Old News and New Visions

So, this is old news, but I finally got my new Mini Cooper Countryman. I ordered it in August and finally picked it up in December. It’s beautiful and Dana at the dealership told me:

Everybody here’s in love with your car.


I though this was just a sales pitch (although the sale was already in the bag) but not so. The Saturday I went to pick my car up, a woman who came in to buy a B.M.W., saw my car and wanted the same exact one, down to the camel-colored leather seats. I might not have believed this, but she told me so herself.

I stopped for lunch on the way home at Tom Jenkins’ Bar-B-Que; I’d heard about it and figured I probably wouldn’t be getting back to Fort Lauderdale any time in the near future. Dana checked me out on driving my Countryman, which is different than my Mini. The car still seemed to be running as I exited it on the lot, but Dana assured me this was normal and it would turn off when I locked it. This is how, on the first day I had my car, I ended up leaving it running the whole time I was getting lunch! When I came out, I heard a car running and sure enough, it was mine. Blonde move! I got in and then I drove home in blinding rain.

I still haven’t gotten used to my Countryman.

It’s a four-door, vs. my two-door, is longer and higher than my old car. When I went to make a deposit at my bank I had to hang half-way out of the car, just to reach the deposit tube. Parallel parking in my old car used to be a breeze. Sometimes I would just pull in straight and wiggle myself into the spot. Not so with the Countryman, but having a back-up camera certainly helps and my phone is hands free. Wyatt doesn’t like it because it has no C.D. player to play his favorite Silly Songs C.D. and, instead of my convertible top, I have a Moon Roof. It still feels big to me though, but my son Christopher suggested I give it time, which I will.

In other old news, I had the last of my Birthday celebrations last week. My birthday was on Thanksgiving, making celebrating difficult and then there was the monkey wrench of Omnicron thrown into the fray, making it even more difficult to celebrate together. Friends from my Corona Virus Go Away text group (still going strong!) took Birthday girls out for a lunch at Riviera Country Club. Our table overlooked the Biltmore and, best of all, we were serenaded by a table of Spanish Tenors who sang Happy Birthday, Ava Maria, etc… accompanied by an electric violin. I went over to the table after lunch to ask if they were professionals. Yes, they were the Latin Tenors and they gave me their C.D. Unfortunately, my new car doesn’t play C.D.’s., so I passed it along to Anne.

At lunch at Riviera. We haven’t made Corona Virus Go Away, but we’re still trying!

My other Birthday meal was dinner at my friends Martha and Luis’s home. She bought Wagyu Filet Mignons from Josh’s Premium Meats, which she served with a shallot wine sauce, oven-Roasted Potato wedges and a Spinach Salad. Luis cooked the steaks perfectly in a cast iron skillet with garlic, rosemary and butter. They were delicious! I made Fudgy Brownies and Rum-Raisin Ice Cream (Ina recipe) for dessert. I added a little extra rum to the ice cream, which turned out to be a mistake, as the alcohol prevents the ice cream from freezing properly. It was still good, however!

Josh’s Premium Meats is just one of several Premium Meat Markets that have opened recently in Miami. The first one we tried was Meat and Bone, with has great customer service and can be easily ordered online. They have three physical stores and the steaks we ordered for Father’s Day came in a cute red cooler and were delicious.

Lomelo’s is another Premium Meat Market, located near Shorty’s BBQ at 9810 South Dixie Highway. (Shorty’s B-B-Q, by the way, has been sold and its future is unknown.) They offer THREE different kinds of Wagyu Beef! The original Japanese A5 (most expensive), Australian and American. They also offer sustainable seafood, pork, wine and specialty boxes. They have online ordering and same day pick-up or delivery.

Josh’s Premium Meats is located in South Miami, at the old Gardener’s Market location. Besides the Wagyu beef, they offer cheeses, sausages, caviar and lots of interesting condiments. They deliver seven days a week, but don’t have online ordering yet.

We had possible renters for our condo in Key Largo, so I trekked down there to show them our unit. They decided against renting and Zeke and I were both kind of glad, so I guess we really don’t want to rent. We have gone down the last three weekends, with the intention of going out on the boat, but it has yet to happen.

The first time, we arrived on a Friday around 4 p.m., just as the Maintence Man/Valet Boat Person, was leaving. He told Zeke he didn’t feel well, so Zeke took three big steps back. Sure enough, he had Covid and consequently, didn’t work that whole weekend. Since our boat is in the boatyard, we need someone to splash us in the water. Valet Boat Service sounds great until the Valet Boat Splasher gets ill and doesn’t come to work.

The next weekend, we were definitely going out on the boat, that was until Zeke got asked by brother-in-law John to go fishing. No worries, I had plenty of things to do around the house- reading, writing, walking, thrift-shopping, lunch out and binge-watching Downton Abbey. Zeke interrupted my leisurely-planned Saturday by arriving home early. We ate the Blackfin tuna they caught as sashimi appetizers with our stone crab dinner Saturday night at John and Kelley’s house in the Keys. It was also dinner, coated in sesame seeds and seared, Sunday night with soy sauce and wasabi. Macaroni and Cheese and Roasted Delicata Squash rounded out the menu.

The next weekend, we were absolutely, postively going out on the boat, come hell or high water. Zeke arrived Friday and had the boat put into the water. We walked out onto the deck at sunset, ‘Bout Time tied up and floating in the bay water that was smooth as glass. The sunset was destined to be a spectacular one and the Full Moon was still up in the sky.

This looks like a perfect night to take the boat out for a sunset cruise.

I said.

Zeke didn’t take my not-so-subtle hint and we started chit-chatting with other Sanctuary residents at Happy Hour, while sipping our respective white wine and margarita. Lo and behold, someone else asked him to go fishing the next day. Without a glance in my direction, Zeke happily agreed. They called it “gentleman fishing”, going out late and not staying out all day, so Zeke promised me we’d take the boat out after he got back.

He didn’t get back until 4 ‘o clock! And, at 5 it was predicted to rain. So, that was that.

I had to get back Sunday for a Vision Board Workshop at 1. At this point, after the last two years, I feel a Vision Board should just be a giant question mark, because who the hell knows what’ going to happen this year of 2022. Instead of inspirational quotes, like “hang in there”, it should just say WTF???? But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, and try I did.

My visions, such as they may be.

Kelley served the Pioneer Woman’s Beef Chili, with cheese, sour cream and scallions for lunch; my sister Elise and Mom were there to create their visions of the coming year. Even Grace and Wyatt made a vision board, although theirs was mostly toys they wanted, cut out and pasted on the poster board Kelley provided. Phoenix provided baby entertainment and got passed around to hold. That night at home, we made our first fire of the year, as it was quite chilly.

My philosophy for this year is: if it’s cold, light your fireplace (because you don’t know when it’s going to get cold again!), if you’re hungry for Bar-B-Q, eat at Shorty’s because it’s sold and may eventually be gone forever, and if your wife says “it’s a perfect night to take the boat out for a sunset cruise”, do it, because if you don’t, you’ll have to hear about it forever.

It’s a marvelous night for a Moondance.

Van Morrison

Up Next: Christie’s Caesar Salad

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.

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