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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Perfect Beach House Supper on 3 Or More and Tasty Tuesday!

Sometimes it's easy to get it just right. Such was the case this past Saturday,
when Howard and I cooked dinner at the beach house.

It's Three Or More and Tasty Tuesday (see end of post for details!)


On our way out to Long Island's East End, we picked up corn, burstingly ripe local tomatoes, and flowers at roadside stands. The Southold Fish Market at Port Of Egypt (yes, that is really the name) yielded fresh-off-the-boat flounder filets.

Three ingredients, for the perfect meal.

Howard shucked the corn, and I put the ears in a stockpot to steam. Meanwhile, I heated up a couple of heavy pans to cook the flounder using my Grandmother's method. It's so simple, I can't even call it a recipe.

Lightly dredge the filets in some flour. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan surface,
it's time to pop in a pat of butter, and then slide in the fish.

When the fish is getting a little brown on the bottom, flip it over and do the other side.
When it's opaque and flaky, it's done.

By the time the fish was cooked, the corn was steamed.

Our third dish was tomatoes . . . just cut up and in a bowl.
No dressing, not even any salt. Naked tomatoes, window-sill temperature.

Now how does this look, for a simple, quick, fresh and local Saturday night supper?

I put butter and salt on the table, but we didn't use either of them. The corn was so amazingly sweet and delicious, it didn't need any embellishment. All we added to our meal of fish, corn and tomatoes was some wine. I'd have served this to Julia Child!

The table setting involved "three or more" things that have been in use in our family summer homes forever.

The dishes came from John's Bargain Store in Smithtown, New York. They are Japanese knockoffs of Staffordshire, and they are a bit mis-printed, and oddly colored. I remember Mama buying them for 25-cents apiece when I was a little kid, and they make me smile.

My sister-in-law Doris says they remind her of old hand-colored postcards,
with odd blobs of color dabbed on monochrome prints.

Old amber goblets from the back of the cupboard:

Also on the table -- serving bowls and platters of Hull brown drip pottery.
My Mom had lots of it -- good sturdy pottery for big family meals.


I love fresh cut flowers, and they are cheap, sold at tables in front of houses along the Main Road.
It's done on the honor system; you put your money in a zip-loc bag or a coffee can
or an old cigar box, wrap your flowers in newspaper, and take them home.

A pair of porcelain quails kept us company.
(Hey, that's Howard's hand. He is patiently waiting to eat!)

That's as fancy as it gets at the beach house.

But when your main course is this:

. . . you don't need fancy. Simple works best, for the food and for the setting.

Thanks to Tam at The Gypsy's Corner for hosting Three or More Tuesday!
Click here to visit her blog, and the other participants.

Thanks to Jennifer at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, for hosting Tasty Tuesday!
Click here to go there . . . and Jen is also asking for Domestic Diva tips today, so if you
have any great tips or secrets to share, hustle over and leave her a comment!

Have a lovely Tuesday, even if it does mean returning to work! -- Cass


  1. That all looked yummy!!
    Thanks for sharing and joining in on Three or More Tuesday.

    guest hosting for Tam,

    Barbara Jean

  2. Lovely golden tones and yummie food and then came the pictures of the qails and you know what...I once had exactly the same one. I don't know if I ever trown them away or that I still have them. Must look in the cellar because if I still have them they must be there....What a coincidence. Me in Belgium and you at the other side of the ocean and having the same object. I have mine since the eighties.... Then white porcelain became all the rage here.

  3. Oh my! My parents had that brown drip dinnerware for years. My dad had a very fancy barbecue called a "chuck wagon" and it came with little brown drip condiment dishes. My mother just loved those so my dad got her the dish set. No idea what ever happened to any of them!

    Good looking dinner!

  4. Cass- This sounds like a perfect meal and perfect evening. We did speckled trout the same way Saturday night. I loved the dishes and your story about your mom buying them. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it? :) Happy Tuesday!

  5. Oh this looks delicious. Is that your house in the header picture? It looks amazing, I LOVE the porch :)

  6. love this post! the table is very homey. I love those dishes. I just found out that my turkey platter is a Japan knock-off too with the same color technique. You probably told me about it. :P Honor system flowers, love it. That is how we got our blueberries last year on the eastern shore.

  7. I am sure Julia would have asked for seconds. Simple is good. We eat tomatoes like that almost every day.

  8. Hi Cass--

    Simple and delish--my two fav words and that is what you have accomplished here. Simple and it
    looks delish! Beautiful flowers too.

    Have a great day!


  9. Looks and sounds so good. Pretty table setting.

  10. That looks pretty darned fancy to me! I'd love to dine at your house and enjoy your fine cooking! Your photos are, as always, simply wonderful.

  11. I think I'm jealous..., a long Island Beach House! And all the local goodies. I must say, I do love Long Island.

  12. And how about that fabulous weather I arranged for you! It was a wonderful weekend..and many more good ones ahead..
    Great post, glad you got to enjoy the house!

  13. Your dinner looks delicious and your table so inviting.

  14. Yep. Perfect. Perfectly simple. Perfectly delicious.

  15. I want some of that fish - - - you COULD share, you know!

  16. Oh Cass, this meal looks delicious and so simple. You've set the table beautifully with your pretty plates...Christine

  17. We had corn and tomatoes this weekend too - fresh, fresh, fresh!
    I recently read that another good way to eat corn is with a squirt of lime juice and a dash of pepper. Must try it one day.

  18. it all looks just so yummy on your pretty plates with those sunflowers!!! great post!

  19. I think I could smell the salt water air! This is my kind of meal. I'm sure Julia Child would have loved it too. That china is just charming! laurie

  20. Everything looks so tasty! And I love your dishes!

  21. Cass,
    In regard to your question about thickness of glass in frames.
    Glass thickness varies, and yes, some of it is very thin.
    Most seem to work OK for small trays though. (the one with the lace is an 8X10 frame.)
    I've done up to an 11X14, vintage tray, and it was OK. Important to back it with something other than cardboard if it is too thin.

    And, don't put anything really heavy on them.
    Let me know if you make one. I'd love to see and post about it.

    barbara jean

  22. Hi Cass....nothing better then fresh corn and tomatoes....the fish looks delicious but my eye caught the little glasses...I have the same ones only in blue..have had them 35 years or more....saw them a few years ago at a flea market and they wanted a small fortune for them....Trying to find out why and who made them...Fostoria maybe?? Do you remember where you got yours?? I have the footed lasses and regular tumblers as well...

  23. What a beautifully simple and fresh supper. The table setting, as always, looks lovely.

    (Mmmm to fresh, fresh flounder. The freshest I've had was at my Uncle's beach house. At six in the morning he was rowing out to pull up his net. By eight I'd stumbled out of bed to sit down to a whole flounder for my breakfast. Simply cooked, it was a very memorable start to a happy day)

  24. I love everything about this post simply says home and not only home but country home to me. SO sweet from the meal provided to the dishes and accesories around. Makes me think of my childhood I had a wonderful younger life and remember it well

  25. Hi Cass :)

    That looks soooo delicious! Is it wrong to crave fish at 9am? LOL

    Sounds like you both had a great time at the beach house :)


  26. Yum yum!!! Dinner looks good. And I love your dishes. Great three or more Tuesday post. And thanks for visiting mine & leaving me a comment. It really means a lot to me.


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