Sunday 28 February 2021

What I've been up to...what Enid has been up to

What have I been up to lately?   Bikram yoga! A lot of bikram yoga!

Tuesday.  I went and enrolled for a month long course at Mata Yoga. $140 and worth every penny I believe. Here is a photo of me outside the studio looking worried that I left the immersion on.

Thursday.  Look at the cute bubble gum pink yoga studio

Friday.  Just me initially.  Two other people and the instructor in the end.

Sunday.  I made it! And had an awesome practice. I'm so happy.

What else have I been doing?

Staying as careful as is possible.  
Social distance and mask wearing in work. Washing my hands and not touching my face.  Stay safe friends and readers.

Eating healthy! Patrick cooked us this beautiful salmon on the new barbecue. I swear food tastes better on it.  Look at those grill marks.

And what has Enid been doing?

Oh just the small matter of being FEATURED IN THE IRISH TIMES!!!
Click here to read all about what she and her husband Pigsy, Irish artist, have been doing in the Spanish city of Malaga. 

How exciting right?! 

And what is next for Pigsy and Enid?  His solo exhibition will be held in La Casa Amarilla in the latter half of March of this year. So that is also extremely exciting.  Covid or no covid, these pair have risen up to it, and they inspire me every day.

I thought the article was a great little read.  I'd love to hear your thoughts! Comment below :)

Social distanced, safe socializing, Friday night gathering

 We were invited for dinner in a friend's house on Friday.  It emerged that friend's of theirs had smoked a big hunk of pork and wanted to share it, but their condo is very small. So it made sense, and was a win all round, to host in G&K's huge house instead!  If you remember, that is where the superbowl party was also held.

Check out all this lovely food!

Guess what this is?!
It's tequila watermelon!  I didn't try it.  Yes, I still don't eat fruit. (Goddamn me, and my picky eating slash supertaster genes).  Plus I am a wuss when it comes to tequila to be honest.

Mac and cheese in the making!!

Mac and cheese covered in bacon and panko breadcrumbs

Look at this! LOOK AT THIS!

The lovely host Katrina and our friend Scottie.

A lovely evening!  Thanks guys!

Monday 22 February 2021

Home Maintenance



This evening, I noticed that one of the posts(?) of the little fence out the front had come loose and was leaning to the side.  I also noticed how the fence needs a bit of a power wash and fresh paint but that is something for another day!

So any excuse to get out my electric screwdriver! I got straight to work, and how about that, doesn't it look much better!

Good food is all the sweeter when shared with good friends

 The day arrived for our hosting party!  We did a lot of preparing, cleaning, pre planning, planning, deciding lay outs and talking through timelines, to make it run smooth, and we are delighted because in the end it went great!

First things first, covid. I feel very lucky to live somewhere that the climate lends itself to being outside a lot, if not all of the time.  Also, it was really, really breezy (windy) yesterday which meant that even when we were indoors there was a huge amount of air blowing through the house.  We had all the doors open, and this movement of fresh clean air helped make things feel safe also.

Preparing: We cleaned all morning on Sunday.  Also included in that time was a run to the grocery store to get key lime pie (dessert), mayonnaise (for the key lime mustard) and cupcakes for a colleague leaving The Saint. Patrick kindly drove me down to the hotel so I could run in quickly with those and that was during the morning time also. Patrick figures it was 4 hours cleaning between the two of us.  I think it was more like five.  How can a small house need so much cleaning?  But I must say it feels nice now, the morning after, having everything spick and span.

And of course it was worth it, for all of THIS:

Fruits of our Labour! 5.5lbs or 32 crab claws (4 each)
After everyone arrived and were outside, set up with drinks etc., Patrick and I moved swiftly (all that communication and preplanning work paid off!) and set the table and laid out the claws on ice.  When everyone arrived in to eat there was a lot of oohing and ahhing, and lovely convivial conversation all about what a treat stone crab was.  It was really lovely and gratifying to hear how much everyone was enjoying the food. After all that was always the objective - to provide something lovely that people would enjoy.  Oh and prosecco, everyone had a glass of chilled crisp prosecco which is always a good accompaniment to crab claws.

I know I keep mentioning the preparation, but actually, a crab claw party is probably one of the easiest gatherings I've hosted from a cooking/preparing perspective. They are boiled fresh once we catch them and then immediately frozen.  So all you really need to do on the day is have defrosted them prior (18 hours in the fridge starting the night before!) and then lay them out on the ice displayed nice.  I made the devilled eggs earlier that morning in between the cleaning - but they are easy to make, in fact I enjoy it/find it therapeutic. And I popped the (Publix) garlic bread in the oven 30 minutes before everyone was due to arrive. Oh! I made a key lime mustard dipping sauce too - which is sooooo easy and delicious, and got lots of compliments!

Happy Birthday Emily! Celebrated with a Key West "birthday cake", lol

Even with it being breezy, it was just perfect outdoors

Good people! Love this gang!

The cooler behind us doubles up as place for ice and a bench seat. I like this photo of us!

Monday's are certainly easier after a wonderful weekend like this. 
I wish you all a fantastic Monday and week ahead everyone! 

Tuesday 16 February 2021

Firefly, Key West

 I was quite shocked to hear that Patrick had got us reservations for Firefly on Sunday gone (Valentine's Day) - because of where I work (in a hotel) I had insight into just how busy the island was and how booked up all the restaurants were.  Ever resourceful, it emerged that Patrick, when he couldn't get through on the phone, he jumped on his bike and cycled down to Bahama Village and made the booking in person.  Clever man! He did note how busy it was - he had to get into a queue to just talk to someone.

Well, it sure was worth doing what he did!  Dinner was fab!

We decided that the food felt more like beer food than wine food. So Patrick had two Corona's and I had a mixed drink in a hipstery mason jar glass.

We shared an appetizer of Devilled Eggs.  We both agreed they were good. Patrick commented they were very similar to mine (Yoink! I'll take that as a compliment!)

Patrick got an entree of Gumbo - he said it was excellent, and that he would totally get it again.

I got two small plates for my main:

Shrimp and cheesy grits. DIVINE!

Crab beignets with gouda fondue.  They were "good", they were "fine", but I wouldn't get them again

Back home we had some lovely Godiva chocs for dessert - Patrick's valentine's gift pour moi! (So nice)

Can I harvest two claws from a stone crab?

 Following my last few blogs about Florida Stone Crabs, one of my regular readers (ok, Enid. It was Enid) queried my statement that you are allowed take the two claws off of the crab.  Actually, she pointed out what she thought was a typo in my blog "you left a word out - the word "not" - before allowed".  She could barely believe it when I told her there was no typo, you are actually allowed take the two (i.e. all!) of the crabs claws.

It sure seems wrong to me too. And as I noted, we always just take one.  It feels like the right thing to do.

On the basis of Enid's queries I did some more reading up on it.  You can get more info here. It appears that the commission in charge of the rules and regulations (The Florida Fishing and Wildlife Commission) have ok'd the practice - although they also acknowledge that it does leave the crab with less (to nil) defences when their claws are gone.  They also note that the claw regrows back quicker the more that the crab can eat and grow strong - so with two claws they have more chance to get themselves food.  So overall, morally, I am happier with our decision to leave this sustainable resource to rejuvenate with the best chances possible. And hopefully the more we have next season and each one onwards!!

Monday 15 February 2021

Stone crab socialiser

 Lately, going out and checking the crab traps has been even more fun then ever.  You might remember my last blog about the monster claws we got - and that was the best day yet.  

Well today, while we didn't get any more monsters we killed it on sheer quantity - 9!  And imagine, that could have been doubled if we had taken the two claws (as you are allowed to).

So! Very exciting.  We have friends coming over for drinks and appetizers next Sunday and guess what! We are going to do stone crabs. Going to keep it simple.  Plus also, we have explicitly said apps (not dinner), so there will be stone crabs, devilled eggs and crusty garlic bread.  And prosecco.  Eh, voila!

Excited to share our fishing haul and exploits with our friends.  Very much looking forward to it!

No clue what the context of the photo below is.  Found it in google images and it just made me laugh.  Lol!

Tuesday 9 February 2021

Super bowl party!

 My second super bowl party! And hosted by the same people!  But in a new venue.  Our friends G&K have recently moved home and without a doubt their new house is just perfect for a party.  And even more importantly, with covid etc, it was just perfect for an outdoor viewing party.  I feel really lucky living somewhere that I can socialize (relatively) safely...

I will let the photos below speak for themselves

Share Wesley House love

How cute is this!! 

Patrick texted me telling me there was a heart in our garden, and when I came home I saw THIS!

Really clever... It is a fundraiser for Wesley House.  Someone went online and ordered it and then WH came out and delivered it. 

But who was that someone?!!  I immediately went to facebook and posted a pic asking "who did this?!!"  

After a few cryptic messages I figured that it was Enid!!!  Thank you Enid!  Love it, and love that you supported Wesley House all the way from Spain.

She later told me that it was so easy.  She went online at 5pm Spanish time, noon in KW, and that very same day it was delivered to our little blue house.  Cute little message on the back of it telling all about it and the hashtag #sharewhlove where you can search to see other houses decorated with hearts. 

I love Key West :) And ingenuity.  Normally, every year, Wesley House hosts a big Valentine's dance.  Obviously, they can't do it with covid so this was their idea to replace that.

Weber Grill 3200

 Our new barbecue arrived!!! 

Looking like it landed from Outer Space!

So after an initial little panic while we couldn't get it working. Which btw, exposed how differently we handle troubleshooting: Patrick pressing a million buttons, me going back to the manual (and both of us thinking the other person was crazy) lol. 
Fortunately, Patrick got a work call so I worked away through a number of steps and all was good!

I handed over to Chef Patrick at this point and he enjoyed working out the nuances of a fancy new Weber versus our cheapy old Dyna Glo. The result?! Amazing surf and turf (Porgy fish and New York strip steak) and corn on the cob.  My compliments to the chef!

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Freezing February


It's cold.
I've no idea of temperatures etc (going from Celsius to Fahrenheit, I'm totally at a loss), I just know that I am dying with the cold.  And I do not have the right clothes for this weather.  This morning I went to work wearing my work dress over a pair of lounge pants, with a hoody and a fleece.  In work they said I looked like an Eskimo. I said I would take that, better than how Patrick described me while heading off "you look like a crazy female spiderman"...whatever that means lol! 

The good news is that it never really stays cold for long in Key West. And it is the Superbowl this weekend! We have been invited a party which will be fun.  We've been asked to bring dessert so, guess what we will bring?! Key Lime Pie :) The weather is supposed to be lovely (warmer again!) and our friends have a really big house with a really, really big yard and pool etc so it will be a perfectly safe gathering - they are putting a big screen outside so the party will be outside.

Monday 1 February 2021

Monday chores

 Following on from last week, this was another busy Monday also today.

Amongst a load of other things, I got my new Florida ID card!  And thus my crab trap license.  I promptly took myself, my new ID and a copy of the New Yorker off to ihop to celebrate over some waffles. A very enjoyable time had by all, I am happy to report.

Crab trapping - the best day yet!


Look at this!!

Just imagine, with the weather the way it is at the moment (windy!), we weren't even sure if we would get out on the water.  Well we did! And in the first trap we pulled up we get two monster crabs and get two of these monster claws off of them.  And this haul could have been doubled!! Technically (legally) you are allowed take the two claws, but morally we always just take one.

We ate crab claws last night and we have the makings of a fabulous Valentine's celebration dinner waiting in the freezer.  Sure feels decadent I tell you, nothing like that sweet crab claw meat.