Volver: Cycling, a farmer’s market, and a feast

I have to say, yesterday almost felt like a “normal” day in the neighborhood.

We took our daughter’s bicycle to a local bicycle/coffee shop (which they have up and down the A1A) to get her brakes fixed. She ruined a pair of shoes riding her bike around yesterday without brakes. Apparently, she thought it was a genius idea to get going full speed and then just put her feet down to stop. (Kids, OMG.) She had torn the soles of her shoes clean off. I was surprised to discover the store had been open all this time, as exercise was one of the things deemed essential under Governor DeSantis’ original executive order. I assumed it was closed since the mayors here closed the hiking trails and beaches. You can exercise all you want, as long as you are willing to play with traffic! (Seriously, I can’t wait to vote these fools out of office.) The owners of the store said their business had been hit hard, but they are still trying to make it work.

The county government has finally caved and is opening the beaches back up. With beaches open to the north and south and temperatures in the mid-90s, it was getting ludicrous that they were refusing to follow suit. Residents of our beach town have been hitting everyone in the city and county government with nasty messages for weeks now and it’s working. One of the reasons officials listed for opening the beaches was the threat of civil unrest like what is being seen in other states. Except I am pretty sure Florida Man can do civil unrest better than anyone else.

I get that is not something people outside Florida would understand, but the beaches here are not only places for non-residents to throw parties and drink until they are fall-down stupid. When you live on the beach, it’s like someone telling you that you are not allowed to walk around in your own backyard. This is our home, not your vacation. I’m pretty maxed out on people who live in densely-populated urban areas that have been coronavirus hotspots bitching about people who live in beach towns sticking their feet in the surf. “I saw a picture of your beach on Twitter, and I want you to know I am deeply offended by your decision to go for a walk.” GTFO, Karens.

In celebration of having our “backyard” returned to us, I decided to make a special meal. Honestly, as much as we love to cook, we have not been doing much of it since this lockdown began. I can’t justify cooking giant meals (or even worse… baking) when our active lifestyle is gone. I’d like to be able to ride in a kayak without sinking it when this is all over.

We are fortunate enough to have an enormous farmer’s market down the street from us. I suspect everyone else in town was militantly keeping with the spirit of spring and being outside too. One of the great things about being in Florida (and the Deep South in general) is that this is a region that loves fresh produce, fish, and game. You aren’t stuck with grocery stores when actual farmers live nearby.

We bought two canvas crates of fruits and vegetables, including the most divine blackberries I have tasted since I would stuff my pockets full of them as a young child living on the Sacramento River delta, and a giant stalk of sugar cane (which we used to make fresh mojitos when we got home). I also found these obscene carrots, which were about a foot long and several inches thick.

We roasted a brisket in the oven for a few hours coated in Berber spices and made an epic salad. And I made a lemon cake with lemon frosting. (It was a very Florida cake.) And totally unrelated to any of this, there’s a picture of the Latin-style plates we bought recently. I have traded in my formal china patterns for something a little more fun.

4 thoughts on “Volver: Cycling, a farmer’s market, and a feast

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