Good food and a little island time.

We’ve gotten quite a few pictures of birds in their nests with babies, but this one is really cool. One of our power poles has a hole in it near the top, and we assumed it must be a woodpecker. The other day we looked up at it and to our surprise, there were toucans sticking their heads out of the hole. These are the Aracari Toucans, which is a medium-size toucan and not as big as the Keel Billed Toucan. There was a total of four birds, so not sure which were babies and which were the adults. This was very cool to see, but I still worry about the big hole in our power pole.

Baby Toucans in our power pole.

Okay, so here’s what else has been happening around here the past few weeks. A couple days after we got back from the states it started raining, not a heavy rain, in fact only a couple inches in ten days or so. This was the perfect time to get the cooler weather veggies planted up in the garden. Besides that, there was a full moon thrown in there too. The locals here really stress about how important it is to plant everything around the full moon. So if all goes well, we should have a great crop of broccoli, romaine lettuce, and kale within a few months. The wet season is supposed to be over by December 1st, so I guess mother nature was giving us one last hurrah for the season.

Dried purple cabbage with habanero sea salt.

We were back to making more healthy snacks again. This time we made purple cabbage chips with habanero sea salt. Once the cabbage is dehydrated and seasoned it’s a great crunchy alternative to potato chips. Besides tasting very good, we are also getting all the vitamins and health benefits that purple cabbage has to offer.

Looks like a Christmas variety of chili peppers.

We had a good run of chili peppers this year, but at this point, the plants are about done. Although we did just get a bunch more habaneros seedlings in the ground that should be ready in a few months. This last batch of peppers all went in the dehydrator so we can make more spicy seasoned salt that everyone just can’t get enough of. We dried somewhere between 300-400 red & green jalapeños, orange habaneros, and cayenne peppers. We have learned that the dehydrator has to be in the garage when drying peppers because the fumes coming off it will really get to you.

Summer sausage, just in time for the holidays.

Since the holidays are upon us, it was time to make some more summer sausage. Sausage like this is hard to find down here, so we resort to making our own. In the past, we have taken it to many gatherings and even the bars, where everyone raves about it and has offered to buy some. A few of the sticks we took to The Bluff restaurant for their big Thanksgiving Day gathering. The rest will be available to everyone who has been requesting it since the last time we made it. At this point, most of them are already spoken for.

Amy, our favorite bartender at The Bluff.

This was one of the first times in 35+ years that Kelley did not cook a turkey on Thanksgiving Day. This year we were invited to spend it at The Bluff (our favorite hangout). They closed the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day and had a private party for friends and family. Of course, there were all the traditional Thanksgiving foods, from turkey to pumpkin pie and everything in between. There were at least 100 people there and everybody brought something delicious to share. It was a great day with wonderful food and friends, plus to make it even better it was a warm sunny day and the drinks were ice cold.

Thanksgiving at The Bluff.

Our friends Ron & Rhonda flew down over the Thanksgiving weekend to spend a few days at the beach in Placencia. Since it’s only a few hour drive for us, we decided to meet them over there and also spend the long weekend on the beach. While we were on the coast, it was the perfect opportunity for us to see if we could round up some fresh fish to take back. We sat around the shore BS’n and enjoying a few beers waiting for the boats to come in. When the boats came in you’d have to be quick to claim the fish you want before someone else does. We did manage to get 6 nice Jacks that we had filleted for a future fish fry or two back home. Last time we got fish here we got Snapper, Jacks and some Barracuda. We decided that the Jacks were a much better tasting fish and after talking to the fishermen they all agreed.

Richard doing another great job of cleaning our Jacks.

The highlight of our weekend was a trip out to a small island to spend the day doing whatever we wanted. The island was Ranguana Caye, a small 2-acre island about twenty miles off the coast of Placencia.

Ranguana Caye, a tropical paradise.

The day we went, there were only 9 of us on the boat heading to the island. It was Ron, Rhonda, us, a couple from Holland, a couple from Canada, and a guy from D.C (who might just never go home). As the boat pulled up to the island the bartender greeted us with a tray of fresh coconuts with a straw in each one. There’s a small bar on the island along with 3 small cabanas that are available for overnight stays. They have snorkel gear, kayaks, paddleboards and of course some nice chairs right on the sandy beach.

Dave and Ron on Ranguana not caring about the rest of the world.

The boat took some of the people out snorkeling on the reef while we stayed behind to just relax on the beach and enjoy this little piece of paradise. After all, we can snorkel, kayak or paddleboard anywhere, but a little island like this doesn’t come around every day.

Rhonda, sipping on some rum and checking out the conch shells.

Of course there has to be a dog on an island like this. As we got off the boat Kelley got a big ear licking from Shadow the resident dog. Shadow made sure no birds landed on the island, rolled in the sand, played with coconuts, swam out to chase away the pelicans, and even sat on the beach as if to guard us when we were in the water. This is the happiest dog I think I’ve ever seen, but then again what dog wouldn’t be, living on a tropical island where new people show up all the time and play with him.

Shadow playing with a coconut.

The beers and cocktails were chilled perfectly, and around noon they cooked up a great lunch of chicken, rice-n-beans, coleslaw and fried plantains. Of course everything was great, we were barefoot on a little island in the middle of nowhere.

Bully’s Beach Bar on a 2-acre island 20 miles offshore. It doesn’t get any better than this.

We really hated to leave this island paradise, but as we were leaving the island, dolphins showed up by the boat as if on cue. We have been to quite a few different islands around here and this is by far our favorite one yet. Maybe next time we’ll bring some fishing gear and spend the night, this island is truly a piece of paradise.

Kelley looking like an island girl. Toes in the water, beer in her hand, life is good today.

We hope to see you down here soon.


2 thoughts on “Good food and a little island time.”

  1. Those Toucans don’t even look real~ looks like a wood carving piece of art!

    That island looks amazing … reminds me of Kenny Chesney ~ “ On the coast of somewhere beautiful “ .. I’m with Shadow, I would never leave…. Miss you guys! Hope to have my toes in the sand and beer in hand with Kelley someday soon

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