Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cooking Demo at the Hip Donelson Farmer's Market

Just a quick note to say that I'll be doing a cooking demo at the Hip Donelson Farmer's Market tomorrow (Friday, May 31). The market opens at 4:00pm; my demo will start at 5:30pm. The demos at the market feature seasonal produce available that day from the farmers. Handouts with the recipe I use will be available at the demo. I will also post the recipe here afterwards.

Come on out and support local farmers and the community! For directions, see

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kraft, Duke's, or Hellman's? Or Blue Plate? Or ... ?

A few days ago, Karl Worley of Biscuit Love Truck here in Nashville posted an experimental recipe for pimento cheese on Twitter. The recipe specified Duke's mayonnaise. Lesley Lassiter, of Lesley Eats and Bites Blog (on the Nashville Scene), offered the opinion that she preferred Kraft mayonnaise. This launched a lively (friendly) debate amongst Nashville food enthusiasts about the Mayo of Choice. Before long Karl predicted that the headline in the next day's newspaper would read "Local Bloggers Tip Food Truck Over Mayo War." BJ Lofback of Riff's Truck dubbed the discussion #mayogate, participants started reaching out to chefs and food writers. Lesley wrote a fun post summarizing the mayo war on the Scene's web site, and the debate has continued. As for me ...

When I was growing up in the Atlanta area, my mother and my paternal grandmother (Nanny) used Blue Plate primarily, if not exclusively. At that point I just considered mayonnaise a necessary moistener for sandwiches and potato salad. (I was also fascinated by the water tower at the Blue Plate plant in a neighboring town: It was painted to look like a jar of Blue Plate! For a grainy B&W picture, after the brand changed to Mrs. Filbert's, see When I was old enough to stay overnight with  my maternal grandmother (Celie Mama), though, I discovered that she used Kraft. Kraft mayonnaise was a revelation to me. It had a stiffer texture, which I liked, and a lemony tang that seemed to enhance the overall taste of the food. When I was on my own and buying my own groceries, I made a beeline for Kraft and never looked back.

Sure, with the advent of food TV I started hearing that these famous chefs preferred Hellman's, and even went so far as to specify it in their recipes. I tried it. It was fine. But it was not what I wanted when I wanted mayonnaise. As for Duke's, despite its reputation as an iconic Southern brand, I'd never HEARD of it until a few years ago, when it started to be touted as an iconic Southern brand. I'd be willing to give it a try, but I've never been able to find it in less than a quart size jar. I don't buy quarts of mayonniase as it is -- a pint can last me forever. So, if you ever see Duke's for sale in a half-pint jar, let me know.

And Miracle Whip? Don't even go there. Don't. Even.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Have a Burger Your Way at YourWay Burgers & Wings, Dallas

It's a bit of a coincidence that I've been on a burger tear as my work travels have taken me around the country. More by chance than design I've found myself at one gourmet burger joint after another in various cities. It's been a delicious bit of focused exploration, and I look forward to continuing the trend.

The most recent entry was during a trip to Dallas a few weeks ago. I stay and work in the north Dallas area when I'm in town. I had to make a run to a nearby FedEx Office to pick up a print job. I'd not been to this FedEx before, and I found that it was in a small strip of shops that contained several restaurants and a cake bakery. It was mid-afternoon, but I hadn't had lunch, so I decided to have a bite before heading to the hotel. After perusing the choices, I thought it would be fun to continue the ongoing burger research and chose YourWay Burgers & Wings.

YourWay is a small chain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The location I visited was in the suburb of Farmer's Branch. The space has a clean, simple, contemporary decor, with the majority of the tables and booths in the front, with the ordering counter and bar along the left side in the back. It's not a huge restaurant, and is longer than it is wide, but it had a comfortable feel and could easily handle a sizeable lunch or dinner crowd.