On a recent visit to Oviedo, Florida to see my childhood friend, Thelma McFarland Taylor, we went into town. And what a fun little town is it. Beautiful feathered chickens of all colors run around everywhere. The reason I’ve been told is that when they tore down an old building that used to be a restaurant in which they used its own eggs it distroyed the little chicken coop too. Well, they all felt so bad that the leaders of the town allowed the chickens to remain as honorary citizens and the eggs they lay are in lieu of paying taxes, I guess. So roam they do. Oviedo has antique shops, second hand stores, tea rooms and even a Panera Bread. So our afternoon was full of shopping and eating. We came home with bright red dishes that were so cheap I couldn’t pass them up! Thelma and I neither one need more dishes, but how could we resist!! Well, we didnt!
Here is a recipe from one of the Tea Rooms there.
PS. Maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the chicken soup off the menu but I’m sure they didn’t use any of the chickens that walk around town!! 😳
Who would have guessed that when I went to visit my friends in Florida I’d be introduced to the Cuban culture. Florida has oranges and grapefruits and gators galore. Buckets overflowing with sand and seashells. Shrimp you can peel or have fried or sautéed. But, Cuban food! We ventured to a place called Cafe’ Havana. It is owned and operated by a family of three generations. They were so very patient with us as we asked many questions about the food and even gave us samples of everything. They offered chicken in a coconut sauce, a spicy beef mixture and pork covered with cooked sliced onions. They had many choices of rice and a south of the border root plant called yucca which reminded me of a potato. They fixed the yucca two ways, one in a butter and garlic sauce and the other fried in a light batter. Both were enticing. The experience was fun, the people were very friendly and the food was very tasty. To top it off at the end of the meal one of the owners came around and passed out a shot of their Colombian very hot, very strong, dark coffee with whipped cream and sugar on top. Aww, this was the best treat of all! And if you smile real big like I did, they give you another one!!☕️ ☕️ After all, they say in Cuba you must always end your meal with coffee. The way they fix it, it’s like dessert!
So yes, Florida has oranges and lots of cows but why not run off to Cuba while you’re here! I thought of my Dad and Barney Pierce and their group of friends who traveled to Cuba many many years ago to sing and play their instruments.
Recently on Facebook I was reminded of how fun our country’s outside fairs are. All over Georgia, Tennesse, Alabama, North and South Carolina I have enjoyed participating in southern outdoor craft fairs. From spring until fall these craft fairs bring people together with music, food and expert craftmenship from all over the country. I have made wreaths and baskets and different handcrafted items but my favorite has always been cooking. It started one year when I brought homemade biscuits and fried sausage to make for our breakfast before the fair opened. The other artists started early setting up their booths and when the smell of the fresh biscuits and the frying of the sausage filled the air, here they came. They were willing to pay whatever I asked. So the next day I prepared a little better with help from dear friends, Diane Corn, Bea Chadburn and Don Bright who stayed up late to help me make and bake biscuits. It seemed no matter how many biscuits we made, we always sold out. Here’s the recipe for biscuits from our sweet Mimi Short.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Add 2 cups self-rising flour to mixing bowl and rub in 3 heaping T of shorting or butter. Add 1 cup buttermilk and work it together. Pour onto surface and roll out the thickness you want for your biscuits. Cut with floured cutter and place not touching onto a greased pan. Bake about 10-12 minutes or ’til the color of brown you like. Add cooked sausages or bacon. I alway have mustard and jelly available!