Sunshine State Christmas 2016



I’m just back to Mendenhall after a lovely visit with family and friends in north Florida for Christmas. It was an unusual holiday with sweltering high 80 degree weather in the Sunshine State this year. My grandfather, who has been a Florida resident for 90+ years and counting, couldn’t even recall a Christmas this warm. So much so that he compared the weather with the 4th of July!

On Christmas Day we woke up early to open presents and start the chores to prepare lunch for ten in the living room. My assignment was to scale a giant redfish that we later stuffed with lemons and cilantro for grilling. My sister and I worked together to forage the yard for flowers and citrus to decorate the Christmas table. Citrus and blooms are a perk of spending the holiday in warm climates.

Aside from the grilled redfish, we prepared a pork loin stuffed with backyard lemons, prosciutto, herbs and panko. And I can’t forget the mention the fried oysters and champagne in the backyard before dinner. Truly, a real Florida Christmas!

The week was stuffed with delicious foods, my favorite grapefruit and vodka cocktails, catch up time with family and friends and many puppy adventures. My annual trek home is always a special time to visit my Florida roots, make new memories with family, hear special stories from my sweet Grandfather and spend great times in my childhood kitchen with my family. I hope you had a merry week too. I’ll share some recipes this week!


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