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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.