Work took Hal and me back to Florida last week: me to Orlando and Miami for a Women in Aviation conference and a speaking engagement there, Hal to Pensacola to investigate some real estate holdings. After I picked Hal up at JAX airport on Friday, we cruised straight to Apalachicola, where we’d made new friends a few weeks back, over lovingly prepared bowls of gumbo, the soundtrack laid under by a traveling guitar-picker who’d wandered in for the night. (You can see my post about our amazing evening in Apalach here.)
I was in a weakened state. Miami had dished up some extraordinary Cuban fare, to be sure: plátanos maduros, tostones, inspirational mojitos, all manner of croquetas, chicken stuffed with yet more plátano, and the most mouth watering ceviche I’ve ever tasted. Unfortunately, an explosive stomach virus unceremoniously ended my Miami food orgy before it got up a good head of steam. I arrived at Apalach after three days of nothing but applesauce and bananas, unsure whether my gullet could take on anything more ambitious.
Friday night, 9:30 pm: we rolled into downtown Apalach, the front window of “Hole in the Wall Seafood Market and Raw Bar” glowing with warm light. Debi, Jeff, and the rest of the cadre welcomed us like old friends, and Debi slid a bowl of her rich gumbo in front of me.
I breathed it in like a crazed mountain man at his first real meal at table. Do people who care about you somehow manage to infuse healing properties into the food they prepare? I’m convinced they do; Debi swore a bowl of gumbo and a finger of red wine would fix me right up, and so it did.
Unfortunately, that nearly two-week trip sapped enough of my financial energies this month that I’m most likely going to have to eat out of whatever’s in the pantry until April. Ah, well…if that’s the least of my worries, then I don’t actually have any worries, I think it’s fair to say.
Meanwhile, here’s an article I wrote last month for HER Nashville about a few of the places I would be eating this month if I had the expendable cash on hand, and about a few of the talented Nashville women who keep us so lovingly fed: A Few of My Favorite Things