Cape Cod: How I Ate my Body Weight in Seafood

My new life plan is to sell all of my possessions, move into a tiny cottage on Cape Cod, and live out the remainder of my days eating lobster rolls and salt water taffy.

Cape-Cod-Channel
Ben and I spent five days on Cape Cod, and if you follow me on Instagram, I mercilessly inundated you with photo upon photo of fried seafood platters, steamed little neck clams, more fried seafood platters, and yes, lobster rolls. At one point, I actually had to stop posting because our seafood consumption escalated from “impressive” to “embarrassing.”
Cape-Cod-Daily-Lunch

A collection of Ben and my lunch fair, routinely followed by a double scoop of coffee Heath ice cream (for her) and a triple scoop of Oreo (for him).

Two seafood lovers trapped helplessly in the Midwest, Ben and I had originally planned to visit the Cape for a dear friend’s wedding, which turned into a fabulous excuse to spend six days lounging on beaches, perusing cute towns, and eating everything under the sea.

Cape-Cod-Trip-Montage

Lobsters and Pimm’s and Fudge, oh my!

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. If I were writing for Bride magazine, I’d tell you that the bride was dressed in an ultra classy A-line lace strapless dress, the flowers reflected the cool colors of the sea, and a light coastal theme permeated throughout the historical venue and decor. Since I’m writing for a food blog interspersed with awkward personal confessions, I’ll tell you instead that I ate seven-too-many fried lobster mac n’ cheese balls, and all guests displayed prowess whilst rocking out to Journey on the air guitar.

 

The-Beautiful-Bride A beautiful bride and even more beautiful friend.

In addition to the seafood frenzy and wedding celebration, Ben and I soaked in the Cape for all its beauty and quaintness. We relaxed along the National Seashore, strolled along picturesque Main Streets, and selected dream house after dream house. If this whole “law” thing doesn’t work out for Ben, I’m petitioning that we move to Cape Cod and open a bed and breakfast.

My-Future-BandB Adorable home for sale, just waiting to be turned into our future B&B.

One of the best days of our vacation was our day trip to fabled Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, the towns and scenery were gorgeous, but the absolute highlight was being escorted through Edgartown by the fabulous Marnely Rodriguez-Murray, the blogger behind Cooking with Books. Besides being an absolute sweetheart, Marnely is a true chef and her blog features both incredible recipes and cutting-edge product highlights. Check her out!

Cooking-with-Books-and-The-Law-Students-Wife Food Blogger Friends, united on the Vineyard

Marnely, who lives and works as a chef on Martha’s Vineyard, was kind enough to spend an afternoon taking us around her favorite places in Edgartown, culminating at the spectacular Harbor View Hotel. We received a personal tour of the hotel’s gardens, where the hotel chefs are personally growing the ingredients they serve.

Harbor-View-Gardens From top left: Pea blossom (Yes, it smells just like the Bath and Body Works lotion), Ornamental chilis, Zebra tomatoes; Broccoli (Did you know that’s what broccoli looks like in the ground?)

After our tour, we sat down for a truly memorable meal, both for the food and company.  In addition to the best fried squid I’ve ever had, EVER (P.S. I ate the ink. It’s freaky delicious.), we feasted on lobster knuckles, crazy amaze-y charcuterie, and three separate desserts of which I am personally responsible for demolishing 80%.

We concluded our trip at a secret gem on the Upper Cape, Green Briar Jam Kitchen. This roadside jam, honey, and pickle shop has been making small-batch fruit preserves the same way since 1903. The ladies at Green Briar Jam Kitchen pack so much fruit into their jams and jellies, they do not even use pectin. The only ingredients are fresh fruit and sugar.
Green-Briar-Jam

Above: Beach Plum Jelly, produced in small batches the old-school way. Below: A jam-a-licious flavor assortment.

If you happen to be selecting amongst the sun cooked fruit­s—fruit literally cooked until soft and sweet by the sun’s rays, then jarred; it tastes like nectar from heaven—you may then choose the addition of kirsch, brandy, or vodka, clearly the right move. Restrained by only by my husband’s rationality and the size of my suitcase, I escaped with four jars of the 40 plus I would have liked to bring home.

Too-Many-Jams-to-Choose I legitimately contemplated air mailing myself every jar visible in this photo.

Happily, Green Briar Jam Kitchen takes online orders, which is the best thing to happen to my toast and the worst thing to happen to my wallet this decade. My top picks, just in case you are a) interested or b) my mother looking to treat her first born are: Sun Cooked Cherries with Kirsch, Beach Plum Jelly, and Blueberry Peach Jam. The Apple Pie preserves are pretty jammin’ as well. (Forgive the pun. Or don’t. This jam rocks.)

To the Peter Rabbit Lovers: Curious if the name Green Briar bears any connection to Thornton Burgess, the series author? In fact, it does! Thornton grew up in the area surrounding Green Briar Jam Kitchen and his writing drew inspiration from the area. Embracing his connection, Green Briar keeps pet rabbits, one of which is named Peter.

I attempted to take Peter home too, but Ben pointed out that he might become skittish in airport security. Ben always has been the practical one in this relationship—though I maintain I totally could have fit 40 jars of jam in my suitcase, right beside my freezer case of lobster rolls.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

38 comments

  1. I loved reading about your vacation! I do miss the seafood from living on the coast. Good thing you ate enough to make up for a year’s worth of living in the midWest :)

    And Marnely! Hiiii!

  2. I love love LOVE Cape Cod! We used to go up to Massachusetts, either Cape Cod or Gloucester, to go deep sea fishing. Such a beautiful area, wouldn’t mind living there either! At least win the lottery and buy a vacation home there :P

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  3. Sooo jealous you got to meet Marnely!! I love the Cape, I go every year. Glad you got to experience it :)

  4. Awwww you got to meet Marnely! And do you need a roommate or a helper in your new B&B ? :)

  5. Um… you went to the cape… with out me?! Cape Cod is only my 2nd favorite place ever (second to Nantucket). And I thought we were friends….!

    JK. You trip looks rad. I need to get there!

  6. Sounds like an amazing trip! I’ve never been to the Cape–its on my list of places to visit! Now I think I’m bumping it up more… And how cool you got to meet Marnely!

  7. what a fun adventure. you look gorgeous and living in Texas, I feel the same way when I see seafood in the coast.

  8. So jealous! I’ve never been to cape cod but have been dying to go … it always looks gorgeous in photos! So glad you had a great time!

  9. Sounds like an amazing trip. Now I am dying to go!

  10. Moral of the story: I need a friend to get married in Cape Cod. STAT.

  11. Ok this is too funny – we are going to Boston for my college BFF’s bachelorette party and we plan to eat our WEIGHT in seafood!! Pretty much every meal will revolve around it for the same reason as you – there is no good seafood in the midwest!! Love this.

  12. Looks like you had a fabulous vacation which reminds me I need to take one of those as well before summer is over.

  13. this trip looks amazing! i have always wanted to go to cape cod. :)

  14. I’m a Rhode Island girl living in Chicago and I feel your pain. Nothing compares to East Coast seafood!

  15. Looks like you guys had an amazing trip! I loooooove the Cape! I wish I could take a “vacation” from work and spend the entire summer up there!

  16. You are such a brilliant writer Erin, love it! I felt like I was there, stuffing myself with lobster rolls, ice cream and deep fried mac n’cheese balls. Mmmm! I’m glad that you and Ben got to escape for a week. Sounds like the wedding was beautiful, and I love the look of all the foodie places you got to escape to! I am going to see if Green Briar ships to Australia (from the website, I doubt it *dob* but I gotta try!). Sounds like each and every preserve is amazing. Thanks for sharing your trip with us beautiful! xx

  17. I have never been to the Cape but I want to visit so bad. Are you looking for a roommate : )

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