Greetings to you all from the Florida Panhandle! Kevin and I made the drive down on Tuesday and Wednesday, and spent Tuesday night in Charleston, SC. That is a beautiful city, and one that I wouldn’t mind retiring in one day. Gorgeous houses, great food everywhere you turn… We are safely ensconced in our new home, with all sorts of improvements planned. (yes, it’s a rental, but the owners had been trying to sell it anyway, so if we just make a few little tweaks, it’ll be easier for them to sell in a year or two, whenever we have to move next.) It is incredibly hot and humid, and the mosquitoes have made quite a meal of my legs. But we’re in Florida, the beach is 45 minutes away, and it’s all good.
Speaking of good, I have never had so much good seafood as I have in the past 4 days. Wow. Everyone, from the little place here in our new hometown with the wood paneling that reminds me of the restaurant which was my first job, to the beach restaurant insanely popular with tourists with the way-too-loud band and the servers who wear Hawaiian shirts, knows how to cook the best seafood you’ve ever eaten. In fact, we’re going back to that local place for lunch again today, because you can get a great piece of fish, 2 sides, and a couple of the most divine hush puppies ever for $6.
But all this eating out, on the road and here, is hard on my stomach, and on our wallet. You see, one of the great things about military moves is that, well, the government will actually pay for a contractor to move all your stuff. It’s great! But they take your kitchen gear, and don’t deliver it for a week and a half, or more! I’ve been tempted to drive down to the base and borrow some kitchen stuff from the lending closet, but The Hubster gets really weird about borrowing kitchen stuff.
What’s the solution? Hobo dinners! They’re great; potatoes, carrots, and ground beef patties wrapped up in foil packets. Salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce. Pop ’em in the oven for a half-hour or so, around 375-400. Even if you have to buy new aluminum foil because your roll is in a box somewhere between Virginia and Florida, you will be eating healthier and cheaper than you would at a restaurant.
I have some cooking goals while I’m here. First, I want to make really great fish. Fish is one of those things that I consistently make poorly, unless I’m using something from a yellow box with a blue label and a kindly looking old man wearing a yellow raincoat on the front. I also want to make grits; the little local place makes the most amazing smoked gouda grits. Yum and a half! I recognize that these are very southern-style cooking goals, and that’s ok. Southern food is good food, except when all you’ve eaten is the fried variety and your digestive system says, seriously? Enough.