You can already feel the excitement in the air! The winter residents are coming back, we’re preparing for a wonderful Thanksgiving (whether it be here or up north) when we get to see family and friends, and of course there is grocery shopping, or preparing a passing dish if you are invited to someone’s home, which ever works for you and your family/friends. And my goodness, all the ads start in the mail and the newspaper, and just all kinds of good stuff to think about and enjoy! And then, in the twinkling of an eye Thanksgiving has passed! So make sure you enjoy every minute of the preparation and the friendship and family!
We, in Collier County and Marco Island and Goodland, and everywhere in between, are all invited to the Farm City Barbeque presented by Collier County’s business and agricultural leaders! The event will be hosted by Marine Industries Association of Collier County. The fun will take place at Cambier Park, 755 8th Ave. S (parking will be available through the 5th Ave. District) on Wednesday, November 27th at 11:30 AM ‘til about 2 PM (the day before Thanksgiving). The presenters suggest you kick up your boots “City Slicker Style” at Cambier Park! Lots of people dress up in the western boots and apparel. The event originally started 64 years ago to build relationships and understanding among Collier County’s business and agricultural leaders, and let me tell you that goal has been met every year! The tickets are $20 for a full feast of signature steak cooked on HUGE barbeque cookers, and fresh picked vegetables called Immokalee Salad and fresh delicious corn provided by Lipmann Farms. Included in the price are soft drinks, beer and wine. Elected officials will be there serving the food (and possibly making a mess) and waiting on you. This is one event no one should ever miss. The proceeds go to Youth Leadership Collier, Collier County 4 H Association, Collier County Junior Deputy League, and Key Clubs (Kiwanis High School students) of Collier County. And to top it off, they have top notch entertainment! If you’ve never gone before, you’ll be impressed. If you have, you’ll never miss it again! I always bring my own sharp knife to cut the steak, and my own fork to eat with (if we get to eat after we’re finished serving) but of course they provide utensils made of plastic that work okay too. You must see it, at least once!
- Have you ever thought what red tide looks like up close and personal? I’m including a picture of a county employee who decided to show all of us what it looks like… on Halloween Day. Can you guess who that guy with the great sense of humor is? Look closely! If you guessed the County Manager Leo Ochs, you would win a prize (if I had one). It’s the cutest idea, and only Leo would have ever thought of it! Leo offers each year to all employees the opportunity to dress up for Halloween, and you should have seen the ideas! Ideas like this build a warm and friendly atmosphere to work in! Each department, if they choose to, dresses up their department, and many also dress up their workspace, and many more dress up like… well, everything you can imagine, and even spouses and children drop by to see what’s happening this year! Some employees bring in candy or little goodies to give to the kids of employees who come by (or employees who feel like a kid that day). But Leo rose to the top this Halloween! I couldn’t resist telling you about it.
- Sports are not my top priority, except when I’m in Ohio during baseball season because I love watching the Cleveland Indians play. No matter how hard I try to push the Indians over the top, they don’t seem to hear me as I yell at the TV set, but they are close! I never watch football (I know everyone else does, and my son films it for ESPN) but I’m thinking I’m the only one who doesn’t. I love pickleball though, and now that we have a pool close by, I like to watch the swim meets. This week many schools converged on the new pool in East Naples. There were school busses all over the place, even in the back hinterland! There were hundreds of kids, even coming from Lee County. I saw Erick Carter, from the School Board, there with his wife. He likes to follow the teams, he said. I saw Will Douglass (a candidate for my seat) there. He said he’s a great supporter because his daughter swam for Lely High School, so he follows the team even though she graduated a number of years ago. And as always, Adam Peterson, an outstanding teacher at Lely, and Curt Witthoff, a constant fixture and a parent, Karen Kresgee, the girls’ coach, and Chris Black, another great teacher, were all there cheering the participants on. Their enthusiasm for these young people is admirable! And I’ve recently looked briefly at the sports section and noticed, for the first time, that there is a young fella at Lely who seems to be turning the football team around. From what I’ve read, the team has won more games this year than the last few years. This fella’s name is Jonis Dieudonne! I hope I get to meet him one of these days. I’m happy for him and I’m happy for Lely. Congratulations to the whole team, because it takes a TEAM to win!
- Don’t forget to buy a ticket online, or even buy one at the door, for the Woodstock concert at the Collier Museum at the Government Center on U.S. 41E and Airport Roads. The event will be held on November 16th and starts at 6 PM and goes until 10 PM with live music and dancing by the GALAXY BAND. There will be a “Woodstock Look” contest, and songs and stories by Charlene Thiessen, a silent auction, photo booth, food and beverages. This is a major fundraiser for the Museum system. You may pay online by credit card: www.FOCCM.com.
The price is $65.
- The Wall Street Journal had a huge write up about self-storage facilities by Kevin Liles on October 29th entitled, “Growth boom in self-storage runs up against resistance from local governments.” (I don’t think that is happening here though. It seems everyone loves them except me.) The article says, “Local governments across the country are feeling overstuffed with self-storage facilities.” I won’t copy everything, but I will quote that “Growth in the storage industry, which sagged during the recession, has soared, partly financed by yield-hungry investors.” It goes on to explain that major pieces of property are taken up by storage units who do not hire many employees, but take up vital space that is needed for restaurants, retail and movies, etc. I never realized there were other places suffering from the same plague that we are.
- Way back in the ‘70s there used to be a place called Central Mall, located where Bayfront now enjoys. Inside the mall, there was the first Beall’s store in this area, and Johnston’s of Florida, a barber shop, and maternity shop (Great Expectations, which I owned) and a marvelous little restaurant called Pappy’s, that had the best hot dogs and buns, and great food, but a peanut butter pie to die for! No, not laden with peanut butter, but a cream-custard filling with a slight layer of a peanut butter mixture over the baked graham cracker pie crust. I asked for the recipe for so long, and then finally asked Doris Reynolds (who was our historian until recently when she passed), who was kind enough to give it to me. It is so good that I thought I’d pass it along to you. Some long-time friends and residents were looking for the recipe, which I gave them, and decided just maybe someone out there would like it as well. (my goodness, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!) So, if you like to bake, please feel free to use this recipe and invite me over to taste it!
The Original Pappy’s Peanut Butter Pie
From Doris Reynolds
• 9 inch pie shell, baked
• 1 cup powdered sugar (also called confectioners’ sugar)
• 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2 cups milk
• 3 egg yolks
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 egg whites
Combine powdered sugar and peanut butter. Blend until crumbly. Sprinkle over baked pie shell and set aside while preparing filling.
Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt. Beat egg yolks until thick and golden and add to milk. Combine with dry ingredients and mix well. Cook over low heat until thickened. Add butter and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Beat the whites of eggs until thick and standing into peaks. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until combined. Spread on pie and bake for about 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven or until meringue is brown.