Florida - The Sunshine State
Updated: Mar 24, 2022
Official Motto: In God We Trust
Suggested Motto: At Florida Man We Laugh
Two Truths and a Lie
The Florida capitol building in Tallahassee consists of a neoclassical structure with a stainless steel dome. Space was tight in the 1970s, so the government built a high-rise office building directly behind the historic structure and claimed: “the Old Capitol will be like a jewel worn by the New.”
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, one distraught Florida man built a monument to peace in his own front yard. The monument features metal whales bursting from the grass and a smattering of dolphins’ dorsal fins.
The city of Miami was established 42 years before Jamestown and 55 years before Plymouth, making it the oldest European-founded city in the United States.
The Recipe - Citrus Charged Sugar Cookies
For many reasons, Florida stands out from the rest of the United States. (I try to keep this blog PG, so many of the juiciest stories will not be discussed here.) Florida is the only state to border both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast. It is the flattest state in the country, Britton Hill reaches only 345 feet above sea level. Also, it is the only state within the continental U.S. to enjoy a tropical climate.
I struggled to decide on a recipe for this state. I thought of riffing on the state dessert: key lime pie, or honoring the beloved Guava and Cheese Pastelitos of south Florida. Sadly, neither guava nor key limes were available in a Nebraska supermarket in February. So I decided to make a soft sugar cookie that would crumble like the sand on Florida’s many beaches.
I wanted citrus to balance the sweetness and honor the state’s agriculture. Florida grows more grapefruits than anywhere else in the nation, so I added grapefruit zest to the cookie dough. I also included orange zest to honor the state fruit and orange blossom water to honor the state flower.
After baking, I made a traditional buttercream frosting with orange and grapefruit juice. I really like the citrus flavor so I overdid the juice and caused the frosting to split, but it was so tasty I used it anyway. I piped two-toned flowers to resemble the blossoms on the Florida State Seal.
These were so delicious! They were very sweet but had a lovely tart, floral note that lingered on the tongue. Those fresh citrusy notes do seem to taste like sunshine, so these cookies made a fitting tribute to the Sunshine State.
Want to experience Florida for yourself? Then Teresa recommends ...
Florida is the perfect place to flee the bleak midwinter of the Midwest. A dear friend of mine moved down there and I have loved visiting her in Melbourne, near the Atlantic Coast. I love seeing the amazing flora and fauna in the interior, I love the incredible bird watching and most of all, I love the beach. On my last visit, I went swimming morning and afternoon then waded in the waves at night and danced on the sand in the moonlight. I need to visit again soon.
If you can’t make it, but like bawdy satire, check out “Skinny Dip” by Carl Hiaasen.
Time for the whole truth
St. Augustine, Florida, is the oldest European city in the U.S.
(By the way, you can click on any of the 2 truths and a lie statements to visit the source of the trivia)