Monday, May 24, 2010

Fresh Florida Clams

We decided to drive up the Cedar Key again today. We had a relaxing time perusing the art galleries, looking at all the birds in the waterways, and visiting the museum. On our way out of town we picked up some fresh clams to have when we returned home.

This boat was called Miss Clarabelle. We saw lots of boats in the water too. The Cedar Key area is great for kayaking, sailing, and fishing.

Here's a Confederate Salt Kettle outside the museum. This area was the main producer of salt used as a food preservative before refrigeration was available. The kettle could produce 150 bushels of salt per day by boiling sea water.

This log cabin was a residence in town, it looks very old and the chimney looks like it's made of local limestone. I wonder what stories this building could tell.

I had a comment from Kittie of The Block about what type of vase would be good for long stem lilies. Kittie said she used a heavy pitcher which is a good choice for long stemmed flowers. Often vases are nice looking but are too light-weight for heavy flowers. I like to make a heavy vase which is more stable and less likely to tip over. I also thought of a flower brick being a good choice for long stemmed flowers. I've always wanted to make one, but never have.

Having arranged flowers for years I've always wondered how a flower brick can be adequately cleaned on the inside with a top that can't be removed? You know the slimy buildup that sometimes happens on the bottom of the vase from deterioriating leaves and stems. I might have to make a flower brick with a top which is removable. I started out with a few sketches for flower bricks, but somehow made something completely different.

I made this tall vase 12 x 5 inches with the sides curving in so when the flower stem is placed in the vase it keeps the flower upright and doesn't lean over. Both the vase and the starfish look better in person, my photo doesn't do them justice. I picked up a few tiny white starfish in a shop today and am wondering how they'll look attached to the vase after it's fired.

I didn't add a top section with grids or holes which a flower brick usually has. I think the vase will work well for long stemmed flowers as it is. It's tall and heavy enough to hold the flowers upright and curved middle sides will hold the stems in place. I envision this rustic style vase in a creamy white glaze with the white starfish, a tone on tone look, that way the color wouldn't compete with the color of flowers placed in the vase.

We got some fresh clams from Southern Cross Sea Farms on our way out of town to have for dinner. Along with the clams we had some Cuban bread, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, (like me), and some Alice White Lexia wine, which has a taste similar to Gewurztraminer. Comments and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Looks like you are certainly taking advantage of your time in Florida to have some fun! You have to get down south and get some stone crabs, I would love to have some of those again, sooooo good! I like the sketches of your flower bricks, you might be on to something there with the removable top, I never thought about that. Oh, and I liked the idea of the paint roller for support too. I'll have to remember that for my handbuilding class this fall. I use pringles potato chip cans and old rolling pins without the handles but the paint roller makes so much sense.

  2. wow a history tour what fun...and check out the sunshine you must be enjoying that!

  3. Glad you can still get clams. Hope that mess in the Gulf doesn't hurt the wonderful ecosystems along the Florida coast.
    Isn't Cuban Bread wonderful? See if you can get some Guava Paste (not Jelly). It goes great on Cuban bread.

  4. Hi Tracey, thanks, yes, there is so much to do and see so close to where we live, we are glad we don't have to drive tons of miles. I checked out Sanibel Island, but that is more than 4 hours from us so we'd have to go there for a weekend not just the day. I see folks alongside the road selling crabs, I'll have to stop. I discovered the paint roller quite by accident one day, with the roller on it slips right out and if you press against it from the outside, it doesn't make an impression on the inside.

    Hi Ang, thanks, yes the warm weather is nice as long as it's morning or evening, during the day it is quite hot and humid, like tropical rain forest.

    Hi Patti, thanks, at first I thought the Cuban bread didn't look any different than French or Italian, but it is different, I like a crunchy crust. I'll have to look for guava paste, sounds wonderful.

  5. Isn't it neat the way all these great ideas happen during an outing and you can't wait to get home to create something?

    Loved seeing the big salt pot. That vase you made is great!

  6. Linda, I loved your post today. I've never before seen a salt kettle and found it quite interesting. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings ...Mary

  7. Looks like a neat area around where you live. I grew up in Miami, but didn't get to the west coast much. My brother lives in Pennsacola.

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  9. Good question about how to clean a flower brick and good idea about making one with a removable top.
    I've never seen or known about a salt kettle to desalinate salt water. Is it a metal kettle?

  10. Hi Natalie, good to see you here. Yes, somehow an outing refreshes the minds of all the clutter.

    Hi Mary, thanks for visiting. I had never seen a kettle and learned something about our early history.

    Hi Michael, thanks, yes we are so lucky we picked this area, there is so much to do and see and the tropical atmosphere makes it like we are on a permanent vacation much of the time. Don't know if we can hardly stand it. Ha.

    Hi 懿綺, thanks for visiting; hope I am getting the translations correct.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, yes the kettle is metal, a metal kettle, te he, sometimes it's fun to say words. I guess they let it boil salt water all day and then reserved the salt for preserving meats and fish.

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I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment