Posts Tagged ‘Thelma Peterson art’

Eastern Shore Hospice’s 5th Annual “Corks and Forks” Fundraiser A Complete Success

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

The  Hospice and Palliative Care of the Eastern Shore  organization pulled off yet another great fundraiser party a few weeks ago.  Held once again at Aqua, a fine dining restaurant overlooking the Chesapeake Bay in Cape Charles, VA, the party was just getting into full swing as we arrived.  The great thing about Aqua’s  as a venue for a large party like this is that it is such a beautiful building- from its  long wall of picture windows overlooking the Bay to the amazing translucent bar that appears to be a long stream of liquid gold  to  the fabulous irridescent aquamarine tile covered columns,  Aqua’s offers  terrific ambience for any event. Kudos unlimited to Dickie Foster for building this fine restaurant !

Wine glasses and plates in hand,  we began a slow circuit  of the various food stations, each seemingly with more delicous offerings than the last.  First stop, the Oyster Station.   And not just any oysters, but three wide trays of  ice,  each proudly holding a specific type of Eastern Shore VA  grown beauty.   A  tray of  fat Chincoteage oysters, a tray of salty Seaside oysters and  a tray of tender Bayside oysters,  each  plump and glistening in its briny juice,  ice-cold and with a dash of Mingonette Sauce,  ready to be downed in one great sluurrpp !   My husband loves oysters but I took a pass, concentrating instead on the accompanying sparkling wine from the Scharffenberger Winery in Mendicino, California,  which was also ice cold and absolutely luscious.

Next stop,  the Chicken Satay/Grilled Shrimp Station whose offerings were being paired with  Savigonon  Blanc.  The chicken was grilled to perfection and served with a slightly spicy Thai chili sauce on the side.  The chili sauce was quite good,  although I personally am partial to a peanut sauce with satay,  particularly a sauce made with whole peanuts freshly ground in a food processor rather than made with the chunky peanut butter called for in lots of recipes .  ( However,  if one is in a time crunch,  Smucker’s  brand Chunky Peanut Butter is a top-of-the-line substitute.)   And as my husband was quick to remind me, it’s nice to do things differently from time to time.   Although they were offering both an oaked and a steel vintage of the sav blanc,  I didn’t try either because I was working on my second taste  of the Scharffenberger’s.  It  worked perfectly with the chicken so  I figured,  if it aint broke, don’t fix it……. or some such adage.

Onward and upward to what turned out to be, side by side,  my two favorite stations of the evening.   First station offered  an Italian antipasto,  Kalamata olives, fresh mozzerella and chunks of artichoke hearts transformed  into finger food with skewers and also  mini-mini sandwiches,  styled as  “Turkey Reubens”,  wafer thin smoked turkey with a dab of cole slaw, tucked into small wedges of crusty Italian bread, very, very nice.   Next door to that tasty group was a station featuring sausage chunks atop a bed of ratatulle as well as teriyaki meatballs, both very well prepared although I would have enjoyed  a bit more of  the delicious sauce over the meatballs.  The wine paired with the meatballs and sausage was my very favorite of the night-  an aromatic red Zinfandal from the Big Sur region of  California,  Peachy Canyon Vineyard’s  “Incredible Red”, a wonderful pairing,  a wine with plenty of heft to work well with those spicy meats.

By now the sun was almost setting and we moved to Aqua’s outdoor  veranda to sit for a bit, just relax and  enjoy the sunset and the gentle breezes  blowing off the water.  It was an idylic waterfront scene,  the sun slipping deep to the west, despite the cloud cover trying to paint  the Chesapeake’s waters in pastel shades of  pinks and gold,  a few last  boats cruising in off the  Bay, heading for their marina moorings,  waves lapping at  Aqua’s soft sand beach, candles glowing golden on the tables, perfectly lovely,  absolutely.  We waited until the sun had slipped below the horizon before heading back inside for a bite at the  Dessert Station,  a brie en croute with fig preserve and house made chocolate nut clusters,  paired with a late harvest dessert wine. Yummy !  From there, off to peruse the display  of  the  many donated  “Silent Auction” items.

“Corks and Forks” is an important  fund-raiser for Hospice with proceeds going to its Fragile Hearts Children’s Grief Camp,  a camp to be held at YMCA’s Camp Silver Beach this year for children dealing with grief and loss, a truly worthy cause.   And funds are raised not just through the ticket sales  but also through the donations of various items from local artists and the local business community to be sold at the Cork and Fork’s   “Silent Auction”.  This year the prime objets d’ art were  paintings  by well-known local artists  Willie Crocket,  Thelma Peterson and Clelia Sheppard and a ceramic  by Vesna Zidovec.  Other donated items included various types of gift baskets,  getaway packages, concert tickets, jewelrey and  sculpture.   All in all,  something for everyone to be interested in.  The countdown to the end of the auction was lively, with folks darting to enter their latest bids on their favorite items.  Some disappointed sighs were heard  the winners were announced but all in all,  loads of fun for everyone.  This post would not be complete without mentioning the music by the Russell Scarborough Jazz Trio.  I am a big fan of jazz and these three guys can really get down, they are wonderful and added a great deal to this delightful evening,  chalk up another winner by the Eastern Shore Hospice organization !

(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Even More Delicious Regional Foods and Wine At The 2011 Harvest Festival On Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

A week before the 19th Annual Harvest Festival, an Eastern Shore of Virginia annual festival celebrating our regional foods and wines,  held just south of Cape Charles, VA,  I decided it was time to start getting ready…. by that, I mean cutting down on a few calories all week  so as not to feel guilty about definitely tucking in on “the day.”   Tucking in at the Harvest Festival  is part of the fun,  sampling everything at least once and one’s favorites twice,  truth be told, maybe even thrice.   And there are so many favorites to choose from, where to even start ?

Eastern Shore Harvest Fest On The Sparkling Sand Shores Of The Chesapeake Bay

As you hand in your admission ticket  you’re handed back a broad yellow tray,  the better to stack and tote the little plates of  scrumptious goodies you are going to choose.  Sort of  like a tapas bar concept except that you stroll through several acres of  grounds which overlook the Chesapeake Bay and beach and  feature  dozens of  tents,  each preparing one particular and delicious food.   Sponsored by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce,  the original concept of the Harvest Fest at its debut 15 years ago was that it would be held at harvest time (duh) and would feature  traditional Southern and Eastern Shore  dishes.  Remaining  true to its mission,  held the first Wednesday of October each year from noon to 4pm,  showcasing   the delicious seafood and other regional foods popular on the Eastern Shore, Harvest Fest is always a sold-out event,  the  3000 tickets offered first to Chamber members and then to the general public.  The Chamber always has tons of  folks calling the week  before,  requesting tickets, which of course are already sold.  Their advice and mine– get your tickets early !

Juicy And Crisp- Delicious Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches With Tarter Sauce

Yellow trays  in hand, we set off on a leisurely stroll to survey this year’s offerings, “we”  being moi, hubby, Eldest Daughter,  Middle Daughter and friend.  I always like to make a circuit,  peek at everything and then start making my choices.  Not everyone likes to do that– the sight of a couple of  plump soft shell crabs nestled on a bun, just waiting for a big dollop of tarter sauce,  slowed some of our group down to a halt,  the better to swoop up a plate of these crustacean delicacies.  (For those not familiar with eating  “soft shells”, when a crab molts,  for a few hours until its new shell hardens, it is a “soft shell”, plucked out of the water so that the shell hardening process is suspended and ready to be battered, friend and eaten whole , legs and all,  accompanied by a squeeze of  lemon or tarter sauce.  For the watermen who process “busters”,  those with cracks in their shell and about to molt,  it is a process of constant vigilance  because the newly molted crab has to be plucked out of the water virtually immediately or else the shell will get hard or  the other crabs will eat it themselves,  not being shy about cannibalism.  The intensive labor to produce them explains why soft shells are not commonly on menus and why they are expensive when they are.)

Standing In Line For The Ever Popular And Totally Scrumptious Shrimp

So we proceeded on, the day sunny and bright, soft  breezes wafting in from the Chesapeake Bay, temperatures in the mid-70’s, a perfect Indian Summer’s day.  After completing one full circuit,  pausing at the Holly Grove Winery station,( one of our three excellent local wineries ),  to pick up a refreshing  glass of  cold chardonnay,  I headed around to the shrimp station while my husband headed across the green for the crabcake tent.  I am pretty picky about fried shrimp-  they need to be dipped in a very light, silky tempura type batter which clings as a diaphanous coating to the shrimp so that when they are fried the result is a thin, crispy crust encasing a juicy, plump shrimp. (  Highly recommend the soft shell crab batter recipe in John Schield’s  excellent cookbook, “Chesapeake Bay Cooking”  as a great  batter for shrimp.)   I’m delighted to say that these were delicious–  sweet,  pink,  juicy mouthfuls of succulent  shrimp served with an excellent homemade tarter sauce.  And fortunately the french- fry and corn-on-the-cob tents were  almost adjacent !   With my trusty yellow tray loaded with a hefty  helping of shrimp  plus fries, corn plus a cup of Eastern Shore style clam chowder,  I headed back to our chairs.  ( Harvest Fest is a  “bring your own lawn chair”  event unless you want to stand for 3 or 4 hours. )   There I found the rest of the group enjoying crabcakes, softshells and flounder, piping  hot and savory.


Johnny Mo, The Eastern Shore’s Singing Chef, With His Luscious Spicy Pork BBQ

Nothing Says Autumn Like Sweet Potato Pie

After savoring my last shrimp,  I decided to sample something from the landlubber side, BBQ, the great Southern favorite.  This year there were two different  BBQ stations,  Mallard Restaurant’s and private caterer Bruce Richardson’s, each quite different, both very flavorful.  Mallard’s  (  in Onancock and home of Johnny Mo, known locally as the “Singing Chef” ) served their well-seasoned chopped pork BBQ  atop a sweet potato biscuit half, topped with a dollop of a delicious, spicy aoli– different and delicious.  I ate two on the theory that two halves equal a whole, right ?   But by then the important thing was to save room for a little slice of pie– sweet potato pie, that old Southern standby, like pumpkin but according to my husband,  much better.  So we did it,  thin slices  of  sweet potato pie, honeyed, toothsome, topped with a generous spoonful of fluffy whipped cream.  And then, like Bugs Bunny, my stomach said, That’s all folks !

Art Work By Well Known Painter, Thelma Peterson

Besides the food, the other fun aspect of Harvest Fest is running into people you know but haven’t seen for a while, maybe even since last Harvest Fest,  and it’s fun to catch up.  And the Artist’s  Tent is always great,  lots of talented  local artisans and artists, a number of mediums presented.  Among the many exhibitors this year was Thelma Peterson, (  ), a very well known local painter showing  mostly her watercolours,  and  Al “Buck” Doughty, ( )  his exquisite bronze castings beautifully reflected on the display mirrors  as well as several destinctive decoy carvers.

Dana Simpson, ( ) , multi-talented, a writer and  illustrator was there with her children’s books, Eldest Daughter ended up with  her  charming  book entitled “Moon Goes Fishing” , a birthday gift for her neice .  There is always a last minute rush at the Artist Tent about 3:30,  folks making selections or picking up packages on hold for them until closing.


And then all too soon,  it’s 4pm,  time to go, food stations closing,  time having passed on winged feet.   Except for the band.   Yep, down at the beach there was  a band and a lot of folks sitting in lawn chairs amongst the shade trees,  settling in for a few more hours of fun.  Although my music tastes are broad, running  the  gamut  from Mosart  to  Tommy Dorsey, Dave Brubeck to  Sarah Brightman,  MoTown to Willie  Nelson,  Elvis to  Aaron Copeland,  Josh Groban  to Gilbert & Sullivan, etc., etc.,  nevertheless,  I usually can’t tolerate  the mostly overwhelming ear splitting noise that currently  passes for music with most of these bands.  So,  no musical interlude under the oaks for us,  just  a smile for an afternoon well-enjoyed and heading for home,  time to burn up a few calories walking our lively Newfie dogs,  Honey and Pumpkin(Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)