June in Bloom

Here’s a quick rundown before we take another trip across the state today.

I envy anyone who can read in the car. Instead I’ll be responsible for the tunes and spotting sandhill cranes, cara caras, alligators, and the most picturesque stands of oaks and cabbage palms. The roads through the middle of this state are endlessly beautiful.

I’ve come across so many good books this summer. My stack keeps growing. I just finished The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister, about a girl raised by her inventor father on an island in the Pacific Northwest. She’s encouraged by her father to navigate the world through her sense of smell. The descriptions of the landscape transported me to Port Alexander, the little village in Alaska we will sadly not be able to visit this year. I’m going to miss the Alaska 4th of July parades and very late night fireworks.Zephyranthes pop after the rain. 
Toby made pad Thai with wild Key West pink shrimp. It had been too long. So thankful his grandma taught him this dish, and he practiced it when he was at sea, using only an electric wok. There are all these little cooking hints and tricks Big Mum taught him that make me happy, like the way she sliced shrimp in half lengthwise so they curl and are more bite-sized, and slicing citrus to avoid the center where the seeds are, because we all know biting a lemon seed will throw off the whole meal, and the citrus wedges squeeze easier without that white pith along the edge. I submitted it to the Davis Island Yacht Club cookbook years ago. Here’s another take on it with lobster.Last week we started a radical transformation in our new backyard. It’s not as pretty right now after all the tree work and clearing, but next month we’ll have 33 trees from our old yard delivered here. I’ve got a wish list of fruit trees a mile long. Gardening is planning and patience. Lots of patience.In the meantime, there’s lots of wildlife right outside my kitchen window. So far we’ve seen a deer, raccoons, gopher tortoises, box turtles, snakes, an armadillo, possums, and a bobcat. A couple woodpeckers have a home inside a cabbage palm, and so many cardinals singing “pretty pretty pretty, sweet sweet sweet.” I hope you’re making the best of this summer in your own backyard. If you do venture out, my friend Nicole makes lovely Florida-themed masks that are comfortable and wash up good as new. My friend Leah’s mom makes some with great print combinations that fit snugly and wrap around the head instead of just the ears. These days, the mask makes the outfit. 

Take care everybody!

15 Comments June in Bloom

  1. Julie June 30, 2020 at 11:39 am

    The recipe of Big Mum’s looks really good and easy. Phil cooks Pad Thai too and is interested in trying this version. I laughed and had to read aloud To Phil your statement about a bite into a citrus seed will ruin the meal. I’ve been telling him that for years because he’s bad about getting seeds in dishes! Love your pics as always. I can’t wait to see all those trees moved to your new yard!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose June 30, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      That’s pretty funny about the citrus seeds. I used to be bad about it, too. Can’t wait to hear what Phil thinks of the recipe. Maybe he’ll try incorporating something from this into his. No two pad Thai recipes are alike! When the coast is clear we’d love to have you over for it. We’re so happy to find our neighbor Lori is a friend of yours.

      Reply
      1. Julie July 18, 2020 at 8:37 am

        Phil made Big Mum’s Pad Thai last night, and it was awesome! We halved the amount for just the two of us and still have some leftovers for lunch today. Can’t wait!

        Reply
        1. suwanneerose August 3, 2020 at 11:10 pm

          Just saw this reply! I hope Phil will give me a comparison with his recipe some day.

          Reply
  2. Nicole June 30, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    I’m so excited for you as you tackle a new landscaping project — oh the possibilities! And that Pad Thai recipe is definitely on my list of must-tries after the next 30 days of ‘no carb’ eating. P.S. thanks for highlighting news about my masks 🙂

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose June 30, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      Good luck without the carbs, but I bet you could adapt this recipe to use zucchini noodles and extra bean sprouts if you need a fix! Your masks are awesome. I want all the prints!

      Reply
  3. Evangelia June 30, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful thank you for sharing Big Mum’s Pad Thai, Toby’s dish looks delicious! Your new place is gorgeous best wishes and Happy Tree planting!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose June 30, 2020 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks, Evangelia! We’re so excited to see it all come together. I hope you and Bill and McKinley are all doing well. 🙂

      Reply
  4. misti June 30, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Excited to see how you transform your new place—is this a permanent move from your house on the west coast or the PI house? Don’t know if you answered that somewhere and I missed it.

    Will check out those masks! My mom is making a bunch but some Florida themed ones would be nice!

    Reply
  5. Misti June 30, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Nevermind—saw your comment from last month! Will be fun to see how things adapt from PI!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose June 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      Fingers crossed the trees make it. If we can pull this off it will be amazing.

      Reply
  6. Mary Lou Walsh July 1, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Love this blog since I discovered it a few years ago during the research and planning stages of a move from New England to FL. I ended up in St. James City on Pine Island and your blog posts about the area and boating waters in SW FL have been a new special treat every time one was posted. We will miss you on the west side, but wish you best of luck with your move.
    Mary Lou

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose July 1, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Thank you, Mary Lou. We’ll miss our family and friends around there, and we’ll certainly be back with our boat in tow. We spent so many years exploring Pine Island Sound we know it like the back of our hands. It’s a very special place.

      Reply
  7. Jane July 2, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I’m touched to see Big Mum’s recipe in the Davis Island Cook Book. She always thought Toby was an excellent student.
    That grasshopper! What wildlife!

    Reply
    1. suwanneerose August 3, 2020 at 11:14 pm

      Toby has perfected a handful of recipes, and the ones from Big Mum are his best. I love that she taught him presentation in addition to the cooking and flavors. I also love that we honor her with great food.

      Reply

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