always signal it’s truly the height of summer. And this year, our corn is homegrown! A deliciously successful garden experiment.

Being that the heat and humidity practically shout that it is high season, you may be thinking, stew?! I love a good chilled gazpacho (this refreshed us twice earlier in the month), but for me, warm and cozy bowls of stews and soups are equally as satisfying any time of the year. Besides, there’s science behind heating to cool.

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WEEKEND POST 137

From the Author

Nothing like that temperature and humidity drop after the heavens open and hammer down upon us. No more going outside first thing in the morning and taking a deep breath of water. No more red-face and sweat stains from a sixty-pace stroll to fetch the mail. 

And, lamentably, after the especially punishing torrent last Sunday, no more osprey nest.

My heart broke when I checked in the next morning to find their new nest dangling, in shreds, from a branch several feet lower. Having returned yesterday evening from a week away for work, the ospreys are still flying around and the wrecked nest still hangs on, but it’s tough to tell whether they’ll try to repair it. Or even where they’re staying at the moment. The old nest? An Aeriebnb nearby? Back to the binoculars for me…

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Blistered Tomatillo Jalapeño Salsa Verde

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

A salsa is only as good as its components, and our favorite green salsa is as good — and simple — as it gets.

Broiler (or grill) blistered tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic are blended with fresh cilantro. Then, minced raw onion gets stirred in just before serving to add texture. The result is bold, vibrant and almost fruity; not too spicy; perfect consistency to dunk into or spoon over.

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