Breeding Sanctuary

11 May 2013

May 6th
Last weekend Jeff and I drove out as far as you can go on Chappy to “the Gut”. It’s a prime fishing ground in the summer months for those who make the trip and this is where the seagulls have learned that in the early spring months it is a safe haven for breeding.   For years I’ve been wanting to get out there at this time of year to take a look. We were fortunate enough to see dozens and dozens of the gulls on their nests with their mates close by. They lay 3 beautiful large eggs in every “clutch”. I learned that seagull pairs remain bonded as long as they both live, they share the job of rotating time on the nest eggs for the month of incubation, and then for the 3 months of chick raising. I can’t wait to drive out at the end of the month to see the babies.

seagull eggs2

seagull mates

seagull sanctuary

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Opening Up

11 May 2013

May 5th
This is that wonderful time of year filled with, as Vineyard Gazette editor Henry Beetle Hough said, “the excitement of anticipation”. We drove out to open up the cottage! A turn of the key, a heavy push to the door, and then we’re welcomed  by the familiar sights and smells that make this simple place so special.  After we walked through every room, opening the windows as we went to let in that sweet spring air, we headed outside to walk the property to see the latest developments with the bay waters and the breach.  Afterwards,  I then checked the mailbox and found a nice surprise-a letter posted October 27, 2012, the weekend I left for the season.  Edo Potter, the island elder who has lived on Chappy since childhood, had sent me the recipe I’d been asking about for Sally Jeffer’s Spoon Pudding. Anyone who knew Sally raved about this dessert, but I couldn’t find a written account of it anywhere.  I wanted to share Sally’s bread pudding in “Living Off the Sea”, but since I didn’t have the actual recipe I included an Indian Pudding recipe of my mother’s. The ingredients are similar but my mother’s has the additional ingredients of molasses and spices.

So here at long last is Sally Jeffer’s Spoon Bread Pudding!


1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp butter or oleo
2 eggs
Heat oven to 375
grease a 1 quart casserole dish
in a medium saucepan combine cornmeal, salt and milk.
heat until boiling, stirring constantly
remove from heat and stir in oleo
add eggs one at a time, beating by hand after each addition
pour batter into prepared dish
bake uncovered at 375 for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown
Serve hot, spooned from casserole
top with additional oleo or butter



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