Ten top reasons to love fall in Southwest Florida.
By Judi Gallagher
1.) You can still wear white pants after Labor Day while you are grilling barbecued duck breast and the last of the Florida- grown sweet corn.
2.) You spend the day before Halloween drinking cold spiced cider and devouring pumpkin ice cream (Racer’s in Gulf Gate has a good one) while sitting on your patio instead of running to the mall to buy extra long johns for trick or treating
3.) Your only fear about dressing up as a peanut M &M for your Halloween office party is that you might melt from the 84-degree temperature
4.) Instead of reserving a restaurant table closest to the heater vent, you can you dine al fresco wearing a light sweater.
5.) You think it must be time to turn your indoor oven on after six long months of summer, but then you turn on the Weather Channel and see 14 inches of snow in Buffalo, New York, and you immediately grab a cooler, pick up four subs at Publix and a big bag of Cape Cod potato chips and head to Siesta Beach for sunset.
6.) You can wear the new shirt that you purchased at Tommy Bahama (www.tommybahama.com) after enjoying a great fried grouper sandwich and slice of piña colada cake upstairs at the restaurant on St. Armand’s—and you don’t need a turtleneck underneath.
7.) You worry more that your caramel apple from Killwins on the Circle (941-388-3200) will melt before you finish than that it might ruin your dental work
8.) Instead of picking apples at the orchard in the freezing rain because you know it is a rite of passage for our children, you ask your kids to pick some key limes or Meyer lemons to mix with mangoes and avocados for a great salsa to serve with grilled shrimp
9.) You do not gain weight from having leftover Halloween candy—it all melts before the last trick or treater has rung the doorbell.
10.) You call in your dinner reservations from your convertible wearing shorts!
We will announce our apple recipe winner next week; meanwhile, get ready to start side dishin’, because for November I am looking for your best holiday side dish recipe.
Hope to see you all at the Suncoast Wine Festival, (www.suncoastwinefestival.com) at Lakewood Ranch on Nov. 11 and charity night at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion, benefiting Mote Laboratories Children’s Education programs. (Call Mote for details and tickets, (941-388-4441/ ext. 257).