Goomp out on the terrace pronounces our Tomato Soup de Soie the love apple of his eye.
What to do when the homegrown tomatoes start feeling their oats? We clicked over to Epicurious.com and found the perfect cold tomato soup to serve as appetizer for Saturday's Clambake Lite down Goomp's. See below for preparation notes. The clambake itself was clamless. Unlike last summer's no-holds-barred Bill Foster's Down East Clambake to go, we simplified, simplied: Lobsters — Hannaford's steamed 'em to order — corn on the cob, potato salad, grilled red dogs and garden salad. Lobster roll for Goomp and nutcrackers, picks and drawn butter for the rest of us. Another new recipe, Shortbread Lemon Bars, for dessert.
"Force purée through a fine sieve … discarding seeds," says Epicurious. Waste-not-want-not Yankee that we are, we kept the seeds and other solids left in the sieve and used a dollop as garnish for broccoli soup.
Tomato Soup de Soie, our latest Cold Turkey Cookbook triumph, comes straight out of the Epicurious files. We didn't change a thing. Just peel and purée your tomatoes, add a little lemon juice, lemon zest, chopped scallion greens, sugar, dried thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in your finest soup bowls to showcase the dazzling color, and top with a dollop of sour cream. As diners spoon into the dollop, the swirling factor becomes part of the eye appeal. Click here for detailed instructions. The Food Network makes peeling tomatoes look easy. The trick is to plunge 'em into boiling water for a few seconds and then immediately into iced water. We used a plastic spatula to force the juice through our fine sieve.
Tuck, Goomp and Suzi wait for the hostess to lift her spoon so they can all dip into the soup du jour.
With his eye ever on the prize, Babe goes for the jugular of the bag of lobsters.
Moving back and forth between kitchen and supply room, we noticed Baby Cakes hovering near the bag of lobsters. In self-defense of our own meal, we fine-tuned the Babe's minute-by-minute location accordingly, carrying him to the supply room and depositing him there while we gathered things from the #2 fridge. By the time we got back to the kitchen, Cakes was just arriving back there himself for another lobster vigil. From imail with Suzi next morning:
She: I was remembering your carrying Baby around like a fashion accessory yesterday. Wicked tow koot.
We: I wish you HAD taken peectures, peectures.
She: I know. It was classic, and priceless. What I loved was that he didn't seem to mind . . . didn't fight you, or claw to get away. Kind of went limp, like a Fendi purse. :-)
We: Kind of like the kitten being transported by the nape of the neck in the mother's mouth.
Tuck, the man of many hats, becomes a man of leisure for the day.
Suzi loves Chris loves Mom loves Barney II. Check out the mother's glamorous Michael Stars designer jeans with the perfect fit.
Chris takes the wheel as we head out after lunch to perform the annual ritual of total immersion in the waters of the Atlantic.
After lunch we drove over to York Harbor Beach across the river from Goomp's Camelot-by-the-Sea. Just as we arrived, a parking place opened up magically a stone's throw from the shore, where a larger-than-usual throng was starting to believe life's a beach.
All agreed the scene had the look and sound and feel of the early scenes of "Jaws."
Life IS a beach. Everybody into the surf!
There weren't too many babes, Tuck and Chris decided, but that's the trade-off when you're talking a family beach. No radios or other canned music broke the spell of the soundmix of waves breaking and retreating and happy people frolicking in the water and playing in the sand.
Talk about playing in the sand.
Toes sanded up as we dripped dry in the afterglow of a rousing session of body surfing. The waves were bigger and more powerful than usual — due to "a strong storm system" at sea, we learned next day — for this pristine little strand tucked between the granite bedrock of Eastern Point and Stage Neck near the mouth of the York River. When you catch the wave just before it breaks, it carries you straight and true into the shallows. Laughing and feeling as light as air, you pick yourself up and head out for more, enjoying the sensation of letting some of the interim waves crash in your face before the next perfect wave takes you soaring again.