Time To Start Planning & Cheesy Shrimp Bites

      So are you planning your summer vacations yet? If you are like me and the company I work for, they are scheduling time off 6 months out, so June and July are already mostly booked up and August is coming real fast. Is that cottage available again? Is the Hotel or Motel still in business? How early can I book that weekend or week to ensure I get what I want? Most of us aren't thinking about that as we are more focused on staying warm, planning a quick winter escape to a warmer spot on the planet or maybe you are a skier and just looking to find a slop you can slap one or two boards under your feet and take on getting to the bottom without a broken limb. But we really need to the time to sit down with the significant other and figure this out. If you are lucky enough to have family here, you definitely need to put in your time so you can either avoid the other members you don't get along with or schedule when the ones you like are there. Funny how I am finishing this blog up while watching the weather and temperatures to the west side of the big ditch are either near or below zero and wind chills are just dangerously low. What better time then is there then now to get that planning started. Over the next couple months we will look at things you can do that does not cost money, cost a little money or things that you might want to save up for. If we don't start planning now, then summer will be upon us sooner than we know and we will be without a place to stay or money to do the things we want to. So here we go with another year past us and a new year of vacationing on the horizon. I sure hope that Cape Cod is on your list to come visit, we have so much to offer and it is so close to so many reading this. We are looking forward to seeing you all and hope you have a warm safe winter. Oh and buy the way, if you have the time we are still open for business through the winter. Have a great and wonderful and especially if you can do it while right here on old Cape Cod.   
      Cape Cod business report: I'm looking to drive home the Salt companies and Spice and Herb Businesses. First up is Atlantic Spice Company, located in North Truro at the corner of North Shore Rd and Rt 6 just before you get to Truro Vineyards, Web address is www.atlanticspice.com and on Facebook. This is another business open year round both the store as well as online store. They are well stocked year round and have just about anything and everything you would want from spices and herbs to salts to teas. Yes I said teas. They do not get into coffee that is a whole nother critter. They do have quite a collections of kitchen gadgets as well. I know they are a little out of the way, but make them part of a package deal with going to P'town for the weekend and the winery and a few other up the arm. Check them out.
      Next is 1830 Sea Salt of Cape Cod, now they do no have a physical store but they available online at http://1830seasalt.com/or in local shops including Cape Cod Beer. They are our of Chatham and enjoy making a quality product the old way. Read their story on their home page, then go purchase some wonderful crafted salts. Oh they also do wedding and celebrations favorites and gives. 
      Next up is Wellfleet Sea Salt Company, find them on facebook or on the web at Wellfleet Sea Salt Company. I have used their salts and have been pleased beyond words. The flavors in the salts are amazing and adds and enhances the flavor of whatever you are cooking. You can buy direct online, direct when they are doing the farmers markets and artisan shows. Give them a try and you will not go back to box store salt ever again. 
      Folks with it comes to bulk spices and herbs and such other than these, and they are good at what they do but right now other than going to a grocery store or specialty grocery store, finding someplace that carries a full line of spices, herbs, salts, teas is just not going to happen. You will need to either head off Cape or order online. At which time I would strongly suggest looking at our own Atlantic Spice as they are always fresh and move a ton of spices and herbs all year round. A specialty shop like that is hard to keep going here on the Cape year round. We are growing in size but we are spread out, so it is not convenient for someone from Hyannis to Falmouth to Sandwich to drive to North Truro, nor would it be profitable to do the other. So if Atlantic Spice is not an option for you, plan your off Cape trips to include a good spice, herb and tea shop while you are off Cape, but buy your salts locally you won't go wrong.   
      So another week has gone by and we here on the Cape have seen little to no snow, not that I mind that one bit you know. Whoever in charge of that stuff they can keep it on the other side of the ditch where it belongs. Although the older I get the more these bones and joints don't seem to like the cold either, or extreme changes in weather. But that's all part of life and living here on the Cape. Did you all see that one of our own towns here on the Cape made one of them big time on-line magazine to 10 beach towns to live in? Yup the Town of Barnstable did and all it has to offer. Personally I think any of our towns along either side of the arm from bridges to point could have but who am I. Did you all know that Sandy Neck Light is at the opening of Barnstable Harbor as it opens up to the Cape Cod Bay. Sandy Neck was opened back in 1826 but then the light was put out in 1937. Finally a skeleton town was up up in 1952, but the tower was not put back into service until 2007 when it was opened under private run and is used today for private navigational purposes only.So it is not open to the public, but if you ever go whale watching you can get a good look at her. Check out Cape Cod Lighthouses for more on our local towers and some information on each. Although privately owned Sandy Neck is still our sister lighthouse and we like to keep in touch whenever possible. 
      Well other than the cold, we have really had a mild winter so far. The seas have been relatively calm, no major Nor'Easters, no major navigational changes to channels and harbors. This is a lighthouse keepers dream winter for here on the Cape. I feel like somehow I'm cheating you out of some information or something when there isn't much to report. I'm still doing the normal winter chores, fixing and repairing little stuff that just gets worn with all the tourists and groups that come in, and especially with all the kids. But I want all to touch, the feel and to get to know this place and that means things are going to need some TLC every now and then. If I don't taker care of the place the Spirits get a little restless and tend to go on more animated night roamings to get my attention that things need done. And yes I listen, I can only take a couple nights of that then they start to get on my nerves and I love my sleep. Speaking of sleep, that young reporter gentlemen came a little later than normal and is pushing my bed time. So I am going to let you all go for this round and I am going to get some shut eye. They say some high winds are coming in and 5am comes early as I need to have reports turned in for the weather people. Have a good one and,,, well you know, especially if you can have it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      Well with the big game this weekend I thought I better do it right and appetizers and finger foods are the order of the weekend. The other fun thing is that we start right out of the kitchen in January with a fifth Wednesday and we know that is appetizer are the name of the game when there is a fifth Wednesday in the month. This year we are not going to form and stick with the seafood theme. So hope you find this months feature a fun and tasty treat and easy to share with those you love and care to share some great eats with. Now before the game is over and we all missed it. On with the show; 
      This week's recipe: Cheesy Shrimp Bites
      6      each      English muffins, split
      6      oz          shredded cheddar cheese
      1      stick       butter (room temperature)
      1      Tbsp      mayonnaise
      1      tsp         Worcestershire Sauce
      1      tsp         garlic powder
      1      tsp         seasoned salt
      1      cup        shrimp pieces, diced
      Blend ingredients in order as listed. Spread on muffins and cut into quarters. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve warm. 
      Well I hope you have enjoyed reading, now please come join me weekdays morning at ccrockhopper.com for some Morning Thunks, Thoughts & More. We get the morning started with a theme word that is revealed on Fridays, and just try any way to put a smile on your face and a few weird observances to useless knowledge information. So hope to see you at www.ccrockhopper.com.  

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