Dear Barack and Michelle,
How are you guys doing? Busy, I bet. Sorry we kept missing each other. I know, it's weird, right? A week before we went to London, you were there, and now a month after we leave Martha's Vineyard, you arrive for vacation. Next year we'll have to coordinate so we can hang out.
Anyway, the real reason I'm writing is to pass along a dining tip. I know you'll be staying at a $20 million farm in Chilmark, which is just a few miles from Aquinnah, the sleepy town where we rented a (less expensive) house. Every Wednesday night, the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah does this amazing thing: it hosts a community pizza night for anyone who wants to stop by. All you do is bring some toppings to share (anything goes... we brought grilled corn and leftover lobster), put your $10 donation into a box, and stand in line at the little tables. The bakery's employees stretch rounds of dough, cover them with sauce and cheese, and hand them over on a pizza peel where you can dress them as you like from the communal topping table. My son Andrew put some pepperoni and a fresh cherry on his:
(I bet Malia and Sasha would like that one. Andrew totally would have shared it with them, too. )
Anyway, then Julie Vanderhoop, the bakery's owner, thrusts the pizzas into her wood-fired oven. They emerge a few minutes later, blistered and crisp. Everyone stands around chitchatting and shooting the breeze. It's all very neighborly and casual.
I never would have known about this little place, but I read about it in an article by Geraldine Brooks in Edible Vineyard, one of the Edible Communities publications. Michelle, this magazine is completely up your alley. You should seriously check it out given your interest in local foods.
Okay, I'll let you go. Enjoy your trip, and don't forget about Wednesday nights. Remember your toppings, too; you don't want to piss people off by showing up empty-handed.