Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vacation's Last Day

This is the day no one wants to talk about or acknowledge.  The last day of a vacation is so bitter-sweet.  We still have one full day to enjoy all that this vacation has to offer, but we're too aware of the hours left, of the clock ticking to a close on what has been a great week of relaxation, good food, an amazing natural environment, a beautiful house, and the best company. 

There's a hazy sky this morning.  It's very quiet in the house.  John, Jack, and Kristin left early for a trip to see a light house, about an hour away.  Anne and I stayed at the house to begin the work of closing up -- cleaning out the pantry, doing laundry, making sure nothing will be left behind. Tomorrow morning, very early, Patrick drives from here to finish his last semester at Florida State, his car packed with much of what he needs for his new apartment.  Skinner, my loyal cab driver (4 years now?) will be picking me up at 7 a.m. for my 9 a.m. flight.  Everyone else will pack into their cars and head north, back to New Jersey and New York to resume life-as-usual, though Ben starts his new job on Tuesday (congrats Ben!). 

As I write this, I see three pelicans skimming the surface of a wave, searching for breakfast.  I don't know what it is about Pelicans, but I just love them.  I love their graceful coasting on air, with hardly a flapping of their wings over quite a distance.  There is a timelessness to them, with their pre-historic appearance.  They are large birds to fly with such ease, seemingly care-free as they cruise along the rooftops of the houses lining the beach.  I'll miss them.

Last night's final "big" dinner was great, and Patrick summed it up when he said "This was the best dinner yet."  We had grilled vegetables (red, green, and yellow peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and yellow squash), marinated and grilled chicken breast, grilled garlic shrimp, and rice with sweet-and-sour sauce.  For dessert, we had two pies, still warm from the oven -- apple and blueberry -- with vanilla ice cream.  It was a magnificent meal.  I'm not sure what we'll be having for dinner tonight, most likely a mish-mash of all the leftovers of meals we've enjoyed throughout the week, or something equally simple.  We're talking about one last happy hour on the beach.  It's so beautiful later in the day.  We just want to make this final day linger...

Here's a collage of yesterday's photos, followed by a recipe for Garlic Shrimp:

Friday's photos - click to enlarge!


(Soak wooden skewers in water while shrimp is marinating)

2 - 3 lbs. jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled (these are blanched and then skewered between the shrimp - I didn't do this - we didn't want that much garlic last night)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dry)
4 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (like Frank's Red Hot) or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lay shrimp in large, glass baking dish.
Mix all the marinade ingredients together and pour over shrimp.
Let shrimp marinate for 45 minutes.

Skewer shrimp (4-5 to a skewer, through tail and upper part, making a "C").
Grill for 6-8 minutes at the most, just until they're done.  Be careful not to overcook.

No comments:

Post a Comment