I grew up on the coast, with a vast ocean just a few miles from my home. I felt strangled in my small town, and when I stared at the ocean in the clean, crisp, salt air, I saw nothing but possibility. I never even considered a school in my own state…
Instead, I moved to California… and I cried for months, missing my trees, until the desert sand and warm ocean waves etched a permanent place on my soul.
Still, I thought there must be more… my heart needed to wander. So I packed my car and moved to the east coast. Away from my ocean, away from my trees… and I’ve lived here in Maryland and worked in DC ever since.
Here, the beaches have boardwalks. The smell of Old Bay, malt vinegar, and sunscreen fills the air… and for Mark, that smell is every bit as nostalgic as my own.
I complain a lot about the east coast… or at least the mid-Atlantic. But in many ways it’s become my home… making me crave malt vinegar in the summers, leaving its indelible mark, just like the others.
This weekend, in the midst of an emergency soft serve field trip, I found myself lamenting the fact that, should our children someday move to the west coast (and I hope they do), they’ll never be able to find the same custard-like soft serve that’s so abundant here… they’ll just have to live with plain old ice cream. And Mark reminded me that’s good… it will make them miss home.
It’s the best, and the worst, part of growing up…
Realizing just how lucky you were to have, for just a little while, been a kid.
2 pounds red bliss potatoes, cut in half
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon (or more) maldon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbls fresh chopped rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Boil potatoes, vinegar and coarse salt in 5 cups water for 20 minutes or until soft but firm.
Drain potatoes, toss in oil and bake on a flat sheet until crisp.
While still hot, but just before serving, toss crisp potatoes in vinegar and herbs. Coat with maldon salt, to taste.