Succulent Strawberries

I visited Morgan Farms produce stand just off U.S. 41 South in Ruskin, right after you cross over the Little Manatee River. I don't remember the price of a pint, because I go for the big enchilada. I buy a flat at a time ($20).

I can blow through a flat of these beauties in no time. I make ultra-thick smoothies, smother them in whipped cream or eat them simply as snacks. But these juicy giants are going on top of the 10 cheesecakes I made for a charity fund-raising event tomorrow.


Chili, Camo and Lots of Trash Talkin'

In case you were wondering how the chili you picked did in the 13th annual E. G. Simmons Park Chili Cookoff and Flea Market, here are the results:

Third place went to Ronnie Barnes of Brandon and Tracy McLellan of Plant City for their "Graveyard Gruel."

Second was awarded to Patrick Pruitt of Seffner for "Back to Nature."

First place and $300 went to Venice residents, Donnie Mitchell, Kirk Chason, Rob Blankinship and Linda Cole for their "No Road Kill" chili. The team generously gave their winnings back to Friends of the Park, a non-profit group to benefit E.G. Simmons Park.


Catfish Place "Where the Local Folks Eat"

Valentine's Day weekend, we headed to Epcot for a weekend getaway and stayed in Celebration with my brother, twin sister and their spouses.

We had some time to kill when we first got into town on Friday so I took my better half on a trip around my old neighborhood and alma mater, Osceola High School. Then we drove over to St. Cloud and ate lunch.

This is what I like best about going back home to Kissimmee and St. Cloud. While the majority of the area is unrecognizable from when I lived there dark ages ago, the Catfish Place remains a constant reminder of the past.

The fingerling catfish requires a certain eating technique. The waitress told us everyone has their own. Some folks eat the bones and all. I use the pick-it-up-and-eat-it-like-corn-on-the-cob method, being wary of the small bones, of course.

Included with my lunch were three hush puppies, french fries and sweet creamy cole slaw. Oh, I can't forget the glass of bottomless ice tea, just another reminder of Southern hospitality.

The Catfish Place
2324 13th St.
St. Cloud, Florida
(407) 892-5771