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Ernest Hemingway House, Key West, Florida #travel #writing

When we visited Key West, I noticed the Ernest Hemingway House Museum and suggested to my long-suffering husband that this could be our bit of “culture” for the day. Although I know of Hemingway, I’ve never read his books (I know. Big gasp.) but, other writers interest me and seeing their offices is always fascinating.

Ernest lived and wrote at his Key West house for around ten years. He purchased the property in 1931 after he and his wife fell in love with the area.

The house, as it stands now, is full of furniture collected by the Hemingway’s during their time in Europe plus paintings and copies of his book. Descendants of Hemingway’s cats also have free run of the property. It’s said he acquired his original six-toed tom cat from a sea captain after he took a liking to the cat.

He built a swimming pool at a cost of around $20000. Very expensive at the time and the only one in the area.

There is a writing studio out the back of the house, which I adored. I wanted to move in and start writing straightaway.

Hemingway divorced his wife Pauline in 1940 and moved to Cuba with his third wife, returning now and then to Key West until his death by suicide in 1961. He was very productive during his time in Key West writing books such as A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Death in the Afternoon, The Green Hills of Africa, To Have and Have Not and Islands in the Stream.

Source: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/

Hemingway House

Me outside the Hemingway Museum.

Hemingway House

The front view of the house.

And me again!

A painting of Hemingway

A painting of Hemingway.

Hemingway Books

Some of Hemingway’s books.

Interior

Bedroom

This is the main bedroom with one of the descendants of Hemingway’s cat.

Writing Studio

These are the stairs that lead up to Hemingway’s writing studio.

Writing office

Hemingway wrote in this office. It was bright and light and airy, and I coveted his office. I’m certain I could write great masterpieces in this office. :-)

Want One For a Pet?

Vulture sign

Vultures

We took these photos at the Everglades. The vultures were hanging around on the footpath and gave me the creeps. They’re ugly and were a bit smelly. I preferred the alligators.

Would you like one of these for a pet?

Key Lime Pie on a Stick

One of the great things about travel is getting to try new and unfamiliar foods. Before we arrived in Florida people told us that we must have some Key Lime Pie. Everyone had a lot to say about where to get the best pie, and we knew proper Key Lime Pie wasn’t bright green. It should be a creamy color and not full of green food coloring as some of the pies are, especially for tourists.

While we were wandering down a road in Key West I saw a sign for Key Lime Pie on a Stick.

“Let’s buy one,” I said to my husband.

Key Lime Pie on Stick

And yes, I know you won’t have any idea what it looked like since we only thought of a photo when we were almost finished eating the Key Lime Pie on a Stick. I can tell you that it was delicious. Key Lime Pie on a Stick is, as the name suggests, a piece of Key Lime Pie dipped in a thick layer of chocolate. The pie itself is tart and very limey, sort of catch your breath tart but definitely delicious.

The secret is the special Key Limes, which are smaller than the limes you’re probably familiar with.

Once we arrived home I decided to try my hand at a Key Lime Pie, using the limes off our own tree. After searching for recipes I decided on Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

To make the crust:

• 12 digestive biscuits
• 45g caster sugar (1 oz)
• 135g melted butter (1/2 cup)

Crush the biscuits, add the sugar and the butter. Press mixture into a greased pie tin. Spread up the sides of the tin too. Bake for 10 minutes at 175 C/ 350 F or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven to cool.

To make the filling:

• 4 egg yolks
• 400ml condensed milk – this is one tin in New Zealand
• 6 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
• Lime zest (optional), to serve

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add the condensed milk. Mix in the lime juice and pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes and cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Decorate with grated lime zest and whipped cream if desired.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added lime zest and some of the flesh of the lime to my pie filling to make it sharper.

2. When you’re cooking the base, make sure you don’t use a spring form tin because butter will leak out the bottom. I speak with the voice of experience. My oven was a mess!

3. This pie was delicious, although not as sharp to the palate as the original Key Lime Pie.

Key Lime Pie Slice

Have you tried Key Lime Pie before? Do you like to try new and unfamiliar foods?