Over the Fourth of July weekend, we stayed at Hard Labor Creek State Park, our first time camping in Georgia. The boys went fishing in our canoe in the lake that was 10 feet from our campsite. Unfortunately, our popup camper had a leak and after two nights of torrential rains, we went home – soaked to the bone, but a few fish richer!
Last night, I sautéed the crappie and bass in dry vermouth, buttery spread, and fish seasoning. I put the catfish in an egg wash, “breaded” them with crushed Kettle Brand Potato Chips (gluten free breading!), and pan fried them in buttery spread. Paul and I ate the fish along with sautéed wild chanterelle mushrooms he and Nathan found in the woods near our campsite. Nothing yummier than living off the land!
When people ask me where I’m from, I have to ask if they want to hear the long or the short version of the story. If it’s the long version, I have to explain that I was born in Manhattan. I spent my childhood on the Jersey Shore. Then I lived in Southern California in my teens and 20s. Then I moved to Colorado and lived there for nearly two decades except for a few year’s detour to the Chicago area, where my son was born. Then I moved to the Athens, Georgia area where I’ve lived for a year now.
Am I a Jersey Girl/Colorado Gal/Chicago Super Fan/Southerner? I don’t know, but I can tell you is that these days I’m a Yankee who’s fallen in love with a southern city – Athens, Georgia.
To most people Athens is a college town with a football problem. It’s also a politically conservative town with a church on every corner. Yet many people want to “keep Athens weird” by supporting the Classic City Girls roller derby team, the Human Rights Festival, and cheering the drag queens and the local Star Wars club in the holiday parade. In addition, since Athens is home to R.E.M. and the B-52s, , there’s a huge alternative music scene here, but people in the “Classic City” like their old time bluegrass and classic music, too.
For me, what I love best about Athens is the lively food scene from the farmers’ markets, to Top Chef Master winner Hugh Acheson’s two restaurants in town (The National and 5&10), to the smaller ethnic eateries, like Kelly’s. Even with the fantastic foodie scene, people here in Athens went nuts when Steak N Shake came to town. Sigh.
So what’s this Brunswick stew, country ham, and grits loving Yankee gal supposed to do but embrace it all?
Pictures from around Athens
The folks at FUZE and Glam asked me to highlight some of the unique facets of our hometowns on Instagram using the hashtag #FUZENation. Here are a few of my favorite shots:
Farm 225 – Local/Seasonal/Sustainable. Wonderful.
Thanks to FUZE for sponsoring my photo journey of Athens!
FUZE. Never just one thing.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by FUZE via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of FUZE.
It’s rare that I write about anything but food, health and occasionally travel here at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet. But I had to share seeing the wonderful JD McPherson last week at the world famous 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia. Not only that, but the band stayed at my home for a couple of nights, while they played Atlanta.
You see, Paul and I are good friends with JD’s bass player and producer, Jimmy Sutton, from when lived in Chicago a thousand years ago. (Or so it seems.) Having the guys staying with us, getting caught up with Jimmy, and seeing the band reminded me of the days before we had kids – and weren’t too old to stay up all night dancing, chatting, eating, and drinking. Sigh.
At George’s Lowcountry Table in Athens, Georgia, you can get two dozen oysters for $12 on Tuesday. I like my oysters raw, but they also chargrill them.
The National and Ciné's Dinner & A Movie happens three nights a week, Sunday through Tuesday. It’s a great way to try out celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s The National restaurant for a reasonable price. Plus it makes a great date night since the Ciné movie theater is just next door. You can check out the latest Dinner & a Movie menu here and the Ciné movie schedule here. Make sure to make reservations by calling 706-549-3450. The National is at 232 W Hancock Ave. in Athens, Georgia.
Lucie and I took my mom for English tea at the Madison Tea Room & Garden while she was visiting during Thanksgiving. I highly recommend it as a terrific girls’ day out for lunch. Lucie and her mémé loved it. And any excuse to wear funny hats, drink tea, and eat little sandwiches and desserts is A-OK with me, too!