Archive for November, 2010

walk on by

In July I went to Alaska and promised to come back and promptly write all about my amazing trip.  I didn’t and I’ll tell you why: Alaska was, well, in one word – rough.  There’s not a lot that I can say about it, except that 1. it conjured up for me some serious life lessons  and 2. In order to go north you must go south.

Yes, I did go deep into myself during this spiritual sabbatical roller coaster of sorts, but that’s not the only south I’m talking about.  And it did seem for a while there that I had gone so far south that I could almost see brimstone and pitchforks right around the bend, but still not exactly what I’m trying to say.  No, this south was more around the lines of cornbread and chicken backs and sanity through gluttony.

Introducing the only South you’ll ever want or need that damn far north:

Finding myself completely on my own at the end of my trip, I bravely stomped the streets of downtown Anchorage with a duffel bag on my shoulder and a dream in my heart: to find something good to eat!  My breakfast of cold cheese soup and dry salmon wasn’t exactly doing it for me and all of the signs surrounding the downtown area advertising moose this and caribou that had gotten old days ago.  I needed something to sustain me that last day before I said goodbye to a place that held more trauma than joy.  That’s when I stumbled upon the above pictured cafe front and knew I had found love!

With it’s funky decor, down home atmosphere, and to-die-for lemonade, I knew I had walked into the right place.  It also seemed spookily ironic to me that one of my secret pleasures – soul food- would be found as far north as I’d ever traveled.

The owner, Jared Tyler, was a total dear, and made all bartender when I spilled out the plight of my travels.  He also whipped up some green tomatoes for me,  specially fried in cornmeal so I could eat them.  Those babies were gobbled down so fast I didn’t have a chance to swipe a pic of them, but they did come with this artichoke and sweet onion chow chow that knocked the socks right off of this south of the Mason-Dixon Line foodie.

Here are the pics that I did manage to take of this charming  little haven:

Welcome, y'all!

Georgia heat inside, tundra outside!

mmm, mmm good

Pickle me tender


Come in an' sit a spell

Needless to say, I do want to go back to the last frontier one day despite the insanity that ensued, mostly because what I encountered at the end of my trip gave me something I base my whole blog on – hope.  What I expected to see was more along the lines of antlers,  glaciers, and the occasional bear or two but what I got was much, much more: peace of mind and the contentment of a full tummy after a long day’s night in the land no of return.  Oh yes, and the best mother effin’ truffles I’ve ever had in my whole darn-tootin’ existence!

Now that’s an endorsement!

Forever yours,


Southern Belle & Hopeful Foodie


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Ah, Halloween

Mmmm, sushi

It’s that time of year where otherwise normal, functional people dress up as walking, talking animals, icons, inanimate objects and of course, edible delights.

It’s also the perfect time to do the silliest thing of all: attempt to transform beautiful food products in all of their individual perfectness into a kitschy, corny, strange and so-called spooky novelty items that the rest of us are supposed to eat.  What of course ends up happening, unless you’re Martha Stewart (and even the former convict craft queen’s had her bad days) is a total kitchen disaster rendering your cute edible object into something that looks more Dawn of the Dead than Hallmark Channel Halloween Special.

Behold exhibit A (for Aaaaahhhh!):

white chocolate pear skulls from hell

These looked so good on the online recipe page.  Here, they resemble Jason – the melted face years.  I guess that still works for Halloween, but I almost destroyed our kitchen in the process.  As a hopeful foodie, my mission is to spread positivity through all the various categories of cooking, but mark my words: white chocolate is the devil.  I went through four bags of this malevolent stuff, fearing the over processed nasty cousin of true cacao would be the death of me.  It was almost as bad as the kissy face fang cookies I tried to make two years ago which resulted in a crumbly sheet of blood red dough being flung through the air into the trash can with a deathly thud.

In the end, the best part of Halloween is the fun you share, the fizzy drinks you consume and the brownie in each hand that never did you, or your  kitchen, wrong.

Space cowboy, Gangster of Love and Maurice!

The candy skulls never had a chance

Mmmm, salmon

A Day of the Dead blessing to you all,


The Hopeful Foodie

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