I was missing the beach today, and thinking back to a trip to the OBX I took almost a decade ago. My buddy RP made some ceviche and it was delicious. I realized I’d never tried to make ceviche so I decided to give it a shot. After googling a few recipes, I decided on a general game plan. To make ceviche, you basically get about a half cup of citrus juice per pound of seafood, and marinate it for about 20 minutes. I decided to use swordfish, scallops, and shrimp. I broke out a chef’s knife I got for xmas, and cut the seafood into small chunks. Instead of cutting up onion and tomato, I found some fresh pico de gallo at the grocery store. It had cilantro in it already, but I bought extra because I’m a fan. For heat, I went with seranno peppers. I sliced them as thinly as possible.
The interwebs told me to marinate/cook the seafood in the citrus for 20 minutes, but to add the rest of the ingredients right before serving, so that they don’t get mushy or let their colors run. I juiced about 8 limes per pound of seafood, and a lemon and half grapefruit as well just to give it a little something extra. The grapefruit reminded me of a Papa Doble (recipe found here), so I decided to do a little riff on that drink with my ceviche. I added a little marachino liqueur (a little goes a long way). After 20 minutes, I drained most of the citrus juice, combined the rest of the ingredients, added some pink sea salt and pepper, and we were in business.
Despite having the ingredients to make a Papa Doble, I decided to try a cocktail I saw on twitter instead. The Paloma turned out great, and is definitely a good alternative to a margarita.
The ceviche turned out great. My car read 101 degrees today, so a light refreshing meal was exactly what we wanted. I’ll definitely be adding ceviche to my repertoire. All and all it took me about an hour to prepare everything. Longer than the 10 minutes it takes me to grill a steak and put dressing on a salad, but worth it when you have the time. Crack a pacifico, whip up a paloma, or make one of Hemingway’s favorite drinks, and give it a try…by rsiv with
We get together with most of my Mom’s side of the family pretty often. They all live fairly close together, so its never been an issue. My Dad’s side is a lot more spread out. This year, we all got together at the Outer Banks. We loaded Lil Butt in the car (along with just about everything she owns), and started for the beach.
We stopped at Pierces for lunch (which just made Garden and Gun’s top 50 BBQ joints in the south). EF had her first taste of bbq sauce.
Then we stopped at the Alma Mater. Shes changed a lot, but I reckon I have as well.
To break up the trip down, we stayed the night in Peanut City. While there, we enjoyed some really nice sushi.
The next morning, our first stop was Mosberth’s to get the best fried chicken in VA (perhaps the world?).
We got to OBX a little early, so we had some lunch at Blue Point, and saw the light house before we checked in. The soft shell crab sandwich we had for lunch was about the best I’ve ever had.
Mom and CK picked out a great house. It was awesome and had an amazing view. The chunkster enjoyed her first beach experience, but didn’t care much for the cold water and was about pictured out by the end of our photo shoot.
We had a potluck style dinner and it was quite a spread.
Lil Butt liked Nana’s cucumber and onion recipe.
It was really great to see the family. I was meeting a lot of the younger generation for the first time, and it was the first time I’d seen some of my cousins since I was about 4 or 5. We didn’t really know what to expect. Jonathan said he thought Ford would be like Clark Griswald when his redneck relatives roll in. I was worried they’d think we were citified yuppies. Turns out we’re all a lot more alike than we are different. We got along great.
We didn’t go full Corolla with the khakis and white polos pic, but we did get this one:
And when Nick arrived, we took another.
We had great beach weather all week.
The quintessential summer photo:
Even at the beach all the kids want to do is play on their dang phones.
EF is already after the hipsters.
Somebody remind me to upload Nick’s trick shot videos…
Ryan was playing along to Jonathan’s iphone music. It was pretty crazy. The next morning FJ made breakfast margaritas.
I hope EF grows up to be like Kathryn. She would swim out farther than me despite the sharknado warnings, is about the most considerate and mannerly child I’ve ever met, and when we flew the kite, she asked if we could fly it up to the end of the spool.
HB had a close call, but managed to successfully fly her first kite.
Ryan and Kathryn checked to make sure the line was attached to the spool, and then fed the line all the way out.
Notice the kite way up in the background.
EF was fearless in the water. She let the waves crash on her and splashed around with a big smile on her face.
That better just be a smell of margarita…
Candy got EF to dance.
Kathryn made a turtle with Nick’s mustache.
EF flew her first kite.
Otto guarded Lil Butt and the beer during our game.
EF felt left out so we let her play too.
I think somebody wants a bird dog for her first bday…
We went out for Mexican to celebrate some birthdays.
We all had a lot of fun playing Balderdash with Susie.
The Lil Butt was too excited to nap so Candy kept her company.
Ryan, Nick, and I had several cigars on the porch, but I think this was from our last night.
The next morning my girls finished their bottles, we packed up, and headed home.
Lil Biscuit wanted a lil biscuit for lunch.
We all had a really great time. I could tell it meant a lot of FJ and the family too. I can’t wait for next year, but I hope I get to see everyone sooner.by rsiv with
We thought about going to The Homestead or The Greenbrier for our anniversary but we just got back from WV and we’re about to leave for the OBX, and Fathers’ Day is coming up, so we decided on an easy dinner out. I made a reservation at Brine, a fairly new restaurant with a good raw bar. Then I thought I should pick somewhere HB might prefer instead. But I realized that we really do like the same things, and Brine would probably be plenty fancy enough. As it turns out, it was a great decision. We started with cocktails. HB got an awesome take on the Old Fashioned with Four Roses and chocolate bitters. I got the margarita that won Margarita Wars in DC. For food, we ordered the honey hole (12 oysters, 12 clams, 12 shrimp, and some awesome ceviche). We also got an order of voodoo fries.
The local Rappahannock oysters were great, but surprisingly, not my favorite part of the assortment. I enjoyed the oysters with Brine’s really delicious mignonette and a squeeze of lemon. For the clams, I poured some Tabasco sauce and added a pinch of real horseradish. The clams, enjoyed in this way, were amazing. I don’t know if I enjoyed them, or the ceviche, more. Everything was amazing, including the fries, which came with a great cajun mustard but were even better with the house-made barrel aged hot sauce.
After our cocktails we ordered a bottle of cava which was reasonably priced and delicious. We ordered one dessert, but our waiter, Mike, brought out three since it was our anniversary. Everyone we encountered at Brine was very welcoming and helpful, which is rare for a restaurant which as been open only so long, but even so, Mike was exceptionally helpful and friendly. We were generous with our tip, and he earned every cent.
We had an amazing anniversary at Brine, and we’ll definitely be back.by rsiv with
We got back from our WV trip on Friday. I still had the fishing bug, and HB and LB wanted some exercise, so the family headed over to Holmes Run. A buddy had told me that he’d seen browns at Holmes Run about 10 days previous to our visit, so I thought there might be a few trout left in the warming water.
I walked down to the creek at the first access point and saw plenty of lines stuck in the trees, so I figured I must be in the right place. I did get a bite, but I wasn’t quick to set the hook. I spent about 20 minutes here before moving on down the creek.
I tied on a fly from my Big Y Fly Company 10 best trout flies selection. It wasn’t getting down far enough on my floating line, so I added a small split shot to my line about a foot over the fly. I also was using a thingamabobber strike indicator from orvis. I could see the fly in the good sunlight, but in the shade I had to rely on the indicator. At about the third creek crossing on the trail, I cast out to a dark hole a few times (on HB’s suggestion), and after a few casts and nibbles by smaller fish, I hooked up. HB yelled, “Fish on!” I reeled in a small, non-trout but unknown, fish. We didn’t manage to get a good picture of it, as I was trying to get it back in the water as fast as possible, but you can tell from the color and shape that its no trout.
A few minutes later, I hooked up again near the same hole. This time the fish looked much more like a trout, though it was only about 4 or 5 inches long. I’m not confident it was a trout, and again I didn’t get a great picture.
I hooked one more fish, but it threw the hook before I could reel it all the way in. Then I saw a monster. A 12 inch (minimum) brown trout, cruising upstream. In my excitement, I slipped off the rock I was standing on and got snagged in a tree. By the time I got the line free, he was gone. Unfortunately, its just about the very tail end of the stocked trouts’ lives in Holmes Run since the water is getting so warm. I doubt I’ll have another chance at him.
Since its been so warm, I was prepared to call this a scouting trip and expected to catch no fish at all. As it turns out, I finally caught some fish on a wet fly, and even successfully used weight and a strike indicator. I’m not sure I’m ready to call myself a fly fishermen yet, but I’ve got caught the fever, and I’m getting closer.
After our fishing excursion, we stopped in at Public House No. 7 to catch Barca play Juventus.
EF and I were on pins and needles, but Barca pulled off a definitive win.
That evening LeBeef made some fancy cocktails and we had salmon on the grill. We almost didn’t go out because the forecast wasn’t great, but that just goes to show you that without risk there is no reward.by rsiv with
Lil Biscuit was looking to get out of dodge, so we headed out to Hinton, WV. Its a fairly long drive, EF’s longest to date, so we stopped at a cracker barrel to break up the trip.
After a huge meal, a few more hours on the road, and a quick stop to change a dipe, we arrived at my Aunt and Uncle’s place. I pulled some scallops and steak out of the cooler and got started on dinner.
The next morning EF and LeBeef enjoyed the view while I whipped up some breakfast.
The forecast for the days we were there all looked iffy, but it was warm and dry, so we went down the mountain to rent a pontoon.
EF wanted to go fast, so I let her drive.
After the boat ride, which was a great success, we grabbed a couple pizzas and headed home to enjoy the view.
The next morning we had some breakfast, but HB wouldn’t let EF have any bacon.
When the local police response time is over an hour (estimated), you have to be prepared with triple aught magnum buck. Fortunately, we didn’t have any visitors.
We enjoyed the short drive over to Pipestem State Park for a quick 9 on their par 3. I was thinking we should go to Pipestem with the Lambs as its a really cool place, and only a short drive from Rainelle.
It was a really fun and challenging course; the perfect way to spend a couple hours.
Even though it was a little late in the afternoon when we got back from golf, we headed over to Sandstone Falls. It was beautiful, and we got there at prime fishing time.
I managed to hook up pretty quick, and got a small largemouth on a popper. Then I switched to a some streamers and wet flies, but struck out. It was an amazingly beautiful place to fish.
FJ made some delicious burgers, and we watched the sunset.
We were having so much fun we decided to stay an extra day (LeBeef was outvoted).
After breakfast, we headed into Lewisburg for lunch.
My Aunt and Uncle like Stella’s, and I can see why. The coalminer’s daughter tried a miner’s daughter.
While trout eluded me at Sandstone, it did not disappoint at Stella’s.
After a really good lunch, we drove over to Smooth Ambler distillery.
We were greeted by Admiral Pickles, and given a tour by Val. EF ponied up to the bar to learn about Smooth Ambler.
Smooth Ambler is a pretty young distillery. The source a lot of the bourbon (as it takes four years to age minimum, but in the meantime, they’ve put out a lot of interesting products. I really like their aged gin. Their wheated whiskey also tastes promising. Val gave a great tour, and we’ll definitely try out their future products.
On the way home, we stopped at the Big Wheel in Alderson for an ice cream cone. Errbody but HB got butter pecan. HB got birthday cake.
When we got home, we decided to really enjoy our last evening on the porch. I spread creme fraiche on some blinis, and realized I had no mother of pearl spoon. I grabbed EF’s spoon in a pinch, and added the caviar. Then it was time to pop some champagne.
For dinner, we had heavy canapes. It was quite a spread.
After dinner I opened a bottle from Smooth Ambler, and lit one of my favorite cigars.
The next morning it was time to head home.
We cleaned and packed up, and headed down the mountain to have lunch at Kirk’s. HB ordered a hot dog with sauce, onions, and mustard, and I ordered the same. Shes an honorary West Virginian now.
It was a great trip. We all had a great time, and I really think EF got a lot out of it. We look forward to bringing her back. Next time we’ll have to visit when my relatives are in town. Thanks again to Uncle L and Aunt C for letting us stay at their amazing home!by rsiv with