CCC on Tour! Cocktails on Cape Cod Part 1: Strolling, Boating, and Homemade Pizza

Recently, I spent a long week-end at my parents’s summer home on Cape Cod.  Our little corner of the Cape, North Falmouth and Megansett, is probably one of the loveliest spots on earth (outside of California, of course!).  As a child and young adult, I spent my summers here enjoying the Cape’s natural beauty and spending time with my wonderful grandparents,  Lee and Lavinia Gamble.  It had been more than a year since my last visit and the first thing I did to shake off the discomforts of United’s “Red Eye” was take a stroll along North Falmouth’s verdant country roads.

Green and peaceful. I have taken many a happy walks along these little streets.
Green and peaceful. I have taken many happy walks along these little streets.
A view from the road. The Cape is a combination of marshes, bays, inland lakes, and of course, the Atlantic Ocean.
A view from the road. The Cape is a combination of marshes, bays, inland lakes, and of course, the Atlantic Ocean.
cape cod stroll 4
One of the many beautiful stone structures built by Manuel Brazil.
Cape Cod stroll 2
Megansett homes with stone fences, walls, and fireplaces built by Manuel Brazil are sought-after real estate.

No trip to the Cape is complete without a little water time and after my post-flight walk I was ready for an outing on my mother’s 17-foot Boston Whaler, “Lavinia”.  My mother, Beverly, and my sister, Joanna, are expert mariners with both power and sail boats.  My mother grew up sailing on Buzzard’s Bay and on this trip we headed across the bay to Black’s Beach.

Skipper and Crew.  My wonderful mother, Beverly, and gorgeous sis, Joanna.
Skipper and Crew. My wonderful mother, Beverly, and gorgeous sis, Joanna.
The sailing lessons start early in Buzzards Bay.
The sailing lessons start at an early age on Buzzards Bay.
My beautiful niece, Claire (right) and her friend, Clemmy, kept us company on the trip.
My beautiful niece, Claire (right) and her friend, Clemmy, kept us company on the trip.
We arrived at Black's Beach just as a storm was coming in.
We arrived at Black’s Beach just as a storm was coming in…

black's beach

...but with enough time to swim beneath warm, clear water.
…but with enough time to swim beneath the warm, clear water.
Oh, happy day! At ease on Buzzards Bay.
Oh, happy day! At ease on Buzzards Bay.

We made it home safely despite the thunderstorms.  Was I ever ready for a cocktail!  My sister, Annie, and I headed to the store for libations and ingredients for a family dinner – tomato salad, sauteed fennel, and homemade pizza with flourless chocolate cake for dessert.  I love to cook and I love cooking together with my family even more, especially when we can enjoy a glass of prosecco at the same time!

This one tastes like tart green apples and honey. A perfect apres-boat beverage!
Villa Cornaro tastes like tart green apples with a drop of honey. A perfect apres-boat beverage!
My sister, Annie, at work on the flourless chocolate cake.
My wonderful sister, Annie, beating eggs for the flourless chocolate cake.
Claire working on the fennel.
Claire at work on the fennel.
Fennel ala Sandy. My friend, Sandy Peccerillo, taught me this recipe.  Slice fennel bulbs about a half-inch wide. Heat olive oil in a pan and sautee the fennel until it nicely browned and tender. Toss with salt and pepper and serve warm or room temp.  !Que sabroso!
Fennel ala Sandy. My friend, Sandy Peccerillo, taught me this recipe. Slice fennel bulbs about a half-inch wide. Heat olive oil in a pan and sautee the fennel until it is nicely browned and tender. Toss with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature. !Que sabroso!
Easy pizza. For the crust:  1 cup whole flour, 1 cup white flour, salt. Combine in a food processor. Add one and a half st
Easy pizza (Adapted from Bon Appetite). For the crust: Pulse together 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, a pinch of salt in a food processor. Add one and a half sticks of butter, cold and cut into pieces. Pulse in the food processor together with the flour mix until just pea-sized pieces of butter remain.  Pour the dough into a bowl, add a quarter cup of ice water and mix first with a fork and then with your hands until the dough is smooth and there are no more lumps. Do not overknead.  Make the dough into a disc shape, wrap it in plastic, and chill for at least two hours. When you are ready to use the dough roll it out on parchment paper covered with flour. Put on your favorite toppings. I like sauteed swiss chard, crimini mushrooms, crispy pancetta, and ricotta cheese. Roll the edges of the crust over the toppings about one inch and brush with egg.  Bake for about 30 minutes at 400.  !Buen Provecho!
My sister, Lee, my mom, Beverly, and nephew, Marlow enjoy wine and snacks on Lee's beautiful porch before dinner.
My sister, Lee, my mom, Beverly, and my nephew, Marlow, enjoy wine and snacks before dinner.
Our dinner time view and the view from Lee and her husband, Bruce's, porch. Summer time and Cape livin' is easy.
Our dinner time view from Lee and her husband, Bruce’s porch. Summer time and Cape livin’ is easy.

I am lucky to have two family homes to visit on the Cape.  For those of you without such well-placed relatives, a Cape Cod rental is the way to go and guaranteed to give you that summer feeling.  Check out these sites for more information: homeaway.com and VRBO.com.  Stay tuned for Cocktails on Cape Cod Part 2!

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