Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back from the beach


The week on Fire Island with my family could not have been better. We were blessed with perfect weather and an adorable, cozy rental cottage just steps from the beach with outdoor shower and large deck to sit, read, and relax on.

My brain was in the off position, but two little discoveries managed to creep into my psyche that I would like to share. Fire island has limited resources when it comes to food options so it is necessary to preplan by carrying as much groceries on the ferry with you as possible or pay the exorbitant prices at the one tiny local grocery store. I had planned to do a pizza night with the kids and when the evening rolled around no one wanted to deal with a hot oven so we moved the pizza party to the grill. I had everyone take a hunk of dough (store bought this time, I'm on vacation after all) and stretch it out to their desired size and shape. We then grilled the dough on one side, flipped it over and quickly topped it with sauce, cheese, etc.

We then shut the lid of the grill to create an oven-y environment till the cheese melted. The evening was a huge success. Everyone was thrilled with their individual creations and the pizzas had a wonderful smoky flavor to them. I highly recommend this technique when entertaining a young crowd. It was so much more fun than hamburgers.

The second epiphany was a more leisurely discovery. While sitting on my uptown sister's deck (she and her husband own their own fabulous beach cottage on the island, lucky dogs) enjoying the end of the day, I was offered a glass of wine. It was a simple, inexpensive Pinot Grigio, not terribly complex, but chilled and pleasant. As we sat and sipped I kept eyeing my sister's basil plant and felt a curious compulsion to drop a few torn off leaves into my wine glass. My sister was aghast at the strangeness of the idea, but we took a sip and WOW! Really nice! A lovely basil perfume filled the glass and gave a charmed complexity to what was a fairly simple wine.
What can I say? Try it!
The tiny leaves of this basil plant are perfect to drop whole into a glass of white wine.

Armed with my new found discoveries I am rested and restored and ready to handle the rest of the summer with my basil infused cheap white wine and our next grilled pizza night with the kids on the calender.

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