You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Orchids, Wine and Passion Fruit

Today I went to an orchid festival at the Fruit and Spice Park with my friends Misti, Chris, Eliana and Marc. There were soooo many beautiful orchids there, it was impossible to pick a favorite. The following are some pics I took, none of which are outstanding, but I think you can get an idea of some of what we saw.

Eliana, Chris, Misti and Marc

I ended up buying 3 orchids. One was a Brassavola nodosa (lady-of-the-night) and the other 2, I am embarrassed to say, I don't remember what they were called, only that they are pretty. I also tried some Black Sapote ice cream which was pretty darn good!
After the orchids, we went into Homestead and ate lunch at a nice little Mexican restaurant. Eliana had eaten a Miracle Fruit before we got to the restaurant and it DID make a lime taste sweet, but kind of screwed up her tastebuds for lunch.
Our last stop for the day was Schnebly's Winery out in the Redland's. It's a really nice place and we enjoyed some wine tasting and a tour of the winery. Their wines are notmade of grapes, but of locally grown fruit: carambola, guava, lychee, passion fruit, mango and they are working on a few new flavors, too. My fave is the guava - YUM!
Eliana's favorite was "the wine"....hehehehehe!!

One of the flavors they are playing with...Avocado?!?!?!?

In the distance are rows and rows of passion fruit. I'd never eaten passion fruit before so I bought 4 of them in the store there. Misti told me you just eat the pulp, seeds and all...Marc said "Don't eat them!" and said instead to juice them, which is what I did.

I cut up my 4 passion fruits and scooped out the pulp and seeds.

I dumped the pulpy goo in a blender and added some water...blended well, then strained it...

Added some ice and sugar and, man! That was some GOOD juice! I saved some seeds and will try to grow them so I can make that yummy juice all the time. Funny, they smell a bit like guavas, but taste nothing like them. Good stuff.
Driving home I started smelling the wildfires burning and seeing the smoke the closer I got to home. There were a few ashes flying around when I pulled into the driveway, too. Hope the wind changes direction soon because the constant smell of fire really starts to bug you after a few hours. I'm just glad I don't live any closer to the fires!
So that was my day. I did see one other fantastic thing, but can't talk about it now.... :)


Anonymous said...

One word - *ENVY*

mjd said...

Not only are the orchids beautiful, but so is the colorful new look to your blog.

lisa marie said...

You are so lucky! I love orchids!

Sandcastle Momma said...

Wow those orchids are beautiful. They're some of my favorite flowers but I've never seen as many varieties as you've shown here. I would have been in hog heaven wandering around there. The winery looks like fun but I'm not sure I would even want to try an avocado wine LOL The guava sure does sound good! I've never eaten passion fruit. It looks pretty nasty so I'll take your word for it that it was good LOL I think juicing it sounds a lot more appealing than just eating them though.

exoticdvm said...

Thanks for a good laugh, loved the blog entry! We had a fun day! Glad the passion fruit juice turned out well, I love that stuff. Can't wait to make mine. We picked up 2 bags of lychee fruit on the way home. Delicious!

SwampAngel65 said...

Thanks Marc. I guess I'll have to give lychees another try one of these days. It's just like having an eyeball in your mouth to me...kind of gross. But I'll try them again.

misti said...

We had a lot of fun too! Ok, so juicing it sounds good, but eating them is good, too! :)

Hehehe, 'the wine'! I had some Mango wine last night and it was sweeter than it was when we tasted it.

Blue Momma said...

I'm with olive - ENVY.

It seems everyone goes out and does these cool things while I sit at home and hold this recliner down.

Must. get. out.

karisma said...

Now that looks like some serious fun! Great pictures, those orchids are very photogenic!