Saturday 31 August 2019

Hurricane Dorian

I really don't know what to tell you! <<< insert "I don't know, shrugging lady" emoji >>>
 I have been on storm watch, and tracking Dorian, since earlier this week.  I also have been fielding phone calls from arriving guests asking about weather conditions and our cancellation policy etc.  FYI, right at this moment anyway, Key West is Open For Business.

In this time the hurricane cone has widened and has shrunk and then widened again. The direction of the path of the hurricane has changed numerous times - heading up to North Florida, changing direction and looking like a little more South, then changed again and headed back up (more) North.  It also unfortunately has continued to strengthen and strengthen, and as we all know at this point, it will likely hit land as a monster Category 4 storm.  Not Good.  But the question of where it will hit remains...

*It does look that the Florida Keys/Key West will not get a major hit.  A relief for sure.  We will of course get some "weather".  I am expecting a lot of rain, wind and thunder.  We may lose power.  We may experience storm surge (I am hoping not).  In our little tiny house preparations are done - we have water in case the water supply stops, we have a jeep full of gas, and we have food that does not need refrigeration on stand by (not a huge amount mind you!).  If the power does go out we have extra ice and blocks frozen in the freezer to try keep food cool for as long as possible.  In other preparations we have avoided filling the pool for the last few days - it is LOW right now - the thinking being that we will get a lot of rain which will (a) fill it and (b) by starting low we are alleviating the chance of it overflowing/flooding the house.  The house is NOT boarded up.

Other than that, it's just watching and waiting.  Right now it is as beautiful and as idyllic as ever in wonderful Key West.  

What more can I tell you?
<<< Again, insert "I don't know, shrugging lady" emoji>>>
Any questions feel free to comment below!


Ps. 
*Of course while there is a massive personal relief that Key West is not the target for Hurricane Dorian I of course would not wish it on anyone else. I am hoping against hope it does a complete change of course/turnabout and heads off back out to the ocean missing the Southern-East coast of USA altogether.


Barbeque Tales Part 16 - Whole Fish (no fish basket)

For some while now it's been a dream, and we have been talking a lot, about cooking a whole fish at home.  Every time one of us orders a whole fish (e.g. El Siboneys or Bagatelle most recently), excuse the pun, but it has whet the appetite even more to try it out ourselves at home on the grill.  

We've talked about landing a fish on White Street Pier, bringing it home, gutting and cleaning it as best we can and throwing it straight on the grill. We've talked about next time we are out on a boat and maybe catch something with a nice weight to it, that rather than getting it cut into two fat fillets, instead we ask the first mate to gut and clean it for us.  These two options aside, Patrick was in Wynn Dixie getting some hurricane supplies (next post on Hurricane Dorian coming up!) when he saw these fine fellas on sale.  So he got two!

Yellowtail Snapper!
Stuffed with garlic and lemon, and with an olive oil and seasoning rub

Yellowtail Snapper tossed on to the grill!
We decided not to use the fish basket this time round to try get a crispy seared skin.

Ta-da!
I nipped around to Faustos to get two lemons for the fish and while there I got some cous cous as a side.  Not something we had done before, it was new and different.


Result!
Well this picture paints a thousand words right?!

Lessons for next time:
  1. A little more seasoning on. Spice it up a little more - maybe a blackening rub on the outside.
  2. Salt! Definitely need to salt the skin to help the skin crisp up more.
  3. Again for the desired crispy skin; blast the heat up for the last minute on either side
  4. Might try a different side next time also - quinoa might be even nicer than the cous cous!




Sunday 25 August 2019

Martin's, Key West

Martin's on Duval Street.

Obsessed!  I am OBSESSED with their martinis!  Earlier this week we decided to go and made a date for Saturday.  Since then I literally have been dreaming about their Key Lime martini.  It is exactly like the pie.  It's essentially tart but with a small amount of sweetness to balance things off.  

And of course not forgetting about the food.  We ordered a selection of tapas - escargot (that's a given), baked brie (superb), and the most wonderful crab cakes.  Not pictured are the lamb chops which were succulent, rare and delicious.

So good that we have already arranged a return date for next Saturday!




Pigsy event! Coming soon!

Around this time last year Enid, Irish artist Pigsy, and I were prepping for two big shows/events in London (one art show and then the screening of the Pigsy movie in the London Irish Film Festival).  Which reminds me btw if you want to watch the Pigsy film it is available HERE

I am sad to be missing out on being part of the next big thing for Pigsy, but am excited about what is coming soon. 


Watch this space!!



I made coffee art!

This "memory" popped up on my facebook, and I remember laughing a lot about it back in August 18 so I figured I would post it here.

Back around then I was living in my (sighhh, lovely) flat on Merrion Street, and with living so near to Enid (yay!) we used to spend a lot of time together.  So I was over in her house one Saturday morning and as was usual we were drinking coffee and chatting.

I attempted to do some coffee art. 

THIS being the result! Lol.
Pretty pathetic I think you will agree. It made us laugh a lot.

But then! 
I literally turned my head to the right, saw something, and shrieked.  "Enid! I think I was inspired by your Miro!"

Ahahahahahahahha.  That made us laugh even more.

Those were good days! I don't "miss them" per say (I live in Key West currently for freaks sake!) ...but I do have the absolute best memories of my time living in town in that flat.  Will stay with me forever. 

Bingo at The Green Parrot!


Moseyed along to the Green Parrot last week to play Bingo!

It is a charity fundraiser, held every Monday - with a different caller and different charity every week.

How much fun was it you ask??!!!  A lot!  And that is before I even mention the free popcorn!  (The Green Parrot have a popcorn machine running all day every day as long as they are open).

Popcorn and bingo! It's a good combination..  Throw in a few little vodka cocktails and it is a GREAT combination.
Caller this week was my friend, the always entertaining and charming King Paul!  

Paul won fantasy fest two years ago (hence the crown) and continues doing as much charity work and fundraisers as he can since then.  The bingo was in aid of Sister Season which is a brilliant charity which helps out people in the hospitality industry in times of need.

Definitely will be back to play again!  And hopefully WIN!  We were so close on a number of occasions and then goddamnit someone else shouted out BINGO! and the prize was gone.  There is always next time!

Ten nights of mirth!

The (new/visiting) main headliner act has been better each week. Good work on the bookings Comedy Key West!
And the opening acts (all local!) are awesome too!

It feels so good just to let loose and LAUGH for two hours solid every Friday. Also an honour watching the comics hone their craft.

Reckon we go for another 10!!!

Sunday 18 August 2019

Fishing trip report

It's been a long time since I went out for a day's fishing on a boat so I was really excited boarding the Gulfstream yesterday.  The day as it turned out was full of ups and downs - literally (the waves/ocean), metaphorically (my emotions) and physically (my body).

It was quite rough out there and soon after our first stop I started to feel quite unwell.  I tried to push on through, but soon I was lying down on the bench willing myself to feel better.  From there I progressed to the bow of the boat sitting on my hunkers with my head between my knees.  And from there, my next stop, was over the side of the boat, throwing up.  Four times.  Ugh.

The good news however, is that I did start to feel a little better.  So much so that I decided to just think positive and push myself to get back into the swing of things, put bait on my hook and GAME ON!

And guess what! I am so glad I did.  First of all this happened:
I could feel I had something big on my line, as is my wont I of course squealed and shouted so the whole boat could hear me that I had something big.  Well imagine my surprise when I reeled up the fish and I saw half a (big) fish!!  Just it's head and half it's body.  A clean, cut in half fish - well actually not so clean in the sense that I could see blood and guts dripping from it.  I was aghast, what the heck???? The two people on either side of me said what they had seen: :A shark ate your fish! A shark ate your fish!"
Apparently they had seen the shadow of it swiping my fish in half.

Then this happened:
Ryan, the first mate, told me to use the remaining fish as bait.  I sent it down and immediately felt something huge. As I reeled it in as fast as I could manage, I battled as my arms got sore and tired.  Then I lost it.  And up popped my bait which was now literally just the head.  Someone from the other side of the boat told me that I had a barracuda that they could see it chasing my bait.  I sent it down again, and again I caught that barracuda.  Again I battled, but it won this round too, this time taking my hook and breaking my line.  But boy was it exciting.

And if that wasn't enough excitement! To end the day on a real high, THIS happened:
Soon after the shark/barracuda drama I reeled in a nice plump porgy which Ryan told me was in line for winning the pool.  Shortly after that I reeled in another one. 

The result was that I did indeed win the pool ($60, nice!) with both my porgy - technically I came first and second!

Not the biggest fish I admit, but heck rules are rules, and biggest fish on the day wins!

Salute (on the beach)

After a great day fishing yesterday (read about that HERE) we pottered down to Salute on the beach for a nice relaxed evening.  We didn't feel like eating much so we ordered just an appetizer to share - antipasti for two.  Plus a glass of Malbec, vodka and diet coke and two coronas.  It was a very nice chilled out, slow, relaxed bite to eat and nice to enjoy our drinks as the sun went down.

Pictured below is the antipasti (pictured from two sides).  I am embarrassed to tell you it costs just $14!! It's a killer of a price.  I loooooooove the roast garlic.

Great service - thumbs up for Miami Subs Grill

One human family!
Pulled up at Miami Sub Grill (N. Roosevelt) at 9.30am to get sandwiches for fishing. Eek it was closed! The sandwich maker who was prepping and setting up for the day sticks his head out the window and says it opens at 10.30am.
And then he asks what we need and I explain a cold sandwich (for fishing lol!) He says No Problem and makes the sandwich!! Hands it to me with a big smile "just remember even a bad day fishing out on the water is better than a day in work"
What a nice man. I love Key West.


Thursday 15 August 2019

You've got mail!

Best sister ever! 
Look at these cute palm tree earrings that Enid sent to me in the post!
Thank you Enid 

Lobsterfest

It's lobster season here in Key West so it would have been rude not to support Lobsterfest right?!

I took a stroll down Duval, enjoyed the festivities and music, enjoyed looking at all the different types of lobster being cooked/methods of cooking.  And then ate lobster on a stick!

Eating lobster always reminds me of the time Tara and I travelled around the South of Spain when we were about 20.  During that fortnight we attended a wedding held outdoors in a beautiful setting on the side of a cliff, and for main course everyone got a full lobster each!!! And with beautiful wines paired with each course.  The wedding celebration culminated with dancing until dawn when a traditional wedding breakfast of onion soup was served to all still standing.   

Hey, who doesn't have good feelings/memories when eating lobster??!

Ps.  I also ate lobster pot pie for dinner the next day in Half Shell Raw Bar...because lobsterfest! Eh!

Fish supper



This little catch of fish...

...made this fine dinner!

For my kedgeree recipe click here!

Maiden

Just wonderful! Here I am, just about the middle of August and literally ONE blog post done for August.  What a horror show!  So the next few posts are catch ups of the last week and a bit.  They may be brief... Warning you now...

Maiden!
I went to the Tropic to see "Maiden" which was exhilarating and inspirational.  It felt a little surreal to be watching events which I remember following and reading newspapers back in Ireland at the age of ten. I recommend this film wholeheartedly.

I also recommend the Tropic wholeheartedly. Have you ever seen a popcorn station in a cinema (aka movie theatre!)?! Well the Tropic has one.  You buy your popcorn and then you flavour liberally with your choice from an array of popcorn flavouring/spices/cheeses. Yum yum!



Monday 5 August 2019

Eats!

I had a beautiful dinner yesterday evening at Bagatelle on Duval Street.  I love the atmosphere, ambiance and d├ęcor of Bagatelle.  It feels wonderfully airy and "Bahamian" to me. And the food of course...is amazing! We had a LARGE glass of wine each - I had Malbec, he had Rioja. I ordered the most divine sesame encrusted tuna ahi with incredible noodles and a beautiful spicy peanut sauce.  He got the yellow snapper, which was fabulous in both size and quality. It was a great night!

And then for dinner this evening, I took the leftovers of Saturday's fish supper and made kedgeree!  It takes a little bit of work but my god it's worth it!