AYYYYYYYYY’M MOVING OUT

So if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably been checking up on this site, only to be utterly disappointed on a regular basis.

That being said, I have found that my interest in food has not diminished. My interest in spending an hour or two on each post has, though. Luckily, my ADDHD can be fueled/remedied by a fun little site called tumblr.

So take note Mom, Dad, and the other twelve of you…new content can be found at

http://eathens.tumblr.com

Please adjust your toolbars accordingly.

EDIT:  this is an experiment which may also fail. Whatever.

January 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm 4 comments

Well-seasoned Greetings

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone. I write this post amidst the gift-opening barrage that seems to happen after every Christmas morning. Sweaters are tried on, slippers are slid on, and cinnamon rolls are scarfed down by the triples. Rolling around on my couch, I am drifting in and out of a delirious, over-indulgence coma. Luckily, no one rampant pack of hillbilly hounds ate our wide selection of cookies, candies, and sweets. BUMPUSES!!!

In other news, This year was kind to my pantry and cooking endeavors. Wrapped in a cylindrical bundle of joy came my first of 12 Food Network Magazine issues. What coffee/kitchen table reading that will make! Perhaps there will be star recipes so I can make my very own Bobby Flay Mignon (zing!). The real show stopper was my second of a future smorgasbord of Wusthof Classic kitchen knives. My 8″ chef knife was getting lonely, so luckily I can bring home a 5″ Santoku knife to keep him company.

I ran like Ralphie Parker with my Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle and started chopping. Because after all, nothing screams Christmas like a bunch of cut-up carrots.

I certainly can’t shoot my eye out, though losing a digit or two seems within the realm of possibility. At any rate, I hope all of you who continue to check this blog with frustration had a wonderful holiday. Maybe my gift to you all will be more content. Ha!

December 25, 2009 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

Dekalb Farmer’s Market

I have only loved once in my life. It was only for a fleeting moment, but sometimes an instant can last a lifetime. I was a mere child when I saw her but still remember the day so well. Walking around Harry’s Farmer Market, my eyes rested on what God must have thought of when he created sunsets, waterfalls, and probably bacon(!). She sat shivering with her caramel complexion begging my eight year-old voice to crack a “hello.” I approached her, naive and nervous, worrying my inexperience and lack of taste would fail to appreciate her wonder.

Getting to know her was a majestic experience, and I savored every second. She was sweet, smooth, and oh so appealing. In my childish haste, I rushed away with the glee that would prevent me from asking her name. Who was she? All I knew was her appearance and origin–Norway (oooh, Scandinavian). In the following 15 years, I would never forget her. I scoured the earth, futilely trying to rediscover my one true happiness. Maybe I would see her at Kroger, Publix…even the Norwegian section of Epcot at Disney World? No luck…UNTIL TODAY!

Ladies, gentlemen, meet my long lost love. We are together once more, and I shall never take for granted her grace again. Meet…Ski Queen’s Gjetost Cheese.

It tastes like creamy caramel apples. And it’s awesome. I wish I could tell you more about this goat cheese, but it obviously hasn’t played that big of a part in my life.

I found her at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market in Atlanta. Other things I found?

Cheeeeeap spices

Strawberry cream cheese pastries

Grapeseed oil. Me readings have led me to believe it's better than all other cooking oils.

In my efforts to use all of my goodies, I decided to cook some chicken thighs with jerk sauce, stoneground mustard, shallots, and dried mangoes. It turned out pretty well, though with less color than the crayon box at the hostess stand at any chain restaurant at any suburban shopping center at dinner time. Got ‘at?

December 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm 2 comments

Right now I’m just campin, chillin on campus

A few weeks ago, many of us gave thanks for what we have in our lives. It’s called Thanksgiving, and (like the parents of babies born in August) Canadians choose to do it in October. But hey, to each his own, even if you are just America’s hat. I’m getting off topic, though. Allow me to focus.

When most folks are boarding planes, creating shopping itineraries, or even making up excuses not to see the dreaded in-laws, my family and I decided to take the path less travelled. The weather got colder and wetter, and we packed up our bags to brave the wintry mix. That’s right, we’re going camping!

Well, kinda-camping. You see, back in the day, we used to go old school, with one tent, one stove, and one ring to rule them all. We snickered and mocked those fancy folk who brought campers and RVs to suburban campsites, watching King of Queens reruns on their satellite TVs. But then, things changed. Papa got a brand new bag (or camper if you will), and now we camp in lux-ur-eeee.

Censored to protect the innocent. And my mom and sister.

In keeping with the old tradition, however, we did eat well. Campfire weenies, burgers, and instant oatmeal made no appearances on the menu this week. No sir, only fine dinin’. The primary mode of cooking came from Dutch ovens. This method employs the use of charcoals on the outside of cast iron pots that bake anything you’d like. Our setup looked something like this:

Above is what is considered a camping Dutch oven. This convention is not to be confused with the other, less appetizing (but equally as fun for one party!) form of Dutch oven-ing. In order to avoid being too crude, the end result of this other act of debauchery would look something like this:

Anywhoo, for the first night, we enjoyed some stuffed chicken breasts, steamed in corn husks with sweet and sour sauce. Behold its beauty (and ignore the poor picture quality).

Mmm, mmm, mmm. I felt like Jed Clampett, rustic and elegant. Like Meryl Streep in a log cabin. Like Audrey Hepburn atop a mountain. Like Chris Farley at a ballroom dance. Okay, that last one was just because he was fat, and so was I after finishing up dinner.

The next morning was what I would title a one-night stand with Rachel Ray:  Breakfast, A Highlight.

Dinner that evening was just as fulfilling. Though it did involve cylindrical pork meats, it was kielbasa sausage. And you can’t go wrong with kielbasa. Like Bangers and Mash…with green beans!

That night, of course we campfired. S’mores and mountain pies were made. Beers were drinken-dranked, and good times were had. The show-stopper, week-maker was a simple play of off the traditional s’more. Because the lighting was so poor for quality photography, I shall leave you with the (edited) hallowed words of Ham Porter (adapted from the favorite EAThens.org film, The Sandlot).

First you take the graham. You stick the [REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUP!!!!] on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the [REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUP!!!!]. Then… – you cover it with the other end. Then you stuff. Kind of messy, but good. Try some.

Ah yes, “then you stuff.” How appropriate, Ham. How appropriate. If I had to take a pole of the family, I think we all agreed the entire week was a tent out of tent.

December 7, 2009 at 6:09 pm 1 comment

Monday, Monday

So on this Monday morning, I’m feeling groggy and sure do have..a lot…on my…plate? (GET IT? LIKE FOOD?!??!!) Luckily, I have a bowl of cereal to soothe my weary soul.

When I go to the grocery store, I usually pick up a box of cereal. There are always so many choices, sales, and fun new gimmicks that I can’t pass up on what looks so good.

The decision used to be difficult, stressful almost. Luckily, I perused the interwebs and have found a useful tool. Hopefully you’ll like it, too! If not, enjoy your Bran Flakes, Jeopardy, and 16 cats–you old scrooge.

November 30, 2009 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving

From my table to yours, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

This year, I am thankful for patient readers, who don’t expect too much out of my poor blogging work ethic. But seriously, I am thankful for my friends, my family, and all of you who make me smile the most. I know I wouldn’t be the same without you guys. Happy holidays!

From high noon: Dinner roll, homemade cranberry cup, canned cranberry sauce, homegrown butternut squash casserole, sage stuffing, roasted turkey, and mashed potatoes with gravy (homegrown collards not shown). Also, check out Uncle John's special recipe egg nog. Boom!

November 26, 2009 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment

Peaches

Lawd-a mercy, y’all. I got some straight soul in my bellay and I’m likin’ the effect it’s havin’ on me. This ain’t no Paula Deen impression, neither. There’s a churnin’ on deep down in my gut. Ain’t the bad churnin’, no. It’s a kinda satisfaction (for now, at least). A warmin’ of the bones aftuh a long day-a trials an’ tribulations. This feelin’ of glut that is oh-so wondaful. By the powuhs vested in me, I know pruhnounce this feelin’…peachin’.

Okay, time to shake off old tyme the southern-preacher vibe. Sometimes the power of the spirit of soul-food reaches down in me and gets me speaking in different tongues. Besides half the scenes in Forrest Gump, what in tarnation could inspire this accent? Well, I mentioned it above.

You see, there are a multitude of soul food places in Athens. Most famously, Weaver D’s boasts the R.E.M. reference and the notable personality of its owner. But Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are pretty rad dudes–that doesn’t make Planet Hollywood the best restaurant, though (despite the R.E.M. signed memorabilia I’m sure is on one of their walls).

You have other places like Wilson’s and Food for the Soul. Honestly, I haven’t been. The only reason for this lack of adventure is that I have found a home, a safe place, if you will. In my quest for the perfect balance between great and greasy, one spot seems to balance on the fence perfectly:  Peaches Fine Foods.

You might miss it go-kart driving down the slender lanes of Broad Street. Right before you hit Milledge, on the right, there sits a humble wooden shack. Alright, so not that small, but modest to say the least. A simple black-and-white sign stands over the peach-painted facade. With hardly any parking space, Peaches begins the cozy experience from the parking lot.

Stepping through the door, you enter a world of smells and smiles that only a home kitchen could offer. The food sits behind a glass casing, but don’t let that fool you. That’s only so you can see just how great everything is cooked. Heaping portions are generously slopped on to one plate, letting foods mix and mingle. All the traditional foods are there, like a big family reunion–Uncle Fried Chicken, Mama Mashed Taters, Cousin Green Beans, Cousin Corn Bread, Grandmama Fried Fish, and Brother Collards. Gang’s all there.

The surprise came at the register. After going with the fried chicken, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and cornbread, I showed my UGA ID and, lo and behold…

$5.50…for this

Wait, did you actually get that? Can you really see the beauty that is on that plate? Here, let me give you a closer look.

Can you believe that? For that much food? Then I proceeded to ask for a sweet tea (duh). The nice lady just nodded and smiled, like I was a five year-old telling her I had ten toes. I looked around perplexed when a pseudo-server took my plate and showed me my seat. Then, another nice lady asked me what I’d like to drink. The tea was included. Do you read me? I said

THE SWEET TEA WAS INCLUDED

At any rate, what did the food taste like? It was wonderful. The creamy mashed potatoes took the cake (probably with enough butter to bake eight cakes). The mac and cheese was casserole-style (my favorite) and the fried chicken was cripsy, but juicy in the middle. Honesly, I could go on telling you about it, but I think this speaks for itself.

I can’t tell you how gratifying Peaches Fine Foods really is. If I ever figure out who she actually is I’ll hug her. I’ll babysit her kids. I’ll wash her car. Okay, just the hug, but she has made some damn fine food. Shakira’s hips don’t like, but Peaches Fine Foods’s (who will give you much more than Shakira hips) sign don’t lie, either. After a stressful day, or even a hard night, let Peaches warm you, from the hair on your head to the soul of your feet (boom!).

A fine young gentleman celebrating his "peachin" condition.

Peaches

On Broad, before Milledge

October 26, 2009 at 7:46 pm 5 comments

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