Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome To West Dennis Beach

Despite the harsh weather reports of Hurricane Earls path towards Cape Cod and The Islands and this warning from Gretchen's email: It could be bad - water under the house, 80 MPH winds, no power, roof flying off, 2 feet of water in the driveway and road, the adventurous spirits (or just the crazy one's in our group of friends) Gretchen, Derek, Colucci and I loaded up the car and headed straight for West Dennis Beach. The picturesque beach cottage built by Gretchen's grandfather sits just a few hundred feet back from Nantucket Sound. With an evacuation plan in place (My Mom's house 10 minutes up the road) and plenty of food and booze, not even warnings of a category 3 Hurricane could keep us between our 3rd Annual Labor Day Weekend long bash. We kept a loose eye on the weather and a tight fist on our beers Friday as the "Hurricane" was reduced to a category 2, then eventually a 1 and by the time it hit us that evening, a mere rain and heavy windstorm. Lisa drove down late Friday night just in time for a "Hurricane Swim" (probably the only event that went undocumented by me - I don't own a waterproof camera!) and Adam and Douglas ventured down early Saturday morning, just as the sun came out to play. DeMane, Holly and Reuter - friends whose travel plans were disrupted by Earl were missed but not forgotten. (We got to act them out in a drunken game of Celebrity which is a more fun version of charades!)
It is in severe detox mode, laughing to myself at the inside jokes and ridiculous times, and my mouth watering over all the incredible food we ate, I present to you one Big Beach Bash!
The Beach day 1:
The view out my bedroom slider door at the early hours of 9am. Looking a bit ominous, wouldn't you say?

I brewed a pot of coffee and enjoyed it on the porch.

and down by the water.

Breakfast day 1:

Blueberry Pancakes and Bacon
These elegantly thin and bursting with juicy deep purple blueberries are Gretchen's special batch. Coated in a layer of sugary sweet pure maple syrup accompanied by crisp savory bacon, this stack of pancakes kicked off a weekend of great eats.

The neighbors boarded up their house.

We took a beach walk.

We ate lunch, drank some beers, went for a swim, and G and I attempted a puzzle while the boys flew kites. Make your own paninis with ham, turkey, cheese and roasted zucchini and tomato.

Harpoon UFO!
Black and white puzzles are impossibly hard.
Booze flowed as we watched the storm a-brewin.
Colucci made a Tom Collins mix: fresh squeezed lemons, limes, simple syrup, lots of gin and a little club soda.
Zesty and refreshing! I polished off two of these before dinner.
I also polished off quite a few of these appetizers. Bruschetta anyone? It was just as tasty as it looks. Ripe tomatoes & fresh basil on a crispy baguette slice as to be expected - but the olives gave this appetizer a unique Mediterranean twist.
Dinner night 1: Seafood Lasagna with Tomato Basil Bechamel and Caesar salad. Hopefully Gretchen will blog about the recipe! This dinner could certainly stand in a post all its own. I might have forgotten about this salad if I hadn't taken pictures. Not that it didn't taste absolutely incredible with crusty croutons, diced hard boiled egg and fresh grated parmesan cheese - but the Seafood Lasagna out-shined not only the salad, but any other lasagna I've ever tasted. Blame me forgetting the salad on the fact that I was tipsy (ok, drunk) and combine it with the fact that I ate SO much amazing food this weekend, it would be a difficult feat to remember each and every element to these meals without pictures!! As I reviewed all 200 and something, I had an OMG that salad! moment and relived it in all its glory. I just kept remembering those tiny bits of hard boiled egg. Genius.
But the real genius move was this dish.
An abundance of fresh lobster, scallops and shrimp sauteed and sandwiched between smooth pasta layers, bursting with grainy ricotta, stringy mozzarella and grated parmesan. Seafood, pasta and cheese - three of my favorite food staples created an out of this world winning combination. Bechamel is a traditionally white sauce of French cuisine. I believe it is prepared by whisking milk into a flour butter roux - but Gretchen will give you the details. The velvety smooth sauce enhanced by tomato, basil and seafood stock coated the lasagna to created an unforgettable no matter how many beers / Tom Collins / glasses of wine consumed dish.

Antics ensued. I ran up and down the beach and along the jetty in my rain gear while the boys swam. I don't know why I didn't man up and put on my suit. I got just as soaked outside on the shores than I would have if I jumped in! The important thing is we made it through the storm alive.

The Beach day 2:
The view out my bedroom slider door at the early hours of 9am. Looks promising today!

Breakfast Day 2:

Ham, egg, cheese & tomato on a homemade biscuit.

Bloody Marys
My Better half and Cappy arrived. Just in time....


  1. All that food! The pancakes and bacon. I haven't had proper bacon in forever. Every country seems to have their own version and none as good as the greasy strips you have pictured.

    Looks like you guys had a fabulous time.

  2. Seriously I'm in love with this post and am bummed you didn't invite me! Especially for those breakfast biscuit sandwiches! Glad you had fun (and escaped Earl!)

  3. I have always been a fan of "all good things start with the letter B" Beer, BBQ's, Beaches, Boating...and the list goes on and on. I was glad I got to be a part of the fun for a day!

  4. i miss the cape!! i haven't been since 2005. LOVE THAT MUG! how cute. love your yellow toe nail polish!! jealous of the biscuit!! is there a recipe?!

  5. The food and the places you write about are just so awesome. I love reading about it and seeing the pics!

  6. Your vacations always look SO fun!! And the food always looks amazing!! Those biscuits?? OMG want now!


  7. Wow, it looks like such a fabulous weekend! Also, I completely love the little cameo of a box of Andre in one of those pictures.

  8. This has got to be one of the best post I've ever read. I love it. It's filled with so many pictures of food and the beach, two things that I absolutely love!

  9. Amamzing food, photos and story. You truly have a give for photography.

    Living in Miami we know all about dealing with the hurricanes. Not fun.

    Glad you had a fun time.

  10. It looks like a fun weekend! I'm glad Earl didn't ruin your fun. What was up with people on the news all mad that he didn't blow their house down?

  11. OMG! I don't know which dish looks the best, they are all looking so good. What a fun weekend you had :) I love the beach house, it looks like from a movie or something.

  12. wow, your weekend looks like it was so much fun!

  13. WOW! Looks like you guys all had a great weekend! Love the house and location!!!!

  14. The rain we had this morning did more damage than "hurricane" Earl. Geesh Gov. Patrick, with all your scarin' and such! LOL.

    I'm so glad you had and incredible weekend. I love little New England towns, and the beach, and yummy food! =)

  15. It looks like you had a fabulous weekend! I'm having a tough time getting back into blogging since vacation but hopefully I'll get motivated soon!

  16. Wonderful post for a wonderful weekend! I promise to put all the recipes up soon. Can't wait to read about the rest of it :)

  17. Fun pics! Omg that seafood pasta dish looks heavenly!

  18. another B word for you...BEAUTIFUL

    so happy earl decided not to crash the party! :)

  19. MM that food looks tasty! Thanks for your lovely comment on my guest post today over at Oh My Darling. It was very sweet and put a smile on my face. Your blog is quite lovely!

  20. That is definitely the perfect Cape weekend, Earl and all. The food looks fabulous!

    Can't wait to see you in an hour or so!

  21. I love the pictures of the stormy beach :) I'm glad the weather was better on the second day. Wonderful food especially those pancakes!

  22. Daisy, love the pictures...really enjoyed going through them...so nice :-)