Well, how’s your week so far? We MIGHT see temperatures on the warm side of freezing for a little while. Maybe until next Wednesday (imaginary "jaws" music clip here).
Last night I attended a little reception for one of the organizations I support. Since it was "tri-county" affair (meaning St. Mary’s/Calvert/Charles) it was held in Prince Frederick (PF). The venue chosen was Stoney’s Seafood House, the one hidden in the shopping center down behind Applebees. I had never been to this particular one before, and I believe this visit completes a sweep of those properties. I can still honestly say that none of them have impressed me. The original Broome's Island is probably the best overall, mostly carried by the location - now that the oyster house is gone. As far as their food goes I suppose they are okay for a waterside place, standard fare, crabs (no fluff), oysters, fish, usual selections. And I won’t belabor you again about how I think their crab cake is highly overrated, I've done that enough.
Anyway the place in PF is tucked down amongst the mattress stores and boutiques. As an aside (I always have an aside) they are moving across the street into the newer properties over by Nick’s. They’ll be in the same row, down at the library end. I think it’s a good thing they are moving, the place is dark, dingy, and a weird layout in general. There’s a “takeout” area which now seems devoted to kitchy “Stoney’s” stuff, a bar and a couple of dining areas separated by a fireplace. Dark paneling, old tables, kind of depressing in a way.
The purpose of the reception was to honor volunteers, and so there was some short speechifying of appreciation and general camaraderie which is always fun. And before going into the food, another (damn) aside: Since I am involved in so many community organizations and non-profits, I get to attend a fair amount of these kinds of functions. Usually the sponsoring organization picks up the tab, and being a charitable outfit they naturally try to do it economically (as they should). Therefore you don’t expect really exceptional food. I try to take that into account when wearing my hat with the feeder side forward. Regardless, the food should be hot, presentable, and tasty.
Last night in Stoney’s Seafood House, we had zero seafood (which I guess I can understand from an economical standpoint?). Instead, we had a buffet containing (pretty good) slaw, pulled pork (or beef; I think pork), some creamed spinach, and a tub each of chicken wings and drummies (if that is the name). All were served in aluminum tubs over cans of Sterno. Most of the food was lukewarm at best. A fellow diner wondered if the chicken thingies were cooked in the same oil as the fish/crab cakes, as they did have a bit of an odd edge to them. And a couple of the ones I had seemed almost burned in places. If I wanted to be really snarky, I might suspect precooked, frozen, and warmed in oven.. hopefully not.
But as I said we had a good time, we weren’t there for the food so it was a fun evening. And as I will ALWAYS say they have great carvings…
With the recent onslaught of temperatures expressed by a single digit, we were treated (?) today to a sight we have seen very few times during our dozen or so years of living on the Patuxent River.
Resized ice in river 29 jan 2014 T1 140130 – 5032
Ice rarely forms near us because of the open reach and the surface disturbance due to the winds. But today we saw pretty big floes in the river
The other benefit (if you can call it that) of really cold weather is that the “creeks” freeze over, so it drives the waterfowl into more open water, like our back yard.
These ducks happen to be Scaups, (either lesser or greater, I won’t hazard a guess), and I counted somewhere around 200 in the raft.
In a “normal” year, we see very few Scaups, so this is really unusual. We get plenty of Ruddy Ducks, some Buffleheads, a few Goldeneyes and a scattering of Longtails, but never this many Scaups. They are not uncommon or rare, we just don’t see them here very often. It is really a treat to see all the waterfowl, we very much enjoy them. Our resident eagles swing by every once I a while and our feeders in the backyard are very popular. We had some bluebirds out the other day. Maybe, just maybe….and through it all, cold or hot, rain or shine, our dancer twirls and floats, oblivious to it all.
tonight, with a fresh bandage on my proboscis, we may venture out for dinner. Kind of tough to be
PS since I probably won't publish tomorrow, a note that there will be a Brian Ganz concert tomorrow (Friday) at 8pm in St. Mary's Hall. He will be performing Chopin (no surprise there), and will be accompanied by the talented Beverly Babcock. Free and open to everybody willing to go out. and by golly, maybe it won't be so darn cold!! Unique opportunity..