Saturday, July 7, 2012

As American as Baseball and Mangos?

Dunedin Blue Jays Stadium Home of the DJ's ( their Single-A  Affiliates)
Happy Belated 4th of July.  The weather is hot and the sport is Baseball.  We in Florida are the home of so many Spring Training Camps.  Of course during training season prices change  but the stadiums are still the same.  Closest to me is the Dunedin Blue Jay Stadium that serves the Dunedin DJs, Single-A affiliate farm team for the Canadian team, member of the American League.  Games are inexpensive and often accompanied by all kind of associated events like Wing night, Barbecue Night, Thirsty Thursday $2.00 Beers, Car Shows, Sleepovers, Fireworks, etc.   A lot of fun can be had for a $6.00 admission.  A senior season pass for 70 plus games costs $79.00. The games feature the local DJs with all manner of  disciplined or recovering pros that are here for a period of time and keep the game very interesting.  As you can imagine the local team is made up of starting players, sometimes, so new they don't even have statistics!

The small cozy stadium makes baseball fun again
Regardless, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to drive 10 minutes and park in front of the stadium for free and have a good time.  I have never seen the game from this close in either Dodger or Philly Stadiums.    I have some friends that have a season ticket and are often out of town so they disperse their tickets amongst interested parties of the UU congregation.  So far I have made it to three games and each one has been all the things that baseball used to be for me as kid growing up in Cuba.  Families come and the kids run around the stadium and local roaming hosts have frozen t-shirt contest, or do some kind of quiz show between plays to offer up prizes to the very intimate audience.  So it is, that we celebrated the 4th in this patriotic pastime that is as American as apple pie.
The Mango tree has responded to good weather and lots of TLC
Unfortunately, we don't grow apples or cherries in Florida so we may need to update our saying here to "as American as Mangos?"  Maybe not.  The mild winter has allowed all the nutrients I have pumped into the Mango Tree to produce a respectable crop of mangos.  

A few more mangos to be harvested will give me a chance to catch up eating
Unfortunately, most ripen at the same time.  I am sure that with the rain, pruning and the feedings I have given the tree, it is now well on its way to provide regular and possibly even more bountiful crops in future years. 
Production processing of the crop

As is, the mango tree has provided enough mangos for a few families of ten.  I have started processing the beauties and storing them sliced with some lemon juice frozen or just refrigerated.  Mangos can be very messy to eat so pealing them and slicing them all out once makes the eating a lot more fun when you choose to.   So every morning I have a cup of two of fresh mangos.  Believe me, there is nothing more delicious or naturally sweet.  

Next training season I think I will check out the pro teams.  The Philadelphia Phillies are a few minutes further away in Clearwater, apparently, in a fancier stadium.  By the way we trounced the visiting team.  I can't even tell who it was for they are as unknown as the DJs, but who cares we had a great time!  Happy Gardening!

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