Stay Safe Out There!

Under Pressure

David Bowie

“I’m counting on you Bop!” Wyatt said to Zeke, who was attempting to put together a complicated Lego’s Avengers vehicle with a 167 little pieces. “I’m trying Buddy!” Zeke answered.

When Wyatt handed me the box, I said “Gigi does not do Legos,” so he went to Bop and asked him to put it together. Surprisingly, Zeke went right to work on it at the kitchen table, while cursing under his breathe that there were no real instructions, just pictures, that the pieces were so small, that it didn’t make sense, etc… Wyatt and I went for a walk, to let Bop have some space and time to construct his birthday present from Hell.

When we returned, the vehicle, an Avenger’s motorcycle, was almost completed. Wyatt moved the box in front of Bop so he could figure it out better. Bop put his wine down and concentrated on the final pieces and finally, it was done, although with quite a few little extra Legos leftover. ??? Since we’re not actually riding in this Avenger’s vehicle, I think we’re safe and Bop, who Wyatt was counting on, came through.

While we’re counting… Florida isn’t doing so good, coronavirus-wise. In every article I read, our Sunshine State is mentioned as having escalating cases and possibly being the next epicenter. Thursday, we had 9000 new cases, shattering by 63% our previous one- day record. Friday more cases and Saturday, beat that record again with 9,585 new cases, a new all-time high. The Global Covid-19 cases hit 10 million that same day, with the Global death toll exceeded half a million people.

Numbers. After a while, they are dizzying and cease to have meaning, especially when they are accelerating at such a rapid speed. More and more cases, more and more deaths. I think it’s apparent that Florida, and other states, opened too early. I think it should be apparent (but for some reason it’s controversial) that everyone leaving their house these days should wear a mask, to protect themselves and their fellow man. And I think our Governor needs to mandate Florida’s citizens to wear masks. He thinks we should rely on people’s good will, which sounds great in theory, but hey- it’s not working.

I had Wyatt Thursday night, so made pasta with red sauce (his favorite) with Ina’s stuffed zucchini and little homemade meatballs (just because I felt like it). I also made some rose water meringues from The Last Course, that I served with sherbert and raspberries.

My favorite meal I made last week was Hillstone’s Thai Steak and Noodle Salad, that I found on La Dolce Vita website. I had leftover steak and a fresh Malika mango from my tree, so I was halfway there. There were a lot of moving parts to this salad, but nothing too difficult is required for this sweet and savory meal. Zeke doesn’t normally like salads for dinner, but with the addition of steak and noodles, it adds up to an entree salad. I didn’t have the arugula and watercress, so subbed with Romaine and spinach, (which was fine) but do try to use the herbs- mint, cilantro and basil, in the recipe. It takes this salad from simple to spectacular!

Hillstones Thai Steak and Noodle Salad.

Other meals were Potato pancakes (made from leftover mashed potatoes) with ham and a spinach salad, Soup with Mushroom Ravioli and take-out (Miami’s Best) Cheese pizza. Friday we went to the Florida Keys Seafood market and picked up some yellowtail filets. Zeke seasoned them with jerk seasoning and grilled it; I served it with roasted fennel, sautéed spinach, cheese grits and lemon wedges. Lately I’ve been craving food to combat this Miami heat. It says 88, but feels like 100! Iced coffee, salads, seafood, curry and stuff on the grill, have been my jam lately.

I was talking to my sister Kelley about where people are in their Pandemic journey. Some people, like a friend of mine, haven’t even gotten take-out food from restaurants and have barely left their neighborhoods. Other people (like Kelley) are just dipping their toe into reintegrating into society as we once knew it. I almost feel like Pandemic opinions are our Civil War. There are family members against family members, debating their opinions about what is acceptable behavior and it is causing rifts. To dine out, or not to dine out, that is the question; one among many. I do feel I’ve been more adventurous than a lot of people, as far as eating out, but I try to do so safely.

Last week, I ate out twice. We stopped at Shiver’s BBQ in Homestead. If you’ve never been, it’s really delicious BBQ with smoked meats like chicken, ribs, sausages, pulled pork, mouthwatering sides and four different BBQ sauces. Portions are huge and come with fat slices of garlic butter drenched Texas toast. We ate inside, which is a large and lofty area with picnic tables, but there weren’t many people. I heard the waitress tell another couple that no one is coming in to eat, out of fear of COVID. “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said, sounded quite defeated.

The Keys reinstated wearing masks and doesn’t seem as crowded as it did the weekend before. All bets are off, of course, for Fourth of July weekend. We tried to eat at Skippers, a restaurant outside of the Holiday Inn in Key Largo, but all the outside seats were already taken, so we headed to reliably good Sharkey’s Bar and Grill. We sat outside, drank cold beer from the Florida Keys Brewing company (Iguana Bait for Zeke, Spearfish Amber for me) and ate tacos- shrimp for me, tuna for Zeke.

While I’ve been a bit of a thrill seeker, restaurant-wise, I’m not, however, ready to fly.

Throwing the BS flag on this ad!

You know how, in their announcements while you’re waiting to take off, airlines always say: “Your safety is our biggest concern.” I’m throwing the B.S. flag on that one, especially regarding American Airlines. If my safety is your biggest concern, why are cramming us onto flights like sardines? Obviously, my safety doesn’t really matter to you, making as much money as possible does. I’ve heard American Airlines flights are packed with people; unfortunately they are the main airline out of Miami. If at all possible, I would fly Delta, who is keeping the middle seat empty until September, out of concern for their passengers. That’s what I’m talking about! An airline that is actually concerned about their passengers, not just their bottom line. Actions really do speak louder than words.

Other Foodie News: Johnson and Wales University in North Miami, where Michelle Bernstein graduated from, is closing after 23 years in operation. This was a feeder school for local restaurants. Michelle Bernstien’s own Cafe La Trova, voted one of Esquire’s best new restaurants in the country, has closed. Many other Miami area restaurants have voluntarily closed as COVID-19 numbers rise; others have been shut down for violating rules.

Zeke and I watched The Zodiac Killer the other night on Netflix. It’s about a killer who terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area in the 70’s and has a great cast- Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Junior, Chloe Sevigny. It was an interesting movie, but, in the end there was no resolution to the case, so that was kind of frustrating. Other shows recommended by friends: Outlander, Upload and Afterlife. My book club has chosen a new book and my Corona Virus Go Away! Virtual Happy Hour has resumed as we were forced to admit, coronavirus is not going away anytime in the near future.

I was watching Chris Cuomo last night and he mentioned that Jesus taught us to “love one another as I have loved you.” So, to show your love for your fellow man, wear a frickin’ mask! We’re counting on you!

Up Next: Hillstone Thai Steak and Noodle Salad, Things to Always have in your freezer and Mango Mania!

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

Leave a Reply