March 2011….Seattle. I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling a bit, burned out and a bit dreary as of late. Looking at the calendar, I realize it has been winter for 4 1/2 months…The long stretch to spring is slowly coming to fruition. As a Mortgage Originator by day, I have had some extra stress…just sayin’!..but let’s not go there. Let me share with you something FUN!
I’m SO lucky to have wonderful friends and family who support me and always seem to know the right things to say and do to help me “re-charge”. There is one person in particular, who reminds me of this – Kelly Cline, of Nommy Nom.
We make a point on a pretty regular basis, to take a day to escape and explore the wonders of Puget Sound. To eat, drink, laugh and get lost in the moment. Kelly has a way of seeking out those in our community who truly have passion about what they do. She is one of those people, so makes sense that she would attract them.
I had the pleasure of meeting the kind people at Taylor Shellfish yesterday. What an incredible place. The sweet fresh scent of oysters, mussels and clams in the air, smelled of the sea. I knew that I was in for a treat.
Kelly had a plan…like she always does, and I was game!!! Buy some incredible shellfish, find a beautiful park and together, cook up a feast!! That is exactly what we did. Now, some may think we are CRAZY for trying to plan an OUTDOOR cooking excursion in March. When we left Seattle, it was pouring, and I mean pouring!! But when we arrived at our destination, the sun made a showing, just for us. All part of the magic.
We ended up at Frye Cove Park. What a little Gem tucked away on the shores of Olympia. Not many people around so it felt like our private grounds. We got to work right away pulling the treasures of seafood from our bags and all of the other ingredients and we had brought along to cook them.
Like always, I had a special drink in mind. Something bright, and sunny and full of vibrant flavor to usher in Spring. Meyer Lemons and Fresh Herbs were just what I had in mind.
Meyer Lemon-Herb Cooler
In a Cocktail Shaker:
- Crushed Ice
- 3 or 4 Fresh Mint Leaves
- Spring of Fresh Lemon Thyme
- 2 or 3 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 2-3 Shots Vodka – Whatever Brand You Like
- 2-3 Shots Lemoncello (I used Gioia Luisa Brand)
- 1/2 Cup Lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade Brand)
- Juice of 2 Meyer Lemons – Use a Lemon Press (see below)
Add all ingredients into your shaker, and shake really well. You want to break up the herbs so they infuse their perfume into the drink. Strain through your shaker and pour over ice. This drink is bright and cleanses the palette. Our menu consisted of fresh crab and clams with a delicious broth that was rich. This drink cut through that richness and paired beautifully with all we ate.
To Make It Virgin: Eliminate the Vodka. Make a Lemon Simple Syrup instead of Lemoncello (equal parts Meyer Lemon Juice, Sugar and a Splash of Water. Simmer with the Zest of the Lemons for intense flavor) Chill before using.
To Make It Special: Garnish with Fresh Mint and a Meyer Lemon Wheel.
Spring is ALMOST here!!! We can make it! Make time to escape with your friends and family to laugh, and enjoy all the pleasures in life. They are everywhere!! That is what it’s all about…Thanks Kelly!! It was just what I needed.
Thank You Taylor Shellfish – for the tour, for your generosity and 20% discount on all we purchased. And most of all, for your vision of delicious, sustainable local seafood.