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Susan in FL

eG Foodblog: Susan in FL - Food and Drink Celebrations

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Good Morning!

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...What a way to start a day, and what a day to start a foodblog. Today is very meaningful here at Casa del Burgess in sunny Florida. Though the timing of this blog happened by chance, I am happy to be sharing the day and the coming week with you.

It is a date I treasure, perhaps even more than any holiday or my birthday. It is the anniversary of moving to Florida. Four years ago was settlement on the purchase of our Florida home and move-in day. It was the night of our first dinner here.

Today is also Russ’s birthday!

I’m an avid walker-slash-runner, and even though I don’t enjoy getting up before dark to do so, on some of my days off I take my walk in the morning at the beach to watch the sun rise. When I do, I don’t even drink coffee before I go. I save that for when I come back. Today's walk was short; I was eager to get home, to continue celebrating and start foodblogging.

I love the state of Florida as much as I love the world of food. Welcome to this week’s foodblog and the celebrations: a birthday, an anniversary, a wine festival, a picnic, and more...

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Soba has special foodblog powers to automatically know the best dates for people to start. :biggrin:

You're likely to be Hurricane free this week, yes?

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I'll follow in the eG foodblogging tradition of describing morning beverage-making and those drinking habits. Our morning beverage of choice is coffee. We've had this coffee maker for a few months and it grinds and brews. Russ sets it up the night before, and each morning the sound of the grinding serves as an alarm clock for us. Eight O'Clock Coffee has been my favorite everyday brand for many years, all the way back to when it was sold only in the A&P store in Delaware and they would grind it at check-out! Does anyone else remember that?

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I rarely eat breakfast during the week. When I do, it’s at brunch time, or what is lunch time for most people. Sometimes it’s cereal with fruit and sometimes it’s dinner leftovers. So today, black coffee it is, on the porch.

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I'm getting ready to go out for my hair appointment and other errands including shopping for dinner and groceries. Of course, the birthday person gets to decide on dinner! I offered him the full range of choices... taking him out to dinner, making a picnic for the location of his choosing, or dinner at home with the menu he picks. He decided on dinner at home. So far, he's asked that we have duck and risotto.

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Soba has special foodblog powers to automatically know the best dates for people to start. :biggrin:

He sure does!

You're likely to be Hurricane free this week, yes?

Fortunately, yes. For once I can say the words, "I'm glad we're not in Key West." Last year I posted a journal on eG during one of the hurricanes, and I surely don't miss having that opportunity right now for this foodblog!

Readers, please do ask me questions. I'll answer anything -- well, almost anything. :wink:

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YAY! Look who's blogging!

I have no questions now but I'm sure some will pop up during the week.. :smile: For now I just want to wish Russ happy birthday, and the both of you happy moving-anniversary. I'm looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a week of great food!

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Yay, indeed! I enjoyed your hurricane journal last year, Susan, and welcome the chance to read your foodblog now!

Do tell us the temperatures you're enjoying now. Also, please make sure to take us on a tour of your favorite shops, grocery stores, and so forth. Even if you don't feel you can take photos in there, let us know what sort of selection you have.

You're up around Daytona Beach, yes? How's the traffic? Can you get around on bicycle or foot?

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Whoohoo! Great to see you blogging again Susan... we're in for a real treat... and some great photos, I'm sure.

Happy Birthday to Russ, Happy Moving Anniversary and Happy Foodblogging! :biggrin:

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Wow the convergence of dates -- very very serendipitous! Can't help but bode well for this blog, Susan! The prospect of duck and risotto bears this out already. Good work on the b.d. dinner choosing, Russ!

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Finding your blog has made my day! Looking forward to every minute of it.

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Me, Too!! Me, Too!! (frantically waving from the Heartland).

Just the pleasures of that porch would suffice, and with your beautiful food and delicious words...what riches. :wub:

We're having a party here on Sunday, as well, so it's gonna be a great week!!

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Happy birthday prep cook!

Wow Susan, I can't believe it's almost been 1 year since your last blog. Always fun to see your excitement and passion!

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Susan, what did the move to Florida mean for you, food-wise? What did you leave behind and miss? What did you gain and love?

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What sort of food is 'regional cuisine' where you are? (Pardon this Canadian's total ignorance of all things Floridian :smile: ) Is there a lot of influence from Carribbean immigrants, or is Florida food more in the tradition of other southern states?

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I have a question Susan :smile:

I have followed your dinners since I joined EGullet.. and I think your cooking has a very distinctive style..

I was wondering if you would like to tell us a bit more about that.. How did you develop your style of cooking, has it changed much over the years, and how did the move to Florida contribute to this? Not a question to answer in a couple of words, I understand, but maybe you would like to share some musings on this with us..

edited to add: just scrolled up and saw Chris' question.. ah well that makes it easier for you Susan! 2 questions = only one!


Edited by Chufi (log)

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Mmmmm Duck and risotto. These are probably some of my favorite things in the world!

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I am home, with loads of goodies to put away. It was nice to come back to the welcome notes and questions. Thanks! Good questions! I am looking forward to answering them, but first, about the shopping... My first stop after haircut and banking was the store I call "my Greek guy." He has Cosmos Imports, and I get most of my olive oil and canned & jarred goods there, as well as what dried herbs I use. I haven't found a better source for pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, and already pitted Kalamata olives. He advises me well, and I try one new thing every time I go in. Today's new thing was the "everyday" olive oil. He is a very sweet man, and I don't even know his name. No matter how small my bags are, he always carries them out to the car for me.

What would a Florida blog be without a strip mall?

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His store is located next door to Leanh's Chinese Restaurant, which I have mentioned in other threads. It is very good from-scratch Chinese cooking. Speaking of moving to Florida, we bought our house from Leahn! Here is my guy. He was telling me today that a lot of his business comes from the web site, as well as from local restaurants.

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This is what I bought there today.

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Now it's time to spend the evening cooking and eating.

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[...]I rarely eat breakfast during the week.  When I do, it’s at brunch time, or what is lunch time for most people.  Sometimes it’s cereal with fruit and sometimes it’s dinner leftovers.  So today, black coffee it is, on the porch.

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Susan, I know from your many photos on the Dinner thread that you and your husband often have your meals on the porch, an experience that is pretty foreign to a terraceless urban apartment-dweller like me. Perhaps you'd like to say a little about what makes that experience special for you. And what are those beautiful flowers in this picture?

I join everyone else in sending you and Russ good wishes for a special day.

Enjoy blogging again! I know I'll enjoy reading. :smile:


Edited by Pan (log)

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Eight O'Clock Coffee has been my favorite everyday brand for many years, all the way back to when it was sold only in the A&P store in Delaware and they would grind it at check-out!  Does anyone else remember that?

My mom never bought the Eight O'Clock, but I remember always seeing it in the A&P when I was a kid, and thinking how exotic it was to buy whole bean coffee and have it ground to order. :biggrin:

I rarely eat breakfast during the week.  When I do, it’s at brunch time, or what is lunch time for most people.  Sometimes it’s cereal with fruit and sometimes it’s dinner leftovers.  So today, black coffee it is, on the porch.

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Ah yes, the proverbial "Florida room" ... or at least my dad's generation used to call screened-in porches by that name ...

Totally looking forward to your blog, Susan! (And also to the duck and risotto--two of my fave foods too!)

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Do tell us the temperatures you're enjoying now.  Also, please make sure to take us on a tour of your favorite shops, grocery stores, and so forth.  Even if you don't feel you can take photos in there, let us know what sort of selection you have.

You're up around Daytona Beach, yes?  How's the traffic?  Can you get around on bicycle or foot?

Yes, Port Orange is just a few miles south of Daytona Beach. There is a lot of traffic on the interstate and on Port Orange's main roads -- too much for a bicycle, for me anyway -- and so I take the car almost everywhere. Our neighborhood is quiet however, and we live on a cul de sac, so nobody just happens to ride by. It's a nice spot.

The temperatures and humidity have gone down only in the last few days. We have been hanging around 90 for highs, and in the 70's at night. We're really looking forward to later in the fall and in the winter, so we can open the windows instead of having to use the air conditioning so much.

Today the clouds and wind increased while I was out, and we even had some rain (courtesy of Rita). ...Which brings me to more about the shopping. I didn't take any other photos, mainly due to the weather and also because I got almost everything at Publix, my favorite supermarket. I'll be sure to include more shopping pictures later in the week. Then there was another nice thing about the timing of blogging. I made an order from iGourmet over the weekend, and it arrived today. Mail ordering is one of the ways I shop for items hard to find here. And, two bottles of wine came today, from a club we belong to, A Taste of California. This club is run by a man within Florida who gets the wines and then ships them within the state. Florida is unfortunately one of the states with the wacky laws against mailing alcohol into or out of the state.

The two wines we received today are Cabernets, 2003 Morenzy and 2004 Foxborough Estate.

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Wow Susan, I can't believe it's almost been 1 year since your last blog.

It is hard to believe, Wendy. I guess you won't be following me this time, though... :wink: I see the next blogger is from Pennsylvania. I think it's fun to guess who's next.

Now I am about to fall over on the keyboard asleep, so I'll continue my blogging tomorrow -- or later today, I should say.

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Yay, a Florida blog. I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale and Publix( where shopping is a pleasure) is my familys favorite market. My BIL even works for them.

We'll be coming to FL next month so this is a nice preview. Do you get a lot of great seafood?

Do they still let people drive on the beach? I remember as a child being fascinated by that.

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I'll pick up where I left off, at the making and the eating of dinner. We got a late start because I took so long shopping. I'm a slow shopper, and enjoy every minute of it! It did include last-minute birthday shopping. Russ and I usually buy each other food or wine or kitchen related presents on our gift-giving occasions and his birthday this year was no exception. Dinner and the groceries yesterday was part of the gift :biggrin: and I bought him (us) stuff for the porch, which really serves as our dining room most of the year. The colorful thing you see laying over a chair in the pictures above is a rug for the porch, and there is also a clock, placemats, and napkins.

I had some plum tomatoes which were looking pretty rough, so the night before last I thought I would try slow-roasting them, for a sauce or something. They were looking pretty much mushy, so I changed my mind and decided to try oven-drying them, and turned the heat down to very low. Then I forgot about them. So yesterday we had "tomato crisps" on hand, and snacked on them while we were cooking. We saved a few.

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I made a little dish that turned out sort of half way between an amuse and an appetizer, some goat cheese and a couple of olives on a little bed of baby arugula, topped with the roasted-dried-crisp tomatoes and a drizzle of EVOO.

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The big dinner was my only meal yesterday, but I did get some tasty snacks. During the shopping at Publix I bought some prosciutto, and the ladies in the deli always show the first slice, asking if it is the thickness desired. Then they ask you if you want to taste it, meaning eat the whole slice. That would be yes! It was so good. I imagine saying no, it's too thick... and then having to taste another, and then that one... no, it's just a little too thin... yum, prosciutto for lunch. :laugh:

Other good snacks were the duck innards and the cracklings that were produced from when Russ was rendering duck fat.

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