Saturday evening Philip and I were invited for dinner at Dallie's. The occasion was a special feast of "Old Drum," an old Ocracoke dish. (Actually we substitued "puppy drum," but it tasted just as good.) Since it was also my birthday, I was able to wear a crown of rhinstones. (A princess should always wear rhinestones, even when she is barefoot, don't you think?}
The house was full of folks when we arrived, and we were promptly served Sunset on the Pizer. It is becoming very popular here on the Island!
Vernon (Dallie's partner) says that preparing "Old Drum" in the summer is like Thanksgivng in July. He was right. The kitchen was abuzz in a hurried, friendly sort of way. We were all peeking into pots, commenting, setting tables with colorful fiesta dishes...getting seconds on the Sunset drinks.
As we finally gathered in a circle for dinner, Dallie read the old recipe from an antiquated cookbook. The ingredients are something like this: Boil up an old drum. (That is a fish, for you landlubbers.) Boil up potatoes and eggs, separately. Fry up a piece of salt pork, keeping all of the fat!! Slice up onions, or as Vernon says his Mama did, onions with cucumbers in vinegar. All of this is mashed on the plate together. It was fabulous. Topping off the menu was Dallie's old-fashioned blackberry cobbler with egg sauce. (Now you can't get any of this in any restaurant here!)
With the sink piled high with dishes and warm cups of coffee in hand, we pushed back from the table, and the lights were dimmed. Stories of haunts and haints began to fill the evening hours. Everyone had a story to tell that sent shivers down our spines.
When the evening was over, we thanked our hostess and headed out into the misty evening on our bikes. Inky darkness shrouded our pathway as we meandered home.
As if the midnight hour wasn't enough, when we arrived back home at Miss Aliph's, we both stopped in our tracts. The rocking chair from the Ariosto shipwreck was moved from it's location in the cottage. We stared at each other in disbelief and swore to each other that we did not do it!!
So, we ask, did a friend come in, make themselves at home and move the chair? Did someone come in to play a practical joke? Or was it........................?
All I can say is that so far no one has confessed, and I am making Philip go in the house first from now on!
You can read our latest newsletter here. It's about Ocracoke Islanders and "tokens of death."