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Benefits of New England Coastal Living

Relat20121022-084226.jpgive Closeness: Looking back over the events my husband and I have gone to in the last month or so we’ve been driving all over the place. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City are all within 2 hours of us. We’ve been to Newport twice (1 hr. away), to see friends and watch an America’s Cup Race, we went to Rhode Island for a Hot Air Balloon Festival (30 minutes away). We’ve also visited a friend’s summer house (25 minutes) twice. And the Rhode Island beaches, with waves unprotected by Long Island (20 minutes!) We’ve driven all over coastal Connecticut checking out local attractions and historic sites. Even heading out to Chatham Mass, at the very elbow of Cape Cod is only 2 hours and 20 minutes. It’s hard to believe the diversity of all we can see and do (and how many states we can visit in the same amount of time it took me to drive from home to college (or less!). And sure, towns back home do have exciting things, but maybe I just didn’t hear enough about the new things, because the states up here really publicize their events. Technically we live in a city, (though it really doesn’t look much like it on our street) and there are tons of events to prove it.

Local Seafood: When you live a 10 minute drive to the beach, or 5 minutes away from good fishing areas it’s obvious there is going to be fresh seafood. Well, in the few months we’ve lived here we hadn’t actually bought anything from the grocery stores that fit in the seafood category other than bagged frozen tilapia fillets. Why? Because whenever the various fish would hit a price I’d feel comfortable spending, or we just decided we’d make it work in the grocery budget the fish counter in the local supermarket would not be something you’d want to order from. So instead we’d get our fish when we went out to eat. Still yummy and fresh, but not cooked at home (which I think is fun too!)
So when we heard that the local co-op grocery store (that you don’t have to be a member at to shop at) was adding another csa to the options (farm produce, chickens and eggs, beef, etc) and it just happened to be seafood we immediately looked into it. Sure it was on the pricey side, but we knew we had a lot more allotted to groceries than we were using and if we would be buying less beef or chicken it would end up being the same amount give or take five bucks. This csa is Gabe the Fish Babe. They only get it locally. They only buy from daysailing boats. That means it’s fresh, fresh, fresh! Plus, it allows the fisherman the ability to sell a variety of things, so not everyone gets the same thing each week. They had two options, fin fish only, or shellfish and fin fish. We choose shellfish and fin fish. (What can we say, we love all seafood!) Each week we get 18-22 oz of fish, and 2-3 dozen shellfish unless they are oysters when we will get 12. We could also get crabs sometimes. As an added bonus they include a recipe for the type of fish you get. We made the assumption that the recipe would be great because they certainly don’t want you to have a bad experience with their product, or you might not sign up for another share! (Shares run 4 or 8 weeks)

So we took the plunge. Last week we had 22oz of cobia (yummy warm-water fish tasted very mild, but had a sort of tuna-steak texture) and 25 cherrystone clams (bigger than littlenecks, and yummier too! recommended to eat raw as they are so sweet!) both came with delicious recipes I immediately filed in my recipe box. (Someone else posted they got oysters and shark last week!) This week we got 3 dozen mussels and 3 whole (but cleaned) porgies. The mussels we’ve already eaten. In the past, I never was a mussel person, and even though I knew they could end up in our box I was a bit disappointed when I saw them. However, they were absolutely amazing. Seriously so good. Bryan declared them the best, and finished off the sauce they cooked in. Literally not a drop of leftovers, and I wasn’t a food pusher!

Next up: porgies. Recipe by Anne Burrell (tv food celeb and great chef). Thursday night have transformed into Christmas. Plus, I don’t have to think up what we are having for dinner. Because I pick it up on my way home and the recipe is already found.

We will be signing up again! And good news for anyone super interested but not coastal. Starting next week they will be able to overnight ship your fish to you. SO…feel free to take the plunge! You won’t be disappointed! And the good news is, we crunched prices to see if it was worth it (figuring we’d add in a couple bucks over market price to pay for local or whatever). Our bucket of clams and cobia last week? We got $32 of clams, and $22 dollars of fish, which means we spent $40 for $54 worth of fish!

So, I’ve only managed to get out two benefits of living here, but there are more I promise! Maybe that will be my next post! Just FYI, I was not paid for the endorsement of Gabe the Fish Babe, I just couldn’t help myself. I’m that impressed.

Any of my readers ever interested in a CSA of some sort?


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