Sunday, October 28, 2007

DOH! And other news...

I had a new reader on my blog today, Eyemkmootoo, who left a comment about my prior post along with a link to some of his writing. I went to his blog and enjoyed it very much, so I decided to add him to my blogroll. When I went to edit my blogroll, *DOH!* I noticed some serious omissions that needed to be corrected. Therefore, along with the addition of Eyemkmootoo, the following very worthy bloggers have been added to my blogroll:

Rural Wat - Fascinating entries written by a biologist specifically focusing on Carolina Bays (a kind of swamp) along with other interesting natural things.

Florida Native Musings - Interesting blogging from a fellow native Floridian. Haven't seen much of him lately, unfortunately.

Buckin' Junction - How I did not have my most loyal reader on my blogroll, I will never know. Interesting reading about life on a dairy farm from my most northern fan :-D Also involves more information about the PBR circuit than I could ever imagine.

In other news, my grandma had her annual halloween taco party yesterday. This tradition involves cramming over 20 Floridians into a tiny house eating large amounts of Mexican food...Just the way I like it :-D I rarely have the chance to see much of my cracker side of the family, but the Halloween party is one of the times I get to reunite with them. Let's just say it is very loud, it involves huge amounts of food and large amounts of football (Florida-Georgia game!), and everybody is in everybody else's way...If that is not the perfect definition of my family, I do not know what is. I love that side of my family...I feel really at home there. The point of telling about this is to try to find out if there is anybody else out there who has an annual Halloween taco party. I submit that we are the only family in the world who does such a thing. One of our many idiosyncracies.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ghost Light Road

Back before "development" began "improving" our quality of life in this part of the county in which I live [extreme sarcasm in use here], there was an old legend floating among the endless pine farms that used to exist here. I'm sure you've heard of haunted houses, haunted libraries, and maybe even a haunted lighthouse, but we like to do things a little bit differently here. We had our own haunted road.

The road's original name was Bombing Range Road, as it provided access to an airfield and bombing range operated by the U.S. Navy in the years before and during World War II. A few years back (before I came into the world) the road was officially renamed Greenbriar Road for "real estate reasons". Regardless of what the road was officially named, we locals had only one name for it: Ghost Light Road.

Ghost Light Road was a perfectly straight, limestone and sand road that cut through the pine plantations and cypress swamps of my beloved home. If you visited this area back in those wonderful years, and happened to venture onto Greenbriar Road at night, you were met with a very interesting phenomenon.

Driving down the bumpy dirt road, your first thoughts would be "where the heck does this road go?" It would have been the darkest of night, with the light of millions of stars and the moon filtering through the tall pine trees being the only relief from the pitch black. The fresh scent of pine would fill your nose, and the cool air of the swamp would provide relief from the otherwise muggy weather. As you bumped along, you would begin to notice a light - a single light, as if a motorcycle's headlight - approaching you. The light would approach for minutes on end, and as you wonder what such a light could be, it disappears into the blackness. Are my eyes deceiving me? you wonder. You witnessed this a few times that night, in unpredicatable intervals. It was as if the phenomenon was teasing you.

About a decade ago, the road was paved and traffic began to increase as more people moved to the area surrounding. Three schools popped up near the road, and traffic increased greatly. "House Farms" took the place of pine farms toward the eastern end of the road, where thousands of yankees were planted. The ghost died; yet another piece of local history and culture lost to overdevelopement.

If I were to stand in front of all the 2700 students who attend my extremely overcrowded school and ask who knew what Ghost Light Road was, MAYBE 5 or 10 would raise their hand... A relatively small symptom of a deadly disease spreading through the lifeblood of Florida.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Muller Part Four: A Recipe for St. Johns River Mullet

As I have stated in prior posts in this series, the St. Johns River Mullet (freshwater mullet) has always been known as an inedible fish due to its extreme fishiness. A good old Florida cracker and good friend of mine, the famous (or infamous) Stuart Pacetti, has related to me this recipe, however, to prepare freshwater mullet. I have not tried it yet...I will have to sometime.

A Recipe for St. Johns River Mullet
Related by Mr. Stuart Pacetti

1 St. Johns River Mullet
2 Datil peppers, finely chopped
A bit of bacon grease
A pinch of salt
1 heartwood pine board

Prepare a fire out of hickory or any other wood you prefer for smoking, but do not prepare the fire in a smokehouse; keep it outside. Prepare to the mullet to your liking, filleting is recommended for thorough and even cooking. Lay the fish out on the pine board, lengthwise, so the entire fish fits onto the board. Liberally coat the fish in bacon grease. Spread the Datil pepper and salt evenly onto the fish. Let sit for a couple hours, and allow the fire to die down to small flames or hot coals. Lay the board close enough to the fire to receive enough heat, but far enough away to avoid being lit itself. Cook fish for 1-2 hours over fire. Remove the board carefully from the fire, and bring it into your kitchen, with the fish. Throw the fish away. Eat the board.

This is the only recipe I have ever know of for St. Johns River mullet. Enjoy!