Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Shadows and Footsteps - Wordless Wednesday (Vol. 41)

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.  When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
- Buddha

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My Unintentional Key Lime Pie Quest

Back in October, I didn't intentionally set out on a quest to discover my favorite Key Lime Pie while road trippin' through the Florida Keys.  But, after I had eaten my second piece on the very first day, that's exactly what happened. 

Before visiting the Florida Keys, I had never, let me repeat that - never, tasted Key Lime Pie before.  Truth be told, I rarely stray from the quintessential, All-American classic - apple pie.  But, as I compiled my Florida Keys Bucket List in the weeks before our trip, I tried to include some items that would push me outside my comfort zone, such as sampling seafood and eating Key Lime Pie.

When it was all said and done, I ate ten different pieces from nine different places over the course of six days as my husband and I explored the roughly 100-mile stretch between Key Largo and Key West.

1.  Mrs. Mac's Kitchen, Key Largo

On our first day, we stopped for lunch at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen in Key Largo and that's where I sampled my very first slice of Key Lime Pie.  I honestly didn't know what to expect and I had mentally prepared for something like lemon cream pie.  Mrs. Mac's version had a looser, pudding-like consistency and it was sweet.  

After I finished my half (R and I split most pieces), I was still unsure of whether I liked it or not and that's when I decided that I needed to try another piece in order to make an educated decision.  

2.  Floridita Food Truck @ Havana Cabana, Key West

Later that evening, knowing that we had a very early morning the next day, we decided to stay at our hotel in Key West, enjoy the massive pool that we practically had to ourselves, and have dinner at the pool bar.  That's where I tried my second piece.  This slice was much denser in consistency and more tart than the piece I ate earlier in the day.  The extreme variation between the two pieces really confused me and made me more unsure of whether I liked Key Lime Pie or not.  That's how my quest was born.  

(I didn't have my phone with me during dinner, so I don't have a picture of this slice.)

3.  Hot Tin Roof, Key West

This slice was perhaps the most dense of all the variations I tried and it was tart as well.  Of all the pies I would eat during my vacation, this was the most beautifully and elegantly presented.

4.  Kermit's Key West Lime Shoppe, Key West

This was the most unique version of Key Lime Pie that I ate while in the Keys.  As you can tell by the picture, it was frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate.  While I liked the creativity, I felt that the dark chocolate overpowered the taste of lime and it was more like eating a ice cream bar.  I did enjoy the refreshing, frozen texture of it, though.

5.  Porky's Bayside Restaurant, Marathon

After a sub par afternoon of snorkeling (on the gulf side), R and I found ourselves at Porky's, an open air restaurant that shares the marina with the snorkel charter we went out with.  The restaurant sits right on the bay and is stone's throw from Highway 1 in Marathon.  Still in our swim gear and covered in a layer of salt, we grabbed a table with a view of the bay and ate lunch.  Afterward, I, of course, sampled a slice of their Key Lime Pie.  

My first thought when our server set the piece down in front of me was that it wasn't green!  It wasn't even the faintest hint or green or even yellow-y.  It's consistency was fluffy and airy and reminded me of mousse.  It was also less tart than most of the versions I had tried previously.   The additional raspberry glaze made for an interesting flavor addition.

6.  The Florida Boy, Layton (on Long Key)

This was the only time I was served ice cream with my pie.  The pie wasn't overly tart, nor was it too sweet.  It had a whipped cream-like texture with a lime glaze drizzled over it.  It was good, but nothing really stands out about it after the fact.

7.  Keys Fisheries, Marathon

This was by far and away the most tart piece of Key Lime Pie I ate throughout my trip.  While I appreciate a bit of tart, this pie's tartness was simply overwhelming.  (I forgot to take a picture of it.)

8.  Key West Key Lime Pie Company (purchased at a convenience store in Layton)

I've seen ice cream novelties sold in convenience store freezers before, but I honestly didn't expect to find Key Lime Pie.  But guess what?  I did!  Being thoroughly entertained by the novelty of it all, I decided to give one a try.  

We let the mini pie thaw in our hotel refrigerator overnight and ate it the next evening.  It was creamy and well balanced, not too tart and not too sweet.  

9 & 10.  Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory, Tavernier

On our last day in the Keys, after snorkeling all day off the coast of Key Largo, R and I backtracked to Tavernier and picked up two pieces of Key Lime Pie to go from the Blond Giraffe.  We later ate them in our hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale.  

Both were creamy and not overly tart.  The only difference between the two pieces was that one had a meringue topping and the other was topped with the more traditional dollop of whipped cream.  I preferred the piece with the whipped cream; I just felt that the meringue was unnecessary.

In the end, I enjoyed all the samplings I partook in while visiting the Keys and I determined that, yes, I do like Key Lime Pie!  I like it so well, in fact, that my family had a Key Lime Pie for me at Christmas!  Here's a quick overview of my pie tastings:

Most Tart:  Key's Fisheries, Marathon
Sweetest:  Mrs. Mac's Kitchen, Key Largo
Most Unique Adaptation:  Kermit's Key West Lime Shoppe (Chocolate Dipped Key Lime Pie on a Stick), Key West
Best Presentation:  Hot Tin Roof, Key West
My Personal Favorite: Key West Key Lime Pie Company (the baby Key Lime Pie I bought at the convenience store)!

When I return to the Keys one day, I'd like to try a regular piece from Kermit's Key West Lime Shoppe in lieu of the chocolate dipped pie on a stick.  I'd also like to try a slice from Blue Heaven (Key West) as well as from The Green Turtle Inn in Islamorada (supposedly they have an unconventional crust made from rice crispies and macadamia nuts).  I will, of course, eat a piece of my favorite from the Key West Lime Pie Company and I might even take a class where I can make my own mini-pie.

Have you eaten any Key Lime Pie while in the Florida Keys?  If you have, do you have a favorite? 

 Linking up with:

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Recently Read - Vol. 33 (Dec. '18)

Happy 2019 to you!  Hoping this finds you having a great start to the new year.

The list of books I've read since the last Show Us Your Books link up day is short once again.  But, despite being low in quantity, these books were high in quality and I found them super enjoyable!  Here we go...

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
My Rating: 4/5

Think:  Breakfast Club meets murder mystery.

I was very impressed with this YA book because it didn't necessarily read like YA. The writing was very concise and the storyline was well developed.  It was one of those "whodunnit" books that kept my mind going in every direction imaginable until one clue, one clue that could've been easily overlooked, made me zero in my suspect (and as it turned out, I was right!). 

Final Verdict:  Recommend

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
My Rating 4/5

Think:  An overweight teenager enters a Texas beauty pageant.

I really, really liked this book, so much so that this is my second time reading it. Having always been a stout girl myself, I connected with Willowdean (who is called Dumplin' by her mother). I thoroughly enjoyed the rural, small town setting. Even though the story takes place in Texas, there were so many southern cultural references that the story could have taken place in my own hometown in rural West Virginia. I found the book to be funny with several laugh out loud moments as well as moments when I wanted to smack someone (I even wanted to smack Willowdean a couple of times). Most importantly, I enjoyed the journey I took with Willowdean as she learned to truly embrace herself.

Final Verdict:  Recommend

Well, there you have it, the two books I read (mostly) in December.  Have you read either or these?  What are your thoughts?

Currently reading:  Puddin' by Julie Murphy
Next up:  ???

Have a great day and happy reading!

Linking up with Steph and Jana

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Currently... (Vol. 35)

Disbelieving...  how fast Christmas Break, December, and 2018 (for that matter) went by.

Hoping...  that 2019 brings a little less precipitation.

Not kidding...  about how wet it was last year.  2018 officially became the wettest year on record for Louisville, KY.  Last year we received 68.05 inches.

Refraining...  from participating in the 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge.  Once upon a time, it motivated and challenged me.  Last year, however, it just flat-out annoyed me.  I know I'm in a reading slump and I don't need to be reminded of it every time I log a book on Goodreads.

Thankful...  for the much needed time off from work and for the opportunity to rest, be silent, get my house back in order after the master bedroom hardwood instillation, and visit with family.

Annoyed...  by the recent barrage of online "romance scammers" who have sent me requests to play on Words with Friends.  Seriously, I received almost a dozen new game requests in 36 hours.  One guy, I kid you not, "fell in love with me" over the course of four days and on the fifth day hit me up for $50.  LOL! Once I told him I was broke and that I couldn't help him, he disappeared like a fart in the wind!  

Changing...  my settings on Words with Friends and Yahtzee so that new people cannot send me game requests.

Reading Listening...  to the audiobook Captured by a Laird by Margaret Mallory.  Yeah, I'm kinda in a "guy in a kilt" reading mood at the moment.

Reading...  old issues of Glamour, Health, and National Geographic, all magazines that my husband and I somehow started receiving for free, that I've let pile up.

Hating...  that I had to break down and buy myself some readers last month.

Watching...  The Masked Singer on FOX.  I'm not typically one for singing shows, but so far I like this one.

Not watching...  Bird Box.  Ol' girl here doesn't do horror flicks.

Continuing...  to declutter my house.  I swear, this is a never-ending task.

Dreading...  the perpetual gray, dismal, bleak winter days that lie ahead.  The past three days have offered no view of the sun at all.

Laughing...  at this:

Agreeing...  with this:

December in a Snapshot:

1) Watching A Christmas Story: The Musical, new mattress, new hardwood.
2) Making candy cane ornaments at school, my tree, new slippers.
3) Baking cookies for R, filling out Christmas cards on 12/22 (better late than never, right?),
view from my folks' deck.

What have you been up to lately?  Have a good holiday?  May 2019 bring you much happiness and good health!

Linking up with:

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