Boiled peanuts. Check. Tarpon Springs Gyro. Check. Torrential thunder storm. Check. Oppressive humidity. Check. A veritable rainbow of pastel houses. Check. Homemade, hand-cranked ice cream. Check! :)
These are all of the things that I associate with Florida. I love memories and traditions associated with particular places, then every time I go back, I have to experience all of my favorite things about that place. My grandpa’s house in Florida is the place that I have the oldest memories of – the one place that has been consistent since my childhood. True, it’s a love/hate relationship…I mean, mint green, pastel pink, and orange sherbet colored houses?! Get it together, Florida – that’s just crazy. It dooeees make me laugh, though.
…You know what doesn’t make me laugh? The humidity. Oh sweet Lord, it’s horrific. But I do love the thunder storms, and the gyros we always get from the little Greek fishing village, and the boiled peanuts! If you’ve never had/heard of boiled peanuts, then you probably don’t have family in the South. They are exactly what they sound like and oh, so much more! Salty and rich – they’re fantastic!!! Want to go on a road trip of the South with me?! It’s on my list of things to do, and rest assured, boiled peanuts and mint juleps will be involved.
Now to my favorite tradition- I always make homemade ice cream with my grandpa. It’s our thing. (We usually go with strawberry, but the peaches looked too good to resist this year.) You always start by mashing up your fruit, then you add a little sugar, a pinch of salt, and pour in the cream! That’s the simple part, then you set up the ice cream maker, sit out on the back porch, and take turns churning the ice cream until it freezes. Homemade ice cream on a hot Florida night really is the best!
**French phrase for fun:
La Floride est un peu folle, mais je l’aime.
Florida is a little crazy, but I love it.