Kitchen Mischief is back from vacation! We didn’t post like we wanted to because we spent our time biking though the Florida Panhandle like the Von Trap family—only older and not wearing the drapes as clothing. Oh, and instead of escaping Germans, we were busy trying to keep our livers from escaping! But in addition to our Drinking Tour of 30-A, we did eat at some great restaurants and made some equally delicious food at the house. Here are few highlights of the trip and then we’ll show what delicious treats we prepared with what little we had with us.
Two “must try” restaurants:
Bud and Alley’s Pizza Bar Thin crust pizzas made with really quality ingredients and baked in their 850 degree oven. Simply amazing pizza. Eat on the back terrace for even better dining experience.
George’s at Alys Beach Wonderful dining experience with amazing food. Best appetizer – the crab and artichoke dip. It was perfectly blended and not an overwhelming mayonnaise taste. However, the homemade wild mushroom ravioli with brown butter came in a close second. The winning dish of the evening was ordered by our friend Lane. He had lamb chops with pomegranate molasses—to die for.
Seaside Farmer’s Market:
We were lucky enough to be at Seaside during the weekend Farmer’s Market. You know Josh loves him a farmer’s market, so on this particular trip we found some wonderful tomato and feta cheese focaccia and fresh organic eggs, which we used to make a mischievous brunch the next morning (more on than in a minute). The egg-lady tried to talk us into duck eggs due to the excellent vitamin content but I wasn’t buying it. Plus, Josh left me to listen to her diatribe on duck eggs and I was scared. (I got him back though—we left him to listen to the crazy lady at the beach that proceeded to yell at waves and tell of her past stories of running all the witches out of Seaside. I am not kidding.)
Josh: No, he’s not. Abandoning Matthew to the Duck Egg Fanatics was a minor crime compared to the ENTIRE gang forsaking me to the blackhole of conversation that was Crazy Lady Witch Hunter. It was harmless enough until she told me she was a prophet and that 40 years ago, she had helped “run the witches out of Seaside” who were apparently living in trailers covered with animal blood. Why is it that crazies always flock to me?
Okay, so we weren’t in a condo, but I do love kountrified alliteration. The kitchen in the house we rented was pretty well-stocked with what we needed…and what they didn’t have Josh brought. Seriously, he travels with his microplane zester. I am not kidding.
Josh: No, he’s not. I brought a mini spice kit (Thanks, Mom!), my trusty zester, a sharp knife, and a few other goodies. We brought two bags of lemons and limes…I wasn’t about to waste all that zest!
Mischief #1: Low Country Boil
So, Thursday night, after a long day of traveling and getting settled, we decided to make a low-country boil. It was excellent. The boil consisted of potatoes, onions, corn, sausage and shrimp boiled in a yummy crab-boil. Consistent with low-country standards, I lined the dining table with newspapers. And for Ray and his “so-called” fish allergy, we made him a nice New York strip steak on the grill.
Josh: Okay, we didn’t just decide to make a low-country boil. Mr. Warren, who was above teasing me for bringing a 6-oz zester to the beach, brought his own outdoor propane BURNER. That, my friends, is kitchen obsession. Not that I’m complaining. No sir. Just making a point. Plus, I was scared to death of that culinary jet engine on the patio. I thought to myself, “So this is how I’m going to die.” Seriously though, it was delicious, and Ray only went into a mild shock from the fumes. What a baby.
Mischief #2: A Bloody Brunch
Josh: OK, so no one actually bled at brunch, but we did have bloody marys. And Matthew makes a very tasty mary. We decided to use leftovers and Farmer’s Market finds to cobble together a respectable menu. And I must say we did rather well! Matthew made a delicious “hash” with the leftover potatoes and sausage from the shrimp boil, and I tackled a foccacia bread pudding, since my last post was about savory bread puddings. It turned out alright…we cut the focaccia into cubes and toasted it, so it held some crunch. The funniest thing that came out of brunch was Matthew trying to cook on the most warped skillet on earth. Check out the butter lagoon below…
Josh: Matthew is experienced and brave. He piled those ingredients in and made the commitment to cook his hash low and slow in order to get a good crust on the potatoes. I could never do this. The compulsion to stir is just too powerful. But his patience turned out…the dish was Hash-Tastic.
Matthew: Seriously, I think that pan was used in some kind of kondo killing. That teflon island was the perfect shape of someone’s head!
Josh: Meanwhile, I sliced focaccia and several times barely avoided slicing my hand.
Matthew: Both Josh’s and my hands shake like we have had a pot of coffee and taken some diet pills, so when he starts carving at a loaf of bread, I go look for band-aids.
Josh: (think Saved by the Bell) “I’m SO excited! I’m SO excited! I’m so…SCARED!”
Josh: We’d show you the rest of the pictures, but they’re really not that exciting. For some really fun pics of the whole vacation, check out my Facebook page. Talk about some serious mishief! Wowsa. But before we go, one last parting shot:
We had a blast at the beach, with many thanks to David for making it happen, Matthew for cooking his ass off, me for being born, of course, Ray for the photos, and Lane and Vicky for making us laugh. Have a great week and watch for some actual recipes later this week!
P.S. Please, don’t let me forget to tell you about this wonderful Rose’ we had. 😉