Thanksgiving + a travel app for that.

I sleep with my dogs. As much as I love them and they love me,  in the middle of the night sometimes one will suddenly fully stretch, kicking clawed little paws straight out and into my back, pushing me away. That’s how I feel about Thanksgiving this year a little bit. I love Thanksgiving, I do. But for some reason this year I keep having this automatic push it away now! reaction.

Even though I’m loving the chatter about what to make to impress or terrify your guests this year, I’m feeling a tad humbug, probably because I have forfeited the right to contribute either magnificent or mediocre treats by visiting my [wonderful, loving, dear] in-laws who have it all under control. It’s fine – and I do mean that. I didn’t really want to spend hours tending and turning a $75 heritage breed freaky bird anyway.

Me, resenting Thanksgiving 2010. Heritage bird in the oven, pet trying to make me fall.

Last year we went to a local farm, picked our bird and watched the processing. Whoa. Intense, followed by self-inflicted stress of having to roast the perfect heritage breed turkey. Yo – roasting a heritage breed is a whole different Butterball. I looked at a million different sites and freaked about how not to screw up this little investment.

One of the prettier birds we saw on the farm (not ours).

My compiled research on how to roast a heritage breed turkey. Seriously.

My basting schedule for the perfect heritage breed turkey. Seriously.

You may or may not have the wits to avoid tedious holiday tasks like committing to a heritage breed turkey or other intimidating menu of items you have never prepared in your life. I’m not here to judge.

I am here to tell you that if you live in or around Chapel Hill/Durham/Raleigh, NC and you have a bunch of family flying to RDU from who knows where asking you what they should do and where they should eat, don’t turn away in anger or begin a low whimpering grumble about the holidays. Gently, with a white gloved hand, cradle their darling chins and tell them to download North Carolina Travel: Raleigh + more! , the newly released iTunes app written with great sincerity by me, for you, and your sweet, loving relatives who need to get out of your kitchen next week.

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It’s not you. It’s me.

No, you look great! You’ve still got that twinkle in your eye and that sweet, eager face. This isn’t about you. It’s me. Me looking tired, looking stressed, forehead wrinkling like so many creases in a chinese bitter melon.

Uneven. Wrinkly. Unsightly bumps. My skin looks like this these days, only less green.


I’ve got too many of those spinning plates in the air right now.

I'm actually holding up the stage supporting those girls.

I need space. I’ve got a few exciting, time demanding projects in the cooker right now that keep me from sharing little bits of interesting with you on a regular basis. I’m absolutely itching to break the story on those items, but I’m not quite ready.

You can still read my local buzz column, Orange Zest for I’m going to do my best to maintain the Upcoming Triangle Food Events tab at the top of the page to keep you in the know about the social food thingies that will keep you knowledgeable and appropriately buzzed on free wine samples, of course. I wouldn’t want you to miss an interesting class on home fermentation or wine pairings. I love being your source of info on crazy and affordable food events like that. If anyone wants to see your handsome face succeeding, getting smarter, and learning about beer at a dinner led by the brewmaster and founder of some obscure brewery in rural North Carolina it’s not the other guys. It’s me.

Posted in Chapel Hill-Carrboro cool stuff, Crazy food items in the Marketplace, Daily Specials, Durham locavore, Durham small business, Events, Food and Booze, North Carolina food, NYC, Slow Food, Southern Food, Travel, Triangle Locavore, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Now serving: Milkshake

My inbox is the sad proof that I’m a sucker for email giveaways. Dinner for two at a fancy restaurant in NYC, a weekend getaway to some mountain retreat, a book. I’ve entered hundreds of these things. I’ve never won anything. But still, daily, the very glimpse of an opportunity for something awesome for totally “free” (all they want is my teeny tiny insignificant email address in exchange for the chance to win a luxurious ten day trip to Sicily? SURE!) perks me up.

One can only imagine the amount of junkmail I receive. Please spare the commentary on how the bad people in this world totally use my sucker-ness to hack into various accounts or passwords or whatevs. I know, I know. We’ll see who’s lecturing who when I’m sitting pretty on the sands of a beach in the Cook Islands for the tiny price of signing up to receive email notifications about a puddle jumper airline in New Zealand.

Imagine me. Off in the distance...totally not waving to you, Mr. Lecture Pants!

Sometimes I actually enjoy these newsletters I get sucked into through giveaways. Once in a while they are awesome. Case in point: Milkshake.

In their words, “Milkshake invites you to discover hip products, cool causes, great destinations, sustainable endeavors, compassionate companies, storefronts and restaurants and inspiring people”.

I can’t say this Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. I can say that through features on efforts at Baking for Good and Peaceworks, it reminds me that the world is overflowing with people out there working their hardest to make everything just a little bit better. Yum.

And of course, I can’t leave you with just that heartwarming bit of yum. If you’re in the kitchen this weekend craving something a bit more fancy than an old fashioned milkshake, please please make this recipe for Iced Chocolate from Paris-based dessert genius David Lebovitz. Great mother of YUUUUUUUMMM!!!

David Lebovitz's amazing iced chocolate. Like a milkshake, only David Lebovitz-ier (the best you'll probably ever have). Photo courtesy of David Lebovitz's awesome website.

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Top of the Vic Pop: the weekend’s best bets

Pink wine pink wine everywhere and not a drop for me. This heat has clearly inspired wine folks around the Triangle to break out bottles of Vic Pop’s seasonal summer beverage of choice, Rosé. Even though I won’t be able to attend all the free rosé tastings around the Triangle this weekend, you should absolutely do your best to make it to Sip from 5:00pm – 9:00pm tonight in Cary and 3Cups at 1:00pm tomorrow afternoon in Chapel Hill for an education about a highly misunderstood type of wine.

Triangle Restaurant Week ends on June 12th, which means two more days to support a handful of really delicious local restaurants. Check out the above tab Upcoming Triangle Food Events 2011 for a listing of other food and booze events in your neck of the woods.

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Discount code for TerraVITA Food & Wine Event

‘Cause I love you, I think you’re pretty, and I want you to attend the amazing celebration of sustainable food and beverage that is TerraVITA, here’s a little reason for you to break out the AmEx before 10:00am.

Vic Pop readers can use the discount code TVEFOOD to receive 15% off the purchase price of their tickets. This code will expire in about a week, so click here to get buyin’.

Details about the event:

TerraVITA Food & Wine Event will take place between 1:00pm – 4:00pm on Saturday, September 24, 2011 on The Green at Southern Village, an upscale, environmentally-conscious, mixed-use community in Chapel Hill, NC. Tickets for the Grand Tasting are all-inclusive (all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as food samplings are included) and can be purchased for $65 each. Designated driver (no alcohol) tickets may also be purchased for $55.

Tickets for The Sustainable Classroom Speaker Series go on sale June 20th, 2011. More information can be found on the TerraVITA website, and additional details about the speakers and topics will be added by June 18th.

Posted in Chapel Hill-Carrboro cool stuff, Crazy food items in the Marketplace, Daily Specials, Durham locavore, Durham small business, Events, Food and Booze, Locavore, North Carolina food, North Carolina small business, Slow Food, Southern Food, Travel, Triangle Locavore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Terra Vita Update – September 24, 2011

Fret not if you weren’t able to snag tickets to the Farm to Fork fundraiser at the end of this month. I have some serious inside scoop on the Triangle’s other amazing sustainable food and wine event, Terra Vita. Vic Pop just received word that the event this year will be held on Saturday, September 24th, from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at the Southern Village green in Chapel Hill. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 3rd (Tomorrow! Yay!).

This year will see the return of North Carolina’s best locavore chefs from the mountains to the coast along with wine, beer, coffee and tea people from around the world who are dedicated to selling the finest sustainable beverages. One major difference in 2011: event organizers have added a new component, the Sustainable Classroom, an educational track held from 9:00am – 12:30pm the morning of the festival featuring experts in  four categories: wine, food, farm & garden and sustainable culture.

Um, didn’t think that the event could get any better than last year, but yeah. That pretty much brings out the dork in Vic Pop that looooves me some learnin.

Vic Pop readers will once again be given a special discount code, which I’ll share asap. This event will sell out quickly, and it is one you definitely do not want to miss. Stay tuned, my pretty little ones.

Posted in Chapel Hill-Carrboro cool stuff, Daily Specials, Durham locavore, Durham small business, Events, Food and Booze, Locavore, North Carolina food, North Carolina small business, Slow Food, Southern Food, Travel, Triangle Locavore, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So much to eat and drink, so little time [to exercise]

Bless my heart.

While the Upcoming Triangle Food Events calendar is looking goo-ood, the forecast for a shrinking Vic Pop’s chubby little tummy is not so sunny. The only thing getting smaller these days seems to be my bank account. Sorry loving husband.  Here’s a quick peek at this month’s best bets.

  • Saturday, June 4th at A Southern Season, Chapel Hill – It’s June, and you know what that means at A Southern Season…everything is on sale.
  • Saturday, June 4th, from 1:00pm – 4:00pm at The Gardener’s Kitchen, Cary Basics of Hot Water Bath Canning.
  • Monday, June 6th – Sunday, June 12th Triangle Restaurant Week. In Vic Pop’s humble opinion, try to snag a reso for the 3-course lunch and dinner specials featured as part of restaurant week with one of the following participants: Six Plates (Durham), J. Betski’s (Raleigh), Watts Grocery (Durham), and Tribeca Tavern (Cary).
  • Friday, June 10th from 5:00pm – 9:00pm at Sip…a wine store, Cary – PINK WINE PARTY! Vic Pop’s two favorite things, pink wine and a party, brought to you by the sweet people at Sip. If you still think pink wines = White Zin, please mark your calendar and get your rear down to Sip for a delicious education.
Posted in Chapel Hill-Carrboro cool stuff, Durham locavore, Durham small business, Events, Food and Booze, Locavore, North Carolina food, North Carolina small business, Slow Food, Southern Food, Travel, Triangle Locavore | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment