Friday night we watched the sunset. After, the stars came out. I wish I could post a photograph of the starry, starry night with half moon rising. It was something special to see.
Saturday night we watched a pink, purple and blue sunset:
And on Sunday, we woke to cloudy skys and rain. The wood stove is going and we are sitting here listening to the rain on the roof.
Two Cups Flour . . .
Basic Pie Crust:
Two cups flour one teaspoon salt, mixed together, add 2/3 cup cold butter cut into small pieces. Work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix with a fork to get the dough together.
Roll into a large ball (bottom crust) and smaller ball (top crust), wrap up and refrigerate.
Roll dough on a floured board and place bottom crust into pie plate.
Fill crust with blueberries tossed in one cup of sugar and dotted with butter.
Roll out top crust, top pie, cut off excess pastry and crimp edges. Use a fork to “poink” holes into top crust. Brush crust with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in hot 450 degree oven 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 425 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
We first met Joyce back in 1999. She helped us find and buy Grandview Cottage. Shelburne is such a special community that once we met Joyce, we knew we had a friend for life. Joyce has advised us of all manner of things “Shelburne” over the years. For the past five years she has been away in Ontario. Recently, Joyce returned for the summer before her next adventure: Ecuador starting October, 2015.
We met at The Bean Dock at 1 pm for lunch. Then, we took off up the Ohio Road in search of a special High Bush Blueberry Farm. To find the place you have to know the “clues”, as there is no sign or number to identify the turn off. Joyce pointed out a house just before the turn so that I would remember should I wish to return another day. It’s a nice drive through the woods to a dead end and a little left turn. And then, we saw the clearing and row upon row of High Bush Blueberries. We were very lucky, the owner, Rick was there to give us a private tour.
Rick gave us a crash course in Blueberries 1O1. The bushes bear fruit all summer long and into the fall. He recommended we taste the fruit before picking to be certain we liked it. Can you imagine doing that at the grocery store?? He walked us all over the farm showing us the different varieties, Joyce was keen to try the Blueberry Pie Blueberries. He showed us the ripe berries and the rows of berries that were not ready to pick even though they were blue. He made a special point of showing us a very large Hornet nest in one of the bushes. Joyce inquired about bears and Rick told her we were making way to much noise to worry about bears. He did say a six point Buck had visited the night before . . .
Big Blues are super easy to pick and to clean. There is no bending and squatting in the bushes, just put your bowl under a branch and drop the big beautiful berries into the container. Another bonus is I didn’t spend hours sorting and removing leaves and bugs from the berries to clean them. Just pull a few stems, remove a leaf, drop a spider out the front door (or get “someone” else to do it) and they are ready to go! The Wild Berries are a lot more labor intensive with leaves, twigs, inch worms, bugs, spiders, etc.
We quickly filled our baskets and paid Rick. When Rick is not at the farm people pick on the honor system. He said he could not count the times someone came up to him and pressed money into his hand explaining that they “owed” him for blueberries!
There is a saying here and also on Nantucket Island: FOG HAPPENS. And that about sums up today. We took advantage of the Fog to drive to Lockeport, located on the other side of Jordan Bay. We had lunch in a local restaurant, The White Gull. I say restaurant, but it’s more like an institution. While Gull is located on the harbor and directly next to the warehouse that accepts and processes the local catch. It’s the first place we visited back in 1999 when we came to find our cottage. I’ll just post a few pics and you will understand.
After lunch we walked around town and to my favorite place, The Town Market.
When we stopped at the local hardware store this friendly fellow came right over to say hello:
At Crescent Beach I met a lady with a large pot. She walked down to the surf and filled her pot with sea water. She was making clams and planned to use the water to steam them.
Boats on The Water and in the Yard
I woke this morning in time to catch the sunrise. It has been a beautiful day, sunny, cool and breezy. The normally quiet Jordan Bay was busy as six moss boats flew by toward Enslow’s Point. Later, we watched the six boats, in pairs of two and fully loaded with moss, slowly headed into the wind and waves toward Shelburne Harbor.
In spite of the fact that seeing a boat on Jordan Bay is “news” around here, there is a very active boating community in town at the Shelburne Yacht Club. We walked by Friday night and watched the Sailing Club children breaking down and cleaning up their dingy’s for the day. Here is a photo of the Yacht Club boats at dock.
When we were in town the night of the Blue Moon, I noticed this lovely old canoe in front of an equally lovely garage:
We spent most of the cool and breezy day out in the garden. Chewie and Cooper spied a Vole or it could have been a Mole. Because Lizards are their usual prey, they simply followed the little guy around the yard and let him slip down a hole. By the time we all headed back inside the cottage a gentle fog was rolling in from the Atlantic toward Enslow’s Point.
Catching Up in Canada . . .
We arrived last Friday after departing Hobe Sound Tuesday afternoon. Although Grandview Cottage is our relaxing, “get away”, so far this visit, we have been rather busy!
First things first, we have BLUEBERRIES. A very large number of low, wild blueberry bushes along the cliff are bursting with tons of berries. My first few days were occupied picking several large bowls full of blueberries. Then, I spent a couple of days cleaning them. Making jam is quick and easy compared to getting the fruit picked and prepared. After making two batches of jam, I still have a large container of fresh, clean wild blueberries in the fridge. I think they are waiting to become pie, or maybe muffins, or possibly a rustic Blueberry Galette, or Peter’s favorite, Blueberry Cheesecake? I’ll update you on what I make at another time. I can tell you that we did enjoy a few blueberry pancakes last week. Unfortunately we ate the pancakes with Nova Scotia maple syrup before I could take a photo to share. Trust me, they were delicious!
In addition to picking Blueberries, we have been kayaking on Jordan Bay. The first morning out the tide was low exposing the sand beach. Perfect for launching into the wind. On occasion we see seals or small black dolphins out on the Bay. Last week we enjoyed a variety of shore birds and the view into the cool, clear water of the mossy rocks and an occasional jelly fish.
Friday night the Blue Moon rose over Jordan Bay. Peter and I returned from dinner in town just in time for the Big Blue Moon Show!
A Blue Moon is a full moon rise that happens twice in one month. The last full moon rise was July 1 and then on Friday, July 31, it became a “Blue Moon”. It was beautiful to experience, but the bright light streamed through the cottage windows. Even our window blinds could not keep the moon light out. Saturday morning after visiting the Farmers Market, I swung by the Hardware store and picked up the last drop cloth available. Back at the cottage, I made lined curtains for the bedroom with the drop cloth and some old sheets that we had in the closet. The drop cloth they sell here is the color of oatmeal, and 100 percent cotton. I am happy to report that they do block out the beautiful, but bright moon light.
Yes, it was a very busy week. But now, I feel all caught up and will keep you posted on my next big or small adventure.
Summer Love, Part 3: The Proposal
1977 – 1979
About one year after we met, Peter decided to move to Boston, MA to study for a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at Boston University with Rosellen Brown, a well known author. We were dating and very much in love. It was not a surprise when he suggested I transfer to a University in Boston and move there with him. So I applied to several schools and was accepted to all but matriculated at UMass Boston, because I was given a scholarship. Peter’s mom helped us move by driving us to Boson with our stuff loaded in her station wagon.
We found a first floor apartment in the middle of the Boston College student ghetto, on Sutherland Road not far from Cleveland circle, but in reality, closer to BC. We commuted to classes and enjoyed Boston and the intellectual climate of both universities. Together we survived the big blizzard of 1978. Peter was making progress on his novel and continued to write poetry. Unfortunately, his money was running out so he took a job as a chemist with a local company. It was not long before he decided that to be respected in his field he needed to further his education or do “something else”. He applied to several Doctoral programs as well as the Air Force and the Navy. He took the aptitude test to become a pilot. Keep in mind that he had never flown a plane nor had he ever studied aeronautics. The results of the test offered him a place in the Air Force as a navigator. He decided that if he was not flying the plane, then he was not going to navigate one, either. Then he received a letter from The Department of The Navy for an interview with Admiral Rickover to discuss Nuclear Submarines. That was exciting, maybe too exciting and he declined the invitation. UMass Amherst accepted him into their Chemistry PHD program and several other universities did, too. To our great disappointment, he was rejected by MIT. Peter corresponded back to the Department Chair, Dr. Glenn Berchtold and questioned how he could reject a Duke Graduate at the very top of his class in Chemistry? They next thing we knew, MIT came calling and Peter joined Dr. Berchtold’s department as a candidate for a Doctorate degree in Organic Chemistry at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
All this came about suddenly and shortly after receiving the acceptance letter we headed into the city for a day of shopping and fun. As we walked through the Boston Garden, Peter talked about MIT and moving to Cambridge, MA and would I move with him? Well, hum, I had to think about that. I was not getting any younger, I would be 22 that summer, and as a PHD candidate he would be occupied day and night. I was finishing up at UMass and guys were always asking me out . . . Did I just want to tag along with him to MIT, as the girlfriend, hum, probably not. . .
By this time we were up past the Red Line subway entrance and the Hari Krishnas, heading down a side street toward Filene’s Bargain Basement. Peter steered us across the street and directly into Stowels Jewelry store. “What if I buy you a diamond ring and we get married this summer before I start the program”? he asked. Not unlike being asked out to the ballet, I did not hesitate, YES! The diamond was small, but very high quality. I remember having difficulty focusing on school work as all I wanted to do was look at my beautiful diamond ring and dream about our upcoming summer wedding.
Summer Love, Part 2: Swan Lake
As Saturday night approached my dilemma was what to wear to the ballet? My sister had recently bought a beautiful new dress that I thought was perfect for a big night out. Unfortunately, she turned me down when I asked to borrow it. I did get lucky as she departed our house before Peter was scheduled to arrive. I quickly snatched the dress and was ready when the doorbell rang. It was my date and to my surprise, he was tall and handsome! After saying hello and introducing himself to my mom, he escorted me to his car, an older FIAT that he borrowed from his brother. He opened the passenger door, helped me inside, and closed the door. A perfect gentlemen. I was impressed.
He carefully backed out of our driveway onto busy Branch Ave and headed to White Road. We had not yet crossed the railroad tracks when the car started making a very loud noise. Oh, there goes our big night out! Undeterred, Peter pulled the car over to the side of the road and excused himself. He got out to inspect the problem. The muffler was falling off the vehicle. This was not going to stop the Fiat from getting us to the City. He kicked the muffler off the car, popped the trunk and threw it inside. Wiping his hands, on a handkerchief, he slammed the trunk shut and off we roared to New York City and an exciting night on the town!
This was the beginning of our lives together. From that night on, we were more or less, inseparable. He wined and dined me regularly in New York or Philadelphia. As a recent college graduate he had a good job and before long a small apartment in Sea Bright. The front window overlooked the Atlantic and rear window the Shrewsbury River. We could see NYC in the distant skyline. One evening when we were cooking dinner in the little apartment, I looked at him and I knew that he was the one. On Tuesday, July 21, 2015, we celebrate 36 years of marriage, two great children, a son, Dan, and our daughter, Lisa, plus a life full of adventure.
The Jersey Shore, June, 1976
It was Friday night and everyone was home from college for the summer. My best friends and I decided to have a girls night out on the town. Departing Little Silver with Michelle, Jan and Debbie, we parked at a local bar in Rumson, NJ called Lock Stock & Barrell. We went in and within a few minutes determined none of our friends were there. We departed and moved on to the next bar as we headed East toward Sea Bright. We must have tried a couple more places before crossing the Sea Bright Bridge. We then stopped at different places on the beach as we continued South toward Long Branch. None of the bars held appeal. Either no one we knew was there, the music was not right or the place just felt boring. We were searching for fun and friends. Summer love did not cross our minds. Finally, we pulled up across the street from The Laugh In Saloon. It was a crazy place bustling with a large crowd. We all agreed that if nothing else, this place should be fun.
We entered the bar to the sound of a ringing bell over loud music. When the bell rang the bartender shouted a number and if that was your birthday, you received a free beer. Yes, this place was lively and fun. Before long a guy wearing a leather jacket approached me. He started talking about his motorcycle. Chains hung off his jacket and I quickly realized that he was drunk. Then another guy approached. He was wearing jeans and a polo shirt. His conversation started with a discussion about science and poetry. My friends approached and I gave them the universal girlfriend signal; get me out of here! This second guy must be drunk, too . . .
As we headed toward the door to leave, the motorcycle man dropped off or passed out. The scientist/poet followed us. He tapped me on the shoulder and asked my name. I replied, “Nancy”. No, he wanted my full name. I realized that there was no threat in giving him my last name as most people had trouble pronouncing it, let alone spelling it. Over my shoulder, I said “Nancy Aschettino” as I briskly walked away.
My friends and I left the bar and headed home for the night. The following week the phone rang, it was Peter, the scientist/poet from The Laugh In Saloon. I was astonished he had found me! He asked if I would go out with him the following Saturday night. As I hesitated to come up with an excuse to say no, he went on to explain that he had two tickets to see The New York City Ballet’s, Swan Lake. “I’d like to take you to dinner and the ballet”. Instead of an excuse to ditch this guy, I surprised myself with a quick reply, “what time?” Before we hung up I got his full name and only then understood how he had found me. With the last name, Policastro, my last name was not a problem at all. And as a recent graduate of Duke University with a degree in Organic Chemistry, he was definitely smart enough to find me.
You must be logged in to post a comment.