Burgers and Berries in MerryLand #JapanBut1st

 Forgive my absence; I’ve been familiarizing myself with life at sea, just as I’m remembering some years ago how I was certain I wasn’t going to work for a cruise line because I couldn’t imagine being stuck out to sea for months at a time. Such is the irony of life. But we left off in Brooklyn. Next stop: Maryland.

Over the bridge, and through the woods, to Jan’s house we go. Jan is a friend from my stint at Wegmans. Together we crafted vegetables in the chop shop. Navigating the coast and surfing my contacts, she was the lucky winner! Exiting the highway, I had driven miles through the backroads. I wouldn’t see Baltimore this trip, except from the highway. Instead I was surrounded by calming serenity of trees, rows of crops, and cows and goats grazing in the hills. It was worth attention.

I pulled into the cul-de-sac that evening and embarked down the long driveway. Jan and her husband would have me over for dinner. She wasn’t far from finished when I arrived. Down stairs and out the back door, I was accosted by a shiny coat of hair, worn by her dog. Not far behind, with freshly picked cucumbers, squash, and maybe a few peppers, her husband, Chris, came to greet me from the backyard, a place without boundaries. There were trees all around and the rush of water to be heard in the valleys below. The sun hung in the distance illuminating the vast land. No one else was in sight.

While Jan finished up the dinner, Chris offered me my first beer (yes my first), launching my beer tasting quest. Formalities and cordial chatter concluded, our conversation progressed to questions like, “How do you want it cooked? What kind of cheese would you like?” We gathered around the table, with burgers before us, surrounded by an assortment of options: quinoa, lettuce, tomato, onions, avocado, homemade pepper sauce, carrot sticks and hummus. After the long drive, I was delighted to be eating this simply homey meal. I was grateful considering the Chris would’ve typically been golfing on this night, meaning Jan wouldn’t have cooked otherwise. But I got lucky because he was home and dinner was on!

Even better, like nothing, she cleared the table only to replaced the dirtied plates with blueberry buckle! And I love blueberries. But on such an evening like this, the dinner table wouldn’t do this blueberry delight justice. (Blueberry Coffee Cake recipe below). We headed through two sets of double doors out to the gazebo that hung off the deck and watched the sun go down, a moment to slow down and appreciate the fullness of life.

While this isn’t typical, Tip of the Tongue talk, its part of the journey. It speaks of the many ways in which food brings us together- in our work, our travels, our cultures, or simply our appetites. Take a bite of life! Let me know how it tastes!

Also, I hope you’ve noticed the new web address! RobertFlours.com !! Easy as that. Please comment and share. Thanks for reading. We’re almost to Japan. Next stop: Washington DC. Let me know what you’d like to hear, or any questions you may have.

Blueberry Coffee Cake Recipes (click link for recipe. I like the second of the two; haven’t tried the first)


While this is not the buckle we ate, it’s a delicious recipe I’ve enjoyed, especially as Labor Day approaches and Summer ends. The following is an abbreviated recipe. I’ve often found need to add more orange juice, and play around with the toppings and fillings. Melted butter may taste better. No limits with vanilla extract. And I like to use a smaller pan for more satisfying spread of toppings and fillings. I don’t understand the science of the recipe but tasty is tasty.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Ray Mercer says:

    Nice writing Robert, and congratulations on the new domain name too!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I hope you enjoy all that’s to come! Thanks for reading!

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