Brunch - Jon's Way Or Mine??? - Put the Kettle on.... Blog at - 293859

Put the Kettle on....

Brunch - Jon's Way or Mine??? 
Jan. 6, 2013 1:44 pm 
Updated: Jan. 13, 2013 2:18 pm
About five years ago we started a new tradition.  After Christmas we pack up and head out to the Eastern Shore for a week of winter-time beach fun.  Jon loves to hunt waterfowl and there is an abundance of it on Chincoteague Island and he has had many fine hunts over the years with our son, Steve; another avid hunter.

Our daughter, Kristal always comes along, too.  Some years her husband has been able to come and others (like this year) his job won't let him get away. Her cocker spaniel, Maggie, also always makes the trip.  This year was going to be a bit different for us - with Jon feeling the difference the most.  Since Steve moved out West he would not be making the trip this year.  I, naturally, just plain miss Steve and was wishing he could be with us.  But for Jon - he was not going to have his human hunting partner; only Suzy the faithful and eager lab.   A few months ago one of Jon's friends who is also a hunter mentioned he'd never hunted for sea ducks or ever had the chance to shoot a brant.  A plan was made!  Kevin and his family would be going to Chincoteague Island for a week.  Kevin's wife enjoys hunting so I promised my babysitting services so she could make it out hunting a couple times. 

We arrived late afternoon on Saturday and quickly got our things unpacked and settled into the house.  Some of our favorite restaurants are on this Island so we don't eat many dinners "in", choosing to gorge ourselves on as many seafood dinners as possible in a week.  This year we honestly weren't sure how much seafood we would be eating, or if we would even make the trip out.  Jon got sick Christmas Day after everyone left and I got sick two days before we were to leave.  By Friday Jon was feeling better and I felt well enough to travel on Saturday morning.  Our first meal on the Island was an open-faced turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes for me.  I just wasn't trusting my stomach yet.  But, by the next day I was certainly eating seafood; especially plenty of the famous Chincoteague oysters raw on the half shell. 

Jon and his friend would take their boat and go hunting every morning.  Us girls would load the car up with the two little ones and head out to explore the Island.  This time of year there are not many stores open, but the wildlife on the refuge is abundant.  Even the wild ponies are up close to see.  It was quite obvious that Matthew, the four-year-old, lives in a house with a duck hunter.  While driving toward the beach with the marsh all around, suddenly from the back seat we hear, "Hey Mom! Pull over, I gotta check out these birds!".  This said with his mini-binoculars in hand.  We all got a good chuckle out of that.

Friday morning Kristal and I decided to spend the day without the company of Kevin's wife and kids.  We wanted some mother/daughter bonding time.  As we were planning our mile and a half walk into town to shop, I received a text from Jon.  He had sent me a picture of his "brunch" he was cooking in his boat on his little backpacking stove.  He had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, oatmeal and hot tea.  Hunting to Jon is not just about going out and killing ducks.  He gets into the whole experience - good company (both human and canine), good scenery, and good food.  Sometimes he comes home from a hunt having never fired his gun but he still considers the hunt a success if he saw some birds and enjoyed some good food.

The walk to town was a great walk.  The sun was shining and the air was brisk.  We stopped along the way and "talked" to different duck families we saw in little creeks and beside the road.  It seemed the gas station with the convenient mart was a popular place for the ducks to hang out.

As we approached Bill's Seafood Restaurant I said to Kristi, "Maybe we should duck in here and warm up with a cup of tea. Maybe they'll have some danish or something to go with it."  The hostess seated us and suggested one of their house specialties - banana pecan french toast.  That just sounded too good to pass up.  When the server placed the plates before us - I snapped a picture and sent it to Jon.  Our day of shopping was declared a success based on that brunch as we ended up not buying anything.  Girls can enjoy a yummy brunch and fine company, too!! 

Yesterday we sadly packed up the truck, cleaned the house up, and headed for Ohio.  We have been going to Chincoteague since our honeymoon 31 years ago.  Our children have known this little slice of paradise as vacation every year of their lives; always in July after baseball season but before the famous pony swim.  I love the island in the summer, but it is much more crowded than it is in December.  As I sat in the back with the dogs, riding along the Pennsylvania turnpike, I had plenty of time to reflect on our winter vacations. I consider this vacation to be mine - a time to relax, enjoy the company of my family, spend time close to "nature", and eat plenty of meals with seafood as the main attraction.  I leaned forward, tapped Jon on the shoulder, and said "You know, it's a darn good thing you like to duck hunt.  It gives you something to do when we come on my vacation!"
Suzy & Maggie travel well together
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Chincoteague Wild Pony
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Suzy waiting patiently
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A bushel of oysters
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Brunch with Kristal-Banana Pecan French Toast
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Jon's brunch
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Jan. 6, 2013 3:10 pm
What a great story,Mother Ann.I love the mother,daughter alone times.Your pictures are lovely.Spending time with family is wonderful,very glad for you that you can do that every year.Your Suzy reminds me our our black lab,Molly,she waits the exact same way.Sitting right behind me.I wouldn't have it any other way.
Jan. 6, 2013 4:16 pm
Hi manella! I feel very lucky to be able to go to chincoteague every year - not once but twice.
Jan. 6, 2013 4:57 pm
Mother Ann, go as often as you can,and enjoy every minute.I'm thinking of going to visit my sister in Ariziona,get away from the snow and cold.Arizona is a beautiful place.Love going to the US.Have a great evening.
Jan. 6, 2013 5:13 pm
manella - I've never been to Arizona but someday I'd love to get out there!
Jan. 6, 2013 6:21 pm
I hope you do. We did not travel when we got married,38and 1/2 years ago.Busy saving for a house and then our 2 beautiful girls.On our 25 we went to Mexico,now we go somewhere every year.My sister and her husband bought a house in Arizona 4 years ago,we have been there3 times.Living in Nova Scotia,the winters are soooo cold,nice to travel to a warmer climate.Have a great evening Mother Ann.
Jan. 6, 2013 7:06 pm
I have not been to Chincoteague in over 35 years. Is it still very rural? We used to go for the pony swim with the stable where I rode. Your vacation sounds lovely to me.
Jan. 7, 2013 3:10 am
BSM: Chincoteague has changed alot, yet is still the same; if that makes any sense. There is now a McDonald's, Subway, a few "touristy" t-shirt/souvenir shops and several chain hotels on the Island. Downtown is still the local shops and plenty of local seafood restaurants. The Island Creamery is still making delicious homemade ice cream. Assateague Island changes every year. Currently due to Hurricane Sandy there are only about 100 parking spaces but that didn't matter this time of year.
Jan. 7, 2013 7:35 am
Brought back memories MA. We used to go to the island when we stayed at Bethany Beach.
Jan. 7, 2013 8:59 am
I'd take either brunch! I can imagine how much you miss your son. In a way I am lucky mine is back home. I'm not even complaining about doing his laundry, I missed him that much last winter!
Jan. 7, 2013 1:33 pm
Thanks for sharing that MotherAnn! It's a great story, and I love that wisdom you gave your hubby on the way home. It is good that he had something to do too. I'm going to have to keep that in mind on my wife's next holiday!
Jan. 7, 2013 4:45 pm
Dog Fish Head - Thanks for stopping in! I've never been to Bethany Beach.
Jan. 7, 2013 4:46 pm
Cat - You are very lucky your son is back home! I'm just really thankful we live in the age we do - technology is so awesome! I can't imagine what it was like years ago when you couldn't just text, call, or skype anytime. And, I'm lucky Steve keeps us informed of what he is doing.
Jan. 7, 2013 4:50 pm
Doc - Two years ago our son won 6 different guided waterfowl hunts - he went to New York, Canada, Rhode Island, and a couple here in Ohio. I was really bummed that he and hubby got to go on these trips and I had to stay home! It truly is a lucky thing that we both enjoy the same things.
Jan. 8, 2013 7:29 am
Great blog~I could almost smell the beach~!
Jan. 8, 2013 9:02 am
Sounds like a wonderful vacation! I love to go on vacation vicariously through other people. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Jan. 9, 2013 7:16 am
I'm reminded of a song, "Far away places, with strange sounding names". How wonderful that you can travel--Chincoteague sounds lovely!
Jan. 9, 2013 5:37 pm
CrazyCat - Thank you for stopping in! Tonight we ate the last of the oysters we brought home. The beach is a wild place in the winter - but I love spending time there, even though we have to bundle up and stay warm!
Jan. 9, 2013 5:38 pm
Paula - I also love hearing about other people's travels. Though I will admit I enjoy traveling to my little paradise more! :)
Jan. 9, 2013 5:40 pm
Bibi - Chincoteague is lovely. I remember as a kid reading the book "Misty of Chincoteague" but had no idea how to pronounce it. Then, when we were discussing where to go for our honeymoon my Grandpa told us about Chincoteague so we went there. We loved it and have gone almost every year since, some years we've gone twice!
Jan. 12, 2013 5:36 pm
Love your bog. Sitting here in the middle of South Dakota wondering how DO you pronounce that? Ha. I had never heard of your little paradise, and was drawn to my search engine to fly me there. It looks like a lovely place to explore and relax. Am very envious of your yearly trips. You are very lucky to do so.
Jan. 13, 2013 5:06 am
wythout - You pronounce it: Chink-o-teeg. As I read your comment above, I can't help but ask: How far from Custer or Rapid City are you? My sister & brother-in-law live in Rapid and my son is in Custer. He is a corrections officer/counselor at the Star Academy. Your state is a beautiful place to explore as well. The first time we visited my sister, my then very young son proclaimed he was going to be moving there when he grew up. He graduated from college in Dec. 2011 and by mid-January 2012 he was living with my sister and interviewing for jobs. Thanks for stopping in!
Jan. 13, 2013 12:16 pm
Mother Ann, we live in Mitchell, basically the other side of the state, but I have 3 brothers in Rapid City, one in Sturgis . My son is currently a Sr. at black hills state university in spearfish, which is north of Rapid. Would be crazy if my family has crossed paths with yours. We travel that way three or four times a year to visit. Didn't realize you son was living in SD. Glad he likes it here. I would prefer to live in his side of the state, but think my husband would miss my cooking! Ha. Thanks for sharing you wonderful stories. Makes for a great read on a cold winters day in SD.
Jan. 13, 2013 1:48 pm
My brother-in-law has lived in SD his entire life and we joke he probably knows everyone (since your state is seriously under-populated compared to Ohio). I've heard of Mitchell - is that where the corn palace is? I've been to Spearfish. It's all beautiful out there! I'm sure your hubby would miss your cooking! ;)
Jan. 13, 2013 2:03 pm
Mitchell is where the corn palace is. And knowing my oldest brother, who talks to everyone and anyone, he probably knows your in law! I love the spearfish area. Will retire there if my son stays out that way, which am pretty sure that is his plan. Enjoy your Sunday. A warm 17 degrees here.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:18 pm
I've seen the corn palace! That would be funny if they knew one another! Stay warm! It was in the 60's here today which was good, hubby is re-siding our house which was damaged in a tree incident back in September (wrote a blog about it with pics if you're interested in going back into my blog archive and checking it out!)
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Mother Ann

Home Town
Streetsboro, Ohio, USA
Living In
Ravenna, Ohio, USA

Member Since
Oct. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Italian, Southern, Dessert

Hiking/Camping, Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I've been married for 33 years, and live in Ohio. We have a daughter who is married and lives nearby. Our son graduated from college and moved to South Dakota. He has his own place but still goes to visit my sister and brother-in-law and have dinner with them occasionally. We have two black labs that get to go duck hunting with dad and two cats. We own a Mexican restaurant and are learning alot about the food industry. I love to eat, go camping, read, spend time with family and friends, watch movies, and drink wine; not necessarily in that order.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake - anything chocolate is fine with me. Seafood, chicken dishes and slow-cooker fare.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My husband and I enjoy cooking together with wine. We pop open a bottle of wine and get cooking. :-)
My cooking triumphs
Whenever I can put together a meal that gets many compliments and leaves the diners satisfied is a triumph in my book! I love to cook meals for family and friends.
My cooking tragedies
When I was first married we had my grandparent's-in-law over for a pot roast dinner. The meat came out great, but the potatoes and carrots were still half raw. My husband's grandfather went to cut his fork into a carrot and it flew off his plate. He looked at me, winked, and said he loved his carrots that way!
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