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Life in Solivita and Central Florida

Since most of our residents have had their second vaccines, Solivita is starting to buzz with activity once again. Our Ceramics Gallery is open for classes, our Art Gallery is open for watercolor, acrylic and oil classes, and our Dragon Boat Club is on the lake paddling. The Men’s Softball Clinic and the Pickleball Clinic is getting back in the game too and any moment we expect Water Volleyball to resume.

Our clubs are starting to resume In Person Meetings and trips are in the planning to local venues and travel to far-away places. It is nice to pass the horseshoe pits and once again hear the ring of shoes hitting the stake, see groups of folks out having fun again tossing balls around, enjoying walks in the parks, fishing, and gathering at the tennis and pickleball courts. Our pools are heated to the perfect temperature and folks are out and about resuming water exercises, swimming, and enjoying the fun of safely sharing time with old friends and enjoying the chance to make some new ones.

In April Lee and I took a morning off and went Blueberry Picking with friends at our local Blueberry Farm in Haines City. Not only was it fun, but it was a great morning out. The morning dew was still on the berries, the sky was clear, and it turns out Blueberry picking is quite easy. The bushes are about 5 – 6’ tall, making this adventure fun, easy and tasty. Last time I picked Strawberries my back hurt for days. Florida Blueberries are sweet, juicy and are delicious fresh picked, or frozen for use later. So far we have enjoyed Blueberry Cake and Pie, Blueberry Pancakes, Blueberry Salad Dressing, and lots of Blueberry smoothies. I am sharing my Blueberry Corncake recipe with y’all, it is delicious and made a tasty breakfast. All ideas for fresh blueberries appreciated. We were too busy during Strawberry Season to go to the Strawberry Festival or to go Strawberry Picking this year, but we surely made up for lost time with the baskets of Blueberries we picked.

Recipe for Blueberry Cake

1 1/3 Cup yellow cornmeal
1 Cup AP Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
2.5 Tsp. baking powder
¼ Tsp Salt
1 Large Lemon
1 Egg Lightly Beaten
1 5/3 Oz. Carton Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
½ Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter, melted
1 ¼ Cup Fresh Blueberries
2 Tsp. Sliced Almonds
1 Tbsp Honey

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9 x 5” loaf pan. Stir together the first 5 ingredients and make a well in center of flour mixture.

Remove 1 Tbsp zest and squeeze 3 Tbsp juice from lemon. In a separate bowl combine lemon zest, 1 Tbsp of the juice, and the next 4 ingredients (through butter). Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with almonds.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine remaining 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice and honey.

Immediately brush loaf with honey mixture. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and Store Overnight before slicing for breakfast the next morning.