Above is the Lighthouse at Montauk Point on Long Island. I remember many happy visits to Montauk as well as the Hamptons, Greenport, Port Jefferson and so many other Long Island towns. They are all so pretty with quaint shops, restaurants and beautiful shore lines. The Harbors are like so many pictures you see with docked boats, some with colorful sails and yes those beautiful Sunsets on the glistening water. I have been fortunate to live in both the Northeast on LongIsland and now in Southeast Florida. The main difference is we only have two seasons in Florida Hot and Hotter!!! Ok I'm not always complaining but I do miss the change of Seasons most of all. My Daughter Stephanie lives in New York City and we visit often.... so we are fortunate to enjoy a taste of all the seasons. I have shared with you many New York Winter and Fall memories and now comes the lazy, day memories of the Long Island Summers where I grew up.
Although Summer officially begins on June 21, for Long Islanders it always started with the Memorial Day Parades. I grew up in East Williston where my Dad was a volunteer Fireman. Every year he would march in the Parade. I always remember watching and waving as he passed by in his dress uniform with all the other Volunteers. I was so proud! After the Parade we would go to the Village Green for a Ceremony to thank the Veterans and then off we went to our backyard barbeques. It just seems so special up North as the summer is but a few short weeks. It was also when all your white clothes were in full fashion as the protocol was white was in from Memorial Day to Labor Day and then back in the closet till the next year. These little rituals, as well as getting out the redwood picnic tables and big chaise Lounges on wheels with comfy cushions were true summer traditions!
Many weekends we would head out to Jones Beach for the day. Sometimes we packed a picnic and swam in the beach and other times we went swimming in the two big pools that were there. We loved walking along the boardwalk stopping to taste some of the tasty foods the vendors had piled high. From hot dogs and hambugers, fries, corn, clams on the half shell etc to ice cream and cotton candy. Everything tasted better at the beach as you felt the breeze of the water as you walked along the boardwalk. They also had archery, roller skating and an amphitheater that had great shows. A really great place and one that held many happy childhood memories for me. Here are some pictures I was able to find on line.
Yes. yes so many nice memories but what would a post to Britalia Way be without mentioning food! Long Island summers brought some of the best tomatoes and vegetables I ever tasted. The tomatoes grew in rich soil inlike Florida sandy soil that yes does affect the flavor. They were the deepest red and so juicy with a deliciou balance of both a sweet and tart flavor....absolutely the best. Long island corn, string beans,peppers were also fabulous. With all the farms, the vegetables stayed on the plants till ripe which is the key to flavor. Each night we would have sliced tomatoes with a little salt and just enjoy them plain to really savor the taste. There was no talk of organic then just incredibly good flavor! The only comparrison maybe was New Jersey who thought they had the best tomatoes but oh well we know the truth! ;) The one thing I did enjoy when traveling thru New Jersey and stopping at a farm stand was the white Gentlemens corn. It was always said the white corn was fed to the animals, but I actually thought it was better than yellow. The kernels were smaller and much sweeter. Of course now people like a mix of yellow and white as well.
Another Long Island treat for me was on trips out East we would stop and get Sorrell. A green not as common today but back then a part of spring and summer harvest. It is common in France and Europe as well as California. It is a hearty plant that can survive the odds ...perhaps I should try and grow it! Bright long firm green leaves, this herb had a bite which I might compare to arugula that is a staple in my salads each day. Sorrel is tasty in salads, soups, steamed or sauted. It will turn olive green when heated without changing the taste but if bright green is your color palette of choice use in salads or as a drink perhaps in green smoothies the rage of today. I will have to figure out perhaps wrapping my olives in sorrel for a twist for a dirty martini!!! I will be visiting Long Island in two weeks and you can be sure I will be tasting and cooking with the great produce they have to offer. Can you imagine the best tomato on the best lightly toasted bagel with a sorrel leaf and perhaps a schmear of scallion cream cheese..............a meal like no other......I can hardly wait!!! ;)
After many years of being tucked away in a closet, I decided to bring out my Sassy Rooster once again to look at each day and feel inspired. As with all my posts I like to share stories of special people, special times, usually with lots of food and ways I enjoy creating.
My Sassy Rooster pictured above takes center stage today. He was created by my wonderful Mom many years ago. My Mom was truly a talented artist. She always would say whether painting or sewing or even cooking, do it with your vision and taste. Observe others but try your own hand and most of all enjoy it. I can still remember growing up and experiencing the enthusiasm she put in to everything she did. She never competed to be the spotlight, rather feeling such happiness from her creations being enjoyed by others.
She began this masterpiece by using a left over piece of paneling for the background to glue the raw beans on. She then made a pattern out of oak tag and cut it out. Next she sorted the Beans and applied glue to the panel and carefully set the beans into the design. Voli`a...another one of a kind to add to her legacy items created on our kitchen table in Huntington, New York !
A simple project that over the years still brings so much meaning to her words of encouragement to me........ use your own vision to create and truly enjoy the time spent to capture the feeling and the memory of that special moment.
Although unable to hold your hand....you are in my heart forever and inspire me each day. xoxo
My Queen.......My Mom
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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