Sunday, September 23, 2007

I've been long back from Portugal, and it did not disappoint, I'm lucky to have married a man that has roots in such a beautiful place, and a place that sure does know how to eat. I don't understand a lot of Portuguese, but i did understand it whenever a host would ask Marco "She doesn't like it?", because my appetite while moderate by American standards is nearly nonexistent by Portuguese standards (the Portuguese are some of the top calorie consumers in the world). I packed all vanity away for our trip and ate with abandon but I could not eat enough to make my hosts feel at ease. We ate pork of one kind or another at every meal, potatoes AND rice with every meal in the north,and pastries (mmm pasteis de Belem) and wine constantly. Both of us were converted from latte/drip coffee drinkers to espresso fans(I challenge anyone to try and find a poorly pulled espresso in Portugal). By the time it was over and we were home though, I was glad to be back. I missed American flavors, we had been missing some of the best by being gone in August, and I missed my own kitchen. So when we got home I knew what I wanted, what any good New England girl would crave in the late summer wind down; lobsters and corn.

Of course there's no mystery to the lobster. Any self respecting girl raised in Maine waters eats it one of two ways: steamed or on a roll (generally a buttered hot dog bun). Hubby and I were willing to get messy so we went with steamed. The corn we've been getting from our CSA has been amazing so I didn't want to waste a morsel of it.
A few days after we had our end of the summer lobstsers, I made a batch of our family summer staple, corn chowder. I make it the same way mother does, milk, onions, corn, potatoes, butter. It's one of those trancedant meals that teleports me to my mothers kitchen table (which is now my sister's dining room table) or to the beach house, which has the same table as always, but a very different kitchen surrounding it than it used to. The only surprise to my chowder was the potatoes I got in my CSA box were pink! The looked like ordinary red skinned potatoes on the outside, but had pink flesh and the color didn't diminish while cooking. I think the farm could make a bundle just selling pink potatoes to caterers for rich little girls birthday parties. What little princess wouldn't want beautiful pink whipped potatoes at her birthday meal?

So summer has officially left us, the signs are in the CSA boxes. Potatoes, squash, apples. But that's ok, i feel like I gave New England's summer a nice send off. Now I'm ready to drink cider and hold hubby's hand while walking in crunchy leaves. Marco has always said fall is the best time to have a sweetheart and I tend to agree.