Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
We had big plans to tour the historic sites while there. I am currently reading The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks which focuses on the Battle of Franklin, five of the bloodiest hours of the Civil War that killed 9,200 soldiers and wounded many more. It is based on the life of Carrie McGavock, whose Franklin home, the Carnton Plantation, became a Confederate hospital and who later tended a massive cemetery in her backyard.
For Christmas Steve and Anna bought Ben and I a cooking class at the Viking Cooking School. There are several types of classes offered there but ours was what is known as a Chef's Table Class. This means you sit at the counter with a small number of people while the chef prepares several dishes in front of you. The class holds up the eight people, but we lucked out - it ended up only being Steve, Anna, Ben and me in the class. It was like our own private party. We also had the benefit of eating twice the food!
Chef Brandy Lewis was our chef for the night. Brandy attended the Culinary Institute in NYC and toted a very impressive resume. She prepared for us a dinner of Jumbo Lump Crabcakes with Chipotle Tarter Sauce, Grilled Veal Chops with Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pan Sauce, Proscuitto & Parmesan Gougeres, Arugula & Basil Salad and Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies with Espresso Ice Cream - YUMMO! It was absolutely delicious but my favorite part was watching her cook and having her teach us all her special "chef tricks"! I wish we had a Viking School in Birmingham. However, it is probably best that we don't...at a $100 a head it was not cheap and we would soon be broke from my expensive habit.
Here Chef Brandy shows us how to make the Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies.
And we even get a little taste of the batter!
After the class you are offered 10% off anything in the store! While, I had my eye on the gas top viking stove I settled on a very nice Santoku knife, a bamboo spatula and a pot holder. It was one of my all time favorite evenings. I think I might just go to the Culinary Institute in NYC and follow in Chef Brandy's footsteps...well maybe not, but a girl can dream!
Monday, March 17, 2008
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17 in honor of the anniversary of Saint Patrick's death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat are waived and people dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762. Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers to reconnect with their Irish roots, as well as fellow Irishmen serving in the English army.
Just a little knowledge about what makes today so special. I hope you have a...
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Here we go...lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Ben visited the Reptile Room (no thanks!) while I hung out with the flamingos and watched them eat, fight with each other and balance on one leg. I could have stayed there all day.
Did you know that flamingos are born white?
They don't get their beautiful color until after their first birthday.
I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.
Only a hippopotamus will do...uh hum, sorry.
Did you know that hippos kill more humans than any other animal in Africa? They also make their own sunscreen!
Dangerous, yet resourceful.
The giraffes were my second favorite animal at the zoo.
The camera didn't catch it, but this guy totally just winked at me.
I was surprised at how small the zebras were. More the size of a donkey than a horse.
Tigers sleep 20 hours a day...lucky animal. He did however wake up long enough for me to see him pee...definitely a boy! His paws were almost as big as Marley's!
While everything wasn't quite open yet (still a little early in the season, I suppose) we had a great time at the zoo. Lots to see. I think I might go back and visit my flamingo and giraffe friends again soon. Maybe next time we will get to see Babec the gorilla.
We finished the day off with visit to the Mountain Brook Creamery where I enjoyed a strawberry smoothie and Ben cooled off with 2 scoops of mint chocolate chip. It was a fun day of sightseeing in our very own city...but the best part was spending some quality time with my hubby.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Please be watching for lots of new blogs over the next couple of busy, fun packed weeks. Here's a little teaser to keep you waiting:
This week is Ben's Spring Break. We are planning lots of fun activities to take advantage of our extra time together. We are taking a little day trip Thursday to a destination yet to be determined. This weekend we will be making our way to Nashville for a cooking class and tour of a Civil War plantation. Tuesday my parents are coming to town for Easter. (I can't wait! Should have lots of good stories to blog about after a week with my folks!)
So, if you haven't already forgotten about us keep coming back...I promise to deliver some new posts soon!