Congratulations to the creative foraging and home cookin' local talents Dan and Meg Athearn. Yes, our North Road neighbors took home top prize at last week's Local Wild Food Challenge. A group gathered to show off their living local skills at the Rod and Gun Club. Meg and Dan treated the judges to a salad of wild watercress with Katama onions, steamed Jerusalem artichokes, and candied sedge grass nuts with an autumn olive reduction. The main dish was a beautifully displayed surf and turf of sedge grass nut encrusted venison sirloin, local lobster, Quitsa scallops on a bed of caramelized wild Katama onions with a Beach Plum reduction and Jerusalem artichoke purée. Paired with backyard Sassafras tea sweetened with local honey and Russian olive ice cubes, it surely tantalized the taste buds. Most people know that I have the palate of a five-year-old and am quite content with cheese pizza and chicken fingers but, I will admit, this meal sounded delightfully appealing. Nice work, Athearns!
Known for his culinary delights grown, cooked, and served at Beetlebung Farm, Chris Fischer took home the prize for the wildest ingredient. He served up braised stuffed squirrel. Stuffed with what you ask? puffball mushrooms, chestnuts and fennel. It was served with a watercress, fennel and fried seaweed salad chock full of tasty bits of blue claw, hermit crab and whelk. Add a little lemon sorrel and lemon juice to round out the flavors.
Katharine Poole, the lovely and talented daughter of Everett Poole, shouts out a great big hello from her home away from home in Nashville. Her presence at the high school in the drama department is surely missed (at least by my daughter), but we all hope she comes back with some awesome stories to tell and feeling just a little bit more accomplished.
The Keefe family — Craig, Lori, Allie, Quinn, and Grady — have departed. It's been five months since they arrived. They had an awesome summer of friends, play dates, family, swimming, fishing, frolicking and more. They head back to Steamboat Springs via Chicago where they will make a week-long pit stop to visit Craig's dad. The kids will arrive home just in time to put on their Halloween costumes with their Colorado neighbors and steer clear of the bear that has frequented the local walking path. Thanks to Margaret Maida, who managed to score a pretty sweet costume during a recent off-Island excursion, Grady will be Darth Vader. Quinn held strong to his second spot junior shore albie position in this year's Derby. He takes home some cool goodies from the award's ceremony. Allie left me with a standing challenge to the game Tenzi. It involves a lot of dice and some stiff competition. I look forward to her return in June when we can sit at a table together and roll those dice.
Lindsey Morgan has hit the road, bound for the Big Apple. She will visit with friends for a week or so but assures me she will return to Menemsha before she heads off on any other adventures.
You may have heard that the West Tisbury Library is moving into temporary quarters in preparation for their expansion project. They are bringing their Monday night movie series to Chilmark. Starting next week, they'll be sending a staff member up to show movies in the Chilmark Library meeting room on Mondays at 7 pm. On October 22 Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada starring Tommy Lee Jones will surely draw a crowd of popcorn eaters and film viewers. It might make a fun and easy date night for those who don't want to drive too far after a long day of work but want to get out of the house.