Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sea Lettuce, a Mermaid, and Rockets

Yesterday we were invited to a friend's beach house right on the chilly Atlantic.  The girls were beyond excited to get in the water and run free.  I was excited to see them enjoy themselves and maybe get into the sand myself.  My grandmother lived about a five minute walk from the beach, and during my childhood I spent every summer walking to the rocky New England beach, collecting rocks,visiting tide pools, and searching for the perfect sea shell. 

Now a days I tend to look for oceanic wild edibles.  One of my favorites is sea rocket.  It has the incredible taste of wasabi, and although I usually don't like spicy foods, this I can manage.  I have been meaning to invent a good chicken salad recipe especially for this wild food.  So, yesterday when I crossed over the dunes and found that the whole beach was lined with the stuff I was pretty excited.  I also found a lot of sea lettuce.  I collected a couple of zip lock bags full, it's in the fridge now waiting to become soup (I'll let you know how it turns out).

I've never noticed this before, so maybe I've never collected sea lettuce during this part of the summer but many of the plants I pulled form the shore line had clusters of eggs of some kind on them.  I threw them back and think I manged only to pull egg-less lettuce form the sea....I am curious to know what animal will emerge form these tiny wonders. 

This was the mermaid I made.  I wish I could say that I made it with the kids, or even for them.  They did become interested once she really took shape.  My big girl collected all the seaweed and sea straw from the beach in huge armfuls for her hair. 
...and then the ocean took her back.

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