Monthly Archives: July 2015

~ Deep-Fried Croissants ~

We were driving down the road to the Cape Fear River, bathed in the golden early morning light, and I was so groggy in my pre-caffeinated mind, that I could barely think in a straight line.

Until I saw this sign.

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I sat bolt upright with the adrenaline of a toddler who’d been given espresso, my eyes sparkled with the excitement of a hardened crack addict about to get their fix, and my toes started to cramp.

(I can’t really explain the cramping toe part.)

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Papa parked the car, and I tripped over myself to get out.

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As soon as Papa’s car door opened, the scent of fresh baked pastries hit me in a punch of buttery, vanilla-y, sugary goodness.  We hadn’t even gone into the store yet, and already my Fat-Senses were tingling. (Fat-Senses?  They’re like Spider-Senses on Spiderman, or Bat-Senses on Batman.  We all have our own super powers.  Don’t judge.)

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As soon as we walked in, we could feel the benevolence and nurturing that is Burney’s Bakery.  The hot coffee fumes in the air mingled with the deep fryer’s oil.   Papa and I felt the waves of love wash over us. I whimpered with the exuberant joy of a puppy as I pressed my nose up against the glass and shook with excitement.  I did everything but pee on the floor.

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Our eyes were filled with the glorious artery-cloggers before us.

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The tarts and cakes and pies!

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The cupcakes!

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And the spanking fresh doughnuts!

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But then, through the corner of our eyes, we spied the Holy Grail of carbohydratic delight, and everything else faded into the background.

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There, dancing and frolicking in the deep-fryer, were the true treasures of this bakery.

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They were not doughnuts frying.  They weren’t hushpuppies, or French fries, or fish sticks.

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No, my beloved friends, your eyes are not deceiving you.  That wonderous magician of a baker is flipping her deep-fried butter CROISSANTS.  I’ll say it again:  Deep. Fried. Buttery. Croissants.

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Which she then lifted out to drain, and then washed in a gushing waterfall of pure sugary glaze.  I fainted.

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After Papa gallantly and lovingly scooped me off the floor, we watched as the glaze slowly hardened.  Then the gentle, sweet, nurturing baker violently crammed them with fillings ranging from Boston Crème, Chocolate, Raspberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry, Lemon, and Apple, to plain white frosting,

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and had the gall to ask us which ones we wanted.  AS IF we would not be taking some of every single flavor.

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We were, after all, taking these back to Maryland specifically for Varmint and Critter.

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And yes, those are only two children, but we didn’t know exactly what flavor they would want, and feared we’d miss the mark.  Papa is, if nothing else, anxious to spoil, as any good grandfather is.  So we got one of every deep fried stuffed butter croissant they had to offer.  And a few other things, for good measure.

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Including one of Varmint’s favorite all-time flavors of doughnuts and cakes: Red-Velvet.

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Is this love, or what?

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Or maybe gluttony.  I’m not sure what the difference is, frankly.

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We thanked the lovely bakers profusely, and left with our three big boxes of artery-busting, renal system crushing, pants-seam punishing gifts of edible love.

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Burney’s Bakery in Southport, North Carolina……Do. Not. Miss. It.

(And bring us back a box!)

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~ Key Lime Pie In A Glass ~

Fortunately for my family, I’m far, far too busy (i.e. distracted, tired, lazy) to take the time to serve one of these up to myself:

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But honestly, if I ever were to get less busy (i.e. more focused, energetic, and motivated), I would go ahead and buy the ingredients to have this with my morning coffee,

and with my afternoon tea,

and my evening milk of Magnesia,

and my bedtime castor oil. (Not really.  I’m gross, but not that gross.)

It is called a Key Lime Pie Martini, and it is comprised of: Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, and love.

And believe me when I say, you can really taste the LOVE!

At least, I felt it by the bottom of my glass at Elijah’s restaurant in Wilmington, North Carolina.

(It’s a good thing we don’t live in Wilmington!)

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~ Bacon Thangs ~

Not far from Goggy and Papa’s place in Southport, North Carolina, is a diner called Eric’s Grille. 

This nut is Eric: 2015-07-22 10.07.32 Eric told me I was beautiful, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAPTAIN, the first day he met me.  My Captain’s reaction?

Nothin’.

Nada.

Not even an eyeroll.

I’m in love with Eric.  He’s my new best friend.  My Captain shouldn’t get too comfortable, is what I’m saying.

Goggy, Papa, My Captain and I ordered, were served, and were eating breakfast, when my new boyfriend, Eric, came up to our table with this plate as an offering to me to show his undying affection.  He didn’t actually come out and say that, or anything, but I understood.  Sometimes words are so unnecessary, am I right? ??????????????

He calls his invention “Bacon Thangs.”  Crispy bacon, dunked in pancake batter, deep-fried, and served up with maple syrup…they are deep-fried love, baby! ??????????????

And I am pretty darn sure he does not offer these babies to just anyone.2015-07-22 10.04.00 Only those of us he finds beautiful.

***SIGH***

So now I have a new love list:

1) Troy (AKA My Captain)

2) Trey Gowdy, the true rockstar in our country’s political world.  This guy is such a cowboy.

3) Eric, owner and executive chef at Eric’s Grille in Southport, North Carolina. I’m not saying My Captain should be sweating, or anything, but if I were him, I’d start showing up with flowers every now and then….

or offerings with bacon…

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~ The Answer To A Bad Day ~

I was exhausted. Painted all day in an non-airconditioned house in 95 degree humid, humid, HUMID heat.  We have new renters coming into the rental house up in Walkersville, and we are trying to spruce the place up a bit, and make it welcoming.  ( I even bought a “Home Sweet Home” garden rock.  AWWWwwwww!)

Fast forward to me this afternoon,  splattered in white and ‘Cool Platinum’ (aka, tan) paint, with sweat in every possible crevice in my body.  Oh heck, at my weight, we might as well call them crevasses. (That’s a climber/spelunker/fat chick joke if you missed it.  Is this thing on?  Try the fish.)  My cool dri-more underwear was neither cool, nor more dry. To sum the situation up that was ME, I had lost that fresh feeling.

What did I turn to for solace?

Alcohol?  Nope, I was already dehydrated.

Chocoate? Nope, my kids finished off the last of my Hershey’s Treasures, leaving only My Captain’s Special Dark – and who the heck wants that? Not me, that’s who.  I swear, that man likes his coffee and his chocolate like his wife – dark, strong, and bitter.

No, my friends, I turned to some leftovers in the fridge that, frankly, you’d never suspect could be used to placate a weary and grumpy mama.

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Broccoli Salad, or as I like to call it, “Broccoli Crack.”

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You can’t just eat a spoonful of this stuff.  That would be like having one piece of popcorn, or one potato chip, or one kiss from My Captain.  It just could never, ever be enough.

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Broccoli, onions, mayo, sugar, vinegar, raisins, sharp Vermont cheddar cheese, and the MAIN REASON I EAT THIS: BACON.  Seriously, more bacon than is reasonable.  I used three big clumps of broccoli, and a whole pound of bacon.  A whole FREAKING pound.  Because I don’t mess around, that’s why.

Will I die early?  Perhaps.  Will I be miserable with all the extra weight I carry around until I die early?  Of Course. Will I be unable to run because the friction of my thighs rubbing together would start a small fire in my crotch?

Wait, did I just say that?  God, it’s like I have NO filter.  My poor children.  What was My Captain thinking when he asked me to marry him?

He never really asked me to marry him, you know.  He just informed me that he would be taking care of me for the next 40 years.  I guess if I live past 40 years from that day, he’s planning on kicking me to the curb.

What the heck was I talking about?

Broccoli Crack.

My point, dear friends, is that if you are having a really tough day, don’t reach for the booze and the chocolate.  Reach instead for the healthier bacon….er, I mean broccoli salad.  It will make you happy again…at least until you remember that you have to go back to the rental house tomorrow for another fun-filled day of painting and crevasse sweat……

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~ Holy Plaque-Encrusted Artery, Batman! ~

I am the luckiest woman alive.

When I bought The Little Cottage on Peach Tree Road, I had the great fortune to buy it from a couple who’s niece was a talented and fun-loving chef.

Her name is Elise.

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She lives just around the corner from me, if country roads had corners, and we weren’t counting distance.

Elise Wendland.  Chef Elise Wendland.  Executive Chef Elise Wendland.

She’s won awards, she’s been invited to special cook-offs by politicians and other folks way more important than I will ever be.  And she stays real.  Kind.  Humble.  She’s the kind of Chef you would want to sit and talk food with for hours, literally.  She’s not an a**hole chef like so many you see.  She’s really an artist with edibles.

And I’ve seen some amazing things come out of her kitchen at The Comus Inn At Sugarloaf Mountain.

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Of all the restaurants I’ve ever been to, this one has the best view I’ve ever seen.  It is of our beloved bump we call a mountain.

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(This is the same mountain Critter runs on in Crocs.)

But tonight, when she posted her lunch special on Facebook, I went straight from feeling lucky for knowing such a fine person who is so good at what she does, to falling headlong into total admiration. In short, I want to be Elise when I grow up.

“What,” say you, “could possibly have pushed you into such a chef-crush, Mama? You’re no slouch, yourself, in the kitchen!”

(Gosh, that was kind of you to say, thank you!)

Well, I’ll tell you. But first, I’ll show you:

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Holy Plaque Encrusted Artery, Batman!  Is that a  Fried Green Tomato, Pimento Cheese and Bacon topped, Hickory Smoked Burger?

Oh Hell yes, it is, my friends.

So the real question now is:  How fast can you get to The Comus Inn at Sugarloaf Mountain?

And tell Elise to drop one of those bad boys at The Little Cottage on her way home, will ya?

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