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Archive for April, 2012

The Week Ahead: Mon., April 30 through Sun. May 6

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Welcome to May and though some days the weather seems to be regressing, there is no doubt that summer is on the way.

One thing about Martha’s Vineyard living that visitors miss is the excitement surrounding the reopening of Island favorites….for the kids the list includes Dairy Queen, the Flying Horses and the ice cream shops.  For the rest of us it’s places like the Lookout Tavern, take out at the Net Result and up-Island hang-outs like the Orange Peel Bakery and Faith’s Seafood Shack both up in Aquinnah. It’s also fun to be on hand when new places open for the first time;  this year in Vineyard Haven we eagerly anticipate what chef Jean Dupon will be offering at  le Cave du Grenier and the flame-broiled burgers  Ed Charter, new owner of Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack (formerly O Sun Asian Kitchen) will be dishing out any day now.

And let’s not overlook that Grace Church Lobster Rolls are back on their summer schedule Friday, may 4th, 4:30-7:30 pm. Eat immediately or packed to go, don’t miss this Martha’s Vineyard favorite.

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary begins its Kayak Quest program this week giving us all the opportunity to work up our appetites while we enjoy Sengekontacket Pond at our own pace on this self-guided tour. A great way to spend some quality time with the kids in your life, the rhyming Quest clues uncover the story of the pond’s people, places and wildlife.

Later in the week, Ride the Vineyard, presented by The Greater New England Chapter of the National MS Society in collaboration with the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club kicks off with a welcome party and ends  with a post race BBQ. 25, 50 and 100K routes take participants over some of the Island’s most beautiful terrain.

Finally, clear out all your winter volumes and stock up on summer beach reads at The Oak Bluffs Library Friends host a one-day book drive on May 5th.

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Martha Sips: Hibiscus Candied Cucumbers

Friday, April 27th, 2012

While we wait for summer to arrive, let’s enjoy spring and the warmer nights. Make these candied cucumbers infused with floral hibiscus and use them in your spring cocktails!

Hibiscus Candied Cucumbers
Original Recipe Posted On: Cooking with Books

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 large cucumber

  1. In small sauce pan, stir water and sugar together and simmer until all the sugar dissolves.
  2. While the syrup simmers, thinly slice cucumbers and drop into the syrup, as well as dried hibiscus.
  3. Poach for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cucumbers from syrup and place on silicone baking sheet. Dehydrate in low temperature oven or dehydrator until they become smooth to the touch.
  5. Reserve hibiscus flavored syrup for future cocktail making or as sweetener for lemonade.

Uses for Candied Cucumbers

Martha Eats: The Grill On Main

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you haven’t heard, The Grill On Main has its 2 for 1 Entrees back on the menu! If you live on Martha’s Vineyard year round, it’s one of the places you frequent for a night out on the town when no one else seems to be open, and it’ a fantastic deal that happens Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays!

We stopped by for date night this week to visit Tony (Executive Chef) and see what delicious treats he would have for us. Sure, we didn’t just stick to the deal since it was date night and we tried a few things:

  • Louisiana Fried Chicken Wings - in my opinion, these are the best wings on Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, you can quote me on that! They are crisp with a batter that has some heat to it, and served with a blue cheese dip, it’s the perfect start to any meal.
  • Seared Salmon and Cous Cous - one of the entrees we ordered, the filet of salmon was perfectly moist on the inside with a gorgeous sear on the outside. Served with cous cous that seemed to be cooking in chicken broth (which gave it great flavor!), roasted red peppers, and fresh asparagus. Topped with a lemon aioli, it was a light and nutritious choice for those watching their diet.
  • Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin - Roasted tenderloin, sliced and topped with a chunky apricot sauce, this is the dish for the pork lover! Served with traditional scalloped potatoes and a vegetable medley, it was a satisfying entree that combines the savory elements of the pork with sweet accents of the apricot.
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding - no matter how full you are after dinner, make sure to try their Chocolate Bread Pudding. It’s a decadent dessert made with bittersweet chocolate, tender bread, and topped with cream. Simple ingredients that when baked together create a masterpiece in your mouth. The pudding is slightly undercooked, so it feels like luscious fudge mixed in.

Be sure to stop by The Grill On Main while visiting Martha’s Vineyard and say hi to Tony through the open kitchen! It’s located on 227 Upper Main Street, Edgartown and you can call for reservations at 508-627-8344. Cheers!

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
URL: cookingwithbooks.blogspot.com
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

The Week Ahead Mon., April 23 through Sun., April 29

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

April’s almost a wrap and even more than most years, it really feels like summer’s already here.  Hard to believe Memorial Day Weekend is still a full month away. Maybe it’s just because the warm weather has us out more that we are aware of all the changes taking place around us.  Trees are leafing out, work continues in downtown Vineyard Haven on both Le Cave du Grenier and the new location for the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in the iconic Bowl and Board building. Word has it that Dawn Braasch is planning to use the larger space to provide us not only with food for thought but with refreshments to keep those brain synapses firing. Wouldn’t that be a great thing!

One of the events that might keep your mind engaged is Horseshoe Crabs: The Story of Beach Trysts and Blue Bloods – a joint program by the Vineyard Haven Library and the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Join Susie Bowman, Felix Neck Teacher/Naturalist and Coordinator of the Island’s Spawning Horseshoe Crab Surveys, and Fred Hotchkiss, Director of the Marine Paleobiological Research Institute on April 24 for a lecture and slide show which will make you the horseshoe crab guru ‘round the beach towel circuit this summer.

Later in the week the folks at Felix Neck are back this time with a Pinkletink Pizza Party on April 27 and their annual Work for Wildlife volunteer day on April 28th.   The first celebrates the shyest MV denizen…the pinkletink or tree frog whose distinctive song assures up that spring has arrived on the Island while the second invites us to get down and dirty at the Sanctuary helping with Butterfly Garden Blitz, building a picnic table and, my personal favorite the Bittersweet Battle Royale. BBQ follows for all the workers.

Also on April 28, the Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association invites you to its Charity Fashion Show, Respond in Style at the Harbor View Hotel. Emergency Services Personnel take to the catwalk from 7-10 pm in support of Women’s Health.  First time event and sure to be a favorite for years to come.

Winding back to Friday the 27th, you won’t want to miss the last of the Harbor View Hotel’s popular Comedy Night for the season. Enjoy the tall tales and jokes of Chris Clarke, Ryan Clauson and Frank Santorelli, who appeared on “The Sopranos.” Patrons must be 21 years or older.

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Martha Visits: The Farm Institute

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Most of us think of the Vineyard as a place to just eat lobster rolls, socialize on sailboats, and sit on the beach while reading a book from the Edgartown Public
Library. But deep in Katama, there are farmers growing vegetables to supply  schools as well as raising livestock for some delicious grass-fed beef!

Meet Julie Olson, Farm Manager at The FARM Institute. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Sterling College in Northern Vermont and has traveled far and wide until coming back to the Cape and settling in Katama. Growing up in Harwich, her dreams of farming where always less than a few feet away, working at farm stands and with local growers.

She now spends her days tending to the animals and as we walked around the farm, her love for them is obvious. Julie knows the sheep, cows, and pigs by name and let’s be honest…they all looked the same to us! Roaming freely on the farm are both laying kitchen and meat birds, raised for eggs and meat. These little feathery ladies sure get around! While touring the farm,  we learned that steers are neutered males that have to work 4 years to become oxen; that although the farm is not certified organic, all animal are treated with uttermost respect as are the vegetables; that cows show labor pains by flicking their tails from side to side. . .and that was just a mere 1.5 hour tour!  Just imagine what you could learn and experience of you spent the day at the farm working side to side with the farmhands.

The FARM Institute has for sale most of their meats, as well as cage-free eggs. Stop by and support the local farmers while visiting Martha’s Vineyard - yet another  fantastic activity during the summer at TFI.  For kids, The FARM  summer camps are considered one of the best kid activities on the Cape and Isalnds. Be sure to check out this link for a listing of the camps offered!

And just to get a taste of what the Farm Institute has to offer this summer, check out their Sheepapalooza schedule, going on this Saturday April 21st from 9am until 3pm and only $10/family or $5/individual!

Sheepapalooza!

9-10 am:  Morning Chores Dress for the weather and join us for our morning livestock chores on The FARM.  Feeding hay to sheep & cows, collecting eggs, feeding the pigs and checking in on the barnyard poultry is fun and quick work with lots of helping hands.

10 am- 2 pm:  Sheep Shearing with Andy Rice Andy shares his knowledge of shearing and passion for fiber while demonstrating shearing our flock of Cotswolds.

10 am-3 pm:  Fiber Arts Sheep to Sweater, dyeing, spinning, felting and more!  Fiber arts will take place throughout the farm.  Check back closer to the event for an exact schedule.

11 am- 3pm:  Lunch! FARM Institute beef Burgers, lamb sausage, and greens for sale right off the grill.

10 am, noon & 2 pm:  Farm Tours Join us for a walking tour of The FARM.

2 pm - 3 pm:  Herding Dog Demos Andy demonstrates the skill & talent of his herding dog Codfish here at The FARM.

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
URL: cookingwithbooks.blogspot.com
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

The Week Ahead Monday, April 16 through Sunday, April 22

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Weeks are getting busier and sunnier: Traffic has felt like summer along the State Road heading up Island out of Vineyard Haven as crews work daily on sidewalk installations that will greet summer visitor’s soon.

Lots of activity too at Island Cove Mini-Golf where the water is flowing and players romp over the green.

With Monday being Patriots Day, Martha’s Vineyard enjoyed more than its usual share of weekend visitors most, but not all, of whom will be heading home during the week ahead. For those who are staying behind, thoughts turn to gardens and gardening and Earth Day celebrated at the other end of the coming week.

Thanks to the uncommonly warm and sunny weather earlier this spring (which happily seems to be back) Island greenhouses are more beautiful and bountiful than ever.  A favorite lunch time walk is a quick trip almost-across-the-street to Eden’s where we can enjoy all the beautiful blooming spring trees and bushes.

Felix Neck kicks off the weekend with a Wild Edibles event Saturday, April 21, 2012 9:30 am.  Join Sanctuary Director Suzan Bellincampi  as she explains how to  identify and prepare wild edibles that can be found in your backyard and island neighborhood. Pre-Registration required.

At 10 am on the same day  you can join Polly Hill Arboretum staff for a walk of the  grounds to see to see what’s in bloom. Azaleas, camellias, magnolias and cherries are bursting into bloom and there are an ever increasing  abundance of flowering trees and shrubs to admire. Walk, which is free of charge, begins at the Visitor Center and runs a little over an hour.

Also on the 21st Island Alpaca holds its annual alpaca shearing Get up close to these gentle, curious creatures and learn more about the benefits of alpaca ownership, and the fleece to fiber transition. Browse the farm store and find luxurious locally grown and knitted products.

Also losing their wintry coats on the same day are the sheep at The FARM Institute  where the annual  Sheepapalooza! Kicks off with Morning Chores then continues with  Sheep Shearing, Fiber Arts, Herding Dog Demos. Lunch too! Fun for the whole .

Happy Earth Day everyone and enjoy the Week Ahead


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The Week Ahead Mon., April 9 through Sun., April 15

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Martha’s Vineyard recuperates after a busy weekend of egg hunts, brunches and browsing the garden centers which are busting at the seams with plants for veggie and flower gardens.  Everywhere you look from lawns to window boxes, homeowners and shopkeepers are busy raking, mulching and planning their summer plantings.

Over at Island Alpaca the herd is frisking on the green pasture and births are imminent.  On April 14th the Farm holds its annual birthing clinic.  Although this is beyond the level of expertise most of us need, the clinic signals that soon there will be cria gamboling around the Farm.  It’s a wonderful time of year to stop in experience the freshness of spring .

In that same vein, The FARM Institute invites you to come over the Edgartown and have a look around. There is nothing that can compare to the the salt-tinged breeze blowing in from South Beach coupled with the scent of newly turned earth and sun toasted hay. While you’re there, check out their selection of grass-fed, Island-raised beef products, as well as pastured pork and poultry.

Speaking of fresh…if you love sushi you won’t want to miss the latest film offering from Richard Paradise at the MV Film Society.  Screening at the Katharine Cornell Theater on April 14, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi  Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious 3 star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar.

And, while we are on the topic of sushi you might be interested to know that Net Result’s take out window has reopened….and, right up the road Sandy’s is getting ready for it’s April 18th opening date.  Little by little, business by business, the Island reopens …have a great Week Ahead.

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Martha Eats: Espresso Love

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Espresso Love, edgartown

Espresso Love, Edgartown

The fantastic thing about Espresso Love is that it’s always there for you: at 7 am before you head to work you can grab a hot cup of coffee, during your lunch break you can stop by for one of their delicious wraps or sandwiches while checking out their specials and picking up a sweet treat to satiate an after lunch sweet tooth, and, if you need an after work drink, there’s wine and beer too.

Located in downtown Edgartown, it’s the ideal place to meet up with friends as well as colleagues, catch a movie or enjoy dinner in town.

A little about Espresso Love from their website:

Carol McManus opened Espresso Love in 1992. She was new to the food business, but she loved to bake and was compelled to make a living – she was the single mother of 5! She set out to make the very best morning treats and coffee and it is this simple goal that has kept the counters busy from 6:30 am until late in the pm. Fresh baked goods, soups, sandwiches, pizza and, of course, great coffee keep the crowds coming all day long.

Espresso Love, Edgartown

Espresso Love, Edgartown


One of my favorite things to do is to grab a quick wrap for lunch at Espresso Love and head on over to The Wharf in Edgartown, where there are benches and  a fantastic view of the water. It’s the perfect way to relax during a busy day. Last week during one of my many stops at Espresso Love that week,  I  ordered  a Chicken Avo BLT, which includes grilled chicken breast, bacon, avocado, mayo on toasted sour dough but I replaced the sourdough with a wheat wrap.

The Espresso Love employees are extremely accommodating and graciously made my wrap, as well as adding a side of one of my favorite house-made mayonnaises, the Citrus Mayo. If you’re around, check if they have it that day. It will make your day delicious!

Follow Espresso Love on Facebook for daily menu updates, as well as specials perfect to enjoy along with this gorgeous Spring weather!

The Week Ahead Monday, April 2 through Sunday, April 8

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

In spite of the sea-change in the weather this past week (honestly didn’t you find the bare tree branches paired with 70 degree temperature a little unsettling?) the Island is full speed ahead into the new season.  Among the iconic signs of spring we’ve noticed are: the reopening of Eden on State Road in Vineyard Haven;  postings for jobs and summer housing on the Chamber of Commerce website;  clothing stores reopening their doors on irresistible sales and tempting new summer styles, and the seasonal migration of ducks slowing traffic as they waddle between Our Market and Sunset Lake in Oak Blufffs.  I’m sure everyone one else has their own favorites to add to the list.

The week ahead ends with Easter which means egg hunts and brunches Island-wide.  But before we get to  graze our way through brunch then  indulge in chocolate eggs,  marshmallow chicks and jelly beans  there are a host of other spring activities to occupy our attention.

For example, MVRHS Culinary Arts, Island Grown Schools and island farmer and chef Chris Fischer are will host  a locally sourced 3-course dinner to fundraise for the upcoming garden at the high school on Wednesday April  4th. Students leading the garden initiative will present their  and all proceeds from the dinner will be used to acquire soil, seeds, and tools for the garden. Begins at 6 pm; admission $25 adult/$12 children

Then on Thursday April 5, at 5pm Holly Bellebuono will talk about her new book at the West Tisbury Library. Written for families, gardeners, crafters, and healers, The Essential Herbal for Natural Health: How to Transform Easy-to-Find Herbs into Healing Remedies for the Whole Family provides a comprehensive introduction to herbal medicine and healing remedies.  Charmingly illustrated by Geninne Zlatkis, the book features more than 200 original formulas, protocols, and recipes. The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments served.

April’s other theme of course is Earth Day… Martha’s Vineyard Community Services  provides yet another sevice to the community  with the invitation that we all bring our  old and tired: electronics, appliance and gagets  to its annual Electronics Disposal Day  At  $1 - $35 per item this is the perfect chance to ‘get clean’ for spring No charge for mice and keyboards& discounts for car loads too. 9 am to 2 pm on April 7th.

As promised: The answers to last week’s April Fools Quiz are:
1) True
2) Wine
3) Nope, that honor belongs to Peaked Hill, Chilmark (310 ft / 95 m)
4) True. Viking Fleet makes onlu one round trip a year this year Aug12-14
5) False. John was buried here but his body has been moved to an undisclosed location
6) No. MV was neutral at the start of the American Revolutions
7) False. The felt factory was on Fulling Mill Brook in Chilmark
8) False. The cottages were built to replace the tents that made up the original encamptment.
9) False, though this was the original intent.
10) George Clooney

Award yourself a jelly bean for each right answer and enjoy the week ahead.

Spring Marthas Vineyard

Spring Martha's Vineyard

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