Furlough Month #2 – DONE!

Can’t believe it. We’ve gone through 8 weeks of being home. One of our jokes is ‘What day is it?’. I solved that problem – as long as I updated the signs placed on the fridge. 🙂

We’ve been able to squeeze in two separate fishing trips. The first was at the end of May – totally forgot it was the start of Memorial Day weekend. Aarrgghh.

Eric doesn’t understand the ‘pressure’ of parking the truck and boat trailer. This day I had to drive a block away and park in a grass lot. Unbeknowningst to me…….a representative from Pete’s Pier was following me in a golf cart, flagging me to a specific spot (Pete’s Pier owns this land) and then drove me back to the dock. Sweet!

Out to the Gulf we went! It was kind of slow in the beginning, but we moved to deeper water and caught a variety of things. I got a few shots with Eric catching this black sea bass (L) and mangrove snapper (R) – both of which were kept and eaten.

Coming back we passed these boats. This family was having a bad day. You can barely see the disabled boat on the other side of the TowBoat. They were landing at the same place we parked. Fingers crossed we never have to call one of the tow boats companies.

Although more crowded than what we have been seeing lately, we were still successful with our catch. Fish caught were: top – sand trout, 2 red scaled fish on left – mangrove snapper, 2 black scaled fish on right – black sea bass, a sea perch in the middle and a fish we always get excited about – a mackerel at the bottom!

Why get excited about a Mack? It’s eaten the night its caught in sushi form – very tasty. Our Mack was eaten as a Poke bowl and included cooked shrimp, shredded carrots, avocado, edamame and sliced cucumbers. Top it with spicey mayo. Delicious!

The black seabass was a more involved preparation. Eric found this recipe.

He pulled together a number ingredients to start: garlic, jalapeno pepper, shallots and crushed tomatoes. He slightly modifies recipes to cater to our tastes. The cooked sauce is on the right.

Combined with saffron rice, roasted potatoes & radishes and you have a satisfying meal.

Six days later, fishing was a different story. See that parking lot? Yep, we were the fifth vehicle in the parking lot – loved it! The weather was changing so much day-to-day that we had to wake early each morning to check the forecast. Finally………….had a morning that showed a ‘window’ when we could fish. Quickly packed up the boat and drove to the Gulf coast.

First radar shot is when we put rods in the water………….two hours later, this storm popped up, then we saw lightening on the horizon. Time to go in.

The short time on the water was fruitful. Here’s our catch for the day. Six fish – seatrout, macks, black sea bass and sea perch.

We finally had enough fish to freeze fillets and create a seafood-broth based soup with (fabulous) locally made French bread. Eric threw in a few shrimp to round out the meal.

All this time at home has really upped the value of a ‘drive’ to get out of the house. There is a well-known German bakery in a tiny town (north) that gave us a break from the norm – Yalaha Bakery. This is one of the few times that we have eaten out. And I do mean that literally. After ordering our food, seating has always been outside under shade trees. In the past, we’ve been here and there were tour buses in the parking lot – yikes! Not today.

Eric’s cooking break lasted one day – sorry hon. Some of his meals have included more street corn and carnitas tacos.

We’ve had steak with stuffed zucchini, accompanied by roasted potatoes and the last of our French radishes. Fabulous sauce for the steak (which was also good when potatoes happened to get dunked in it).

And one of my favorites………………..grilled pizza!

Eric wanted some different ‘inspiration’ and picked up one of his former (highly used) cookbooks which he’s had 20+ years.

He wanted soup. He found a really great recipe that didn’t require a trip to the grocery store. All of the greens for the soup recipe we were growing, substituting radish greens for the sorrel.

Shot on the left were his ingredients with the final result on the right.

Notice the sandwich sitting next to the soup? A French grilled cheese. The title says it all. Yes, the grilled cheese was extraordinary.

I have a shot of his ingredients but am including the basis for his awesome-tasting meals, local eggs and the French locally-made bread.

I’m still watching wildlife visiting the Darden Garden. We have two blue jays eyeing each other while the red-shoulder hawk is eyeing them.

In the beginning when we were working from home, never envisioned we would still be here after 2 months. At the time of this post, Disney has announced opening dates and they are starting to bring cast and leaders back. While no specific date for us yet, we’re making the most of the ‘loosening’ of restrictions in Florida. Next excursion was Dunedin.


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