It’s D-weekend (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) and a lot is going on in the big city. We decided to try something new and headed downtown to see the Dragon Con Parade, which kicks off the world’s largest fantasy/SF convention, held annually in Atlanta, GA, on Labor Day weekend. Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans come from everywhere, donned in their finest Star Wars, Star Trek, Road Warrior, Alien, Thunder Dome, Ghost Busters, Harry Potter (or at least we saw Snape there), Dr. Who, and any and all other related costumes you can possibly think of, and some you couldn’t imagine. We saw a working replica of a truck from Thunder Dome that some 10 people were riding, and a time machine. There’s some serious money laid down for this, people!
After the parade, (attended by thousands of folks, I’d wager) the paid attendees pile into several hotels connected by bridges, which are host to a multitude of art shows, vendor booths, lectures, celebrity events, workshops, gaming, parties, and of course…a costume contest. The general public is allowed inside the hotels to people watch and to take in the scene, which is what we did. Let me tell you, these folks are having the most fun to be had in Atlanta this weekend, if you’re into this kind of thing. I didn’t know who most of the characters were, with the exception of the Wookie, but they LOVED having their pictures taken, and so we obliged and hung out until the time was up on our parking meter. This was a lot of fun and I’m gonna try and catch it next year in time to see the beginning of the parade, too. Here’s some more of the great costumes…
As I said, we ran out of meter time, as well as the free part of the event, so we headed back east towards Decatur to check out the 6th Annual AJC Decatur Book Festival, the largest independent book festival in the country.
We started off at the Decatur Library, where they were having their annual book sale. It was well into the afternoon by then, so this was the last of the sale, but we still snagged a couple of interesting books—and of course mine was a cookbook…big surprise! Here’s my wonderful hubby holding our loot. New apple recipes for the upcoming season, stay tuned. folks!
We moseyed on up to the square where there were tons of tents set up for the booksellers, publishing houses and advertisers. In previous years, we’ve always looked forward to seeing the McSweeney’s tent from San Francisco. They are basically an art house, both from a literary and visual point of view, and publish some truly amazing quarterly issues of a “magazine” that’s one of the most creative things in print. Alas, they didn’t show this year, a great disappointment. And in fact, the festival seemed much smaller to us this year all around, I’m sorry to say. As is always the case around here on Labor Day weekend, it was hot, so we were overjoyed to see “The King of Pops” on the square, selling his luscious hand-made popsicles in flavors combos that boggle the imagination. His favorite of the day was a pineapple ginger, and we both got one. The sweet and tart pineapple with the peppery pop of fresh ginger hit the spot. What can be better than a popsicle on a hot summer day, anyway? It just makes the world a better place. I could have eaten three, but let one do the trick for me this time. Other flavors he had on hand included raspberry lime, ricotta lemon and a salted chocolate…just to name a few. The flavors change every day and throughout the day, so you’re always going to have a different selection. If you’re ever in Atlanta, Decatur, Asheville or Charleston, check out his schedule (he’s like a food truck in that he rotates around the cities) and get yourself some icy goodness!
Next on our list was to grill some sliders for dinner! I like to keep my sliders very simple. I’d purchased some wonderful locally sourced and pasture raised ground chuck that was on sale for the holiday weekend, and to this I added some chopped red onion for flavor and moisture, several dashes of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and then mixed well with my hands. I make my patties out of about 1/3 cup of the meat mixture, shape them and then put an indention in the center so they’ll cook evenly. We grill them over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side, and serve them on slider buns or small rolls with some caramelized onions, cheddar or blue cheese, a little mustard and some sweet pickle, or you can create your own favorite toppings, of course.
We also had a pretty and sweet little watermelon—probably the last of the season—that I seeded and cut into large chunks and added some crumbled, salty feta cheese and some fresh slivered basil to make a watermelon salad. You can use fresh mint instead of basil, and season your salad with a little salt and fresh ground pepper before serving. And to finish off our plate I halved some small potatoes, topped them with sweet butter, salt and pepper and made grilled “Baked” potatoes…simple and good.
All in all, a perfect end to a fun and D-lightful day. Happy Labor Day, everyone!