Cozy Cottages & Happy Homes

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

The River of Grass and a Key Lime Milk Shake!

“Life here is abundant, but not always obvious.” This quote is found on one of the plaques at the Everglades and certainly defines what “the river of grass” as they call the everglades is all about…..
Another day of adventure and fun in South Florida when Susan and Chip took me to the Everglades National Park in Homestead, Florida. www.nps.gov/ever/ . I’ve been to the Everglades over on the Southwestern part of Florida, but never to the tip of the state. Such a great experience! We happened to start our walk on the boardwalk just as Park Ranger Frankie Aranzamendi was beginning his tour. Such joy this man has in his daily work! His excitement at showing us everything from a morning glory flower to the many birds nesting in the trees to of course the good old standard favorites- the alligators…. We followed Frankie for about 45 minutes learning such much about the beauty, grace and survival of this huge “river of grass” which flows through the state.

After our visit, we hit another major landmark in the area “Robert is Here Tropical Fruit Stand”. Robert has been selling local produce since 1960 and is a must see if you are ever anywhere close to Homestead. Not only does he sell all sorts of local fruits ( mango’s are his passion) BUT he makes a unique and spectacular treat- KEY LIME MILKSHAKES!!!!

I love all things Key Lime, but have never had a Key Lime Milkshake. Yum, Yum, Yum!!! We also purchased a variety of local fruit and Susan and I each selected an orchid. $15.00 for a large orchid plant with glorious lime green flowers! I can’t wait to get this home to enjoy!

Visit Robert’s website for lots of fun details. http://www.robertishere.com/ and check out some of his recipes. Here is one that I am planning to make soon as I get back home and have a proper kitchen with equipment ( another reminder to me to make sure all our mermaid cottages have everything you need to cook…. my little vacation rental is sorely lacking in kitchen equipment….)

Mango Cake

Ingredients: 4 eggs 1 ½ cups sugar ½ cup vegetable oil 1 cup honey 2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups mango, diced ½ orange rind, grated ½ lime rind, grated 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans ½ cup raisins

Directions: In a large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy: beat in sugar, then oil; gradually add honey. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and nutmeg. Mix well and add to mixture in four parts. Stir in mango’s, grated rinds, nuts and raisins. Bake in lightly oiled and floured large bundt pan in moderate oven (350) 40 to 45 minutes or until edges separate from the pan .

Topping:

When the cake is still hot, spread topping evenly over cake . The topping is very easy, a container of Cool whip with shredded coconut mixed together. Or use about 1cup sifted powdered sugar blended with 1 tablespoon orange juice to make a glaze when cake is cold. Cover the cake. The longer the cake sits ( and is refrigerated) the better it tastes! I have a feeling this cake is very much like the cake the owner of Castaway Cottage makes- her coconut cake, but I’m sure going to try this and see. Can’t imagine it won’t be delicious!

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