Happy Fourth of July!

4000 weeks.

That’s the book Jeff Bridges, one of my favorite actors, is reading and it’s the amount of time we have in our life if we live until 80. It seems like a lot and, then again, not enough.

Today would have been my Dad’s 87th birthday. He died at 67. At the time he died- almost 20 years ago- that seemed young to me. Now, at 62 years old, it definitely seems young. My Dad was extroverted, a thrill-seeker and the life of every party. He flew planes, captained boats, water skied, snow skied (even with his oxygen tank) and, when he couldn’t drive his Porsche anymore, went around the neighborhood on his electric scooter. His last trip- a couple months before he died- was to the Abacos, Bahamas. He took his boat- The Wild Rice- over and back. Even at the end of his life, he was looking for new adventures. As an introverted, shy little girl, stuck in my room reading most of the time, my Dad pushed me to do things I never would have tried otherwise.

Any week I don’t get to see my grandchildren seems like a week wasted to me. Last week, I was supposed to watch them twice, but both times fell through. (Insert sad face emoji). We did celebrate Zeke’s 60th birthday with dinner at North Italia. Emma met us for drinks first at Riviera, where Symphony and Antoinette serenaded him with a sweet rendition of Happy Birthday and a slice of Key Lime Pie, which we ate before dinner at North Italia, a restaurant at Dadeland.

It has Beef Carpaccio (for Zeke), Expresso Martinis (for Emma) and the most delicious Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Salad I was planning on getting, but after the White Truffle Cheese Bread and the toasted bread with the Beef Carpaccio, I was ‘breaded” out and got a Hanger Steak with grilled asparagus. Zeke really liked his Squid Ink Pasta and Emma her Spicy Rigatoni; we ended with a Hazelnut Torta. Our waiter was excellent and service was great. We’ll be back! North Italia is a chain restaurant and the menu varies with each location.

Meals at Home

Eating Out

Any day I get to go out in nature is a good one and we went out on the boat Saturday to Nest Key. Nest Key is an area close to our condo where people gather to anchor their boats, swim, play music and relax. It’s like the Sandbar for Baby Boomers. We had fun there and went home to grill some fresh Yellowtail, which I served with Mango Salsa, Jasmine Rice and Papaya Salad. I was trying to replicate the Green Papaya Salad I had at a Thai restaurant recently, but when I cut into it, the papaya was orange and ripe. Oh well! It was still good.

We finally finished the tortuous documentary The Staircase, the true crime series about novelist Michael Peterson and the death of his wife Kathleen. After suffering through hours and hours of the story and trial, we finally reached the last episode The Verdict. The verdict was read and the series was over. After all the lead-up, I found myself disappointed at the abrupt ending. I looked it up and apparently the French filmmaker revisited the family for a 2-hour sequel in 2012. And, while the verdict was announced, (no spoilers here) that was not actually the end of the story. Now I’m going to have to watch the darned sequel. At least it’s only two hours of my life!

I hope Foodie in Miami readers have a wonderful Fourth of July! I made Chocolate Chip Cookies and Mango Ice Cream, two favorites of my Dad’s, to celebrate. I will be thinking of him and the one thousand weeks I have left. That’s assuming I live ten more years and, of course, no one knows. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, so, as Tammy Faye used to say, eat dessert first!

If today was not an endless highway If tonight was not an endless trail. If tomorrow wasn’t such a long time Then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all.

Words by Bob Dylan, sung by Elvis

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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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