Daily Coop News . . .

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Fire Burns . . .

The neighbors have started to return as the North turns cooler, the leaves change, and the season approaches.  The Cleveland Avenue Bungalow has started to transform in preparation for the upcoming 2012 Idea House, projects dwindle, plans consolidate and the menu unfolds.  The fall colors are already giving way to the shimmering gold and silvers of the Christmas season, and the new lighting and greenery plans are taking shape.

Our gardens past what most would consider prime, with the heavy rains of the summer behind them, quietly blossom into a new brilliance, the Cypress hang heavy with ornament like balls and trails of cascading seed pods.  The strong structure of the oaks silhouetted with the setting of a crimson sky and the bromeliad's torch fade with each dropping Oak leaf.  The ever changing landscape of old Florida never ceases to amaze me, who ever said Florida has no season must have had a very short visit. 

The cool of the nights, now dipping below 60 warrant a right of passage, a right so vivid in my memory, whether the stone fireplace on Lake Washington Road with a mantle stretching wall to wall, or the formality of The Old Starkey House surrounded by a grand staircase, this right of passage now belongs to a little bungalow in Punta Gorda, and on this night in a quiet little corner a fire burns . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

A rainy August afternoon . . .

Spon.ta.ne.ous:  Done. Produced. Occurring naturally or without planning.

A very rainy August afternoon in Punta Gorda, as I was trying to catch up on reading the never ending list of magazines, books, blogs, and bits and pieces of Shirley's finds, I came across rather spontaneously the definition of spontaneous. If you are familiar with my blog, you already know it does not occur naturally without planning, so I am shooting for the done or produced on this rainy afternoon.

In Brevard, North Carolina on Main Street lies the secret to a beautiful rainy August afternoon in Punta Gorda, it is The Brown Bean Coffee Roasters, http://www.thebrownbean.com/ and this afternoon a cup of "yellow dog" occurred naturally without planning. . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Rooted in Florida Soil" by Mama Kuku

and excerpt from page -6-.

The sign on the door of Pop's "Emporium",


If we all could be so lucky these days. . .

Earth Day 2012

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. . .
Native American Proverb

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Leaving Eden"

"the skinnin barn"
by the Carolina Chocolate Drops , An original song by North Carolina songwriter Laurelyn Dossett about what happens to a mill town when it's people are driven away by globalization, have a little listen. . .

The End.
It's not actually the end, and more than likely a great new beginning . . .
My mother is now settled in a 1927 Punta Gorda cottage, tucked neatly among the Palms and Oaks along the banks of the Peace River and expecting her first house guest this weekend.  Although it seems she has always been right around the corner, it has only been a month.  She is making new friends, playing cards with the neighborhood kids, and beginning to find her way around town.  It is a wonderful thing to walk over for a Sunday morning breakfast after church, see her great grandson bounding with a smile up to her new little house, throw in a goat milking, cheese making session or two and The End is looking good. 

The Beginning of The End.

I headed out on a Sunday afternoon for a road trip, Yemassee the destination, not with my usual calculated, organized craziness, but with a quiet and peaceful solitude, for this trip I would make alone.  I pulled out of Punta Gorda, "Still Friends" playing comfortably in the background, a beautiful afternoon ahead of me.  I was crossing through what I call "Old Florida", the part of Florida where there are more cattle than people, being behind a truck full of oranges is a fact of life, and wide open space as far as you can see, well that is until I hit rodeo's is Arcadia and Okeechobee, all reinforcing the "Old Florida" of my youth.  Out of Okeechobee I headed north up 441, a light rain was starting to fall, a gray mist formed over the pastures until the green fields faded away and cows grazed in the magical mist.  There were the familiar landmarks, the Dessert Inn at Yeehaw Junction and Ten Mile marked today by a flock of turkey's, I wondered if they knew Spring gobbler was starting shortly?  The soulful sounds of the Carolina Chocolate Drops "Leaving Eden", played as I rounded the corner at Holopaw and headed into Eau Gallie, as the rains lifted, my mind wandered and the music played, for Mom was leaving her Eden, in the spring when the Turkey Roost would be at it's glory.
An overnight in Eau Gallie, and back on the road, the Florida sun shining up the coast, past Palm Coast, a giggle when I realized it is also Bike Week, past St. Augustine and into Jacksonville, my memories and the music of "Still Friends" solidifying my "Old Florida" and I drive on.
Old Sheldon Church Ruins, Yemmassee, S.C.
Across the river, signs for Woodbine, and I have reached the salt marshes of Georgia, how beautiful they gleam, wheat fields of the south . . . on into the low country of South Carolina, could this be this adoptive daughter's final visit to the Turkey Roost?  I was not here to tour the gardens of Savannah or Charleston, I was not here to wander the ruins of Old Sheldon Church, turning the corner at Harold's Country Club, down Pocotaligo, across gut creek, I was here to pack the remains of Turkey Roost. 
As I reached the pine covered driveway, the Dogwood and Azalea's greeted me like old friends and a quick beep brought my mother down the old brick sidewalk with open arms, reminiscent of Granny in Bell.
After a quick assessment of what had been done, what still needed to be done, and a little lunch we began to pack.  In no time at all my secret weapon and surprise had arrived . . . it was my dumpster diving, adventure junkin friend from Alpharetta.  Lifelong, really good friends are always hard to find, if you find one that will not only volunteer to help, drive five hours (two of which had no cell service) to help you pack the 20 years of dumpster diving, tag sale, road kill collecting parents of a childhood friend, be good to them, quite frankly, they are really hard to come by.  After a brief meeting to determine the pecking order, even though I was clearly holding a coffee mug stating "the boss", it was determined Shirley (mom) was in charge.
The food pageant quickly ensued, you know the "parade", where all of us southern participants pull from their coolers a territorial, albeit colorful southern mix ranging from organic veggies to Carmel and sea salt cupcakes.  Two days and twenty people could not have eaten this much chicken?  There was a twenty garlic chicken and two of The Best X@!@XX Chicken Salads, veggie lasagna, and a week's bounty from Worden Farms, let's get to packin.
We laughed over the old stories of Eau Gallie, packed and looked for rusty treasures like crows for tinsel, the memories and stories of each object was told, and the thrill of the hunt still lingered.  We laughed and talked into the night, the mornings greeted us with more packing, fresh ground and pressed coffee and a few more lessons to learn.  I learned at a very early age not to open lidded containers on my mothers counters, my cohort recently learned that the hard way, dog food?  She taught me to always keep your tetanus shot current, who knows where your next pick will be, besides you could be wearing crocs and a skirt . . .
really good lessons from a really good couch.
The skinnin barn and apartment were empty, the little house filled with items going to further destinations, and the house was packed minus the absolute essentials, however the garage (oh boy!) was the next order of business and our cut off time was approaching quickly.  We filled our trucks, dug up day lilies, and enjoyed a quick tour of the old house at Richfield and the little church, it was time to say good bye, not only to my friend but to Turkey Roost.  The remainder of the good stuff would have to wait for the next shift. . . for in the morning we were headed to St. Augustine to look for Mom's next abode. 
We drove quietly past the azaleas, the dogwood, blueberries and figs, down the driveway lined with Pine and past the Turkey Roost sign one last time. . .
The twenty years I spent visiting here are years filled with great memories, crazy stories and the legacy of my parents and their time at Turkey Roost, Yemassee, South Carolina.

Mt. Magazine Springtime Song

by Donna Stjerna and Kelly Mulhollan

Recently, as the sun set on the banks of the Peace River and "Still on the Hill" played a melodic composition, I fell in love with the "Ode to Mr. Boze" played on one of his fantastic fiddles, Devil Snake
and Seven Pies . . . but the words to "Mt. Magazine Springtime Song" just seem to resonate today,

When the naked trees loosen up their hides
and begin to grow new clothes . . .
when the March wind blows the cold away,
and dries my dripping nose,
I'll hike to the wild onion patch . .
eat and belch and sing,
blow my breath into winter's face . . .
and turn him into spring.

So three cheers for the "hermit-poet"
living on Mt. Magazine,
the second verse well it goes like this,
to the poem that he once called "Spring"!

When the hairy bumblebee crawls forth
and spreads his stubby wing . . .
he takes off running for the air,
I hear his motor sing.
Then he makes a nose dive for my britches,
stabs me with his sting.
I can feel a rise in the temperature
and a swift return of SPRING.

As part of the Stevefest Concert series, "Still on the Hill" was also able to perform at Deep Creek Elementary, with a fabulous children's program.  The final chapter of  this season for Stevefest is April 20th in Punta Gorda, as always a real treat for those who can make it,  "Still Friends" will open for Copper Box, and it promises to be another high stepping good time in Punta Gorda . . .

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sour Orange Curd . . .oh so yummy

My neighbor has supplied us with the most gorgeous Sour Oranges, and there was something mumbled about only good for flinging . . .oh but I have a better idea.

Sour Orange Curd
 In a double boiler, whisk 3 large eggs (or 6 is you are using eggs from my coop), 3/4 cup white sugar ( the sugar also helps to really break up the egg for a smooth curd), whisk until smooth then add 1/3 cup sour orange juice (or any unsweetened citrus juice), 4 tablespoon unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon zest from the fruit you are using.  Whisk on and off until thickened and very smooth about 10-15 minutes.  Makes 1 pint, it will continue to set in refrigerator, and may be kept kept for 2 weeks.  It is so yummy, it will never make it that long . . .

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mama KuKu

Occupying my bedside table these days, is a blast from my past, the 1971 recollections from Mama KuKu as the school children from Brevard County Florida knew her, she was Julia Lake Kellersberger and "Rooted in Florida Soil"  is a personal narrative of two decades of her life.  As a child seated on the floor of the cafeteria at Sabal Elementary I could have listened for hours as the stories of her life unfolded.

Page twenty three:

"Fish are gastronomical snobs.  One moment they will leap at a lure of red, and a few hours later they scorn crimson and want gold.  One day they are hungry for pig-fish, and the next day they are starved for shrimp.  They won't bite when it is too cold, or when it is too hot, or when the water is too rough, or when it is too smooth.  Pop seems to be the only one who knows when they will bite.  He says,

"When the wind is in the north
careful fishermen fare not forth.
When the wind is in the east
'Tis good for neither man nor beast.
When the wind is in the south
It blows the bait in the fishes' mouth.
When the wind is in the west
Fishing then is at its best."
More to come . . .