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Pisces Beach Party ~ Happy Spring!

Before starting the fire, we helped ourselves to the cold pasta dish I brought.

Before starting the fire, we dug into the cold pasta dish that I’d brought (with raw and balsamic-glazed onions, raw and sautéed garlic, toasted almonds, rosemary from my garden, and frozen peas and corn in honor of “Frozen Food Month”).

Hi, my friends, and welcome back!

When you can get 10 good friends together for a beach picnic, I call that a great day. When half of us are Pisceans, and it’s our final “Pisces Month” birthday celebration, that’s even better.

And when it’s the first full day of Spring, and the weather’s fantastic ~ well, you get the idea…

Come join us today at Muir Beach, a secluded little cove on the Pacific, just a few miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a true local treasure.

And since it’s a mere half-hour from my place, Muir Beach has become a go-to destination when I’m craving sand between my toes.

Spring began yesterday, so Pisces Month is now officially over. But that’s not stopping us from getting together here by the ocean for the year’s last Pisces Party. (*Click Here* for a recap of our first Pisces Party a month ago.)

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On goes the first round of fish. Nurit and Bill brought mahi-mahi, cod and salmon. We grilled them over oak, with just salt and lemon. Perfect!

On goes the first round of fish. Nurit and Bill brought mahi-mahi, cod and salmon. Grilled over oak, with just a touch of salt and a squeeze of lemon ~ perfect!

We got to the beach early enough to claim a nice big firepit, with logs surrounding it for handy makeshift seating.

And thanks to several big boxes of scrap wood, plus a bundle of good-quality oak for the actual cooking, we knew we’d be able to keep our fire going all day.

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Ron and Vickie, my fellow Pisceans who had birthdays this week, take a break from tending the potatoes.

Ron and Vickie, my fellow Pisceans who both had birthdays this week, take a break from tending the potatoes and onions.

Ron's opening a choice bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. Great match with the grilled fish ~ and with the toasty chunks of onion!

Ron’s opening a choice bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. Great match with the grilled fish ~ and also with the toasty chunks of onion!

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Erica and Christina brave the ocean chill.

Erica and Christina don wetsuits for the ocean chill.

The fog burned off around noon, and since high tide was coming up soon, Erica and Christina headed for the water.

We all watched (and wondered) as our “next-firepit-neighbor” Brian paddled out on his surfboard and dropped a metal crab trap near some distant rocks.

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Bill moves through a T'ai Chi at the water's edge.

Bill does graceful T’ai Chi moves at the water’s edge.

I’d brought my ukulele, and with Nurit’s conga drum, Erica’s kazoo, and a few shakers, we scratched out a pretty funky sound.

The highlight? An off-the-cuff “mashup” of “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Twist And Shout” and “La Bamba.” (Same 3 chords. Same basic rhythm. Try it!)

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Brian's trap yielded a prize catch. The larger one is a Dungeness; the smaller one is a stone crab.

Brian’s trap yielded a prize crustacean catch. The larger one is a Dungeness; the smaller is a rock crab.

We were just finishing up our last round of Erica’s spicy-sweet BBQ chicken, when we noticed that Brian was pulling something out of his cooker.

Turns out that his trap had brought in a half-dozen good-sized crabs ~ and he and his friends tucked into their fresh-as-can-be ocean feast.

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There's nothing better than chilled rosé for salty/spicy chips 'n dips!

Chilled rosé: Perfect for salty/spicy chips and dips!

As it happens, “National Chip and Dip Day” is coming up on Monday. But we’d be enjoying these homemade hummus and pea-cilantro dips anytime.

With store-bought salsa and guac, plus raw veggies and tortilla chips, everyone loves ’em so much they’ve become staple snacks for our beach picnics.

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We watched this family toast marshmallows until after sunset. What a great memory for the little girl!

We watched this family toast marshmallows until after sunset. What a great memory for the little girl!

Why haven’t I said much about what we drank? Well, with such casual food and surroundings, all you really need to do is keep it light and easy-drinking.

Around here, we save any bigger wines for later in the day ~ after the fog starts rolling in!

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My friends, I hope you’ve enjoyed spending the first full day of Spring with my friends and me at Muir Beach. Though this was the last Pisces Party of the year, I can guarantee plenty more good times ahead for us!

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Until next time, my friends,
Cheers and happy tasting,
Rosina

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Cheers once again,
Rosina