The Sneaky Kitchen is a lot like your grandmother's house: full of recipe cards, Tupperware, and old stories. Its founder, Bess Metcalf, has lived in Miami for over forty years, likes to cook, apparently sells Tupperware, Fuller brushes, and Avon products, and has a lot of stories to tell about Allapattah, many of them linked to recipes.
Mostly she makes Miami sound like an enchanted forest full of wondrous animals:
"Dairies, groves and truck farms abounded until the early twenties when the land boom started crowding out agriculture. Most of the major nurseries were still based in Allapattah in the sixties, although many did much of their growing down south closer to Homestead, having profitably sold their land. There was at that time a lot of vacant land, overgrown with huge old live oak trees dripping with ghostly Spanish moss, the ground a tangle of palmetto scrub and weeds, fluttery with native butterflies. Snakes, big-eared wood rats, squirrels, gopher turtles, opossums and frogs abounded, along with an amazing variety of birds. Parrots, parakeets, small monkeys, huge iguanas and other big lizards and pie-plate size poisonous Surinam toads, all escapees from the many exotic animal import companies in the area, were a source of amusement and amazement."
It's worth taking the nostalgic tour around the site, if only to find a recipe for some latkes or quimbombo con carne (okra with beef.)-Emily Witt
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.