So, if you are a regular reader of Fed Well and read the blog posts in the order they are posted, this one may be considered Part 2 after The Chicken and the Egg as Part 1. To catch you up, we are on a one day vacation overlap with friends of ours. We have already shared lunch followed by an easy afternoon just walking on the shore, sitting on benches, and have taken in the gentle breezes on an overcast day.
Next up...dinner. We noticed The Dutchman's Brauhaus on our way into Long Beach Island as it sits right on the bay. Thing is, we wondered if the idea of German food while at the beach would work. Unconventional to say the least. We also knew it wasn't about the food anyway, we just wanted to be together, and found it was a bonus that we enjoyed each phase of the meal.
We also enjoyed watching a family approach, then dock their boat, with two beautiful dogs on board. The pups dutifully stayed in the boat while their family ate their meal in view on the pier. Lucky.
Yes, a cosmopolitan. It is always my first choice. It was well prepared and delicious.
Since we were completely mixing things up for my culinary mind, I opted to have one appetizer to share with the Mr. and then two appetizers as my main course. I jumbled up the German and seafood selections.
Here's how it turned out:
Cape May Salt Oysters - Medium Tender Texture, Moderate Salinity Clean, Cocktail Sauce, Lemon
Our friends started with the oysters and said they were great.
The appetizer I selected for sharing:
Konigsburger Klopse - German Style Meatballs, Brandy Caper Cream Demi Glaze
We all tried it and agreed it was a hit.
The atmosphere was relaxing, the conversation consisted of the same kind of stories you may share with your closest friends; children, jobs, vacations, retirement destinations and well, life. A gentle feeling of relaxation came over me and I could feel myself, body and soul, taking on a more vacation-like posture. I was with people I enjoyed, at the beach, and coincidentally sharing great food.
Schnitzel with spatzle and red cabbage smothered in mushrooms and demi-glaze
Our friend's had the same meals! We always plan and orchestrate our choices so that we can try the other person's dish or the Mr. simply orders one of his favorite chicken dishes.
My husband LOVES soft-shell crab and so, when we are at the shore it is a must have when available.
Soft-shell Crab Sandwich
The appetizers I chose for my main course:
Shrimp Martini Colossal (3), Tangy Cilantro Cocktail Sauce
I worried for a second that the massive jumbo shrimp would be tough or dry, but they were delicious.
Normally, at the end of a Fed Well blog post, I sum up by sharing how nice the restaurant was, that the food was delicious, or other tidy little ending. In this case, I want to share something a bit deeper. It was to be the last time the 4 of us shared a meal. My friend's husband, our friend, suddenly and quite unexpectedly passed away about one month after this dinner at the shore. This is why Fed Well was on-hold for a few weeks.
I will always cherish the memories associated with this vacation day as well as the feelings. We miss our friend, very much, and watch as my friend tries to get through her daily life while holding her broken heart together. Grief may very well be the strongest, most crippling, of feelings and it truly takes an enormous amount of bravery to face. The process is different for everyone. Grief includes raging anger, sadness, frustration, jealousy, and a wide range of other emotions in a variety of intensities. You cannot plan your day around it. You cannot simply schedule your next melt-down.
The Mr. and I have stood by my friend. We offer whatever comfort we can, and in whatever format it is needed; an ear, a shoulder, time together, and yes, shared meals. My friend, I will stand next to you and do what I can to ensure you are Fed Well.