Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In honor of "Shark Week."

Today I learned there are some big fish swimming off the coast of Chatham.

“The great fish moved silently through the night water, propelled by short sweeps of its crescent tail.”

I was twelve years old when I read that.

"The mouth was open just enough to permit a rush of water over the gills."

I was at Nauset beach, lying on my belly, facing the water. I had on my baggy swim team bathing suit, the straps tied together at the back with a shoelace.

"…The land seemed almost dark as the water, for there was no moon."

My sister had gone off to collect shells at the water’s edge.

"...All that separated sea from shore was a long straight stretch of beach—so white that it shone."

Normally, I would have gone with her. But I was enthralled.

"...The woman laughed and took his hand, and together they ran to the beach."

I stopped reading to look up to the intense blue vastness, and the line that cut across the sky.

"A hundred yards offshore, the fish sensed a change in the sea’s rhythm."

Is that a fin?! No, no, just a duck resting on the surface.

"...The fish turned toward shore."

I’m almost positive it’s a duck.

"...The vibrations were stronger now, and the fish recognized prey."

Where is my sister? Did she go in?

"...The woman felt only a wave of pressure that seemed to lift her up in the water and ease her down again."

The beginning of Jaws continues to haunt me in ways that few books have, the words having somehow lodged in my impressionable gut, forever safe from my reasoning brain.

In the mid- 1970s, there were no great whites off the coast of Cape Cod. All that happened after the break in the Outer Beach, and once the seals established themselves. Now, when the waters warm, annual sightings are a common occurrence. Though no one has ever been hurt. Keep in mind, there has been no fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936. But it doesn’t matter, does it? You read the book too. You know what I mean. The damage is done. Razor sharp triangular teeth imbedded in our psyches.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eau de Lobster

This weekend I joined some friends on the outer beach for a clambake. Aside from the much-needed rain that pelted us for about an hour, and how, when it finally stopped, the gnats attacked, in my opinion it’s still the best restaurant in town.

Of course, after such a primitive feast, you come home sticky and sand-coated, with very big hair, cheeks plastered with corn kernels and lobster goo. It isn't pretty. With nothing but seawater to use to wash up, I’m guessing I didn’t smell so great either.

Then again, maybe I did. Enter Demeter’s Lobster Cologne, “not for the faint of heart. Probably our most obtuse fragrance but it is ‘dead on’ so to speak….a combination of the sea, sweet meat, and a hint of drawn butter.”

Dab a little behind the ears and you’re good to go. I’m not sure where but come the dead of February, when I start longing to be out on the beach on a balmy, moonlit night with a plate of red claws on my lap, I just might need to give this a shot.

(Other notable scents: Cocktail Party To Go, Crayon, Glue, Suntan Lotion, Between The Sheets and Daddy’s Little Helper…can’t even begin to go there on the last one.)

Thanks for the link, Linda!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Recipe for a happy July.

Anyone can publish a novel but how many people have friends kind and talented enough to create for you your very own cocktail? This summer, belly up to the bar at the Saltwater Grille in Orleans and order a “Summer Shift.” Or have your own party.

(Please rest assured this recipe has gone through rigorous testing.)

The "Summer Shift"
1 part premium vodka (Ketel One, Stoli, Grey Goose, etc.)
1 part cranberry juice
Splash of Cointreau or Triple Sec
Splash of sour mix
Generous splash of key lime juice
Fill to the rim with soda water
Garnish with fresh lime

What's more, starting this week, you'll be able to sample the dishes at the back of Summer Shift at the Saltwater Grille. Clambaked Oysters, Hopkins Haddock, Proud Mary's Portuguese Mussels, and more. (And if you order a salad, chances are my kid will make it.)

Have a safe, happy summer!