Cape Vincent is a village on the St Lawrence river in upstate new york on the corner of Lake Ontario. It is across from Wolfe Island and from CV you can get a ferry to Wolfe Island and thence to Kingston Ontario. When I moved from Toronto to Massachusetts in 2004, I took the ferry (with my single scull on the roof of a van) and that was my last visit to Cape Vincent. I have been to Cape Vincent several times and love lying in the hammock, watching tankers pass through the Seaway whilst reading a book.
I was staying with our family friend Qxzy who has been one of the inspirational figures of my life. She is now 82 but has amazing energy – she cooks, has a fantastic garden, walks, knits, plays cards and scrabble, writes letters, rides a tandem, swims and compulsively listens to NPR. Oh, and did I mention that she is blind?
This visit was especially fun because Qxzy’s daughter and son in law Didi and Tom were staying along with three granddaughters. I was fascinated hearing about (and seeing pictures) of Didi and Tom’s house in Seattle complete with a bee hive, 5 chickens, 3 cats and 2 goats. It is apparently now legal to keep goats in the city of Seattle. I learned a lot about urban farming, foraging for goats and honey.
Food highlights of the visit included:
Making homemade root beer and bottling it in recycled beer bottles and using an antique bottle capper. A bottle of which made it across the border twice and all the way back to Ohio.
Making homemade Pita bread which went really well with Didi’s improvised nutty tapenade.
Fresh rhubarb, herbs and lettuce from the garden.
I spent a lot of time reading the cookbook Better than store bought which has all kinds of amazing recipes, many of which are for things it would never occur to you to make at home… like marshmallows. I can’t wait to try the ginger syrup recipe.
My culinary contribution was to make a cucumber salad from the Silver Palate cookbook. It was a big hit and is a refreshing summer side dish and a change from yoghurt based cucumber salads.
|3||Cucumbers — peel, halve & seed|
|½ cup||Mint leaves — chopped|
|¼ cup||Parsley — chopped|
|1||Orange — zest only, grated|
|1/4 cup||Olive oil|
|1/2 cup||Red wine vinegar|
Cut cucumber halves crosswise into crescents. Toss them in a bowl with the mint, parsley and orange rind. Whisk oil, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and pour over salad. Cover salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Toss again before serving very cold.