Category Archives: Food
In our Christmas tradition, my whole family gathers on the night of Christmas Eve, then my immediate family gathers on the night of Christmas. Christmas Eve is just presents for the little ones and we have an assortment of finger foods. On Christmas morning, we go to my sister’s house to have breakfast and see what Santa Claus brought my niece and nephew. Then there will be a light lunch followed by the major dinner of the holidays. On Christmas night, we start out with shrimp cocktails. Then we’ll have ham and turkey, chicken and dumplings, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. We’ll finish off the meal with chocolate pie and sweet potato pie. My mother generally begins cooking days in advance so that she will have everything ready for Christmas night. Besides Thanksgiving, which I don’t get to come home for, this is my mother’s meal to show off her incredible cooking skills. My cooking skills are shown off next week at New Year’s Day, but more on that next week.
Yesterday’s two interviews went exceptionally well. As I said yesterday, I expected the second guy to be good looking. He was gorgeous and had the bluest eyes.
The highlight of my day though was dinner. I started out with a nice Prosecco Bollicini and an insalate Tricolore (Baby arugula, Radicchio, and Endive with olive oil and balsamic). Then with my meal of risotto frutti di mare, I had Vermentino Banfi La Pettegoia, a wonderful Tuscan white wine. For dessert I had the Tiramisu with an aperitif of lemoncello. I haven’t had a meal this good since I was in Italy itself.
One of the problems in Vermont is there are very few places where you can get really good food, which is why I cook myself more than eating out. Every once in while though you find a real gem. Last night I found one such gem, Prohibition Pig in Waterbury. Prohibition Pig is known for their BBQ and beer. They have their own brewery in the back and brew up numerous Prohibition Pig beers, though they serve it in very small glasses. I don’t drink beer so, I didn’t have any. However, what I did have was their chopped BBQ pork, which was outstanding. It was spicy without being too spicy and their bacon BBQ sauce was delicious. With my chopped pork, I had collard greens, cheddar grits, and hush puppies. The collard greens were good, but not great. The cheddar grits were not grits and in my opinion were close to inedible. The hush puppies, however, tasted almost like my grandmothers, though they were very oddly shaped. Hush puppies should be close to round, these were shaped like ginger fingers. The BBQ pork was definitely the star, along with their delicious sweet iced tea. If you are ever in Waterbury, Vermont, I highly recommend that you check out Prohibition Pig.
I went to the southern restaurant in Montpelier for lunch yesterday with a fellow southerner. The food was good, but the yummiest thing was not on the menu. It was our waiter. He was fine as wine. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t gay but damn was he good looking. Jet black hair and black eyes. He was model worthy. Perfect white straight teeth and a bit of scruff on his face. I’d love to have gotten into his Fruit of the Looms.
Joe, you have now been in Vermont for a month. What about a post on the differences in the aspects of living in the Deep South and living in Deepest New England? Your comments would be very interesting. Your last post touched on accent and way of speech but what else – not just material things, such as food and the time difference, but the way people behave and think?–The Academic
The first thing I had to get used to, especially when driving around, is that I am in the mountains. Where I live is about 750 feet above sea level. Alabama’s highest peak is 1445 ft, whereas where I grew up was about 400 feet above sea level but so was everything else (In other words, it was relatively flat). The mountain that I am closest to, and is part of the university’s campus is 2382 feet. To get anywhere, you seem to have to go over or around mountains, so while a nearby town may only be 10 miles away, it takes roughly 20-30 minutes. That being said, I am not complaining. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, I just have to get used to the very steep hills, especially when they are covered in ice and snow during the winter. Also, while other towns are 20-30 minutes away, I was already used to that where I lived in rural Alabama. The exception being that here I actually live in a small town which has some of the conveniences you’d expect in a small town. An added bonus is that I live less than a mile from work, whereas in Alabama, I lived 40 miles from work.
Similar to where I was in Alabama, the young guys still drive trucks that are far too loud, and they race up and down the streets in Vermont just like in Alabama. That is one of the things that struck me as very similar to back home. There are a lot of similarities between Alabama and Vermont, as both are rural states. There are churches everywhere, but the ones up here are more accepting of gay people. Sadly though, there are no churches of Christ that I can find. Yes, there are United Churches of Christ, but that’s a totally different animal. It looks like I might be going to a Lutheran church with my boss, at least they celebrate communion each Sunday.
Besides the churches, everyone seems to know everyone else. When I went in the pharmacy the first time and explained that I had out-of-state prescriptions, they knew exactly who I was and all about me by the time I returned that afternoon to pick my prescriptions up. It seems that the wife of the university president works there. I’ve lived here a month and already people in the stores and post office know me. That’s a nice feeling. Whereas the same could be said about Alabama, in Vermont the people are genuinely friendly, not the fake friendly that many people are in Alabama. When someone sees you, they are actually happy to see you, not just being nosy trying to figure out what you are doing and what gossip they can either get from you or make up about you. I am stereotyping badly here, but there is a certain truths in it.
As for food, there are a few differences, like “bombs,” which is a hot sandwich that comes on a roll that is halfway between a hot dog bun and a hoagie roll and is usually filled with a meat and a cheese. They are quite yummy. Also, when they say “greens,” in Alabama, it meant collards or turnips, here it means kale. They put kale on everything up here. I am surprised that I can find a lot of foods familiar to home in the grocery stores here. I don’t think I’ve seen grits, though they do have polenta, but I have seen corn meal. Surprisingly, though what is hard to find is self-rising flour. When I went to the grocery store last night, they had only one kind of self-rising flour, and they did not have self-rising cake flour. They also don’t sell PET milk, which didn’t matter since they did have Carnation evaporated milk and I had already planned on using heavy whipping cream in a recipe instead to give it a richer flavor. One other thing about food, you are much more likely to get local meats and cheeses and many restaurants try to use as many local ingredients as possible. Vermont cheese is phenomenal, by the way. Nearly every town seems to have their own beer brewery, and some places make hard cider, which I like better anyway. Citizen Cider’s Unified Press is delicious, but that stuff will sneak up on you.
Also, Vermont politics are odd, especially the fact that with my political beliefs I’m considered a liberal Democrat in Alabama and more of a moderate Republican in Vermont. I’ve always said that I was a moderate, but don’t expect me to start considering myself a Republican just because I live in a “hippy-dippy liberal” state now. The town meetings and how they conduct their primary will be quite interesting.
Now to what I suspect you all really want to know: how do I perceive the way they treat gay people up here? First of all, let me say that Vermont does not have a single gay bar. They do have at least one bar that has a monthly gay night. I’ve looked into this to kind of understand why, because Vermont is a very gay-friendly state, but what I have found, or have been told, is that there isn’t a need for a separate gay bar. As a gay man, and I think many of you will agree with this, you don’t always feel welcomed at hetero bars, but it’s different here. I’ve been in a few bars and such here and it always seemed like there was a good mix of gay and straight people. Everyone is treated the same. Sadly this means that there are no go-go boys dancing nearly naked on the bars or shirtless bartenders, but I can live with that, as I have found the waiters and bartenders tend to be cute and flirty jut the same. Also, there seems to be a wide array of gay groups in the state. I’m thinking of volunteering for Vermont Pride.
The thing is, sexuality seems to be a non-issue from anything I’ve seen. My boss went out of her way when I interviewed to let me know how open and accepting the university is and how supportive the president is of LGBT issues. I never mentioned I was gay, but I didn’t try to hide it. It’s part of who I am, but it’s not my defining characteristic. I have sort of mentioned things here and there but it was just in normal conversation. One of my coworkers was asking me yesterday how I was adapting and how I liked it up here, and I told her how much I really love it. I told her that “I had wanted out of Alabama, because it’s just not a good place to grow up as a gay boy.” I think she was happy that I confirmed it. I didn’t want my sexuality to be office gossip, but I figured that at some point it would come up. This particular co-worker confided in me after I’d actually said that I was gay, that when I’d had my phone interview and I’d said that the school had put me on charge of the drama club, even though I had no previous experience with the dramatic arts, she knew she wanted to get me out of Alabama and really pushed for me to get the job. They had really liked my cover letter and resume, so all I had to do was back it up and be a pleasant person. I’d already been told that it was a unanimous vote amongst the staff to hire me, but I had no idea that they’d basically decided to hire me after my telephone interview.
The important thing is that I am free to be me. I can be myself, and I don’t have to worry about hiding my politics to keep my job or hiding my sexuality to keep my job or hiding anything for that matter. I get to be the me that I’ve always wanted to be and do a job that really is a dream job because I am in a job where I am actually valued for my expertise and my work and opinion matters. Most of all, I am happy.
PS I realize that the winter will be harsh, but so far Mother Nature has been good to me. She is slowly easing me into winter. I’ve been told that Vermont is having its mildest November in a long time, and December is expected to slowly bring us into the brunt of the winter. I am sure that in a couple of months, I will be complaining about the weather and how cold it is, but right now I am looking forward to it.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I really do believe this old adage. Growing up, I loved to watch Mama and Grandmama cook. I learned so much from them, and then I expanded my knowledge by Food Network and experimenting with different flavors. By experimenting and learning what spices are best used with what and how t blend flavors, I can often eat a dish once and then replicate it. My cooking skills is something that I take pride in, even though I know pride is one of the seven deadly sins.
I love cooking for others. I have had the tremendous joy this week to be able to cook for my boyfriend. We are getting to spend time with one another while I am house sitting. My boyfriend makes me so happy. I’ve been able to to cook each night for him, and he’s so appreciative of my cooking. It seems to make him happy, which is always my goal when I cook for someone.
I’ve hear all my life what a good husband I will make, but when I cook, I do so because I love it. I truly do love to cook, and I love to experiment and am especially happy when trying something new pays off. I don’t know if any of you love cooking, but it’s a wonderful pastime. And most importantly, it makes other people happy.
Move over, Hooters. A new Texas restaurant is all about the scantily-clad men. There have been rumors of an all male version of Hooters for years, but most of them, such as Woodpeckerz in New Orleans, turned out to be pranks. However, the new restaurant in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood (the gay section of Dallas) seems to be legitimate this time.
Tallywackers is a bar and restaurant slated to open in May in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood, the Houston Chronicle reported. Based on promotional photos on Facebook, the all-male waitstaff will be dressed in not much more than pairs of tight briefs. Although the restaurant is situated in a predominantly gay neighborhood, Tallywackers is a place for any and every customer. The restaurant is planning to cater to gay men and straight women.
I wonder how many women will drag their husbands to Tallywackers because the food is “very good,” like husbands drag their wives to Hooters. I doubt many will do so. I never understood the appeal of Hooters, but then again, I’m gay. But quite honestly, there food just isn’t that good, no matter what many men say.
A spokesperson for Tallywackers said its founder conceived of the idea “10 years ago while enjoying the business we all know and love known as “Hooters.” The spokesperson told HuffPost:
He asked himself the same question we’ve all been asking for years, “Why isn’t there a male version for the opposite demographic?” After thorough planning and scouting for the perfect location we are excited to launch Tallywackers, a Bar, Restaurant, and Live Entertainment venue here in the heart of Dallas, Texas.
“While we are aiming towards the LGBT community as part of our audience, we are also expecting and welcome, a diverse clientele including women,” a spokesperson told HuffPost.
The menu will include dishes like pasta, pizza and hot dogs, and there will be live entertainment. According to Eater Dallas, the restaurant will be making its debut in Oak Lawn May and will no doubt become a hotspot for bachelorette parties, girls’ nights and Sunday brunch with aunties. After the success of Magic Mike, it was only a matter of time for a sanctuary like this to open. A place where washboard abs and cheese fries could become one. If this “fine” dining establishment achieves success and more locations sprout up around the country, my future self might turn out to be one of their longtime customers. Let’s hope the hot wings are good, and there will soon be a location nearby.
P.S. Roosters was a suggested name I once saw for an all male version of Hooters.
I’m still down in bayou country. I had planned to head back yesterday, but my friend begged me to stay a few more days, so I’m heading back home on Tuesday. It’s gonna make for a busy week once I get back, but it will be okay. I enjoying my stay and being able to hang out with one of my best friends and see a few other friends during the meantime.
I’m not sure what the plan is for today. It was mentioned that we would do something, but no specifics were mentioned. I guess we will play it by ear. I kind of enjoy a vacation in which nothing is expected and you can just go with the flow. Whatever we do, we will have a great time doing it, even if it’s just relaxing at the house.
And just a word of warning to anyone who might visit south Louisiana and Cajun country, if something ever says hot and spicy, it’s always has more than just a little kick to it. I enjoy spicy foods, but I like to be able to taste the food, not have my taste buds burned off with the first bite. However, if you are a lover of hot and spicy foods, you will no doubt love Cajun cuisine and the heat they add to nearly all other foods.
I don’t do these TMI posts from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy every week, but on occasion, I see a topic that I can’t resist. Since I love to cook, this one was a no brainer. I had to answer the question. I hope you enjoy my answers.
1. How good of a cook are you?
I’m actually a really good cook. I’ve experimented a lot with different spices and how they taste, so I can usually eat something once and then recreate it. I can also cook a wide variety of food, such as Southern comfort foods, Italian cuisine, Creole and Cajun, Mexican, and various other types of dishes. I’ve never had anyone taste my food that didn’t love it, even when it’s something they don’t normally like. As my aunt usually asks, “Did you doctor it?” My answer is always yes. I’m going to make sure it tastes good before I serve it.
2. Who taught you how to cook?
My grandmama taught me the most about cooking, and my mama helped out a lot as well. They both taught me how to cook good southern food. I learned to cook everything else I cook from watching the Food Network and experimenting with their recipes.
3. Who does the cooking in your home?
I do all of the cooking in my home. Usually, at least once a week or so, I also cook for my neighbors.
4. Do you cook more or eat out more?
I do more cooking than eating out. I enjoy eating out, but I love in a rural area, so eating out is not convenient. I cook what we have at home mostly. This also allows me to regulate the calorie and carb content of my cooking. I almost always make one meat, two vegetables and a bread. The only exception is when I make soups or stews then I only add a bread to that.
5. Are you more of a cook or dessert maker?
I am more of a cook. My mother and I together can make wonderful desserts, but alone, I’m not so good at it. I do make fabulous cookies, though. It’s the one sweet that my mother taught me well enough that I can make cookies and brownies on my own. We used to make a lot of cookies at Christmas time. In fact, we still do, just not together. And I almost forgot, I make a wonderful peach cobbler, but I love to adapt it and use plums instead, which is beyond delicious.
6. What was your worst/funniest cooking moment?
My worst moment is any time I try to fry chicken. My mama can fry a chicken better than anyone I’ve ever known, but I’ve never had her gift, and good fried chicken is a gift.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a funniest cooking moment. Although I recently made a fake coconut cake for a friend: styrofoam for the cake, rolled-out clay for the icing, and fake snow for the coconut. It looks beautiful and delicious, but you wouldn’t want to eat it.
7. What’s your best dish?
My best dish is Scallopini al Vino, which is veal in a white wine sauce. Pair that with risotto, bacon-wrapped asparagus, some linguini, and a good loaf of Italian or French bread, and along with a good pinot grigio, you have a delicious feast. (The dessert will be in the bedroom.)
I do my best cooking with Italian food, but if you prefer Southern comfort food, I can make a delicious meal by frying some pork chops, cooking collard greens and pink-eyed purple hull peas, with some fried hot water cornbread, that as they say in the South “Will make you slap yo mama!”
8. Is revenge a dish best served cold?
I don’t think revenge is a good dish at all. It’s best if you forgive and forget. Why dwell on something when you should jut move on. It’s best just to let anyone you’d want to take revenge on to just go their merry way, and let that be that.
9. Is the best way to a man’s heart truly through his stomach?
Absolutely! Let me cook for a man with a good appetite, and I’m pretty sure I can have him not only for the rest of the night (I make fabulous French toast for breakfast), but for the rest of his life as well. People have always told me that I’d make a wonderful husband, I just haven’t been given the chance to prove it. One day, I will though, and I have no doubt that my cooking skills will close the deal.
Have you made whoopee in the kitchen? Which foods have you used to spice up your love life?
Nope, I’ve never made whoopee in the kitchen, but it is a fantasy of mine. I’ve never used food to spice up my love life, mainly because it’s nearly non-existent. However,that is something I would do if I had the chance. I will say though that Charles Anthony’s Restaurant at “The Pub” in Montgomery, Alabama, has a creme brûlée for dessert is truly an orgasmic experience. I’m serious, take one bite and your dick gets rock hard, eat all of it, and you’ve had an orgasm in your pants. If you are able to resist the orgasm, then you will be so horny by the time you get home, that your significant other won’t know what hit him.