Local Is As Local Does

Shocked and saddened. We hear those words a lot lately. But that’s about the best way to describe how I felt when one of my longtime favorite coffee shops in Birmingham, Urban Standard, announced this past June that they were closing for good.  Urban Standard was an essential downtown stop — a place to see … Continue reading Local Is As Local Does

Bonjour, Gizzard Salad!

The minute I saw it on the menu at Les Vapeurs in Trouville, I knew I was going to order it. I like to try new things when I travel, things I can’t get at home, things that are unique to an area. And on this particular night that thing was candied gizzard salad. After … Continue reading Bonjour, Gizzard Salad!

The Poke Salat Festival

I have been to the Poke Salat Festival. Seriously. Tragedy (that's what I call my husband because of his resting sad face compared to my perpetual mule-eating-briars Comedy grin) and I drove for more than an hour from Birmingham to Arab, Ala., just to go to the Poke Salat Festival. How could we not? Now … Continue reading The Poke Salat Festival

My New Southern Comfort Food — Ramen

A bad cold calls for comfort food. When I was sick as a child, Mama would fix me homemade chicken noodle soup or egg custard. She’d bring it to me in bed on a tray. All of it warm, creamy, and soothing. That’s what rural Southern people eat. Simple food made with simple ingredients. As … Continue reading My New Southern Comfort Food — Ramen

Divinity is the Devil

Karo Syrup. Go on. Say it with me. Kaaaaay-rooooow suuuuur-up. Drag it out. It sounds better that way. Why are we talking about Karo Syrup? Because without Karo Syrup we wouldn’t have one of the absolute level best products of the Southern kitchen — Divinity. Sounds like a purely heavenly treat doesn’t it? Don’t be … Continue reading Divinity is the Devil

The Best Thing About the Holidays

Late afternoon cocktails. That’s one of the best things about the holidays. Well, aside from the birth of Jesus, watching the children's eyes light up in wonder and joy, and peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Yes, cocktails come in about number four. But ...  there’s also the love of family, and giving beautifully … Continue reading The Best Thing About the Holidays

The Care and Feeding of Pickled Okra

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to New York City where, while shopping in a book store, I had the following exchange with the women at the register. "So where's your accent from?" I am asked by one of the two nice ladies. "Alabama," I say. "Have you heard of pickled okra?" says the … Continue reading The Care and Feeding of Pickled Okra

Drink like a local in Birmingham

Foodies have long since recognized Birmingham as one of the South’s culinary gems, but recently there has been a groundswell of craft cocktails and beer. From the white tablecloth to the warehouse watering hole, the Magic City is awash in house-made tonics, bitters, and brews. There’s something to quench every thirst, if you just know … Continue reading Drink like a local in Birmingham