Granny’s Travels…Martha’s Vineyard!

July 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Lighthouses, cliffs, sandy beaches, B & Bs, lobster, sunsets, campfires and fireflies…sounds like summer to me.  And my Grandmother loved summertime in charming little places like Martha’s Vineyard.  This is a great place to relax and take it all in.  I wish I could remember more details that she shared from her time on Martha’s Vineyard.  I’m not even sure how she got there.  Did she have a road trip with Aunt Edith or fly?  I wonder what they talked about in their travels.  I wonder if they planned out every detail or if they were spontaneous.  I just know that I missed her when she was away, but loved all the attention when she came home.  She made us all feel so special.

I imagine the beauty of the Island, the cranberries as well as the shopping and dining attracted my Granny to Martha’s Vineyard.  Although it’s changed since she was there, it is still an enchanting place.


Famous for her book on manners first published in 1922, Emily Post was also a radio show host, newspaper columnist, and magazine contributor, who did much of her work from her home at 34 Fuller Street in Edgartown, where she summered from 1927 until shortly before her death in 1960.


“It’s only an Island if you look at it from the water,” is Brody’s infamous line from Jaws, which was filmed on Martha’s Vineyard in 1974.


Be sure to check out the Aquinnah Cliffs.


And try the salt water taffy.


I had an enjoyable visit to the Cape with my friend Jen years ago.  She took me to a place that served Feta Bread and I’ve never had anything like it since.  We concocted some idea to sell lunches to people boarding the ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, but it was just an idea.  I should have known then that Jen was destined to have her own business one day and now owns the best bakery in Chicago, BAKE in Wicker Park!


Cape Cod Chopped Salad

  • 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, such as Niman Ranch
  • 8 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped (see note)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces blue cheese, such as Roquefort, crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons good apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup good olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a baking rack on a sheet pan and lay the bacon slices on the rack. Roast the bacon for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, apple, walnuts, cranberries, and blue cheese.
For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, mustard, maple syrup, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Chop the bacon in large pieces and add it to the salad. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and toss well. Serve immediately.


The Ultimate Lobster Roll

  • Kosher salt
  • 3 1 1/4-pound live lobsters
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2–3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 New England–style split-top hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Pour water into a large pot to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil and salt generously. Add lobsters, cover, and cook until bright red, 8–10 minutes. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.

Crack lobster shells, pick meat from tail and claws, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Mix lobster, celery, lemon juice, chives, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and add more mayonnaise, if desired.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread flat sides of buns with butter. Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side; fill with lobster mixture.

DO AHEAD: Lobster meat can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Toss with remaining ingredients just before serving.


Lobster Quesadilla with Tropical Fruit SalsaRecipe courtesy Seafood Shanty

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced red pepper, plus 1 cup for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups diced green pepper
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces roughly chopped fresh cooked lobster meat
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 ounces chopped jalapenos, without seeds, or to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces clarified butter
  • 1 cup sliced green onion, for garnish
  • 8 tablespoons sour cream, for garnish
  • 6 pineapple tops, for garnish

Tropical Fruit Salsa, recipe follows

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 cups red peppers, the green peppers, onion, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, but still firm, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

In a medium bowl, mix the lobster meat, cheese, jalapenos, salt, and cooled pepper mixture. Divide the mixture into 6 portions. Sandwich each portion between 2 tortillas, spreading the lobster mixture evenly.

Heat a grill or large skillet over medium heat and film the bottom with some of the butter. Place as many quesadillas as will fit without touching, and cook each side until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining butter and quesadillas.

Cut quesadillas into wedges. Place the quesadillas on plates and garnish with remaining red pepper, the green onion, sour cream, and a pineapple top. Serve immediately with Tropical Fruit Salsa.

Tropical Fruit Salsa:

  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 cup diced papaya
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour before serving.
Cape Codder Cocktail

Pour the ingredients into a highball glass with ice cubes.
Stir well.
Squeeze the lime juice into the drink.
Drop the lime wedge into the glass.


Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

  • 2/3 cup Butter or Margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Bag of Sweetened Dried Cranberries (6 oz.)
  • 2/3 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using an electric mixer beat butter or margarine and brown sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in sweetened dried cranberries, chocolate chips and walnuts.

Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until gold brown.  Approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies


A love poem to Martha’s Vineyard

Oh, who am I, Lord, who am I
That I should have the sea and sky;
That I should own this bit of land;
Be foreordained to understand
The lowly language of the earth;
In primal tasks to find life’s worth?
Ah, bursting is my thankful heart
My fate is not the crowded mart,
For Thou in kindness destined me
To love my meadow by the sea.-by Emma Mayhew Whiting

The Vineyard is the perfect summer destination with lovely weather and beautiful beaches.  Check out a B & B for some R & R!  And rejuvenate!




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