I’ve had the good fortune of living near an ocean all of my life, first the Atlantic and now the Pacific. My parents loved the beach, and growing up in the Bronx we spent every weekend on hot crowded buses just to get to Orchard Beach, a beach populated by immigrants and locals. Once we arrived, my parents always sat in the same grassy area with the same group of people. My mother would bring certain foods along, blueberry buns, tuna sandwiches made with generously sliced challah, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and cold beer for my father. While the adults played cards and discussed politics, we would go off and play by ourselves for hours. We played in the ocean or on the sand and sometimes we would keep busy by collecting starfish that we dried in the sun. Our parents didn’t worry because our older siblings would be nearby laying on their blankets listening to music on transistor radios while spending hours sunbathing. Not only are the memories embedded but so are the foods associated with those memories, and to this day when I bite into a blueberry bun, it tastes like summer.
Yesterday my daughter, Norm and I went to the beach, something we don’t do often enough. We didn’t bring food, just some cherries for a snack, we didn’t meet up with friends and we didn’t play cards or discuss politics. We relaxed, read the paper, took naps on the warm blanket, and eventually packed up the car and came home. By then we were hungry, raided the fridge and ate cold, leftover BBQ chicken. Sitting at the kitchen table my daughter took a bite, turned to me and said, “it tastes like summer.”
Sticky BBQ Chicken
2 chickens cut in eighths
4 cloves garlic
4 Tb ketchup
4 Tb red wine vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup honey
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat till done. This took about 45 minutes on a gas grill that was about 350 degrees. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Using a brush, thickly coat chicken pieces on the grill with sauce. Cook for five minutes, turn over and baste again. Remove and pour any remaining sauce on top of chicken and it is ready to serve. You will need plenty of napkins.
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May 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM
I remember Orchard Beach with a great deal of fondness. I remember the grassy area where mommy and daddy met Raisel and Srulka and other friends and family. I even remember Shmiel Hoffman always coming to spend the day with our parents. Daddy wore a suit, tie and his chapeau. I remember Sara and Liba being there with their parents.
Thanks for reminding me of long ago summers and of mommy’s “yagdeh bilkalech.” They were my favorite.
May 23, 2012 at 8:24 PM
I didn’t remember Shmiel Hoffman until now. I don’t think Daddy ever wore a suit to the beach Anita. Not my father. And a tie?? Hysterical!!!!
We did both manage to eat yagda bilkelach though!!!
Love you always,
May 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM
everything is especially delicious sharing it with your favorite daughter.
May 22, 2012 at 7:53 AM
How right you are Estelle!! We both know that as the Moms and as the daughters!
May 21, 2012 at 9:02 PM
sounds like a great day!
May 21, 2012 at 9:12 PM
Thanks!! It was really nice day and I got to see you and David too!