It's still beginning of June but the summer vacation has started in East Tennessee. So has the remodeling for bedrooms and bathrooms. So I am away from home to my mother in law's house. We drove for 8 hours to get to North Florida. It used to take us 16 hours from Connecticut, so 8 hours is nothing comparing to that!
What a nice place to be. She lives in a beautiful house decorated really comfortably. I always loved visiting her here, but coming to North Florida was not as exciting to us when we lived in North East, but now that we live in Appalachian, it became really exciting.
The size of the sky is significantly larger. I've developed love for the beautiful mountains surrounding us in TN, but the large sky makes me feel free.
Coming from the city 1 hour away from NYC, I didn't need to shop at all when I came here before except for outlet malls near by. But now that I don't have Anthropologie, William Sonoma, Apple Store, Sephora and Wholefoods in driving distance, there are a lot to look forward to.
Moreover, we had beaches in CT and Jones beach in Long Island was an hour and half away from where we lived. But of course there is no beach we can go as a day trip in the mountains. So being able to pack light to just play for a few hours at the beach has become luxury. We did that yesterday and the ocean was so warm.
The biggest thing we miss about North East is the diversity of food. Although the lots of different kinds of food have become available comparing to even 5 years ago in East Tennessee, it's not like NYC that has so many people from different cultures bringing their authentic cooking and ingredients. Not many place in US can compete with NYC on that, I'm sure. But Jacksonville has a lot more to offer comparing to East TN. So we are taking advantage on that. We found a nice Korean restaurant run by Korean people. I just love Kimchee!! I feel right at home when I eat really good Japanese. (I must say that doesn't happen often in the States.... once a while in NYC) Korean food makes me feel very similar to that. I don't know why. I didn't grow up eating Korean food. It is also spicy and the Japanese food is not. But there is some similarities in use of vegetables, fermented products, how the rice is eaten with meat or fish, and broth that they use for soup, etc.... So I felt so happy, almost home sick eating tofu and seafood soup, kimchee and white rice.
We always enjoy eating great fruits when we visited FL. I had berry salad for breakfast for last 3 days with greek yogurt. It's so simple and nice. I put 2 cups of different berries and 1 table spoon of tupelo honey and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
I love eating fruits for breakfast. The colors of red berries opens my eyes. The tartness of them stimulates my mind. The sweetness of them makes me happy. I'm ready for the day.
Last night we had a dinner here. I made a crab salad with mango and avocado, and my sister-in-law (J's brother's wife) brought a home made herb quiche. My mother-in-law was very happy to have 2 daughters in law cooking for her. I guess next thing she should look forward to is her grand daughter preparing a nice meal for her. I need to get busy teaching my daughter how to cook.
There were a lot of berries so I made a rolled cake for desert.
I don't have a standing mixer at home. I don't even have a hand held mixer either. So when I bake roll cakes, I usually use a whisk. I don't mind spending 20 minutes trying to make the egg white stiff.... But it was so much easier to use my mother-in-law's standing mixer!! I hate to give in to modern technology too much, but this is tempting.
It's so beautiful to be here. So relaxing. Drinking tea in the air-conditioned room with plenty of sun with the cooking book that I wanted to read. Chasing my mother-in-law's cat. Going out with a hand weaved basket. Watching my daughter swimming like a mermaid. It's so peaceful.