Monday, April 30, 2012

Southern Spring Holiday: recapped

 tunes :: Alison Krauss
from A Hundred Miles or More
(actually, just listen to the whole album)

a truth found on the walls of the country music musuem
I find myself headed to new food adventures, while I've still not recorded the details of the south. While you might not be exactly holding your breath, I have to stick to my vision of using The Last Bite as a food memory journal for myself. Excuse me as I briefly recap the destinations that we hit, certainly not giving them due attention, but reminding my future self what we encountered and experienced.

Lexington, KY:
Spalding's bakery,
detailed in southern holiday part 1

Roswell, GA (suburb of Atlanta):
We had a wonderful dinner here with friends.  You know how closely food is tied to emotions, so when you're really enjoying company of the ones you are dining with, great food tastes even better. Magical, even.

Nashville, TN:
Pucketts grocery
A total disappointment. Recommended by concierge and guidebooks, but no one had a good meal here.  Sometimes food is just fuel. ;)

Arnold's (included for free: a stroll with four kids through a construction riddled ghetto)
rightfully hailed as one of the great 'meat and three's.  Chaos and long lines abound, but it's all worth it.

Capitol grille (not related to the chain of the northeast) -
Creatively sound, but fell a little short on execution for us. For example, mac and cheese was made with very sharp flavorful cheese, but it was very under salted. White beans woefully undercooked in my bean soup.

Mas tacos por favor -
An out of the way Mexican heaven. I seriously wish this were closer to Ann Arbor.  Strangely enough, this was probably our best meal in Nashville. Not just well executed, but creative.  My favorite tacos were the fried avocado and the sweet potato with quinoa.  All tacos topped with a pleasantly spicy cabbage slaw and cilantro.

Apparently Nashvill-ians are upset that this spot is now known by tourists like me.  But I would have to disagree.  I'm glad someone let this jewel slip onto the national scene. Very refreshingly unique fruit pops.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Earth day

Sometimes planting a tree is a spiritual experience. Pecan tree, welcome to my garden.

Friday, April 20, 2012


to spread on crostini & sandwiches; toss with pasta, rice, potatoes; dress a salad

ingredients seen above:
2 cups black pitted olives
2 tbsp capers, rinsed
6 thin anchovy filets
one garlic clove
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1tsbp tomato paste (can be left out if you are a purist. but i like that extra dimension of acidity)

You can chop and combine this by hand, on a board if you want a rough cut.
Otherwise pulse in food processor.
As I have mentioned before, a house favorite is this spread on a baguette with fresh mozzarella.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bending Sickle

From April's share: a fresh chicken. Stuffed with oranges and thyme.
 Generously kosher salted and peppered.
Roasted at 425deg for 15 min, 375deg for 40.
Thank you, Benjamin!

olives, gorgonzola, radishes, and local Thompson/Cornman honey. perfect noshing while the bird was roasting.

Monday, April 16, 2012

while you're waiting

for me to write the remainder of my southern spring holiday tale, check this out!
Get your tickets for next Tuesday!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

buzzing and humming

Bee Somebody  :: A very fun and informative blog/website about urban beekeeping.

& the band who opened for Ingrid Michaelson last night -- Pearl and the Beard
It's always a little dangerous to have an opening band that rivals the main act.  Good old Ingrid knows how to keep them coming back.  It was a fantastic show last night, all around!

Southern Holiday: Part 1

You all... I mean, y'all know how much I daydream about living in the South.  There's some sort of a visceral pull I have to the culture; yes, to the food. But more exciting to me is the way that it's entwined into the community at large.  May not be true in every southern situation, but in my daydreams this spirit lives and thrives.  That's why I look forward to these opportunities to visit southern cities -- to see how my visions match up with reality. 

On the way to visiting old friends in a suburb of Atlanta, we sleep in Lexington, KY.  After surveying and rejecting an especially nasty Waffle house, we decide to go out of the way to find what John T. Edge refers to in Southern Belly as the best donuts in the south.  I'm a huge fan, by the way... of both his donut suggestion and his writing.  This bakery was 'for. real.'  Not in any way different than it would have been decades ago.  A classic. Lucky Lexington.

right across from the Jif peanut butter factory
love the mismatched authenticity of these beauties

best ever:  tasted more like a warm zeppole or carnival funnel cake.  amazing.
the bounty

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

be bold with bananas?

Sent to me from a good friend as a potential cookbook that I might want to look into.  (kidding...)

Don't look at this if you're queasy.  But if you've got a sense of humor and a strong stomach, look at the final recipe suggestion.  Yes, it involves mayonnaise... and a maraschino cherry.