Category: food

A Critic’s ManiPedi Festo

Today marks my second article for Salvation South, the new online magazine founded by my old buddy Chuck Reece (widely known as the founder and face of The Bitter Southerner; more on me and Chuck coming soon to the blog). This week’s feature about young guitar hero Yasmin Williams marks the beginning of my weekly gig riding the SS culture desk. Even if my desk is a half-busted peach crate stood on end in a spiderweb-free corner of the back porch, I am tickled to have this platform on the regular. read more

Update on Peanuts and Famine Relief

So color me amazed and humbled. Since I announced the fundraising drive for the Send Your Narrator to Uganda project, the donations have been rolling in. We have passed the $1000 mark and well on our way to two large. I am incredibly encouraged and excited. And grateful.

First thing: the link to the 501(c)(3) Domi Education account is live. Hit the Donate button at the top right of the page to make a tax deductible contribution.

There have been a few questions about the project, the why and how, but one question in particular has popped up several times:

Given all the great publicity the Mana folks will receive from my work, why aren’t they paying for my expenses? read more

Field Tested Fool Proof Granola

Posted this almost exactly a year ago. I’ve been making at least a batch of granola a week since then, and today finds me making a couple of batches for holiday gifting. Seemed a good time to share this one again. BTW, the Bitter Southerner has a new Best Of list up for 2015. Check it out.

Field Tested Fool Proof Granola

Looking for an activity that’ll cure what ails you? Cook something.

Alas, my kitchen chops are just enough to keep me from starving, and to get myself in trouble once in a while, but there are a few go-to recipes that keep me from being a cliched, Leave It To Beaver era patriarchal putz.1There are plenty of other areas where I qualify, but I’m nearly redeemable on this score. If you are generally kitchen savvy, this post is likely beneath your notice, save as an opportunity to point and laugh as I wobble on toddler legs through the world of food.

This one is an amalgam of lots of different granola recipes I’ve made/bungled/burned over the years. I’ve finally learned the guiding principles, though, and now I can whip this out at a moment’s notice, as long as I have all the ingredients:

Oatmeal – 4 cups

Sunflower seeds – 1 cup

Flax seeds – ½ cup

Coconut flakes – 1 cup

Tupelo Honey – ¾ cup (any other sweetener will do, but this is my fave)

Vegetable Oil – ½ cup

Salt – A couple two three pinches

Vanilla extract – A scoche

Then, if you’re like me, you’ll realize you forgot something, so off to the market to get:

Pecans – 1 cup chopped

Dried fruit – A fistful (cranberries today). DO NOT put the dried fruit in the oven or they will turn to stone.

Mix all the dry ingredients (except the dried fruit!!) in a big pan. You can substitute or add any kinds of seeds or nuts, but if you add much more than I use, you might want to add another cup of oats to keep the granola from becoming too seedy. Add the salt, oil, honey, and vanilla. Then stir like crazy. I use a pan with high side walls because I’m clumsy and spill a lot otherwise.

Put the mix in a 300* oven for 30 minutes. Make another pot of coffee after SOMEONE drank the rest of the first pot.2I’m not naming names.

At the 30 minute mark, pull the pan out and stir well. Put it back in for another 15 minutes or so. Keep your eyes and nose peeled for any hint of burning.

After 15 minutes, or around the time your kitchen begins to smell like heaven’s garden, take it out and stir again. Let cool for a while, stirring occasionally. Once it cools, add a fistful of dried fruit 3Exactly, no more or less. Be precise. and stir it in.

That’s it. If I can do it, any prat can make it work. Half a cup of this mixed with a half cup of yogurt makes this My Favorite World.

Today’s Music

This morning, Bitter Southerner posted their 25+1 favorite CDs to come out of the South in 2014.4I wrote this last week, so the date’s off. With just a couple of exceptions, I had not heard of the musicians on the list. So I pulled one up to provide the soundtrack for granola wrangling: Curtis Harding’s Soul Power.

An ATL-based guitarist/singer, Harding serves an updated take on one of my favorite styles – late 60s/early 70s soul and R&B. Isley, Curtis Mayfield, Issac Hayes, Al Green…not that he sounds just like any of these folks, but that you can feel the through-line from the pioneers up to more recent R&B authenticos like Prince and Cee Lo. (Harding was in Cee Lo’s band for a while.) He also reflects the great blues vibe of Muddy Waters and the like. And then comes “Cruel World” to wrap things up and I’m reminded of Los Lobos and the great guitar of David Hidalgo. All in all, I really love it. Just one more surprise puzzle piece that fits right into MFW. I’m sure it made the granola more better.

And now we’re into Amy Ray’s Goodnight Tender. I’ve met Amy in passing a few times5Not that she’d have any reason to remember. and she’s truly one of the world’s good people. Loving this album, a heaping helping of pure country. And all respect for the incred harmonies that pal Kelly Hogan is dropping here. M. F. W.

I’m looking forward to checking out the whole list, especially the latest Lucinda Williams, whom I adore, yes I do. And if you don’t know the

Bitter Southerner read more


The Management Wishes to Apologize

What kind of monster would be cruel to this bubbly sprite?
What kind of monster would be cruel to this bubbly sprite?

It appears The Writer slipped a fast one past Standards and Practices a few days ago. The Mgmt. wishes to apologize for the overly harsh tone The Writer took when discussing the food of the irresistibly delightful and perky Rachel Ray, whose food deserved better than the snide dismissal she suffered in our last post. We beg the forgiveness of the perkyperkyperky Ms Ray, and of our readers.1Sincerely, we like the perky Ms Ray, and find her food to be perfectly fine, albeit unspectacular. The Writer is an embittered wretch, however, and is prone to unseemly outbursts. Again, we apologize.

As penance, The Writer has been chained to our kitchen counter where he will be forced to create this dessert twelve times a day for the entire twelve days of Chrismakwanzkuh.

And he will  be forced to eat every. damn. bite. That oughta learn him.

Sisyphus, upon hearing of this punishment, said “Wow, that’s kind of harsh, doncha think?”

No. We most certainly do not.





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