The Block Island Times

A belated Happy Thanksgiving on ya!

By J. V. Houlihan, Jr. | Dec 02, 2013

My wife can cook. I can’t. To impress a girlfriend once, I decided to make an omelette with all the fixings:onions, mushrooms, peppers and sausage. Pretty impressive stuff, except that I tried to use Italian sausages; it all went bad from there—a total mess.  The girl left—that’s how the omelette crumbles. Cooking is embedded in my wife’s genes, she’s a Celt, and when she cooks, especially in the fall and wintertime, she makes lots of good stuff—all at once. “You shouldn’t waste the heat in the oven, “she says. As a result, the freight guys in Point Judith eat well during the desolate cold of wintertime.

I know when Cindy is cooking, because Sailor and MacTavish don’t even bark when I come in the house. The boys are completely dialed in, to what Cindy is making in the kitchen—they are fixated on every move she makes. They want nothing to do with me. Being a meat and potatoes guy, Cindy will always have one or two Shepard’s Pies cooking. “Now make sure you share this with the guys,” she says. A couple of pies ago, there was a subtle new flavor. She added an eyeful of A1 Sauce into the meat, and took the aroma and flavor to another dimension! The guys loved it. Sausage and meatballs are an old stand-by, as well as assorted casseroles. Scones and cookies are pretty standard also. She made this pumpkin cake with chocolate chips last winter which was a huge hit (there’s just something about that combination). Last week we had the first meatball soup of the season. It was outstanding. This fall, Martin Donovan flipped Cindy some of his Great Island tomatoes, (Martin takes his tomatoes seriously) and she made a tomato pie, which was an epicurean delight.  She has the whole seasoning thing down to a science.

In the summertime, young guys at the dock are burger, pizza, cold mac and beef guys—a young man has other things on his mind in this season of the rising sap. However, in the cold winter months, my wife’s home cooking is very much on the minds of these guys. It’s slim pickings regarding food at the ferry dock in the dead of winter, so Cindy’s tasty little dishes are greatly appreciated.  I almost forgot, her beef and barley soup is off the charts. I’ll be leaning on her to make plenty of that this winter. My wife said to me once, in a matter-of-fact-observational tone of voice, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” She ain’t kidding.

Last week, my wife and daughter Amy were on Oahu checking out a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, and the Triple Crown of Surfing event on the North Shore. Next, they scooted over to Amy’s place in Lahania, on Maui, and had a Da Kine (google Da Kine) Thanksgiving, Hawaiian style, with a cast of island characters. Finally, this scribbler says, “Happy belated Thanksgiving on ya!” I know the freight guys will be thankful when my wife gets back from Maui. It’s going to be a long winter at the ferry docks in Point Judith.

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