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Day 24 - Tallahassee, Florida

We arrived in Tallahasse, Florida at 12:15am and checked into a hotel right away. As soon as we got to the room, we both crashed!

We woke up to a nice, but cloudy day at the Holiday Inn on 316 West Tennessee Street we checked into the night before. Ziggy was already in the shower and I ordered room service. Bagels with cream cheese, orange juice, coffee for me and milk and cheerios for Ziggy. I picked up the newspaper and saw a few photos taken of some folks who were at the Memorial Day Celebration a few days earlier.

On the left, Retired Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Bob Gagnan and Shirley Broen, who was with the WAVES in World War II, salute the American flag at the Memorial Day commemoration at Oakland Cemetery on Monday.

And on the right, William Gilliam, who served in the South Pacific during World War II and did three tours of duty in Korea with the Army, spoke at the event.

I yelled at Ziggy, who was fixing her eyebrows in the mirror, to get a move on. I told her, "Florida was the 27th state in the USA and it was admitted on March 3, 1845 and I'd like to see it some time today! Get the lead out!!"

We had read all about and seen specials on Ponce De Leon and wanted to see a few things in Tallahassee before we headed up north. We left the room and headed downstairs. Don't ask me how they knew, but Robin from Boca Raton, Rick and Betty from Sarasota, Eleanor B., Gail from Gainesville, and Amber and Don from Lake Hamilton were down in the lobby.

They all wanted to see Ziggy's hat so she reached in her bag and pulled her Florida hat out.

They all clapped their hands and laughed. Because it looked like rain, Ziggy was getting worried. Everyone could see it. So Don sang this song. When he started singing, this kid came over to sing it with him and then Ziggy chimed in. Here's the song. I recorded it. Your "Default Media Player" should play it.

Don and Ziggys Rain Song

We had to get going to we said our goodbyes and off we went. We went to the Museum of Florida History and learned a whole bunch of things.

The guide told us, "Florida was first seen by the Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon on Palm Sunday on April 2, 1513 - he then named the "Pascua de Florida," meaning "Feast of Flowers" and claimed it for Spain. Ponce De Leon sailed with Christopher Columbus on his second sea voyage."

I could see Ziggy was getting tired and we had to go soon so I asked the tour guide what type of food Florida was famous for and she asked me if I was kidding. "You ever heard of Florida's Key Lime Pie?"

"Ah," I said. "I sure have and where would you suggest is a good place to get some?"

She replied, "Who makes the best Key lime pie? For five years running, Floridians have tapped the Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory in Key West. Owned by Roberto and Tania Madeira, the Blond Giraffe uses a recipe passed down from Tania's grandmother in Brazil. Sporting a cookie crust and topped with meringue, this champion pie is as rich as a sheik and as sensuous as a tango."

"Cool," I said. "Can we walk there?"

She laughed and said, "It's 434 miles south from Tallahassee. But you could charter a plane. It would be well worth your trip."

"It seems like a long way to go just for a pie. But it's OK. The members of the Kitchen Club are paying for it." So we chartered a plane and flew down to Key West. Bada bing bada boom!

I am sure you have heard of this famous pie before. What a wonderful pie to have any time of the year, but especially, in the Summer. This recipe is from scratch, but you can buy the gramcracker crust at the grocery store. Note, if you are a diabetic, or cannot use sugar, use splenda, or, ask your doctor. Here's the recipe.

Florida Key Lime Pie
Serves me

Lime Filling
4 tsp grated lime zest
1/2 Cup strained lime juice
4 large egg yolks
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Graham Cracker Crust
11 full sized graham crackers, processed to fine crumbs (1 1/4 Cup)
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Whipped Cream Topping
3/4 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Cup confectioners’ sugar

For the Filling: Whisk zest and yolks in a medium bowl until tinted light green, about 2 minutes. Beat in milk, then juice; set aside at room temperature to thicken.

For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat to 325 degrees. Mix crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Add butter; stir with fork until well blended. Scrape mixture into 9-inch pie pan; press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pan to form an even crust.
Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature.

Pour lime filling into crust; bake until center is set, yet wiggly when jiggled, 15 to 17 minutes.

Return pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.

For the Whipped Cream: Up to 2 hours before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks. Add confectioners’ sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, continue whipping to stiff peaks. Pipe whipped cream over filling or spread evenly with spatula.

Flyin' a long way in the sky,
May have not been the brightest thing to do,
But it was for Florida's Key Lime Pie,
What cha gonna do?

_______________________________

Tania and Roberto Madeira of Key West became overnight celebrities when their Key lime pie beat entries from several prestigious restaurants to be named the best in Florida. We took the owners picture and here they are looking so proud! He said, "WE make them here. But you can buy them all over Florida and especially in Tallahassee." Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Now tomorrow, we are going to Lansing, Michigan! Now we have to fly over to Miami and catch a plane going there. We'll make it! See ya in Lansing!

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