Hello again, friends. It's been too long. We've been back in Edmonton for two weeks now since our vacation ended, but life is as busy as ever. It's so nice to have J home again that spending lots of time together has been a priority. We've been cleaning, reorganizing, cooking and watching Six Feet Under on dvd (wonderful so far). I've also been thinking back on our extended vacation and realizing how wonderful it all was.
After spending an idyllic week in New Hampshire with my mother's family, we unexpectedly had two nights in Boston and then drove back to P.E.I. because of the death of J's grandfather. It was bittersweet, of course: home for a sad occasion but oh so happy to be there. I wasn't planning on visiting the Island this summer, so it was a big treat. I didn't make it to the beach (tear) but we had a little time to hang around downtown Charlottetown in the sunshine, and there were lots of country drives. I just stared and stared at the gently rolling hills, the creamy fields of wheat dotted with hay bales, the grazing cows and familiar landmarks, the magic of the landscape. After a year in Edmonton, I had forgotten how truly beautiful a P.E.I. summer is.
We ate fried clams twice: once a at a sketchy roadside diner in Maine on the drive North, and again at the Richmond Dairy Bar in Western P.E.I. We ate fresh blueberries and peaches, J's mother's delicious chili and fricot (Acadian chicken soup), biscuits and a fruit galette that I made. But I want to tell you about the two best meals we ate during the whole two weeks. They were complete opposites but equally delicious: one rustic, messy, outside by a lake and full of the bounty of summer; the other funky, unique, inside at a little table, full of new flavours and exciting combinations.
The messy meal, I'm sure you may have guessed, was the lobster. Our last night in New Hampshire, my family gathered at outdoor picnic tables with the rest of the guests at the resort where we were staying. The resort holds a lobster cook-out once a week, which must be an extreme amount of work: they drive all of the food and equipment, including a bar, over onto a little protrusion of land in the middle of the lake. But I think it's worth it. Eating there was a magical experience - a gorgeous, sunny evening, the stillness of the lake nearby, the casual atmosphere of a big group of people eating together outside with no waiters, no rules, and an abundance of napkins and lobster juice.
And then there was the lobster itself. It was cooked in big barbecue pits, layered with seaweed (I wish I had gotten a photo). None of us had ever heard of this method before, but damn is it a good idea. It was the tenderest, sweetest lobster I've ever tasted (and I've eaten my share of P.E.I. lobster). The shells were soft, too - I could practically break the claws apart with my bare hands. The meat melted in my mouth, and combined with the sweet corn lathered with butter, the company and the setting, I have rarely been as grateful for a meal.
The second great meal was at a cute Asian bistro in Boston to celebrate my birthday - and I will write more about that soon. Let's just say that after eating the best lobster of my life, I ate the best soup of my life. I'm still dreaming about it.