The Vineyard has plenty of amenities to offer its inhabitants, but there’s one thing many would say is missing that would make life complete: a plentiful supply of ethnic food, preferably reasonably priced.
When off-Island, Vineyarders make a point to get our fill from ethnic restaurants in Boston or New York, or else pick up takeout on the Cape to enjoy on the boat ride home.
Legend has it that in 1816 Henry Hall of Barnstable County cleared the brush from around some native cranberry plants, and as a result, sand from a nearby dune blew onto the plot. Henry was surprised to find that instead of the cranberries being destroyed, they actually flourished and produced a wonderful crop. And so was born the modern cultivated cranberry bog.
As she spent the summer promoting and signing copies of her new cookbook, Table Talk, Espresso Love’s Carol McManus found affirmation for the idea the book is based on – that busy Americans are gradually giving up an important aspect of family life: the family dinner.
She thinks that’s a mistake.
Many of us can remember a time when indulging in a truly memorable meal was much like finding a piece of blue sea glass – it could happen, but it was a noteworthy event. Now Martha’s Vineyard has some fine restaurants and first-rate chefs, however I would hardly call it a culinary destination. So it surprises me when I walk into a bookstore and see how many Martha’s Vineyard–related cookbooks line the shelves. One might get the impression that we have the kind of cuisine here that merits more than a dozen cookbooks.
Some people collect antiques. Some collect vintage cars or paintings. And there are some who collect seeds. But the seeds aren’t what Thalia Scanlan, a West Tisbury resident and one such seed collector, values as much as the fruit: tomatoes, with histories and names like the ‘Earl of Edgecombe’.
An eye-to-eye confrontation with an eight-inch blue crab, pincers held high and open, ready to battle to the death with the outsize monster that has all the advantages, becomes an experience for child or adult to store away with other treasured souvenirs of a Vineyard summer. – The Martha’s Vineyard Cookbook by Louise Tate King and Jean Stewart Wexler