If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air
Quaint little villages here and there
You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod

Patti Page recorded that in 1957.  It’s changed a bit in the 53 years since she first sang it…  The quaint little villages have grown, but the sand dunes and salty air are still there – along with our dear friend, Dana.

Dana and I were roommates in Boston during her senior year or law school and have remained friends for years in spite of having lived together and knowing all about one another.

After practicing law for years and writing a couple of books, Dana returned to the family compound on the Cape.

The Cape.  It really is a magical place.  Victor and I both had spent a good amount of time there before we met.  This was our first visit, together, and the first time staying with Dana.

What fun!

Sand dunes and salty air translate to seafood and there’s no better seafood-shopper than Dana’s sister, Franca.  Local quahogs,  scallops, shrimp, and lobster were all procured from the fish monger whose name escapes me right now, but fresh is the word of the day.

We had an all-day cook-a-thon with Franca, Victor, and myself taking turns creating different courses.

Dana’s mom, Floy, came down from her house to join us in the food-fest.  It had been quite a while since Floy and I had seen one another, so we had a lot of catching up to do!

Franca started out with Clam Chowder.

This isn’t your clam chowder made with bottled clam juice and little cans of minced clams.  This is the real McCoy.  Scrubbing, steaming, and chopping the quahogs, rendering the bacon, dicing onions, carrots, potatoes… While I didn’t get her recipe, we did get a huge container of the base (as seen above before the cream is added) to bring home.

Franca makes a traditional chowder that I call a thin chowder.  There’s probably a proper name for it but… I think more people are familiar with thick chowders, and they’re the type I usually make – but her thin chowder rocks!

My contribution was lobster-stuffed portobello mushrooms.

Fresh-cooked lobster, bread crumbs, onion, celery, mayo, grated parmesano stravecchio cheese, fresh parsley… Very simple and basic.  The individual ingredients came through and nothing overpowered.

We ate the chowder, the shrimp, and the mushrooms, and then Victor went into the kitchen to make the lemon scallop dish he created from the La Cucina Italiana magazine.

Cape Cod is fun.

Good food is fun.

Great friends are fun.

But a perfect combination is all three at once!