Thursday, July 3

Under The Pergola II -- July 4 Lobster Bake and lemon, lime, basil vodka signature cocktail!

Happy Fourth of July from East Hampton!
Under The Pergola post,
July 4 Lobster Bake.

What's more American than eating lobster 
on the Fourth of July? 
Let's ring in our nation's freedom with Made In Maine lobsters.  I love lobster, but it's pricey so we  have it only a couple of times each summer.  This year, it's a "Lazy Lobster" and after boiling them we open the claws and tails and plate it for our guests.  It is work to crack open the lobster but worth it.  We serve the plates and side dishes "family style" and casually spread out around the yard, the grass, and others at the tables while the kids like to convene around the hammock.  
We serve the lobster with drawn butter and wedges of lemon. I set the outside table with  terra cotta potted flowers straight from my patio garden, and I bring out wet naps for everyone!  Accoutrements to the lobster include boiled baby potatoes with rosemary and butter, a platter of cherry tomato bruschetta with bocconcini, corn on the cob and homemade white icing vanilla cupcakes. 

What is Bocconcini?
small mozzarella cheeses the size of an egg. Like other mozzarella, they are semi-soft, white and rind less unripened mild cheeses which originated in Naples and were once made only from milk of water buffaloes. Today, they are usually made from a combination of water buffalo and cow's milk -- Wikipedia
my kids like to make the dessert for July 4 and these vanilla cupcakes are sloppy, classic yet delicious. We wrap our blue napkins in raffia and serve dinner 
"family style"

Our cocktail is infused with lemon, which pairs perfectly with the lobster.  This past May, I created this signature cocktail for a non-profit benefit I hosted called IFDA Take A Seat.  At this chair charity auction my co-chair and I came up with this concoction and name as a play on words, and Take A Cab was born.  I made this refreshing basil, lime, lemon vodka gimlet which is literally like summer in a glass.  Serve Take A Cabs in a large container, and I promise guests will rave.
Take A Cab recipe:
Created by Tamara Matthews-Stephenson
Named by Lisa McMahon originally for
the May 2014 NYC IFDA Take A Seat chair charity auction
For a large group:
10 cups vodka
5 cups of fresh lemon juice -- squeeze a ton of lemons and add enough water to make 5 cups of liquid, but no sugar.
4 cups of Basil Simple Syrup:  which begins with 5 large bunches of fresh basil (wash and cook down these basil leaves in a large gallon pot of water for 3-4 minutes.  Strain the water – discard the leaves – keep the water.  You should be left with 5 cups of basil water.  Cook this water down for a few minutes with 3 cups of sugar until it thickens – left with about 4 cups of sweet basil water). 
For Garnish and floating in the bowl:
1 large bunch of fresh basil – washed and de-stemmed
6 limes – sliced
6 lemons – sliced
lemon and lime wedges for garnish
 In a large glass bowl or dispenser add the vodka, all the freshly squeezed lemon juice, the sweet basil water, half the lemon, lime and basil wedges to the container.  Fill a small glass with ice, and garnish with one lemon wedge, one lime wedge and one basil leave add cocktail to the glass and serve immediately. 
photo by Lisa McMahon
for the non-alcohol drinkers, 
make a sparkling lemonade
which is fresh squeezed lemons, sugar and 
Pellegrino or soda water.

 We end the evening with one of our family summer traditions by driving to Main or Georgica Beach in East Hampton, and lighting a fire in the sand (East Hampton law allows it but now requires you create your fire in a metal container in the sand) and make Smores.

 Buon Appetite
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara