By Paul Suplee,
MBA, CEC, PC-3
I have not been doing my part in terms of keeping the algae out of the pool this spring.
My pool maintenance guru will be here in four weeks, but until then, I need to remember to dump some chlorine crystals in the swamp to get it to transform from Mountain Dew and filth to clear.
It’s all in a day’s work, and this Friday will definitely be a day full of weeding, trimming, cutting the grass, mulching and the myriad tasks that accompany the wild transformation that we call spring.
Testament to a mild winter, my banana palms are already broken through the surface, with some of them six-inches tall.
I have even spotted two formed and unrolled banana leaves. This shocks me, because I don’t remember them ever coming up before May, and some haven’t come up noticeably until June.
I’ll take it. As I am selling the house soon, anything that we can do to make the backyard a selling point is great. But, boy do I wish that this was all that needed to be done in the next four weeks in order to make the property picture worthy.
As life goes, I learned the hard way that we, as a family, hold on to way too many things.
Luckily, during the pandemic, we recognized this and rented two dumpsters.
Our simple litmus test was as follows: If we haven’t used it in four years, and it is unusable or unserviceable, into the dumpster. If we haven’t used it in four years, it is in decent shape, and no one wants it for their ubiquitous memory boxes, then it gets donated.
We are well past the point of yard sales.
We used to have them quite a bit when we lived in Ocean Pines, but my late wife and I decided years ago that we really didn’t want loads of strangers pawing through our stuff. So, we made the decision then and there to never have a yard sale again.
It is hard to believe that we will be moving from this house after seven years. It is time for me to downsize and to simplify things.
I’m looking at townhomes and smaller homes in the area and have even scouted out some properties in remote areas of the shore like Deal Island.
Honestly, I am not sure that I would fare well in the middle of nowhere, but sometimes it sure does sound good. Peace and quiet, and a deep breath.
Just the thought of some simple southern food on the back deck with a glass of wine in the bay breeze makes for a little smirk.
Deal Island is incredibly small, with Tangier Sound and Chesapeake Bay at hand. I imagine sitting in a well-windowed room and watching squalls rip across the bay.
This is something that I’ve always enjoyed watching, except when we were sailing on a 24-foot Rainbow in the middle of the bay. That was always a nightmare, but as they say, “batten down the batches.”
With an incredibly tiny cabin, we would simply have to try to outrun the thing, or put our foul weather gear on, pull the sails and hope for the best.
In fact, it was on my last trip home from California in the Marines that I experienced something that made me decide to move back home once my enlistment was up.
My parents picked me up from BWI or Dulles in ’90 or ’91, and as we hit the bridge heading to the Eastern Shore, the sky turned black and a torrential thunderstorm struck.
We sat on the side of the road, my father opting not to be on the bridge at the moment of impact, and once it was over, we went on our way.
In all my time in California, I never saw a single thunderstorm. That’s all it took.
Oh, and of course, the southern comfort food on a summer day. And now that I’m just a bit older, I look forward to picnic-style lunches and dinners with goodies such as these. My God, I’m getting old.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Makes 8 tomatoes
2 ea. Large green tomatoes
1 c. Whole milk
3 c. Seasoned flour (your choice)
3 c. Fine panko bread crumbs
1/4 c. Dried parsley
2 Tbsp. Trimix (Salt, pepper, granulated garlic)
- In first bowl, combine eggs and milk.
- In second bowl, place seasoned flour.
- In third bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
- Following the age-old tenets of the breading station, bread your fried green tomatoes.
This can be done ahead of time, and they can be frozen. This helps them to maintain their shape and breading, and also keeps them from getting soggy
- Fry in oil at 350F until golden brown.
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 c. Duke’s Mayonnaise
4 oz. Pimiento, diced
1 tsp. Fresh, minced parsley
1 1/2 c. Shredded cheddar blend
2 scallions, sliced
1 Tsp. Coarse ground mustard
1 tsp. Datil hot sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Tajin or other spice rub, for garnish
- Combine everything together except for the salt and pepper, mixing well to make it homogenous (albeit lumpy).
- Season accordingly.
- When ready to serve, simply scoop and serve atop the green tomatoes. It is traditional to have a cool pimiento cheese nestled on hot fried green tomatoes.
Paul Suplee is the owner of the
boxcar restaurants and is also
Senior Lecturer of Culinary Arts at UMES.