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Susan in FL

eG Foodblog: Prepcook and Susan in FL

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Good Morning, all. Thank you, Ronnie Suburban, for a great blog! It would be hard to deliver such an appealing display of foods!

Hopefully we can provide continuing enjoyment to all, as eG food blogging travels south, especially to those of you who dream of a warmer climate, like we used to! I will start this, and acquaint you with my husband, and his own introduction will follow soon.

We are pleased to be food blogging during this time of year, when many think that Florida is at its best (well, except for all the election controversies). Fall does hold some of the best weather in this sunshine state, and the weather affects our cooking and eating almost as much as anything else. We have been having days in the mid to high 80’s, and nights in the high 60’s recently, with mostly clear skies. We hope to show you that Florida is much more than strip malls, the hanging chads of 2000, hurricanes, and who knows what by the time this Election Day is over; and we hope to share some of the joys of being here and living our dream.

We will both be leaving for work shortly, and so until we get home and continue posting, we welcome you to our home, our kitchen, and our eating places.

Come on in:

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Here's an outside view of the porch:

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Our kitchen, as you enter from the dining area:

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From the other end:

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And, from the living room, looking across the bar:

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For those who know me from the eG topics I frequent, especially the Dinner thread, it is no secret that our eating place is usually our porch. What is more of a secret is that we have a TV on our porch and we often watch a lot of sports and some other programs while we eat dinner. Some of our most romantic dinners were with a baseball or soccer game, a NASCAR race, or other sports event on TV, and a beautiful place setting with candlelight and flowers on the table. It’s been a tradition for us for a long time.

I often post on eG about the enjoyment my husband and I have in cooking together, or cooking for each other; but as you may have gathered, Russ reads a lot more than he posts. When he introduces himself in this blog, it will be his second post! I asked him to join me in this, since so much of our cooking involves him. (He might say that I threatened him in some way if he didn’t do it.) So after I have introduced myself to those who don’t know me, Prepcook will introduce himself. Then we will proceed to journal our eating! I work part time and he works full time, so most likely I will have more entries and most of his will probably be early morning or evenings. Unfortunately, neither of us can access eG while we are at work, but please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and we will respond as soon as we’re back home and online.

I grew up in a food-loving home, and my parents were good cooks. They bought a restaurant when my brother and I were teenagers, and spent most of their waking hours there for several years. I first learned about meal planning and cooking from my mom, but she did not teach me about what she did. She was one of those people who, for reasons unknown to me, didn’t share her knowledge of home cooking and kept many of her recipes “secret.” After I was grown and on my own, my mom and I began sharing recipes, and I began developing my own tastes and my own cooking styles. I have loved cooking ever since. Up until our move to Florida, I always worked full time and more, except for the first five months of my son Michael’s life. With rare exception, Russ and/or I cooked a nice dinner from scratch every night, no matter how many practices or games or other activities were going on, and we always sat down to eat together. Some nights back in the days of Little League baseball, Pop Warner football, and all the school teams, we ate dinner at around 10 PM! We all loved it, and our home was where all our boys’ friends wanted to come for dinner, and often did. …All that was making a short story long, to say that I am a self-taught cook.

After the boys grew up, and were going to college and all that, my love of cooking and food became a passion. As much as I have always enjoyed cooking, it is even more fun now to cook for just the two of us. We do love the empty nest syndrome.

There were a couple of years after I retired and before moving to Florida that I did some food consulting/ recipe development/ food writing/ food and wine education -- mostly for a wine shop where Russ and I both moonlighted. I owned a small company and had a web site called Culinary Passions. However, since moving to Florida, I have only pursued these activities as play, rather than work.

This morning I am having my usual black coffee, even as we speak (type). On work days, I rarely eat breakfast and usually not lunch. If I get hungry and take the time, I’ll eat just a little on the run at around brunch time. I’m not sure how today will be, but I’ll keep you posted.

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We're unable to add reply using Prepcook's log-in, so until we get that figured out...

“Welcome to Florida”, said the young man behind the counter as he slid a small cup of orange juice to each of us. It was our first vacation to St. Augustine and we have felt at home in Florida ever since.

It is a thrill to share this week with you.

I would like to start by telling you a bit about the development of my love for food and cooking. I was the third of six children. My father was a Baptist preacher who moved from Buffalo, NY to Mingo County, West Virginia before I was a year old. My mother came along to raise a family and be the preacher’s wife. When I was six, I remember the excitement of getting indoor plumbing and an electric cook stove. No more fried eggs with golden brown, crispy edges my mother was famous for, and no more winter trips to the outhouse! Although it would be ten more years until we had our own TV, I thought we had become a really modern family!

My first real food memory is fresh cornbread in a drinking glass of sweetened milk. I was about five years old and our neighbor who lived “up the hollow” gave me this treat whenever we went there. I loved this desert and when I asked her how she made it, I showed my first interest in recipes.

My mother was not the world’s best cook, but she was a woman of great wisdom. From her I learned that “Nothing learned is wasted” and that “You can’t learn anything when you are talking”. She taught me the basics of cooking, and to always see the positive side of life.

In rural West Virginia, it was traditional to invite the preacher to Sunday dinner. These dinners serve as the foundation of my appreciation for food and food preparation.

Since then, my love for food has led me on a wonderful journey that included believing that Southern Living was the final authority on what was good food, to thinking that the recipes in Gourmet Magazine must be in a foreign language because the titles had so many words that I didn’t understand, to enjoying wine with dinner when the wine was a three liter jug of Gallo Burgundy.

Then I met Susan.

Now, twenty plus years later I am about to share a week of my food life with some of the world’s best food people on the world’s best web site. What an adventure!

So, to all,

“Welcome to Florida”.

-Russ


Edited by Susan in FL (log)

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Susan and Russ,

You cannot begin to imagine how excited I am that you both will be blogging this week. Team Blog! When I think of Susan's breakfast & dinner photos, sheer elegance is the first thing that comes to my mind.

I'm so looking forward to your blog! Happy blogging!

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Ooh, this is going to be a fantastic foodblog! Even the introductory posts are most excellent.

Welcome PrepCook! Can't wait to see what you two eat this week.

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Lucky us to share in your week!

And, welcome Russ.

Do you also grocery shop and plan meals together?

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Those boys from 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' really can swing a mean saute pan when motivated, huh Susan? :biggrin:

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Oh, I am so glad you're blogging Susan, and Russ too! I have learned to love the real Florida in the last 10 years as my parents spend most of the winter there now and November was always one of my favourite months to go. Sadly, it will have to wait until January or February this year, but perhaps will involve a side trip to the Daytona 500.

Ah romantic dinners in front of the ball game -- glad to hear we're not the only ones! :wink:

Thanks for blogging, I look forward to the week. It is Stone Crab season now, yes?

edited cause I can't type when excited. :raz:


Edited by Jake (log)

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Excellent! Susan I have always enjoyed your posts on the Dinner thread, I'm sure this week with you and Russ blogging together will be a great time!!

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Susan and Russ, I am looking forward to this blog just as I look for your posts on the Dinner thread.

I spent some years a few decades ago in Florida and found it a hellish place. It will be nice to read of your fun there.

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I'm so excited to read a (sorta) neighbor's blog; can't wait to see what you all do with the wonderful, fresh stuff we get this time of year!

Diana

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Let me add my voice to the "Fans of Susan on the Dinner thread" crowd. I'm really looking forward to this week's blogging!

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Finally someone NOT from the midwest :wink::raz:

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When I think of Susan's breakfast & dinner photos, sheer elegance is the first thing that comes to my mind.

i agree completely: total elegance.

:smile:

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COOL!!!!

susan and russ.... no more 52 branch pickup

any toast dope in the blog future? :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

seriously love all your food and can't wait to read.

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I got irrationally anticipatory reading the start of your blog, Susan -- based on your beautiful Dinner posts I just know it's going to be an engine of love and goodwill. Russ, too -- West VA lends a mysterious whiff of the exotic to regular life, I think.

Blog on!

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Hehe, yay for ex-Delaware people blogging ;). I am really looking forward to this one as well, your dinner thread photographs are always breathtaking.

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We're unable to add reply using Prepcook's log-in, so until we get that figured out...

If I understand the membership levels and posting privileges correctly, Prepcook has to have two posts in which he started the thread before he moves from "New Member" to Associate Member". Then he can begin using the "Add Reply" feature.

I suggest that he go straight to the Coffee & Tea Forum and start a thread about any old thing... provided that it has some remote relationship to coffee or tea :wink:

Maybe he could talk about Cuban coffee... a Florida item I just can't get enough of when I visit there.

I spent some years a few decades ago in Florida and found it a hellish place.

I don't know Jinmyo except from reading her remarkably concise and pithy remarks but Florida just doesn't strike me as being a Jinmyo-esque kind of place.

Like others who've weighed in here, I'm looking forward to checking in on this blog. I offer apologies in advance for the likelihood that I may not post much if at all, due to a crushing work schedule, but I will be reading with pleasant anticipation!

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So anyway,

I'm reinstated as a participating member so I can tell you about lunch. There is a speciality shop in Ormond Beach called the Vin' Yard. Because I was visiting a family in the area, Susan sent me in to get some Dutch Cocoa. The people there are very nice and explained that they were out but would call me when it came in, probably tomorrow. Before I left, I got a bottle of wine for dinner and a single helping of pasta primavera from their deli. I also got a cool bag of vegetable chips and a bottle of ginger beer. Usually for lunch when I have lunch, it's lunchmeat, cheese crackers and diet Pepsi from one of the many 7-Elevens that dot the streets of the greater Daytona Beach area. But for my first ever food blog, I wanted to get something nice. Well, the pasta salad was very good, the chips were unique but the ginger beer was way too sweet. I do recommend the Vin' Yard to those of you visit Ormond Beach.

Now. I have to go see the parents of a Hospice employee to help them understand Medicaid, Nursing Homes and other options for care. Susan is going to fix dinner tonight. Can't wait.

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What a wonderful bunch of replies to come home to, after a very long day at work. I'm less nervous about this now. Wouldn't you know that day one of this blog would be one of the busiest days I've had at work in months? I didn't get off until 5:30, so I was late starting dinner, which is going to be pasta and uncooked Puttanesca sauce. Photos and more on that later...

Do you also grocery shop and plan meals together?

Not usually... I enjoy shopping, of any kind, way more than Russ does. Once in a while we go together, but that's the exception, mainly because I am a very slow shopper and I go to several different places to find particular things, as part of one major shopping expedition. It would drive him totally nuts to be with me at those times. He is happy to do brief stops in stores on the way home from work, and does that, too, in about half the time it would take me.

In the planning, I sort of take the lead, but often either one of us will voice that we're hungry for something, and that becomes a plan.

Those boys from 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' really can swing a mean saute pan when motivated, huh Susan? :biggrin:

Oh yes! :biggrin:

Ah romantic dinners in front of the ball game -- glad to hear we're not the only ones!  :wink:

We're glad to hear we're not the only ones, too!

It is Stone Crab season now, yes?

Yes, yum! We had our first of the season recently. I am so ready for more. The fresh Stone Crab claws are something new to me since moving here... I had no idea or appreciation about the fresh ones, served ice cold, before experiencing that here. I was a Stone Crab virgin when I found myself at Joe's Stone Crab restaurant in Miami, and I have been hooked ever since. :biggrin:

Finally someone NOT from the midwest  :wink:  :raz:

LOL...

any toast dope in the blog future?  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

I am sure it will show up at some point, Suzi. The discovery of toast dope is one

of the best thing to come of being an eG member! That, and roasted cauliflower, and larb, and... :smile:

The pasta sauce has been sitting, marinating, and now it's time to cook the pasta.

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Ah romantic dinners in front of the ball game -- glad to hear we're not the only ones!   :wink:

We're glad to hear we're not the only ones, too!

For us, it's the romantic dinners (with the kids :shock: ) watching NASCAR. :shock:

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Secondly, although it should have been first,

Thanks for all the nice welcome notes. It is a real pleasure to be here and to be a part of something very special. Working for Hospice, I get lots of hugs. Your welcome feels like that.

Now, back to dinner. I love this dish that Susan will tell you about. But, since I have to work tomorrow and need some sleep, I'll leave you with some information: It's good to like, no LOVE, garlic to really enjoy this dish. If, as I have been told, that the translation is "prostitute's pasta", I'm guessing business fell off after dinner. :unsure:

Thanks again for all the kind words.

Good Night.

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Ah romantic dinners in front of the ball game -- glad to hear we're not the only ones!   :wink:

We're glad to hear we're not the only ones, too!

For us, it's the romantic dinners (with the kids :shock: ) watching NASCAR. :shock:

Ah yes, we also have the romantic brunches watching Formula 1. :raz: Weekends are kind of quiet now with no hockey!

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For us it is Saturday brunch with Bundesliga (German league) soccer.

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