May in Bloom

Hi there!

We spent the month crisscrossing the state, fishing, celebrating our birthdays, planting trees, cooking, porch-drinking, and feeling fancy free. It’s about damn time. This guava cake was declared the best cake of all time by my family. I promise to write up the recipe for you.I had several recipes published in Edible Tampa Bay this month, including that galette above. I also started a new column about homegrown food in Indian River Magazine. Pick up copies if you’re out and about.And we’re off to Big Pine Key! Arrived just in time for the last two days of stone crab season and the start of grouper season. Mom doing her favorite thing on Mother’s Day.Toby doing his favorite thing on his birthday.Fuzzy from the screen, but I love this scene and the building storm clouds.
Key West pink shrimp.I cleaned so many shrimp I was seeing shrimp in the sky.A Goliath grouper at Looe Key reef. Here’s what Craig Pittman wrote about the new “harvest season” of Goliath grouper.

Here are my nurse shark friends who hang around the fish cleaning table, trying to look as cute as dolphins.

Here’s one where you can see the way their skin wrinkles when they do tight turns:And then there’s this guy.Not a fan.Biked over to the Blue Hole to spot a rare bird called a black-faced grassquit. No luck.Orange geiger in the wild.Here come the key deer! The colors of Key West are always spectacular, but we hit this special moment at the height of radiance. The yellow tabebuias are still blooming, the royal poincianas are lighting up, and the bougainvillea and frangipani are popping. I have all these in my own yard but they don’t bloom all at once. Plus all the most delightful cottages and picket fences and gardens. The Audubon House checks all the boxes.Pileated and ivory-billed woodpeckers on display in their window. 

All the murals.And my favorite ice cream in the whole wide world, Flamingo Crossing. Homemade with local fruit. Guava and guanabana are my top picks. Key lime, coconut, passion fruit, and mamey are all amazing. Toby always gets the Cuban coffee ice cream. idk. I’m reading this biography about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and also watched the new Hemingway series on PBS. It’s a perfect pairing because Marjorie and Ernest became friends through their editor, Maxwell Perkins. Back to Tampa. Another hike through Hillsborough River State Park. Eastern tiger swallowtail. They’re so big! This one fluttered all around me, stopped and posed.Some very happy monarchs in our yard. 

That’s a wrap for May. Thanks for stopping by!

9 Comments May in Bloom

  1. Phyllis May 27, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Looks like a fun filled May. Keep enjoying.

    1. suwanneerose May 27, 2021 at 9:13 pm

      Thanks, Phyllis. We’ll have to continue the big cousin 50th birthday celebration in Gloucester.

  2. Pat Deas May 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Beautiful as always,you make Florida look like the tropical paradise it is. Was that you or your Mom in the snorkeling pic ? You and your family surely know how to have fun,make memories and enjoy our abundant natural resources. Can’t wait for the guava cake recipe, I always fix a guava jelly roll cake for my Thanksgiving table.

    1. suwanneerose May 31, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Thank you, Pat! That’s my mom snorkeling. I would love to hear more about that guava jelly roll cake!!!

  3. Julie Lounibos May 28, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Boy, I love everything about this post! Your photos are wonderful, and I’m so excited for your new column in Indian River Magazine.

    1. suwanneerose May 31, 2021 at 3:40 pm

      Thank you, Julie! We were lucky to squeeze in so many good things this month. I’m thrilled to write for Indian River Magazine. I’m on the lookout for stories about our local food history. If you have any ideas, send them my way!

  4. Evangelia May 30, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    Beautiful! Love seeing your travels across the state. Looks like so much fun. Congrats on your article in Indian River Magazine.

    1. suwanneerose May 31, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      Thanks, Evangelia! Happy summer! Can’t wait to see you and catch up soon!

  5. misti June 1, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Finally back in the keys!! This post brings me so much delight and joy!

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