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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Scrambled Egg Pies and Mama Stamberg's Relish

We've certainly eaten well over the last couple of weeks.  But, most of it hasn't been due to my cooking.  You see, we went east for Thanksgiving then south for a seminar and a bunch of client meetings.  We've been gone for the better part of two weeks.  I must say it feels fabulous to be sitting in my own chair at my own house.  But, no, I still didn't cook dinner tonight... 

Late on the Sunday before Thanksgiving we took off for Columbus to spend a day with our grandkids.  We woke up to storm warnings.  The ice storm was predicted to hit our route through Pennsylvania.  Instead of staying the day on Monday, we packed up and took off.  We arrived on Cape Cod at 1:30 am, opened a bottle of wine, unpacked the car, got the groceries into the fridge, changed the bed and collapsed.  Now, Tuesday was a bonus day. 

Off we went to the Keltic Kitchen.  A real Irish breakfast.  Irish brown bread.  Irish sausage.  Perfect.  Lunch was Captain Parkers.  Clam chowder you can stand a spoon up in.  That afternoon we drove up to Wellfleet to visit son #3's liquor store.  Missed Mark Bittman by five minutes.  DRAT!  But, because they were closing down for the season there were bargains galore.  A case of wine went into the car.  We made a few stops on the way up to the store.  An old cemetery, the Cape Cod lighthouse, an old house that'd been owned by a sea captain.  Our normal, OH, that looks interesting, let's turn in and see what it is! 


That evening son #2, Greg, and his girlfriend, Mary, came over for dinner.  Artichoke dip, swiss cheese dip, burgers and Cobb salad.  Now, this isn't any old Cobb salad. It's Cheryl Crow's Southern Cobb Salad.  With Dean Fearings Tobacco Onions.  I think Connie could live on those Tobacco Onions.  The first time I made them he talked about them for a week. They'll spoil you for any other onion rings.  They're that good.  Now, if I could only find the photos from way back when I first made them, I'd share them.  But, alas, I'm a few months behind on labeling and storing photos. 

Wednesday was the big dinner with all the kids.  We'd brought their Christmas presents so we could watch them open them.  Matt loved his carafe and Greg his beer glasses and accoutrements. 


Dinner was pretty much a repeat of the night before with two exceptions.  One, we had lobster instead of burgers.  We've found a wonderful lobsterman named Salty Lou.  He's got an aquarium on his front porch.  You go in and choose your lobster - usually one he's caught that day.  Talk about fresh.  We also had some roasted vegetables.  Turns out that Matt's girlfriend, Monica, is a vegan.  Thank goodness for one of my favorite vegetable recipes - Roasted Cauliflower.  I actually did broccoli the same way also and we enjoyed it equally.  Then, I did another pan of carrots, beets and radishes.  And, another of sweet potatoes.

Thanksgiving and it was time to head to Boston to see Connie's brother, aunt and cousins.  I really love being around Connie's family!  On the way north we stopped to see his sister, Barbara.  She was getting over a bout of pneumonia so didn't come to the dinner.  My contribution was a persimmon pudding made from our own pulp and a big bowl of Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish.  Look at the photo with the recipe below to see the relish...  Connie's been asking me to make this relish for several years.  I wish I had listened sooner.  It was SO good. 

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish


2 cups whole raw cranberries, washed
1 small onion
3/4 c sour cream
2 T horseradish
1/2 c sugar


Grind the cranberries and onion.  You want it pretty chunky, not pureed.  Add the other ingredients and combine.  Now, her recipe calls for freezing the relish then thawing and serving.  I just kept it refrigerated for four days.

adapted from NPR

Friday was  our last day on Cape.  We pretty much just hung out with the kids and got as ready to leave as we could.  We started out with brunch.  I'd used up the ingredients I needed to make the planned quiches so punted and created some scrambled egg pies.  Everyone seemed to love them so I'll make them again.  Went out that evening with the whole crew and had some killer burgers.  Our favorite was the hash burger.  A patty of corned beef hash and a sunny side up egg topped the burger.  Now, that's a combo I'm going to make!

Scrambled Egg Pies


Two pie crusts
10-12 eggs, scrambled softly
one bunch asparagus, trimmed, roughly chopped and blanched
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil
1 c shredded cheese (Swiss, gruyere and cheddar would all work)
lime hollandaise (replace the lemon juice with lime in this recipe)


Cut the pie crusts into circles that'll fit standard muffin tins.  We found a little prep bowl worked perfectly.  Mix the eggs, asparagus, mushrooms and about half of the cheese.  Put the mixture into the crusts.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 25 minutes or until the crusts are lightly browned.  Serve topped with the lime hollandaise

Saturday morning we got up at 5:00, changed the bed back to Barb's sheets (we take our own so we don't stick her with washing them and so we can leave early in the morning and don't have to wash, dry and change that morning...,) packed the cooler then the car and were on the road by 6 am.  The moon over the house next door was beautiful. 

Westward HO!  We got to Columbus, played with our grandkids, talked to our kids and crashedOne very interesting thing on the way was this rainbow cloud:


Home for two days with just enough time to attend a Colts luncheon with my friend Susan.  Yes, that is the Lombardi trophy! 

Then, back on the road...  This time it was south to Orlando.  I was going to a seminar and thought it'd be a great excuse to see some clients and take a day or two off.  Our first stop was my older brother John's house.  He and Linda live just north of Orlando in Maitland in a wonderfully comfortable home.  They are equally wonderful to be with.  Not that I'm at all biased but I really won in the sister-in-law game.  All of mine are just super. 

Thursday was the trip to St Augustine.  What an amazing place.  I could post about 100 photos and bore you to death but I won't.  We spent most of our time at the fort then drove around the old city for a bit and headed back to Orlando. 

We got back in time to head to Sam Snead's Pub for dinner.  John's a regular so instead of saying you've got to wait, they figured out how to set a table up in the hall! 

Friday was my day for education.  20 pages of notes later I staggered out of the seminar and found Connie, John and Linda waiting for me outside the hotel.  They'd spent the day at Cape Kennedy and had a magnificent time.  Back to the house where Linda made a fabulous pasta dish.  She chopped mushrooms, garlic and scallions then sautéed them.  Then, she added Rotel tomatoes and cream and tossed the sauce with beef ravioli.  The next morning Connie and I came up with about 20 ways to use that sauce. Yummy!!!

Saturday morning found us traveling to Leesburg to see a client.  From there we headed to St. Pete to see our friends Mike and Karen.  They moved into a new home about a year ago and have been doing all kinds of work to it.  Mike's a timekeeper for the NHL in addition to being a colleague of mine.  So, Karen took us to dinner at the restaurant in the arena while Mike did his official thing.  She'd been regaling us with tales of the hockey greats she'd met when suddenly she said, "There's Phil."  Connie spun around and saw Phil Esposito across the room.  Like a flash he was over there to say hello.  Mr. Esposito was one of his kidhood heros.  Connie had on his official Boston Bruins jersey so he knew he was dealing with a true fan!

Sunday Mike had to catch a 6:30am flight to Akron to do an audit.  After a leisurely breakfast with Karen, Connie and I were off to Tampa so I could meet with some clients.  Once Jeff and Suzanne and I got done, we headed to St. Pete beach.  Connie'd gone online and found a room in a resort on the beach for next to nothing.  I was afraid it'd be a sleep in your clothes kind of place and was thrilled to find it was a charming efficiency apartment.  In fact, it was so nice that we're planning on going back next winter! 

We checked in, dumped our bags, and headed across the street to The Drunken Clam.  Where we got to know some other Colts fans, spent time with the manager Chris and the owner, Jim and had just a fabulous time.  We even bought t-shirts to commemorate our visit. 

Once the Colts had totally embarrassed themselves, we headed to the room and opened a bottle of wine and headed to the beach to watch the sunset.  Everyone was so friendly.  One guy was building a sand head.  Another couple was hunting for shells.  The water was warm and the sand was perfect.  We went back later and enjoyed a moonlight stroll.  Nota bene in the 2nd to last photo - there's a ripple in the water where the bird just dove in and grabbed a bird snack!

Monday it was time for one more client visit then the long trek home.  We were fortunate to be connecting in Charlotte and not Philly.  Had it been the latter, we'd have been more than the 15 minutes late.  Our bags, however, weren't so lucky.  They finally made it home a day later. 

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