Has Spring Sprung?

February 2nd: A ladybug works on a soon to open "Colonel Fiery" Camellia Japonica blossom.

Based on weather reports of a blizzard in the western U.S. and Colorado, the answer to that question is: Not everywhere. But, in what was no great surprise around these parts yesterday morning, our local resident groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting that our Spring will be early. Ummm, more like right now…I would say! Continue reading

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Communing in the Garden

The Mural at the Oakhurst Community Garden.

For all things produced in a garden, whether of salads or fruits, a poor man will eat better that has one of his own, than a rich man that has none.
–  J. C. Loudoun

Amazingly, we now have 3 community gardens that I’m familiar with inside a less than 3 mile radius here in the Decatur area, as well as several farm to table school gardens and some urban organic gardens supplying local restaurants. In fact, almost every house has a garden of some sort around here! In part, this can be attributed to the likes of Farmer D, who has made it his mission to bring organic and bio-dynamic gardening—and the reaped rewards of it—to every child and adult’s table in Georgia. And being that I’m a very frustrated organic gardener myself, every now and then I like to go and visit some of those gardens that have more sun than I do and therefore can grow those things that I cannot. Continue reading

D-Con, D-Book Festival and Some De-licious Sliders

A sailing machine of some sort...anyone know what this is, besides amazing?

Not sure, but I think these folks may have just come from a dip in the pool after walking the 1/2 mile parade in the heat!

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! Continue reading

words, no pictures

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebratory day. It was my friend’s birthday, and we had lunch together at a great new local restaurant. Later that evening, my husband and I had been invited to the home of more friends—some we don’t see often enough—for a dinner party, and I was making a peach crisp to take for dessert. Continue reading

BSP, What You Mean to Me

LOTS has been written about the Brick Store Pub here in Decatur, GA. The owners—Dave Blanchard, Mike Gallagher and Tom Moore—get much due praise and press for their accomplishments with “The Brick,” as it is fondly known, and for Leon’s Full Service. They certainly deserve credit for bringing Belgian beer and Belgian style beers and ales to the palettes of Decaturites—as well as bringing Atlanta to Decatur to drink them—and their selection and skill in pouring draft is, in my opinion, the best in town. They have some pretty darn good eats at the Brick, too, including a recently updated menu featuring some tasty new items along with some old favorites, and I’ll talk more about that in a minute. Continue reading

Local News Bit: Growlers at Sherlock’s

Our own Decatur Sherlock’s Wine Merchants is now pouring growlers!

I’m on their email list and they announced it a couple of days ago, but I was in there today and saw their set-up with my very own eyes. Right now they are pouring Allagash White, Bell’s Brewing Amber Ale, Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale and Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, and Warner says they’ll probably switch one out to a Creme Brulee Stout this weekend…hmmm, sounds delish!

Quick Sip: Ale Yeah!

Last Saturday we stopped by the relatively new local craft beer market, Ale Yeah!, which we are oh-so-lucky to have in our little hamlet of Decatur, GA. It’s a very pleasurable experience to step into this nice, cool, store, filled to the brim with American craft beers—beer from all over the world, actually—and with gracious owners and staff on hand to explain and inform. And not only do they have beer, but they also have other local and regional goodies to go with it including fine cheeses from farms like SweetGrass Dairy, local preserves and jams, sausages and cured meats, pretzels, coffees, chocolates, and more. Plus they have all the supplies you need to make your own brews at home. And perhaps best of all…they have Growlers. Continue reading

A Rosé By Any Other Name…

One beautiful sunny summer day 11 years ago, while sitting in a little bistro in a small village overlooking the Mediterranean in the south of France, I tasted my first glass of a Provençal rosé wine. The moment I breathed in the fragrance of it—the grass, the flowers, the fruit, the slight minerality—I started to understand and really appreciate the difference between red and white wines, and what can happen in between. At that moment, I became a devout fan, and rosé is now my favorite warm weather wine. Continue reading

Summer in the South: A Few of My Favorite Things

Easy, refreshing and delicious Buttermilk-Basil Sorbet

Summer has not been my favorite of the seasons. Of course as a child, there were some things I really liked about it: no school, swimming and vacation were chief amongst them. But summer is always hot here in the South…really hot. And I like cooler weather better.

As time goes on, though, I’m coming back around to appreciating summer again­—it does have a lot going for it, after all. Longer and lazier days, cooking outdoors, taking a dip in cold bodies of water, and tons of fresh produce. Here’s my little laundry list of a few of my favorite things about summer, the things I look forward to—most of which are food and drink related, of course! What are yours? Continue reading