On Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend I overheard a store clerk in East Hampton issue the traditional phrase that unleashes all the nutty, Hamptons foodie glory of fall on the East End, she exclaimed: “September is my favorite month out here!” And just like magic, my foodie weekend began to unfold.
1. Pickle Fight. On Friday afternoon I took a batch of bread ’n’ butter pickles to my hair stylist Marc Zowine at Salon Xavier in Sag Harbor. These are his favorite pickle and this batch was extra-special because I made it from cucumbers grown in his Bridgehampton garden. Xavier Merat came running over to “steal” a jar, as Marc put it. But actually Marc magnanimously gave him a jar. Marc says, “He can’t help himself, he’s French—he loves good food.”
2. Beach Plums. Friday evening I found that I had about a half cup of beach plum juice left over from the batch of beach plum jelly I was about to process—so I poured it into a large wine glass and topped it with Wölffer’s Summer in a Bottle White Table Wine. It’s probably not a cocktail for everyone, but defines for me “a taste of summer.”
3. Getting Lay’s. Late Friday night I headed to 7-Eleven for “something naughty.” I settled on Lay’s new Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavored potato chips. When the sales clerk mentioned that he’d not yet tried this flavor, I opened the bag and offered him a taste. Turns out they’re pretty much SALT with an undercurrent of sage. He thought that they were okay and told me that he’d now tried “everything in the store except that sausage under the glass.”
4. Getting Canned. Early on Saturday morning I pulled an Arizona Fruit Punch can out of our front hedge. Yesss! Throwing cans from cars is fun for everyone. Yee-hah!
5. To Market. Of course I went to the Sag Harbor Farmers Market on Saturday morning and bought some of Dale & Bette’s organic corn and free-range chicken eggs.
6. Pow, Wow! On Sunday I went to the annual Shinnecock Pow Wow in Southampton and had a bowl of Janine’s Shinnecock Corn Chowder!
7. Fry Bread. I also had a fabulous Indian Taco, which is my annual allotment of fry bread.
8. Just Grillin’. Labor Day found me and my husband at home. He threw a salmon on the grill. Twas perfect.
9. Tater Time. We dug up the potato patch in our garden and roasted some small spuds to go with the fish.
10. Short & Sweet. I picked our raspberry bushes and made up a batch of my raspberry-horseradish jam. I’d been promising my friend Gael Greene to send her the recipe. Here it is: add 2 tablespoons of room temperature, ground horseradish to a standard raspberry jam recipe. Enjoy.