The sunscreen won’t come off. I’ve showered with soap and I’ve scrubbed with washcloths, and I still feel it on my skin.
So it didn’t rain in East Hampton yesterday. That means I went with my family to the beach. No, I still haven’t had my fried chicken. Aunt S. is already suggesting that the last batch she had from her favorite place wasn’t quite up to snuff, and perhaps the joint isn’t what it used to be. That’s not stopping me from driving out to Herb’s Market in Montauk to pick some up for lunch shortly.
I did hear that Herb’s is for sale, so perhaps that has something to do with it. Let this be a lesson to you. When you hear something is amazing, make a special trip out to eat it right away. Don’t wait for a return visit. Because you never know when things might take a turn for the worse.
For what it’s worth, Young Mater Fussy and Little Miss Fussy loved the beach. Me? I love other kinds of beaches. You’ll never guess what they all have in common.
That last line was a rare moment of sarcasm. Naturally they all have to do with food.
Take for example the Florida Keys. I love the beaches of the keys. Not in the heat of summer, but in the comfort of winter. Lounging out in the shade of a chikee hut, listening to the high notes of the wind through the palm fronds and the bass notes of the waves rolling into shore is one of life’s great pleasures. Moments like this call for Frozen Rum Runners. And it’s even better if you are at a place where someone will bring it out to you and charge it to your room.
But elsewhere in Florida there are restaurants right on the beach. I remember one in particular where there was a delicious and cooling gazpacho with one extra-large and delicately tender, poached shrimp. They also made an amazingly refreshing iced tea with just a hint of mango.
As a kid I remember vendors strolling along beaches, pushing along carts filled with refreshing lemon ices that you would scrape up with that little wooden spoon.
These days I look for clam shacks as I explore more of Rhode Island. My mother has a thing for lobster rolls. But there is something about the salty sea air that always gets me in the mood for fried foods. Those are pretty nice beaches.
There was even an amazing beach in the California town of Pacifica that had a Taco Bell right on the sand. They had a wood deck, and a walk up window so surfers could order their seven layer burritos. Or you could sit inside and warm up by the fireplace while watching the sun sink beneath the horizon.
I suppose to some these pristine and undeveloped beaches are a rare and beautiful thing. Probably I’m a heretic for suggesting otherwise. But I’ve never been into picnics either. Which isn’t to say I haven’t had my fair share of amazing ones. It’s just that I never find they are worth all the effort.