Every year Nantucket Bay Scallop season starts in October and it’s like Christmas come early. I was first introduced to these delicious little mollusks (about 1/3 the size of sea scallops) back in 2004 when I was living on Nantucket. For $25, residents of the island can pick up a permit, throw on some waders and grab as many scallops as their floating baskets can carry (babies must be thrown back). It’s hard work but fun and very rewarding! It also can be economical- in stores they can go for well over $20 per lb.

bay_scallop

Now I’m in Boston and not getting as many scalloping opportunities as I’d like but I’m lucky enough to live right near Mercado del Mare, a local fish store that gets bays in stock. When I found out they were in last week I rushed down and bought a pound, half to eat and half to freeze (they do freeze extremely well). I went home and made this recipe which I found on Mercado’s website:

Scallops in a Snap

My favorite scallop recipes are like this one- only a few fresh, quality ingredients since their so sweet and flavorful on their own you don’t need anything overshadowing them. Just sauteed in butter, they are perfect. Some people even choose to eat them raw! I’m also a fan of wrapping one in bacon, sticking a toothpick in it and popping it in the toaster for a few minutes. Ahhh…heaven on a plate.

As much as I have really not enjoyed living in a construction zone for the past few months, it is really bothering me now that I’m reading all of these crafty blogs with their Halloween treat project ideas! I really hit the jackpot today when I discovered One Pretty Thing. They are a super cool craft round-up of project ideas from all different sites but the ones I’m liking the most right now are the “Halloween Food and Drink Roundups.

photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

photo courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

photo by Wendell Webber courtsey of Woman's Day

photo by Wendell Webber courtsey of Woman's Day

Some of these things look so delicious (or gross but that is the point) and it’s killing me that I do not have a kitchen in which to make them. Fortunately, one recipe featured is a “no bake” and I’m definitely going to try it out this week:

photo by Ralph Anderson courtesy of myrecipes and Southern Living

photo by Ralph Anderson courtesy of myrecipes and Southern Living

Condo renovations…ug. That has been my sad living situation for the past few months. We are doing a total gut job on our place and while I was told we’d be painting by August, we are now into September and still do not have walls (sigh).  One thing this means is that I have been living without a kitchen for quite some time. One question many people have is “how do you eat?” so I decided to do a post with some tips in case anyone else out there finds themselves in a similar circumstance:

1. Take out. Get to know your local takeout places very well! Yelp, Menu Pages and Dining In are here to help. Some places even have weekly specials, like our local Hot Tomatoes who does a different pasta dish every day or Artu with their assorted vegetable platter that changes daily. This helps maintain at least some variety.

2. We are lucky enough to live in New England and have access to Stop & Shop’s Peapod.  I recently stocked up on all kinds of good and somewhat healthy frozen dinners and snacks. We still have access to some of our appliances including our friedge, microwave and convection oven, thank goodness!

3. Sign up for local delis, butchers, etc. email lists. I am on several email lists of local shops who send me specials they are running including pre-cooked dinner options. Our local fish market, Mercado del Mare, sends one out three times a week which is how I found out about their new tuna burgers. Popped it in the convection oven, set to broil, done in less than 10 min. Nice!

(photo courtesy of the Mercado del Mare website)

(photo courtesy of the Mercado del Mare website)

It’s definitely been a challenge even though we’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with lots of dinner options. I can’t said we’ve eaten healthy every night (we did do Chinese this week) but we’re trying. And hopefully we will be cooking once again by… Christmas? New Years? Memorial Day?…

This is a little “Part 2” of my last post- while up on the roof for the bbq, I noticed my neighbor Court had a pretty impressive little tomato garden going.

He had about 5 large tomato plants plus chives, basil, parsley, etc.

tomato

Last week the rain kindly took a break long enough for our neighbors and Seth and I to have a perfect summer BBQ. We live in a building with 3 condo units and our neighbor, Court, happens to live on the top floor with roof access. On the roof he has a grill, table and chairs which is all you need in the summer, right?

Seth, Court and Franny on the roof

Seth, Court and Franny on the roof

For food we kept it simple- fresh veggies cut up, tossed in olive oil/salt/pepper and skewered with marinated garlicky beef, lemon chicken and shrimp. Salad fixings from the farmers market at City Hall Plaza, corn on the cob and some wine/Dark ‘n Stormies. For such an easy, simple meal it was really quite heavenly.

Cookout

I just got an email asking to help spread the word about a new farmers market in Jamaica Plain. It’s right by the Stonybrook T stop and it sounds wonderful. Details from their website below!

Jamaica Plain’s newest Farmer’s Market is more than a place to buy local foods and produce.

This Sunday, July 12, from 10am to 2pm, and through Sunday, October 18, we’ll have local experts on hand to show you how to enjoy the summer’s bounty.

Community Servings will host the following farmers, food vendors and craftspeople:

  • Silverbrook Farm, Dartmouth, MA:  Family owned since 1953, Silverbrook Farm will sell organic fruits, vegetables and flowering plants.
  • Big Sky Breads, Newton, MA:  The bakery of choice for the area’s premier caterers and cafe owners, Big Sky primarily uses local organic ingredients for the breads and other goodies that will be available.
  • The Greenest Bean, Bedford, MA: Proprietor Tricia Cowell, who operates her business out of her garage, will sell her small batches of organic, free trade coffee beans — which fans herald as ”fab fuel.”

  • Helen Najarian, Cambridge, MA:  Helen Najarian will sell her handcrafted, fun and affordable jewelry and pottery.
  • Eat Local Honey, Jamaica Plain, MA:  Mike Graney will sell honey made by honey bees he keeps in sites around Boston.
On opening day, July 12, Peter Boune of Earthworks Boston will lead tours of free and organic fruit and nut trees, ripe for the picking, that are available throughout JP and the rest of the city.
On July 19, Community Day, we’ll launch the market with musicians, stilt walkers, face-painters, jugglers, cooking demonstrations and more. As the weeks progress, there will be more cooking demonstration by chefs from JP Seafood, Centre Street Cafe, The Alchemist, James’ Gate, JP Seafood and Bella Luna; an ”edible wild edible” tour of Jamaica Plain; and additional food vendors and farmers.

For more information about the Farmer’s Market, please contact Edith Murnane, Community Servings’ Social Enterprise Manager, at (617) 522-7777 x207 or emurnane@servings.org.

Eat More VegLast week I had the good fortune to spend 4+ days in the woods of New Hampshire at the Squam Art Workshops.  Amazing people, scenery, classes, food, etc, it was a lovely, inspiring experience. One of the other perks was I got to interact with other great, (some) local artists including Laura Coyle of Laura Coyle Designs. Her beautiful vegetable series is so attractive and tasty-looking I had to share it here. So if our pro-veggie rants don’t convince you to eat healthier, maybe her watercolor prints will!

RadishBroccoliChinese Cabbage

For more info on Laurie and her work, check out her Etsy shop and blog. Her blog features her artwork as well as day-to-day life on her farm in the Berkshires!