Sunday, May 1, 2016
Celebrating Maryland Day
Every year on April 28 we celebrate the anniversary of Maryland's statehood. Since it fell on a Thursday this year we picked a seafood recipe as Thursday night is James' rowing night, when we typically stop at Kyler's Catch for some fish for Pam to prepare while James is out to sea. Usually we have something easy to prepare, but since this was a special occasion I (Pam) decided to up my game, and tried my hand at shucking oysters for the first time. I used this helpful online guide to assist me in this endeavor. The oysters were used to make Chesapeake Oyster Stew from the Dishing Up Maryland cookbook. The recipe also called for bacon, celery, onion, half-and-half, flour, salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and butter. Since this was being prepared at "Whaling House" (our beach home), which is not as well appointed as Cloverfield (our primary residence) I was prepared to make substitutions and do without a few things, but imagine my horror when I realized there was no Old Bay in the house! And to think I call myself a Marylander. Ah, well, there was nothing to do but to proceed without it. There was no place within walking distance to get the necessary ingredient, and we are still a one-car family after all. I also skipped the celery. The stew turned out to be quite good - savory, creamy, and rich - even though, in addition to not having the proper seasonings, I made a few mistakes along the way in the preparation. But, really, after almost five and a half years of blogging about cooking, if I can't fix a recipe blunder at this point it would all be for naught. We also enjoyed Corn and Basil Muffins, a favorite recipe from the same cookbook (you can read more about these from my 2013 Maryland Day post). However, this year I found myself without the needed milk or eggs. I used water with a bit of melted butter in place of the milk, and a mix of Balsamic vinegar and baking soda in place of the egg (an idea I found on a vegan website). The muffins were still good, but a bit more crumbly.