Sunday, May 29, 2011


Phew, you know how you're going, going, going and once it slows down you just need a really long nap? That was me yesterday afternoon. After lunch at my parents house, I went up to my old room and had the best hour nap of my life. But, before we get to all of that, I'll back up to Friday...

I had a blast Friday on the radio show. I love food, so why wouldn't I love talking about it for an hour? Afterwards, Marika and I were starving, so where to eat with so many places around? Since I had only tried part of the menu, we decided to try out Fatsumo again. 
We started with edamame and gyoza. I got them fried simply because it was an extra dollar for steamed ones. Only in Mississippi would you have to pay extra to be healthier...
Spicy Tuna roll. Still delicious and still my favorite.

As if we weren't full enough, we just had to cross the street to Campbell's Bakery.
Their iced tea cookies make me smile. Like I said on the show, they are such a throwback to when I was a kid. My grandmother used to get the red heart cookies from there on Valentine's Day for us. I can still picture the crimped edges from the cookie cutter and the sweet red color.
One day, I'll try a cannoli, but we were there for the cake pop. We talked to Mitchell, the new owner, who's so kind.

Conveniently around my birthday, my favorite flowers, hydrangeas, are blooming everywhere. It may seem silly to say that you have a favorite hydrangea bush in the whole world, but I do - the one on the side of my grandparents' house. Why? Because the hydrangeas look like this:
I don't know what in the world is in the soil, but they are the prettiest deep purple you have ever seen. My sister sent me a photo of the bush the other day and I said that I'd love to go cut some one day this week, but I never had time. When I walked into my parents' house Friday night, there was a huge arrangement of them waiting for me. 

Saturday morning, we all got ready for graduation day. Living and working downtown, it's really funny for me now to see people from Madison driving like chickens with their heads cut off because they never are in that part of Jackson.

Everyone started filing in...
Brandon went first (handing his name to Mrs. Daniels)
Then, Trey (shaking hands with the principal, Ms. Mitchell)

It was definitely a great day. Afterwards, a few of us came back to our house and had a nice lunch. By this time, I was so tired I had no energy for photos. Hence, the best-nap-of-my-life.

Thanks to all of you who sent birthday wishes. Hope you are having a wonderful, long weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Things

Three things:
1. This was divine.
Chef Luis Bruno at the Museum of Art knows his stuff. I mentioned to some of my co-workers who were visiting the museum for lunch that his new spin on the menu looked incredible, including the red velvet whoopie pie. I thought nothing else about it and when I got back from lunch myself today, this was sitting on my desk. I had my two bites and started passing it around the office for everyone to try. 

How they got that filling to simply taste like cream cheese, pecans and subtly of vanilla bean with the consistency of whipped cream is beyond me. It was wonderful. 

Everyone who went raved about their meals as well. It's definitely on my to-eat short list right now.

2. My wonderfully creative cousin Ashley (the one that made this lamp) is having a giveaway in honor of the opening of her Etsy shop. Want to check out the giveaway, her blog, and her Etsy store? Click here! Thank me later.

3. I'll be on my work's radio show tomorrow from 12-1 CST talking about food, culinary heritage, and all of the fun things to do in the next week around the city. For those of you in the area, that's 100.1 FM or for everyone else,, to stream live.

Can you taste that three day weekend??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Week Continues

If I thought that Monday was crazy, yesterday was just as crazy.
 There was the unveiling of the Greyhound Bus Station marker...
 Even the guvnah was there.

It was so hot. We were passing out brochures, programs, fans and water throughout the event, which ended with me having the most unfortunate sunburn line. Note to self: ruffled shirts make weird sunburn.

After the program finished, I was so glad to be in air conditioning. A group of us from the office went to the University Club, which has one of my favorite views of the city.
I could sit at the window all day and watch. To give you some perspective, in the middle ground is Baptist Hospital, directly behind is UMC. To the left of that is Veteran's Memorial Stadium and to the right where the water towers are is the VA and St. Dominic's.

Thankful, the week is slowing down a bit. Can't wait for a long weekend!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Funday Monday

To say that yesterday was fun and crazy is an understatement. It started off in the morning with an interfaith memorial service for fallen Freedom Riders at Tougaloo College. While I didn't get any photos, I do have a video I took during one of the songs...

That afternoon, we had the unveiling of one of the Mississippi Freedom Trail markers at the Medgar Evers House. See the house as we set up before everyone was there...

And see it as the program started....

If you told me 400-500 people  had been there, I wouldn't be surprised. It was wonderful.

Today we've got another marker unveiling and a program in the afternoon. Can't wait to see how it will turn out!

Monday, May 23, 2011


There are a lot of reasons why I actually like living in Mississippi. One of them is the fruit and vegetable stands all around town that start popping up this time of year.
The bounty my mom and I purchased this weekend. Eggplant, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, okra, corn, bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes.
Yellow squash got sauteed Saturday night. I wish I had taken a photo of the okra, because it was the best okra I've ever tasted. Sauteed with cumin, it wasn't slimy and runny like you usually think of okra. It was actually a tip my mom got from a woman a few years ago at that same market (because, you know, us Mississippians like to talk and can share a recipe or two while we're at it with complete strangers).

How gorgeous is this tomato? Red and firm. Delicious. It got turned into the best Eggplant and Tomato Pizza I've ever made.
You know how you can tell when veggies are in season and they just taste better? Yeah, that was this.

Here's to a great week!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Tribute

I usually try to stay pretty upbeat on the blog, but I wrote this today and thought I'd share. If you'd rather  not get deep, just skip on down to another post... We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

This time six years ago I was sitting in the ICU waiting room at UMC. It all started when my aunt called our house and I was sitting in the kitchen with my parents.

"There's been an accident," she told my mom.

My cousin, Bryan; his girlfriend (now wife), Ashley; and friend, Lexie, had been at the pool when Lexie got a phone call. Lexie's sister, Lanie, had been in a boating accident with my friend, Rachel. Rachel was hurt and they couldn't find Lanie.

Immediately, I bolt upstairs to my bedroom and look at my cell phone. 7 missed calls.

From there, it's a blur. The waiting room. The people. My mom hugging Sital when she came in. The high school principal coming up to me and giving me water. Rachel's family coming to me and hugging and talking to me. Mom's best friend Vick coming over from the children's hospital to see us.

That was six years ago.

If I could go back and tell myself six years ago what my life is like right now, I would be amazed.

That I live right down the street from that hospital.
That at night I can hear the helicopters flying in with other injured people needing care.

I graduated college.
Wrote for multiple publications.
Had my work mentioned on MSNBC, CNBC, and the New York Times.
Live on my own.
Have a cool job I never thought I'd have.
Still see my wonderful friends, those same ones with me that night.

I think I would have said, "You're talking about me?"

If I told my 17 year-old self that today
I went to the church my grandparents helped found and I loved every minute of it.
I went to a service commemorating the Freedom Riders at Beth Israel, the local Jewish synagogue.
I was able to meet many wonderful Freedom Riders at the opening reception downtown afterwards.
I don't know what I would made of that.

In that moment as a 17 year-old, I didn't think that life would ever be better
Because three days later, they found Lanie. Because three days later Rachel was in a hospital bed missing half of her right leg, not able to walk across the stage to get her diploma.
But it did get better.
And it is.
I can't believe how much my life has changed.
And while there are a few things I wish were different, namely that my grandfather were still here, I can't help but be proud of where I am right now.

Last year, on the eve of the five year anniversary, I attended my best friend's rehearsal dinner on that same lake at the same clubhouse where I had once stood and watched divers search. Where I saw them take five minute turns because the water was so cold.
It was different now.
The water was calm.
No one was searching.
I realized
hope wins.
[Insert shameless plug here] I also wrote a story for JFP this week about the Freedom Riders and Mississippi Free Press. It's always an honor when they ask me to dig into research, especially about one of my favorite topics. I did a lot of research on the Civil Rights Movement and Mississippi Free Press in college and even presented a paper on MFP at a conference my senior year. Read if you wish.

Kroger - 5/21/11

Man, I needed to go to the grocery store yesterday like I've never had before. Last week I was able to scoot by without going, but it was getting pretty serious(ly empty). So, instead of my usual Sunday trip, I actually went yesterday.

Arm and Hammer Detergent
Coke Zero, FREE My Coke Rewards coupon
Dannon yogurt
(2) Can of black beans
Salad dressing, FREE Kroger dressing coupon
Wheat tortillas
Goat cheese
Yellow squash
Kashi cereal, $2/1 coupon
Secret deodorant, $1/1 coupon
Turkey bacon, $1/1 coupon
Ground turkey
Salad mix, $.40/1 coupon
Contact solution

Total Value: $48.07
Total Spent: $36.11
Total Saved: $11.96 (26%)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Can you tell I've been busy lately? Seriously, I've been a little distressed about my lack of posts lately. I come up with blog posts in my sleep, but they just don't happen.(Can you already tell this is going to be a iPhone photo kind of post?)

I haven't even had time to go to the grocery store lately. Thank goodness for the Bodega a block away from my office...
I've been here for lunch, but this week was my first time to try it for breakfast. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed. It's always so cheery and fun in there, and I always find something I want.

Yesterday, I was able to go to lunch with my sister and mom at Broadstreet. Always fun!

Tomato and Basil Grilled Cheese on Sugar Buster Bread
Oh man. That grilled cheese is one of my favorite sandwiches on the planet. I've been craving it for a few days, so when my mom asked me where I wanted to go, that was it.

This, however, is the best two bite sweet I've ever put in my mouth...
Cake pop from Campbell's Bakery.
White chocolate outside, chocolate cake inside. It was perfect. A co-worker of mine brought it to me as a thank-you for helping her with some computer problems. Definite highlight of the day.

On a garden note: Tomato season has started in my backyard!
I can't wait for all my baby veggies to grow. My garden has seriously been a labor of love and it's fun to see everything start to happen.

Over and out until the next post...

Monday, May 16, 2011


Can you tell I've been busy lately???

This past weekend, Katherine was in town and Erin was performing at an art festival, FIGMENT. I'd heard a lot leading up to this festival because of work, so of course I was going to check it out. 

Honestly, it's hard to find words to describe this event. You had to be there. It was weird- partly because the event environment in an old warehouse and partly because at the time there weren't a lot of people there. Instead of telling you about it, I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
Pool of petals

Drums you beat with mallets covered in paint

All of that red, brown is cinnamon

Tea party with vegan cookies and vegan cupcakes

Mannequins you could dress

Dancers performing

Postcard wall
Tree full of books you could write in
 It was definitely interesting and I am SO glad that I went with my friends. It wouldn't have been the same without them! We had a great meal afterwards at Sal and Mookie's and fun time at Sital's afterwards.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fatsumo Sushi

It a town full of sushi joints, sushi has become... just sushi. Sure, most places have the easy-does-it California Roll and I-don't-really-like-sushi fried rolls, but when you walk down Duling Avenue and through the doors of Fatsumo Sushi, you can tell it's different.
The menu is interesting and surprisingly, modestly priced. I've heard people rave all over town about the udon noodles, so that's first on my list to try.
Pan-fried Seafood Udon
While the noodles would normally come out in a broth, you can have them pan-fried for $2 extra. It was absolutely worth the up-charge. The noodles are thick and chewy with a savory sauce that was out of this world. The seafood only added to the flavors.
While I slurped through my noodles, my friend, Erin, had the Spicy Tuna Roll. While it wasn't the spiciest roll I've ever had, it was just spicy enough that after swallowing, you needed to drink water. I'll definitely keep that on my list to order next time. 

If you're looking for a solid, good experience, try Fatsumo. While it wasn't packed, the service was attentive, but not too much (which I always enjoy). The food was good and decently priced. I'm not much for the fried and overly-sauced rolls, and there are plenty of them on the menu. If you want something filling and relatively inexpensive, try the udon or ramen noodles. I can't wait to go back for the gyoza and other rolls.

Fatsumo Sushi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers' Day!

Happy Mothers' Day to you all! Just got back from a wonderful weekend of camping in North Mississippi.
There were adventures to be had with the family...
Even a run in with a lost dog, but we found its owners. 
And a run in with a country wedding. Yep, 'nuf said.
We had awesome food...
Including peanut butter and apple. A nod to our Papaw who always had apple and peanut butter after a meal.
Plus these crack cookies that I shouldn't even talk about.
Pretty views...
And fun adventures to the other sides of Enid Lake.
Hope you guys had wonderful days with your mothers!


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