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  • Florida avocado now available...

    I’m a big avocado fan.  One of my favorite ways to eat avocados is to cut a slice and sprinkle it with a bit of salt.  For a more fulfilling snack, spread it on a piece of bread.  As a side dish, mix them with tomatoes, onions, oil and vinegar and you got the perfect summer salad.  Eat it alone or on a bed of lettuce.  Growing up, my grandpa would add codfish to the avocado/tomato mixture to make it the main course.

    avocado

    “Florida Avocadoes” are close relatives to edible cinnamon, camphor, sassafras and bay leaf herb.  They are native to Mexico, Central America and parts of South America.  Did you know there are over 50 different varieties of Florida Avocados?   All thanks to Henry Perrine who first introduced them to Florida in 1833 making Florida the first state to cultivate avocados.  Avocados are grown on the southeast and southwest coast of Florida.  You can find them fresh between June and March.

    Florida Avocado vs. Hass

    Did you know they have 60% more potassium than bananas per serving?  They are also high in protein, fiber, folate, Vitamin E.  Florida avocadoes have 3-15%oil, which means they have less total fat than California avocado varieties.

    avocado

    They are also larger in size than Hass and their skin doesn’t turn color when ripe.  You’ll know your avocado is ready to eat when it yields to gentle pressure.  If you need to ripen an avocado, you can speed up the process by placing it in a paper bag at room temperature.  My grandpa would just put it inside the oven for a day or two.

    Check out our Pinterest board for more inspiration!

  • Parkesdale's homegrown summer peas

    Along with growing "pickles" in the summer time, Parkesdale Farms grows a few varieties of summer peas: black eye, zipper, and conk. All three types are conventionally grown in our fields in Dover, FL.  To maintain freshness, they are picked daily and delivered to the market within minutes of being collected.  Unlike growing strawberries, peas are a little bit easier.

    peas

    As you can see, there are no bedding requirements for growing peas.  They do just fine when planted directly on the ground.  They prefer full sun and don't require a lot of watering.  Keep in mind, they also create their own Nitrogen, so be careful not to fertilize with too much Nitrogen.

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    Black eye, zipper and conk peas fall into the vegetable category of the food pyramid.  A 1/2 cup serving of cooked black eye peas will provide 5.6 g of fiber, 239 mg of potassium and 6.7 g of protein making it a great addition to any meal.  We pick and package our peas daily for maximum freshness.  You can find our shelled pea varieties in our market in Plant City, FL in 5 lb bags for $12.95.

    homemade peas

     

    I've always been told that to keep the peas, you had to blanch them before freezing them.  Last week I tested that theory. I sauteed some chopped onion with some of our Troyer bacon first, then added the peas.  In our case, I took the peas out of the freezer, ran some water through them and into the pot they went.    I could not tell a difference in the peas at all. They tasted just as good without a lot of hassle.  My kind of meal! :)  A little messy, but delicious nonetheless.

     

     

     

  • Quick Trip to Monkey Joe's

    This weekend we had the opportunity to visit Monkey Joe's at Pointe Orlando through a Central Florida blogger meet up.  This wasn't our first time there.  In fact, some time last year, the girls were asked to be part of their promotional campaign video.  We first visited Monkey Joe's while on vacation in Orlando a few years back and it has been one of those places the girls always want to go back to.

    Monkey Joes

     

    The girls had a great time running around and jumping in the bounce houses.  The parents get to relax a bit knowing that the kids are having fun in a safe environment.  Monkey Joe's has "party rooms" for birthday parties.  However, they accept "walk ins" anytime they are open.  They even have a separate toddler section just for 3 year olds and younger.

    MonkeyJoes

     

    Orlando has always been a great meetup point for my family because my mom lives in the New Smyrna Beach area.  I was so happy she agreed to meet us and join in on the fun.  After Monkey Joes, we walked around the Pointe Orlando shops and decided to grab dinner at Tommy Bahamas.  It was a bit early, so we shared a salad and ordered appetizers.

    food at Tommy Bahamas

     

    Mom ordered the Coconut Crusted Crab Cakes with a sweet Thai chile sauce and I ordered the Ahi Tuna Tacos in a wonton shell.  This is probably the only restaurant I always order the same thing at.  The Ahi Tuna is always fresh and light tasting.  We got to sit on their outside patio and enjoy a nice afternoon.

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    Happy Memorial Day Weekend to you!  "All we have of freedom, all we use or know- This our fathers bought for us long and long ago." Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue.

    For more Orlando fun, check out these fabulous Orlando Mommy Bloggers:

    From Tracie

    Sea World Mommy

    7 Kids and Us

    Mom at 40

    My Sentiment Exact Lee

    My Boys and Their Toys

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