• Victorian dining relived in historic Floral City

    A pleasant trip back in time to an era that evokes both hardscrabble living and gracious Southern hospitality awaits guests at the Florida Artists Gallery and Café in the heart of Floral City.

    The historic house and grounds, as well as hosts Ann and Bill

    Covington, exemplify the cache of Victorian ambiance, a glimpse of 19th century Americana.

  • Learning to use new 21st century utensil

    Foodie that I am, there is much excitement today about the arrival of my new pressure cooker/slow cooker combination with a browning element. There is a list of recipes ready to go and as soon as I learn how to use it, I’ll start cooking.

    It looks like a marvelous utensil, but it may take a couple of days to figure out all the twists and turns of using this 21st century innovation.

  • Start your own pineapple plantation



    Randy Hobson


    During the past two years I’ve tended a large container of pineapple plants that was given to me. Much to our delight, this summer four of the plants in the pot produced pineapples. Watching them closely, we harvested them one by one as they turned a golden yellow. Ripened on the plant, they were the sweetest, best pineapples I’ve ever tasted.

  • Zippy Zinfandels complement rich foods

    While most major grape varieties are European in origin, there is one member of the “Vinifera” family (those actually not native to America) that has become distinctly an offspring of the U.S., and that is Zinfandel. Its roots have been traced to Italy and Yugoslavia, but grape scientists are unable to pinpoint its real home.

  • Fondue party fetes mother-in-law on birthday



    Gloria Yoder


    Summer is rapidly turning to autumn and we will soon be heading back home to Illinois.

  • A feast at Boulevard Bistro

    A mother-and-daughter team are the proprietors of one of the newest restaurants in Citrus County, with a menu still evolving based on the desires of patrons.

    “We listened to our customers,” said Michelle Colbert and her mother, Kathy Weiler, who opened the Boulevard Bistro in Citrus Springs just over a year ago.

  • Highlander returns, and a tip for better batter

    Many folks in Citrus County will be happy to know The Highlander cafe on Citrus Avenue in Crystal River has reopened with all the same wonderful specialties by owner Natalie McPherson.

    The popular eatery was closed much of the summer, but a call last Friday to Natalie confirmed the restaurant is open again and welcomes past and future patrons.

  • Tasting methods, as all things, a matter of taste

    I suspect many gentle readers have read the Consumer Reports magazine ratings of various mass-market wines. They hit the mark pretty well, listing a bunch of medium-priced (mostly $8 to $12), widely produced labels — recommendations for “every person,” if you will.

    The problem with these appraisals is the nature of wine itself: It does not lend itself to evaluation. It does not go from 0 to 60 in 6.8 seconds, nor will it open a can of tuna in no time, or provide the viewer with umpteen pixels per square inch.

  • Plucking, ponies and pies

    By Gloria Yoder

  • Doing dinner ‘Dockside’

    It’s a “Southern-style deli with an Italian twist,” plus a stunning view of King’s Bay in Crystal River.

    That’s how owner and Florida native Kimberly LaMartina describes her Brooklyn Dockside Deli, a sandwich and salad venue now offering a full dinner service as well.