Sunday, October 30, 2011

Shrimp, sea beans and kumquats

My recent weekend with friends to Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan this month included eating shrimp, being introduced to sea beans and kumquat pie. It was a beautiful day to be at the National Shrimp Festival, and the smell in the air on the Gulf Coast made it impossible to not want to try something I hadn't had before. With all the shrimp, I couldn't help but think what was the name of Forrest Gumps' shrimp boat?  (The answer is below).

There were plenty of vendors cooking shrimp and other sea food fixins'- you could have shrimp on a stick or in a plate with lobster, gator, crab, oysters, coconut, onion rings, and the list went on and on.  Below you can view a display of enticing food behind screens at one of the busy food vendors and menus on overhead signs. I managed to snap these photos when I wasn't eating my fill.

Sea beans, also known as 'drift seed' or 'drift fruit' are not edible,  and interestingly, these beans are from trees and had probably floated hundreds, if not thousands of miles riding ocean currents before washing up on the shore of Fort Morgan, located just a few miles from Gulf Shores.

Below is the sea bean collection my friend proudly showed she had found while combing the beach.  You can see a couple 'sea beans' have been made to wear as a necklace.

 I've walked on a few beaches at San Francisco, Daytona Beach, Siesta Key Beach at Sarasota, Florida, and Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle in North Carolina looking for seashells, sea glass, drift wood, or anything that looked interesting. I don't remember seeing anything looking like 'sea beans', nor had I ever same upon any large, whole sea shells, but plenty smaller ones. Other treasures like a lost diamond or gold ring, or maybe even a message in a bottle, or some other treasure brought in by the tide and left in the wrack,  I was never fortunate to find, I'm sure others are luckier in their treasure hunting on the beach,  but not me.  This weekend was the first I'd heard about sea beans or even saw sea bean jewelry or heard there are collectors and traders and actual sea bean conventions. Imagine that!   I've also discovered that there are also edible 'sea beans' which I am going to be looking in the produce idle for this green 'veggie' the next time I grocery shop. I have to try some- might be crunchy in a green salad.

And then, there was kumquat refrigerator pie for dessert. My first and certainly not my last. I think it's up there with key lime pie for a light, warm weather to cool you off dessert.  Aside from getting the seeds out to puree the cute, little kumquats, it was a cinch to make. Five ingredients- pie shell, kumquats, lemon juice, condensed milk and cool whip.   I found the recipe online for this kumquat refrigerator pie.

I never would have imagined kumquats make such a delightful pie. Delicious. See what a nice pie I had below.

All in all, I think it was a super weekend! Any weekend around friends and food is good!

Answer- Forrest Gump named the boat 'Jenny'.
Then later, he had a fleet of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company shrimp boats.

No comments:

Post a Comment