Since June 1 when I began renting my little writing
cottage office and as a result of the fact that I don’t in any way cook (ever), I have literally been nurtured at the Tilghman Island Country Store (“TICS” if you’re an islander).
I consider the owners (let’s call them Patricia and John, because those are actually their names and I am too lazy to make fake names up for them and I’m not going to say anything bad about them anyway) good friends because they are truly just amazing people. To first of all save a tiny country store from certain doom and closure, and then to enhance it with awesome things like wine and steamed shrimp and homemade baked goods that knock the island’s socks off? They are just the best.
I don’t drink wine (sulfites/migraines), but I go to all the TICS Friday night wine tastings because the food is yummy and I can buy a ghetto-sized Jack Daniels for $13 and a bottle of Cherry Coke or Ginger Ale to mix in a styrofoam cup from the coffee section. I’m classy like that.
Also they sell the magical ice cream from Oxford’s Scottish Highland Creamery. You go onto the store’s back porch and into the secret locked freezer to pick from an unbelievable array of flavors (THE CREAMERY MAKES OVER 600 varieties!) that differ weekly: Orange Chocolate Chip Chunk, Tiramisu, Oreo Birthday Cake…. once I even tried Cocoa Pebbles ice cream and it was divine. I think those creamery folks over in Oxford just make flavors up each day (“what? there’s a box of Coca Pebbles in there? Sure, throw it in..”). If you go there– a quick and fun ferry trip from Bellevue, near St. Michaels, the ice cream shop is on the dock and they have tons of different flavors each day. YUM. And thank God Patricia and John carry this brand of creamy goodness right on Tilghman Island. (OMG I just noticed on the creamery website that they have Pumpkin Pie ice cream and HEY GUYS your locked freezer totally needs some of that!!)
So for going on four months, I’ve ridden a bike to TICS nearly every weekend day. They carry the New York Times on Sunday, but only like *6* copies make it all the way to middle-of-nowhere island, and guess what? They save me one. I can’t even really describe to you how meaningful this is to me, and I know it seems like it shouldn’t be such a big deal, but it really is to me. Riding a bike over and getting my behind-the-counter New York Times on Sunday is pretty much one of the awesomest things in my life. (It’s the little things, people.)
Last month, when I spoke in New York, I was worried that I’d forgotten to tell TICS I wouldn’t be there on Sunday to get the paper. Anddd thanks to the magic of Facebook, Patricia had already seen my post about going to NYC and freed the paper up for someone else. (Which reminds me, I’m speaking at BloggyCon in Ohio this weekend, so I could probably tell Patricia right now in this post that I won’t need a paper this week!)
I love an old fashioned country store, and Patricia and John have done a fab job of keeping the flavor of the historic store while adding the modern conveniences (amazing deli meats, local wines and Hello, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Is It Me You’re Looking For?!).
The only thing I have to ‘import’ from the other side of the drawbridge to Tilghman Island on weekends is Evian (because I am a bottled water snob, and yes I know it’s NAIVE spelled backwards and I’m stupid for paying so much but I swear to God I can taste the difference in any other water). So other than water, I buy everything from TICS. I love supporting a local business, and such an amazing one at that.
P.S. You should totally go “like” the Tilghman Island Country Store on Facebook so that if you don’t happen to be anywhere near the remote Maryland island, you can enjoy their awesomeness virtually.
(In a future edition of Girl vs. Island I will tell you about TIBS, which is Two if By Sea, an amazing restaurant on the island that makes magical blueberry cheesecake French Toast.)