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Posts Tagged ‘Food’

How to have a great time in New Orleans around Mardi Gras without losing your money, mind or morals
By Beth, Bon Vivant

So you’re headed to The Big Easy, and you want to make sure your trip doesn’t end up going viral on social media for all the wrong reasons? I hear you. I’m here to help with a short list of DOs and DON’Ts:

DO:
• Go with a long-time friend who is very familiar with the area and has a hat you can borrow when you get cold.

Wendy, Beth and Wendy’s hat. And new bead necklaces. (More on those in a moment.)

• Fortify yourself with Char-Grilled oysters from Felix’s. (Don’t wait in the line for the inferior Acme across the street. And don’t wait in the Felix’s line on Iberville: Go around to the one on Bourbon.)

• Appreciate the wit of The Crescent City denizens.

• Take advantage of smaller parades when they pop up as you are walking down the street. People in the parade will force beads on you whether you want them or not.


• Blend in with the rest of the tourists at a packed dance place.

• Say “Oh HELL yes” when your long-time friend wants to go to the Chewbacchus parade, which features a multitude of Chewbaccas (Chewbacci?).

• Marvel at the coordination it took to get so many different groups on board — groups like the Leijorettes.

• Admire festive outfits.

• Make friends with law enforcement officials. You’ll want them feeling friendly toward you should you make any mistakes. (Not that I did. I was very well behaved. But Officer Cummings and I became chums anyway.)

• Sample season-specific cocktails.

 

DON’T:
• Sample too many season-specific cocktails. Or too many of any, really.

• Pay attention to certain calls for action. Everyone has a smartphone and social media account!

• Argue if anyone says the Saints got robbed (“Blow whistles, not games“).

Laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!

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Dear Vegans,

God bless you, every one. How do you manage to find things to eat every day?

I’m sure things have gotten slightly easier for you (as more and more people make the choice), but it certainly is a challenge to find food that is completely free from animal products.

Eddie and I are hosting friends next month, one of whom is one of you. I’ve been road-testing recipes: shepherd’s pie, chickpea and avocado wraps, tamales, etc.

Japanese gyoza nearly was the death of me, though.

It’s one of my favorite things to make, thanks to the excellent tutelage of my friend Miwa.

However, I usually buy the pre-made skins from the Asian market down the road. It makes life so much easier.

But said skins have eggs.

Ruh roh, Raggy.

So I went to the vegan section of Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck). I found wonton skins, which will do in a pinch. Checked ingredients list to be safe.

So those wouldn’t work. I went to two other granola-people stores. No luck. In fact, one helpful cashier checked his supplier’s site to see if vegan wonton/gyoza/dumpling/potsticker wrappers existed. They don’t, apparently.

Back at home, I decided to make my own.

Oh yes, I did.

And that’s how I found myself up to my eyebrows in brown rice and tapioca flour yesterday afternoon.

I don’t have photos of the process because my hands were covered in flour for hours. I do have an image of the (uncooked) finished product:

As for the taste, I’d say they closely resembled my usual recipe. A little off, but not by much.

If anything, this little experiment has made me aware of just how many animal products we consume daily — even when we don’t think we are consuming any.

Wishing you all the best, and hoping you continue to have more and better options,
Beth

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Review of Isle of Hope carriage house:

As this is a new listing, I didn’t know what to expect. I shouldn’t have worried: My five-night stay with Lisa and Rob was fantastic. Even their children, Cole and Cali, made me feel welcome by inviting me to play Unicorn Magic Ring Toss and Old Maid.

Lisa and Rob are exceptional hosts. They always had red wine on tap, offered me a homemade burrito, and Lisa went with me to various Savannah hotspots including The Jinx, Barrelhouse South, Congress Street Social Club, the Georgia Tasting Room and 17Hundred90. She even paid for parking. Now that’s a great host!

The carriage house had everything I needed to make my stay perfect — including something dead.

I would recommend the Isle of Hope carriage house any time. Two thumbs up!
Beth

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Dear 2019:

Despite the fact that I likely won’t be awake to officially welcome you (I’m elderly and need my sleep), I really am looking forward to seeing you.

[As for you, 2018, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Good riddance (we did not have the time of our lives).]

Readers who have been with me here for a while know that I’m not a resolution kind of gal. Why wait to make changes you need to make?

I needed to start a diet, so I did — in September.

I needed to rethink some relationships, so I did — in July.

I needed to get a project back on track, so I did — in February.

All that said, the first day of the new year offers a good time to reflect. And I have looked inside myself and found some internal shriveling. Hence (such a good word), here’s how I hope to improve while I’m in you, 2019:

  1. Refrain from strangling Dominic for one more year. It’s so hard. He’s 14; the hormones are strong with this one. Eddie and I take turns playing Good Cop and Bad Cop. Today, Eddie was Bad Cop, telling Dominic to turn in some missing school work. Then I get this text:
  2. Let Gideon hold my hand, even when his hand is clammy. His hand is always clammy. Or sticky. Dear God, WHY is his hand always clammy or sticky?
  3. Stop telling Gideon his hand is clammy/sticky, and that he needs to wash WITH SOAP.
  4. Resist the urge to roll my eyes at Eddie. Ever. No matter what silly thing he is asking/doing/saying. At least where he can see me. And he will do the same for me. (And believe me, I give him plenty of opportunities.)
  5. Avoid being a beer snob. If all they have is Coors Light or PBR, just walk away. Get some water, maybe even out of the garden hose (same difference). No need to make a big deal of it.
  6. Cut down on collecting dead things. Photos of dead things can be fine. And friends posting about dead things on my social media also is fine. And live things too.
  7. Refuse to engage with toxic people. Clearly, I’ll have to give up Twitter. (But then I’ll miss people posting about dead things and live things.)
  8. Write more; talk less. And don’t get sidetracked by Words With Friends. (Is this appropriate? Probably. I don’t know him.)
  9. Seek help for my Amazon Prime addiction. The plus side of this is that Christmas shopping was done by October.
  10. Invite people over. Yes, our apartment is the size of the Keebler tree. No one cares.
  11. Use the following words every chance I get: savory, shank, persnickety, moist, perfunctory, shocking, lollygag, kerfuffle, fracas, soiree, illicit, nefarious, supine, incandescent, degloved and mollycoddle. They just have a remarkable mouthfeel.

As for you, 2019, we will chat again when your 90-day probationary period is up. And mine too, I guess.

Happy new you,
Beth

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Dear Retailers Who Start Decorating for Christmas Around Halloween:

There’s a special place in Hell for you. Sorry, not sorry. By doing this, you skip over one of the most important days (well, what should be one of the most important days) of the year: Thanksgiving.

Despite its rather-odious origin, Thanksgiving provides a good time to take stock of your life and be happy for what you have.

Look, I’m not great at this. In fact, a quick check of this blog reveals I haven’t done this publicly since 2012.

While much on that list has remained the same, today I am thankful for these particular things:

Jason Momoa

Dear God. This fine creature is No. 7 on the list.

  1. Friends and family who “get” me. For example, I am fortunate enough to have a spouse and at least one child who went willingly along as I planned a Thanksgiving trip (more on that later) and brought Hando. (The other child, not so much. He’s 13 and permanently cranky.)
  2. The ability and inclination to travel.
  3. Funny, wise and supportive work colleagues (you know who you are).
  4. An endless supply of taxidermy (and related products) on the Internet and in physical stores.
  5. The bacon-imprinted blanket Trish gave me. It’s the softest thing ever.
  6. WiFi.
  7. Jason Momoa, you sexy bastard.
  8. Willpower to stay on a strict diet (22 pounds less of me so far, in case you were wondering).
  9. Creature Comforts’ Athena, my favorite beer.
  10. Apothic Red. It’s just an eminently drinkable red blend.
  11. The fact that I’m clearly not an alcoholic, as I’ve been able to stay away from No. 9 and 10 because of 8.
  12. Coffee.
  13. Diet-sanctioned almond milk for No. 12.
  14. Labeling of products in other countries (see photo below).
  15. Leaves that change color.
  16. Uno.
  17. Airbnb.
  18. Words with “ack” in them, like “slack,” “crack” and “tacky.”
  19. Dating Hautnah,” the German version of the British show “Naked Attraction” (and it’s on where we are traveling!).
  20. This blog. I used to keep a journal, but I’ve updated my practice thanks to technology. Now I can document all my weird adventures and odd thoughts, and schedule them to post whenever. (A corollary: I am thankful for the readers of these strange musings.)
Good times!

Re: No. 14. I’m not a mayo fan, but this labeling might make me reconsider.

My point is that there is not a direct line from Halloween to Christmas. If you need to divest people of their money, then you can play up the need to be thankful. Guilt is a great motivator.

Talking turkey for real,
Beth

* Thank you, Ariana Grande.

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Dear Loyal (?) Readers:

Want to peek into how my mind works? Here you go:

I read a news story about a guy who swallowed a garden slug on a dare and died. (To be clear, it was eight years later from a disease the slug had called RAT LUNGWORM — gross — but still).

So naturally, I thought of that “What are little boys made of?” poem:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails and puppy dog tails.
That’s what little boys are made of!
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice and all things nice.
That’s what little girls are made of!

And then I started thinking about what I would be made of (hint: It ain’t sugar and all that). And because I’m a little addicted to TV, here’s a guide to me in shows:

Two parts “Jersey Shore Family Vacation (Truth is stranger than fiction. It’s why I became a journalist.)
Two parts “The Amazing Race (I love to travel, and I’m competitive. I would sell a kidney to be on that show.)
One part “Chopped (I like to cook, and I have a pantry full of odd things from the Buford Highway Farmers Market.)
One part “Oddities(This captures my bad taxidermy obsession.)
A large helping of “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce (Because, you know.)
A pinch of “Naked Attraction (I often work blue in non-work situations. I also love Brits. As you know.)
A dash of “Haunting of Hill House (Gore? Jump scares? True crime? I’m in.)

I don’t know, Michael. I don’t know.

Anyway, if you continue to be amused by what crosses my mind and comes out on the page, please subscribe to this blog. If you do already, thanks!

Yours in slugs, lungworm and guidos,
Beth

 

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Dear Bread, Cheese, Beer and Wine:

I miss you. So much. But I can’t have you in my life at the moment. It’s not you. It’s me. (Well, it actually is you, but it’s my choice not to be with you.)

Dominic got some seasoned fries smothered in bright yellow nacho cheese sauce at the ballpark Sunday, and I had to go sit somewhere else.

An email promoting the annual Great Atlanta Beer Fest nearly moved me to tears.

Last night I dreamed about chicken nuggets.

Y’all, I don’t even eat chicken nuggets when I CAN eat chicken nuggets.

My “fat coach” told me the cravings would go away.

My “fat coach” lied.*

My “fat coach” and I are now on a break.

It’s a dark period. The equivalent of Goya’s “Black Paintings.”

I hope to see you in November. The scale will let me know.

Love you; miss you,
Beth

* That’s probably too harsh. I’m sure she really thought they would. We’re not really on a break. She’s giving me space. I really need nachos.

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