SOSSEXI CSF blog
I’m writing this week’s SOSSEXI blog from Pittsburg, New Hampshire, about 15 miles from the Canadian border in what is locally referred to as “Le Grand Bois du Nord,” or “The Great North Woods.” The big draw to this region of the country is fishing for landlocked salmon, as well as brown, brook, rainbow and lake trout. After spending nearly a week catching and eating freshwater fish, I can honestly say that nothing compares to fresh seafood, especially when it’s hauled from the cold waters off our Massachusetts Coast. My mouth was watering as I called home to find out about SOSSEXI’s weekly goings-on.
Before I left, I had enlisted my brother Mike, himself a fisherman and excellent cook, to pick up my share and to let me know how he prepared the catch.When he picked up the phone on Friday night, he was just getting ready to tuck in to a platter of lightly fried flounder fillets finished off with a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil, as well as a quick sauté of julienned zucchini and summer squash with a splash of white balsamic vinegar. Since he was house-sitting for me as well, I couldn’t help but wonder where he got the lemon-infused olive oil and white balsamic. As he filled me in on the week’s details, the answer became apparent.
The biggest news of the week is that SOSSEXI now has a new pick-up venue in downtown Scituate Harbor a stone’s throw from the Town Pier where our three SOSSEXI fishermen, Frank Mirachi, Phil Lynch and Kevin Norton tie up their boats at the end of each day. During the chaos of our first week’s pick-up when we all converged at Jay’s house in North Scituate, Cindy Gallo Casey, a fellow shareholder, couldn’t help but overhear that the Scituate Selectmen had not yet granted SOSSEXI permission to distribute in Scituate Harbor.
This is a story she has heard before, most recently being last summer when a local CSA, Sweet Georgia P’s, was distributing their vegetables in the parking lot of Fitts Mill, a local feed and grain store. Cindy is the proprietress of The Roman Table, a tiny brick building nestled between Oro Restaurant and TKO’Malley’s in downtown Scituate. I have been in her store, lured in by the beautiful, brightly-colored Provencal table clothes and rustic European tableware. It is sunny and cheerful, and it smells wonderful, whether because of the cooking classes she holds here, or because of the many stainless steel cans that dispense fragrant olive oils and vinegars.
Last summer Cindy was showcasing one of her aged balsamic vinegars with Sweet Georgia P’s local tomatoes when she heard of their plight. Knowing that small businesses need to stick together to survive, she volunteered her storefront at The Roman Table be used for their CSA pick-up. This past week, she again saved the day by allowing SOSSEXI to distribute weekly fish shares at her store.
I can’t think of a better business to sponsor SOSSEXI, especially during the summer months. Fresh fish baked or grilled with a drizzle of olive oil, served with a cool tossed salad simply dressed with oil and vinegar and a little sea salt will have us all transported to Tuscany or Provence.
The second bit of news concerns what everyone got this week. If you got flounder, you weren’t alone. Everyone got some. My brother said five fish totes came in off the refrigerated truck, each with one or two-pound packages of fresh flounder fillets covered with shaved ice. This is a week we can all be thankful we are getting fillets rather than fish in the round. For anyone familiar with filleting fish, flounder is one of the most difficult; it’s a flat fish, and it’s the smallest in the bunch. To get the most out of each fish, it’s best to have an experienced person wielding the knife, so many thanks to whoever took care of that task this week!
Also, thank you to this week’s fisherman, Kevin Norton, for loading up his Yankee Rose with all of this beautiful flounder. Many of the shareholders in a CSF are warned that they might get fish that would be “by catch”, fish the commercial fisherman might normally throw back because there’s not a ready market for it. Well, I think it’s safe to say we all got one of the most desirable, marketable and certainly seasonal fish our local waters have to offer. Let’s all try to talk up SOSSEXI this week to our fellow fish lovers. As Jay mentioned in week one, we really need three times as many shareholders as we currently have, or about 150 total shareholders. We all know this is a worthy and delicious venture. Now let’s try to really make it a financially viable venture. Let’s talk it up!
I’m going to include a little extra blogging here for the “out-of-towners”, or those shareholders not from Scituate or right over the North River Bridge in my own town of Marshvegas. Feel free to throw this back…
I said in last week’s blog that one of the things I love about getting my fish from a CSF rather than the supermarket is that it’s far more adventurous; there’s a story to go along with the meal, so to speak. Our new pick-up location in downtown Scituate is in one of the nicest seaside towns on the South Shore, and for our shareholders not familiar with the area, I encourage you to do a little exploring before or after you pick up your fish.
There are two free municipal lots, one behind The Roman Table, and the other near the movie theater and Coast Guard Station. In this second parking lot is a hot dog cart called Steelwagon Franks where you can get two hotdogs, a bag of chips and a cold drink for $6.50. Bargain! My kids love to grab lunch here, zip over to the best children’s beach in the area at the Scituate Lighthouse (also free), and spend hours catching hermit and green crabs and swimming. Then they like to head back to Nona’s Homemade Ice Cream next to the movie theater and hope that they have a batch of their mint Oreo ice cream.
If you come back from the beach and you’re a lot older than my kids, there are several bars to have a drink, but for a great view of the harbor and lighthouse, you can’t beat TKO’Malley’s outside deck for an obligatory Island Oasis concoction. If you’d rather wait till you get home, Scituate is anything but a dry town; there are easily five liquor stores in which to match your fish with wine, my favorites being Front Street Gourmet and Harborside Wine.
Also, if you’re like me and have dragged your feet picking up a hostess gift or birthday present, there are a bunch of great family-owned stores: the Welch Company, Sylvia’s by the Sea, and Harbor Toy Store are a few of my favorites.
Submitted by Kathleen Wright