Excuses, excuses! I know....No Blog for 6 months!
Life really turns into a whirlwind when you make the decision to split your time between two far away places. We closed the Barracuda Bar and Grill at Beaches and Dreams Seafront Inn in late June, after having a week-long 40th birthday party for a California girl and her entourage of friends that filled up ourplace and spilled over to some of the other resorts nearby. The celebration was, much to my joy, centered around culinary theme nights, culminating in a 6 course wine dinner which was provided an impromtu intermezzo when a sudden storm blew in our outdoor dining area. The menu was matched with wines and began with a Lobster Bisque, Roasted Duck and apricot salad, seafood ravioli with sundried tomato pesto, mango sorbet and a 12 layer Lithuanian Torte.
The Inn remains open with breakfast all summer until our return in late September after working in a remote kitchen for firefighters in the Alaskan outback. This year, on the return trip to Belize, we decided to take a 2 week camping trip in an area I'd never really explored, the Northwestern US. We drove down the Washington and Oregon Coast into Northern California , then returned through the central portions of those states, staying mostly on 2nd class roads and hitting some phenominal fishing in Oregon.
This gives me an answer for the oft-asked question we get here at Beaches and Dreams- "Where do people that live here go for vacation?"
Of course our camping trip centered around.....you guessed it.....FOOD!
It's nice when you have a passion that you can indulge in daily, and still enjoy doing it ...and make a living out of it, and culinary pursuit is definitely mine. It's my heroin. If I don't cook for a few days, I can have crazy mood swings. The camping trip was started provisioning with kitchen essentials for our little rented van. Every night we built a fire and cooked over it, roasting peppers in our clamp grill and cooking portabellos stuffed with the roasted peppers and cheese. We bought fresh seafood in the little fishing towns along the coast and lunched in mom and pop diners serving fresh crab and oysters. Fast forward now, back at our home in Belize for our usual pre-season maintenance rush. Painting the main building and completing the last of our room re-models, reseeding a current crop of basil, oregeno, thyme and dill as well as planting a new raised bed for baby lettuces like mesclun mix and getting stocked up to re-open the Barracuda Bar and Grill has kept us busy 16 hours a day since our return and the first of the seaswons guests are here, but we are ready.
We will now go into the operation mode, where life just skips along at a nice Belizean pace and my mornings are filled with buying fresh snapper filets and lobster tails and checking the local vegetable stand for jicama and tamarind.
Daily Hopkins life is full of things to do, most of which I love to do. Buying fresh ingredients for the nights specials board, serving great clientelle who are Foodies and then enjoying a glass of wine with them after dinner while we sit out on the new extended dock as the palm trees dance in the breeze ...and the ocean sings us her lulabye....I'll meet you at Beaches and Dreams.
You'd better Belize it!