Stephanie has asked all of us Buttermilkers to answer a Proustian-type meme to help our new readers and fans (hi, y’all!) learn a little more about us. While she did not specifically ask my favorite curse word, I’ll share that if I’m in my kitchen and I burn myself, it’s probably “Sweet Sassy Molasses!” Yeah, you know that’s not right, but our pg-13 WordPress plug-ins won’t let me type the truth.
So the gist of this particular survey is “What’s got you excited right now?”
Cooking: Scallops with Mango Chutney from Garret’s Art of Fine Foods in Montgomery. The recipe from my book, The Southern Foodie, has taught me to be a little more fearless about cooking scallops. Sear them over high heat and trust that they’ll be perfectly done inside after about 4 minutes a side.
Cookbook: Well, mine. But other than that, I’ve enjoyed reading Wicked Good Barbecue by two Yankees who came down to Lynchburg, TN and won the Jack Daniels World Championship a few years back.
Shopping: (e.g. where and what – need not always be culinary) I’m pretty much a slave to Amazon Prime and have discovered how easy it is to buy specialty food products like weird spices online and save myself the driving to search them out. I recently bought a bunch of citric acid for a barbeque rub, so holla atcha boy if you need some.
Do Lunch: (place) I ate a preview lunch at Deb Paquette’s new restaurant, Etch, and was absolutely blown away by her menu and her food. Get to downtown Nashville soon before you can’t find a seat.
Evening Out: We pretty much only leave the house at night for dinner or to attend Night Market at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. I have had two outstanding dinners at Hal Holden-Bache and Cara Graham’s Lockeland Table. It should only get cozier as the weather cools and that wood pizza oven warms the room.
Gadget of the Moment: (need not be culinary) Anxiously awaiting the iPhone 5 since mine is a few generations old. I’ve been enjoying getting back to training using my iBlke performance meter and coaching system. It’s a pretty nifty system for integrating your iPhone with a pedometer and cadence sensor when you’re riding.
Beverage: Bourbon, one rock, eyedropper of branch water. Lately, I’ve been drinking Rowan’s Creek.
On My Tivo: I enjoyed this season of Top Chef Masters, but not as much as last year’s regular version of the show with the feisty and funny Ed Lee. We tend to watch a lot of House Hunters International in my house and dream of untaken vacations. As a fellow freelancer friend of mine said, “Happy Labor Day. Or as my fellow “paylancers” call it, Day.”
On My Kindle: n/a When I read books, I still prefer paper. Leftover habit from my 25 years peddling to printers and publishers. I recently really enjoyed Bowling Avenue by my friend Ann Shayne.
Culinary Fixation: I’m pretty fired up to try out the Red Boat Fish Sauce and Rub that I brought back from Memphis. The few dishes I tried with it down their were umamilicious.
Seasonal Produce: I’ve managed to avoid the crookneck squash avalanche so far. Don’t tell any home gardeners that I have room in the vegetable crisper. I am looking forward to trying a recipe from Tyler Brown at the Capitol Grille that uses a North Georgia Candy Pumpkin, if I can get my hands on some.
Road Trip: I rode with my good friend Thomas Williams down to Memphis a few months back for some restaurant visits and to cover the Cochon Heritage BBQ event for Food Republic. We were blessed to join Allan Benton for a few meals where the chefs really put it on us! Check out Andrew and Michael’s Italian Kitchen, Hog and Hominy, Sweetgrass, Restaurant Iris and Felicia Suzanne’s next time you’re in the Bluff City. And the Megabus experience was not nearly as grueling as I had worried. Try it!
Mad Experiment: I’m still having fun learning how to make pizza on my Medium Green Egg. I haven’t settled on the perfect dough recipe yet, but the Tenneshooto and Salumi’s Paprika salami I bought from Timmy Noodles at Lazzaroli’s are outrageous pizza toppings.
Song: Trombone Shorty remains in heavy rotation as my work soundtrack. “Buckjump” is playing now.
Pop Culture Fascination: My household has been pretty fired up about the third season of The Walking Dead. We’re trying hard to steer clear of all the spoilers since the television show is so far behind the comic book series. That woman with the two armless walkers on leashes sure is pretty much of a badass!
Coveting: The aforementioned iPhone 5. My old 3GS doesn’t have a flash and takes pretty horrible food photos. What do they say? “The best camera is the one you have with you.” If that’s true, my best camera is fixing to get a whole lot better.