Life: Spicy, Sweet and Full of Juice

The Longleaf Bar and Grill, nickname of our home kitchen, is revivified now that all our taste buds are restored from last year’s adventures. Happiest times here are lunches with a daughter or granddaughter. We sit at the round table in the bar where we drink tea, eat composed salads,  and talk afternoons away. There is never enough time to get it all said, and isn’t that just the way it should be with folks who love one another?

Suppers are simple affairs, with piquant dishes flavored over bland these days.

Catfish Veracruz (based on a Mayo Clinic recipe called Fish Veracruz)

Fresh ears of corn are back at our local Publix now. I’ve found the Florida Tasti-Lee organic tomatoes are astonishingly good. Pricey, but with the aroma, taste, and texture of a summer tomato. The salsa topping, full of peppers, onion, and garlic and sprinkled with fresh cilantro, is here. I found it in a Mayo Clinic Diet newsletter that appears once a week in my electronic inbox.

Visits to Joe Patti Seafood have become a regular run for Buck and me again. I made scampi-style shrimp with pasta a few days ago. Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs on the first go-around, so last night we enjoyed another plate and polished it off. Full of tender crustaceans, garlic, cut peppers, and Italian parsley from my little herb garden under the outside stairs, it’s murmur-inducing fare.

Scampi-style shrimp with pasta.

We saw whole red snappers and lovely pompano at Joe Patti’s last week and made plans to call ahead to order one to bake, probably with a light stuffing made from Blue Crab claw meat.

Life, as Buck and I savor our history, enjoy the moment, and plan our next move like children going to the fair, is spicy and sweet. I’m headed to the kitchen now to grind beans for a pot of Italian Roast coffee. It’s a drizzly Sunday morning, my favorite kind. Buck and I will share a late breakfast of whole grain waffles topped with dark sweet cherries and talk away the morning. And no,  we’ll never have enough time to get it all said, but how delicious to try.

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