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Archive for July, 2009

the perfect game

It happened last week while I was in New Hampshire.  White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle took the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays for a total of 32 minutes and pitched a perfect game.   It was the first perfect game since Randy Johnson pitched one for the Diamondbacks in 2004.

A perfect game is both a no hitter and a shut out.  In a perfect game, a pitcher faces 27 hitters and retires them all in order.*  In a perfect game, no one from the opposing team reaches the bases on hits, on walks, on errors, as the result of catcher’s interference, or after being hit by a pitch.

A perfect game doesn’t happen often.  In fact, there have been only 18 perfect games in the history of baseball.  Eighteen.  In a sport where 30 different teams each play 162 games during the regular season every year, that makes a perfect game something worth noticing.

A lot of people noticed.  People also noticed that DeWayne Wise, center fielder for the White Sox, preserved Buehrle’s perfect game with an incredible catch at the wall in the ninth.

Today Mark Buehrle will take the mound again for the White Sox.  The chances of his pitching another perfect game are pretty slim.  I don’t think that matters.  For me, nearly every baseball game is perfect.

beaversgame

*thanks T

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relish

Enjoy, take pleasure in, savor.  All words that perfectly describe the experiences I have had when eating at restaurants owned by my two friends Christine Prunier and Linda Robinson.  Given that, it is particularly appropriate that they have changed the name of their current restaurant (previously known as Margaux) to relish, a word that means all of those things.

relishsign

A former regular at Margaux, after arriving in Maine last week I made my way to relish as soon as I could.  Located in the same cozy building at 404 Main Street, South Berwick, Maine where Margaux was housed, relish is freshly painted inside and out, with new furniture, lighting and an updated menu.

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Chris and Linda call relish an “upscale gourmet diner” which is a phrase that fits the fresh seasonal menu like a deerskin glove would fit my hand.

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I started my meal with the appetizer special — a smoked trout salad with maple bacon, red onion, mango and buttermilk dressing.  The plate arrived mounded with greens and smoky, salty, shredded trout; flavors and textures that were perfectly balanced by the sweet, crunchy maple bacon, cool slices of mango and just the right amount of light, tangy dressing.

table

For my main course I settled on the Porcini Mac ‘n Cheese, described in typically succinct prose on the menu as including “three cheeses and truffled bread crumbs.”   Every bite was a mouthfilling rush of perfectly prepared pasta, rich creamy cheese, substantial porcini mushrooms and freshly toasted breadcrumbs earthy with just the right amount of truffle oil.  I guess it would be hard to put all of that into a description on the menu.

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For dessert I chose the light and fresh angelfood cake with housemade tropical fruit compote; a perfect ending to a memorable meal.

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In addition to great food, Chris and Linda have a full bar and a list of thoughtfully selected and reasonably-priced wines by the bottle and by the glass.

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It makes me sad that I live too far from South Berwick to be a regular at relish; I’ll be thinking of all of you eating there, though.

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maine beach walk

It would have been a real mistake to leave Maine without a long walk on the beach.  I made it there on my last afternoon.  We started on Seapoint Beach,

seapoint

made our way to Crescent Beach where the waves were a little bigger,

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and the rocks a little more varied.

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After the beach, we wandered inland over Gerrish Island

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and back to the car.

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