Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer And Stonecrop

We have fired up the barbie and put the umbrella up, summer is almost here and soon we'll be eating the delicious Montauk striped bass, perfect timing as our 2009 Sauvignon Blanc is now on the shelves. After a winter of cooking hearty soups and stews I am ready for crisp, clean and zesty food and a much repeated simple summer dinner in our house is pan-fried striped bass served with fat slices of tomatoes and mesclun from the garden, no frills, no fuss. Tomatoes dominate our vegetable garden - we do fuss over them because we have had some spectacular failures, last year I harvested about three, but 2009 wasn't a good year for tomatoes, it was however a great year for our grapes.

This year's Stonecrop harvest was a happy event, the rain held off and we had exceptional fruit; both the sauvignon blanc and the pinot noir and a very good picking crew, even the loading of bins occurred without incident - oh, the stories we could tell.

Having a foot in both hemispheres we are constantly connected to the changing and opposite seasons, we monitor wind and rain, the heat and the frosts. In the summertime when we are picking tomatoes, cutting herbs and pulling mesclun from our Montauk garden, thousands of miles away in Martinborough on Dry River road at our Stonecrop vineyard, the vines will be pruned and then all will be quiet for a while during the winter months. Then when it's bakery hot here in August there's a chilly wind blowing through Martinborough coming from the cold southerly Tasman sea and when we are blanketed in snow here in Montauk the grapes are ripening and glistening in the late New Zealand autumn sun.  
Summer in Montauk for us is about fishing, barbequing, tomatoes, salad greens, flowers and herbs - going to the beach early in the morning before the crowds, although one can always find a beautiful deserted beach in Montauk in the middle of summer in the middle of the day, it just requires a bit of a hike. Most of all summer for us is about sharing fresh food and our wine with friends; Montauk friends, city friends, faraway friends.

And the stories - it's all in the bottle - the handpicked grapes, the seasons, the blood, sweat and tears and the love of the land.

Note: The picture of the tomatoes was taken in 2007 - it was a good year for tomatoes.


wendy said...

Phew - relieved those tomatoes were previous years! Summer is so good. Sadly I've just picked the last of my tomatoes and the autumnal fungi were only a few days worth this year.

A Table of Contents said...

my trusty follower is back! made cumquat marmalade the other day......with eight cumquats, sooo good -the best birthday gift according to andyboy! thanks to you stephanie alexander dominates my kitchen with her wonderful recipes.

ps i have blooms on the feijoa tree....