And, another fine week it has been!!! Horses and pups are going crazy being cooped up with the crazy weather. Neither can go out to romp and roll in the rain or ice so they’ve been pretty house bound. Lucky for Z and Picasso they are ridden on a regular basis so at least they’ll get out of their stalls fairly often. There are some horses in the barn that, if they are not able to go outside due to conditions, will literally stand for days. No wonder they get cranky. Niki and Pico are not fans of the cold, or rain for that matter, so it’s in and out for potty breaks. Although, with the sunny weather yesterday and today, the ice on the driveway is melted and we get in about a ½ mile back-and-forth “walk.” The dirt roads and pathways in Kensington are still dangerously slick. The good news though, winter is nearly over, and, I know this because Z and Picasso are shedding profusely, a tell-tale predictor that Spring will be early this year.
I was lucky to visit my mom in St. Pete for a few days last week. My sister Marj and her daughter Maddy came from Atlanta with my great nephews Liam and Pierce, 4 and 1 year old, their dad Matt and brother-in-law Mike. My sister Isabelle lives next door to my mom with her hubby Joe. The weather was awesome except for the first day with a bit of “spitting” rain. Then beautiful sunshine prevailed. Marj and I played golf with mom several times. She will be 90 in a few weeks and still walks nine holes 3 or 4 days a week. Boy, does she hit consistently straight! I can count on one hand how much I’ve golfed in the last 25 years so wasn’t expecting much from my game. It was surprisingly very OK. I’ll take it up again when I retire. HA
Much of the visit revolved around meals. Joe brought home beautiful grouper one night that was out-of-the-world good. His nephew is a fish monger so we got the best of the best. Another dinner was a seafood “sampler” of blackened sea scallops that still smelled of the ocean, shrimp scampi and fresh-in-the-shell, clam pasta. How wonderful to “break bread” with my family.
If you’re ever in the St. Pete area on a Saturday be sure to hit their Farmer’s Market. It is one of the best I’ve ever been too. Plan to spend several hours if you want to see it all. In addition to the produce there are vendors with handmade jewelry, clothing, organic meats and enough food stalls to make you crazy trying to decide what to eat. And, the dogs… dogs, dogs, dogs everywhere; all sizes and breeds. I think there were more dogs than people. They were all very well behaved. Some were dressed fancy, some in doggie strollers and all happy to be with their humans! And, one of my favorite restaurants, Ceviche, a Spanish tapas bar is downtown too. It serves a plethora of “little plates” and mean Sangria. I always get the grilled sardines, sautéed spinach with figs and potato and manchengo cheese fritta. And, their gazpacho is almost as good as ours! Marj and I walked into town, a 6 mile hike, and met good friends; we’re talking 40 yearlong friends Ernie and Georgie, for lunch and shared at least 6 different menu items. It was sooo good.
Speaking of good, Sharon and crew have some awesome Chalkboard Features this week. For a Starter try the Blue Crab & Corn Fritters Served with Tabasco Mustard Mayo Dipping Sauce. Bistro Plates include: Sauté of Lake Perch Presented with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Bacon Braised Collard Greens; Veal-Beef & Pork Meatloaf mixed with Mushrooms, Leeks and Tilamook Aged Cheddar. Served with Rosemary Steak Fries and Onion Gravy; Grilled Vegan Plate featuring Marinated Portobello, Flame Fired Vine Ripe Tomato, Grilled Asparagus & Crispy Leeks all drizzled with a Balsamic Reduction. And save room for dessert--Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake garnished with Amarena Cherries and Whipped Cream. YUM!!!
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!!
WISH YOU MANY MILLION DOLLAR DAYS.
XXOO, Mary, Niki, Pico, Z and Picasso.
Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro