I am so proud of a young man that is a good friend of my oldest daughter. They went to school together, played together and still are in contact with each other. Over a month ago Crystal told me to check out a web site. Hat I found gave me a walk down memory lane. Benji grew up in a very creative family. His parents had the local florist and gift shop. They had flair with arranging and being creative. If memory serves me correctly they started the “Little Miss Harvest Festive” pageant. Crystal was in that pageant and quite a few more. Benny and Bernadette have the gift of organizing, carrying through and making it fun. By the way they named their 3 kids with their name beginning with “B”. The Flower business is called the “B-Hive “. How about that for creativity?
We all did love to cook in Immokalee…. most of us anyway and if you did not like to cook you liked to eat! The First Baptist Church had its share of carry-in meals and it was a feast to say the least. I can remember our pastor at the time; Brother Babb (Adams) loved good food and loved to remind us what his favorites were. He did not like green peas! He made sure Harold Thomas knew he was looking forward to a big pot of swamp cabbage. Now that is a treat for any true “Southerner” and one I had to develop. We were reminded he loved Southern chicken and dumplings and really any kind of good food. Bernadette was one of those great cooks that brought just the right thing to those meals.
Here is a site that tells you about making Swamp Cabbage. I never tried to cook this because I never had the urge to go and chop down a cabbage palm tree just for the heart.
This one is from Native Tech.
Now to the site I started to tell you about…
I am going to quote the “about” the author of this site.
“Over the years, I have been told that my love of food would qualify me to write restaurant reviews. Finally, I am writing about good food!
Plain and simple, my name is Ben Starling, I was raised in Immokalee, Florida and blessed with a family that cooked in the good times, in the bad times, and all the times in between. Being Southern Baptist, we did not drink, but we did eat!
My mother is one of the finest cooks on the face of the earth. She can taste something at a restaurant and come home and produce it. Some people play the piano by ear, my mother cooks by tongue (or rather taste)! No recipes, no need to labor measuring and certainly no need to rely on anything frozen.
I suppose this site is dedicated to my Mom because she loves good food and taught me the importance of taking pride in my cooking.”
I have added a few recipes to his site and will continue to. I love the reviews he does and if you travel you will sure see some places you will want try. The products he suggests are the best and I know if he thinks they are good than they are!
Benji, thanks for doing this site. I am proud of the young man you have become and want you to know that.Keep it up……know I love you!