Have you ever heard the term, Circle of Love? I think this family either coined it themselves or inspired its creation. I have never been better loved and taken care of by strangers, before in my life.
If everyone lived their lives this magnaminously open and with this lofty and courageous of a spirit — the world would be absolute magic. Everyone would feel the utmost love, utmost respect and utmost contentment.
We sailed into Jen Reyneri’s home just as she’d broken her toe. Makani, age 5 1/2 was concocting a recipe for us called Shoog Sugar. And Luke, age 16 mos. and perfectly naked, was curled up with his mom.
Indicating her 5 year old son, Jen said “We’re still learning about putting together flavors. I always let him, he needs to learn.” She said this as Makani dumped several tablespoons of expensive bamboo salt into a bowl full of strawberries and chocolate syrup. Makani also incured his first culinary wound while making Shoog Sugar.
After putting together a few appetizers for us and getting everyone dressed, bandaged and shoed. We took off for the beach across the street to watch the sunset.
When we returned it was time get down to business and make dinner of fresh fish fingers, cuban black beans (from Luis Reyneri’s Cuban Grandmother’s recipe) topped with fruit salsa and served alongside fresh wilted greens. We stayed up joking and laughing into the night.
The next morning Jen prepared Strawberry Empanadas and we had fresh squeezed florida grapefruit juice, the best any of us had every had. We drove away very sadly, because frankly, none of us wanted to leave this slice of heaven alongside the beach with the beautiful garden and even more beautiful family.
“This is an abundant life. Money isn’t important. We were all born with talents and at the end, God is going to ask you – SO, what did you do with what I gave you?” – Jen Reyneri
Take 3-4 Fresh Fish Fillets (We used a mystery fish I’d caught the day before in Key West and it was DELICIOUS, thank you very much)
Jen recommends using Grouper, Snapper or Tuna.
Slice your fillets into strips, about two fingers wide and two pinkie fingers long. Coat them in raw egg and then potato buds. Sprinkle with Lemon Pepper, generously.
Heat Canola Oil, fry for 2-3 Minutes per side, depending on thickness.
Let drain for a few minutes on a paper towel and serve with lemon wedges. These fingers will taste very fresh and flavorful. Serve with tartar sauce if you wish.