We spent Saturday at a home in Stiltsville, a “city” of wooden houses built on stilts in Biscaye Bay, a couple miles offshore of Miami. The homes, which once numbered in the fifties, were built circa Prohibition and used for various questionable activities. The handful of remaining buildings are now part of Biscayne National Park and are perched in beds of turtlegrass which form the foundation for a unique tropical ecosystem. The house we visited is owned by the “Save Old Stiltsville” orginization and we’re lucky to have family friends among its members.
Today was the group’s annual fundraiser, a fishing competition with prizes for biggest dolphin (mahi) and snapper. While boatloads of men cast out on unfriendly seas, we stayed back at the house–which is more like a private island–sunning, swimming, and eating.
For breakfast, a mixed fruit salad and smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and sprouts on a home-baked baguette. (We purchased frozen baguettes at Costco and they’ve quickly become a favorite go-to ingredient.)
When everyone returned from the day’s competition, we sat back and wathced the real culinary magic happen, as Papi and the other amateur fishermen fileted, lightly breaded, and deep fried the day’s catch. They also fried up ridiculously good hushpuppies, and served coleslaw and arroz con pollo alongside. We ate reclining on the sunset deck, perched above the turquoise bay. It was one of those long summer afternoons that refuses to become evening, and the meal plus the surroundings had the dual effect of elevating the other.
When the sun finally began to set, we boated back to dry land with rosy skin and happy stomachs.