Welcome to Old Florida Food
So, Why Old Florida Food? Wouldn’t Vintage Florida Food sound better?
Probably, but whenever I talk about the Florida that I grew up knowing, and the stories that I would hear from my Mother and Grandparents of Florida’s past, I always think of the “Old Florida.” I also refer to the foods of Florida’s past as “Old Florida Food” hence the name.
Come to Florida!
(This is me when I was about 5 on the beach in St. Pete. My Grandfather is filming me with his video camera as I play in the ocean waves. The necklace was given to me by my Grandfather from a souvenir shop in Florida at Weeki Wachee. I treasure it!)
My name is Julie and I have been coming to Florida my entire life, prior to my living here.
(I made these little teenager’s on the beach “Sand Globes” as a memory of Florida.)
I was born in the state of Georgia, Florida was where Georgian’s came to vacation.
My Grandparents, and Great-Grandparents, and Great-Aunts and Uncles, would come to Florida bringing my Mother and Me!
My Grandfather Frank
My Grandparents would load up the car for our Florida Vacation and we would always leave at night, arriving the following morning with my Grandfather looking for the NEON VACANCY sign. I was always asleep in the back seat of the car wearing my pajamas.
(I don’t think there were reservations back then.)
My Mother, Mary Keith in St. Pete on the Historic Park Benches
My Mother, Mary Keith, in Florida in her Teens
Standing on a Palm Tree
Mary Keith Holding a Fish
Could that be dinner?
The Motel, One of Many
(That beach towel was my mother’s when she was young. I have it!)
When my mother was a teenager, she and her friend Ellissha would take the train from Rome, Georgia down to Miami, and stay the summers with Ellissha’s Florida relatives. My mother told me they would have shoe boxes full of Fried Chicken, and Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches made by my Grandmother and Ellissha’s mother, Florence.
Shoe box Full of Fried Chicken and Pimiento Cheese Sandwiches
I remember when we could park cars on the beach
My Great-Grandmother Keith, with my Great-Aunt Ruth and in photo left, her husband my Great-Uncle Walt, and in the photo at right, my Great-Grandfather Lucius Keith. He and Walt were brothers.
My Grammaw Nell with my Mother, Mary Keith, and her First Cousin Joe
My Grammaw and my Mother, Mary Keith at the Beach
My Mother and her Uncle Ray, My Great-Uncle Helping my Mother in the Ocean
My Grandfather and My Mother Disembarking a Ferry in Florida
(I always wanted to make a vintage beach shadowbox of my Grandparents and Great-Grandparents wearing their old timey bathing suits, where I could add some sand and some shells and lots of photos. Maybe someday I will.)
(My Florida Summer Kitchen Homage)
The Foods that we will be bringing to you here on this post were the Foods that my Grandparents ate while vacationing in Florida, the Foods that my Mother and her friends ate while vacationing in Florida, the Foods that I ate while vacationing in Florida, AND the Foods that we still eat while Living in Florida and still having fun Playing Tourist.
When we weren’t driving through the dead of night to Florida and arriving by morning, some of our trips did consist of us driving down from Georgia to Florida during the daylight hours. It was always a treat to arrive at the Florida Welcome Center for a cup of free Orange Juice, browse all the rows of brochures of tourists attractions and restaurants/hotels/motels/boat trips….. That was always my favorite thing to do. I would have gathered my pile of brochures of all the places that I wanted to see in Florida and I would sit in the backseat and read off everything to my Grandparents that we should do while in Florida.
(I have been told that I was probably a tour guide in a past life and I do believe that would be correct as I am the ultimately planner.) 🙂
So, to start us off on this Florida Vacation of Fun and Foods, here is a historic Smoked Trout Dip:
But not with that fish, Mary Keith.
Smoked Trout Dip
My Very Retro Presentation
3 Smoked Trout Fillets
1 Cup Yogurt
1 Cup Miracle Whip
10 Drops Tabasco Sauce
2-3 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp. Liquid Smoke
3 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
The Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
1 tsp. Wasabi Paste
Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
Chives – chopped and unchopped
Remove the skins from the trout fillets.
They should simply peel away as shown below… nice picture Julie!
TIP: As a garnish, you could slice the skins into strips, and pan fry them in a little oil until crispy. Then, place them on top of the completed dip. We do this also with salmon skin.
In a medium sized bowl, add your yogurt…
then Miracle Whip…
Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire Sauce,…
liquid smoke, and lastly…
your Old Bay Seasoning.
Mix the ingredients well.
Once combined, taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings to suit your pallet.
Remember, the Tabasco’s heat will be subdued by the yogurt, which is the first thing you should eat if your mouth is burning from hot peppers… not water!
Using your fingers, pull the smoked trout meat into large chunks.
BTW: This Smoked Trout is Delicious on it’s own. You could just eat it with crackers if you like.
Add your lemon juice and fresh ground pepper.
When adding your wasabi paste, squeeze about an inch long into the bowl.
Now, using your rubber spatula, smooth is to the bowl making a thin strip.
Lastly, mix all of your ingredients together pushing them to the side where you smoothed the wasabi.
Doing this will ensure your wasabi paste is evenly mixed in with your other ingredients.
As you mix the fish, the large chunks will become smaller.
Slice the other half of the lemon into rings for garnish.
Place your mixture into a serving bowl…
and garnish with your lemon rings, chopped, and unchopped chives.
More to come!