Site Meter
Consutorseo.in Todoensalud.info Reparaciondepc.info Seoposicionamiento.info Empresaseo.info Seogog.info Reparaciondeordenador.info Comopreparar.org Mijardin.net Noms.cl Putalawea.net Sexshopxxx.net Pescadeportiva.tv Orantech.net Tengounsecreto.net Tengounsecreto.in Geektrop.com Elcabaret.cl Hayqueserirresponsable.com Altaenbuscadores.cl tengosecretos.tumblr.com portusalud.tumblr.com elcriadero.tumblr.com programolaweb.tumblr.com elcurso.tumblr.com sinofertas.tumblr.com losbuitres.tumblr.com esmagia.tumblr.com buscoterapiacl.tumblr.com abogadogratis.tumblr.com blogsdeautomoviles.tumblr.com gogcom.tumblr.com tuiters.tumblr.com registrarmarca.us registrodedominios.in abogadodemarcas.in busquedademarcas.info peliculas3d.info productoraaudiovisual.org

Down South

the greenbrierI’ve always wanted to be from the South. Odd because I’ve only been to Austin, TX and many would say that hardly counts. Last week I tried to pick up some tips while in West Virginia. Like Austin, there’s apparently quite a bit of debate about how truly Southern West Virginia is. But I’ll tell you, it was humid, there were mosquitoes, mint juleps, biscuits at lunch, “ma’ams” and “ya’alls”, a great deal of bacon, and bright floral wallpaper. I’ll leave it to you to decide.

the greenbrierI stayed at The Greenbrier Hotel for the Professional Food Writers Symposium. It was other-worldly in so many ways: long hallways leading to blasts of color, a line of white rocking chairs looking out over an expansive lawn, horse-drawn carriages, farms and country roads, and porches with wicker chairs that hold you tight in the mornings and even tighter in the evenings as the light turns a dusky shade of purple.

the greenbrierThere were three very square meals, dozens of new friends, one Dorie Greenspan (!), uncountable oaks and sycamores, patches of inviting lawn, pages and pages of notes and handouts, and many a smiling stranger.

the greenbrierThere was afternoon tea in which couples would languish with nowhere else to go–continuing to refill their cups while listening to the piano until it was time to dress for dinner. Women pulling along tow-headed children in neat pastels with matching shoes. Men golfing in plaid shorts and families playing croquet and shuffleboard.

afternoon teaSo there were all of these things and more. But for me, most importantly: there were my people. One of the women at the symposium appropriately deemed it “our tribe.” For those of you who do any kind of writing, you know that sometimes it can be a lonely endeavor. It’s just me and my antique desk and some coffee and an existential battle to turn off twitter and unplug from email. Sometimes there’s a little dish of M & M’s and often there’s some Pandora. But that’s about it. Baking is also pretty darn lonely. It’s just me rolling out pie dough early in the morning. If I’m lucky, I’ll remember music or listen to a podcast, but often I’m running over thoughts in my head or sneaking out to talk to Sam for a few minutes while a sheet of cookies cools.

Rarely do I have people to talk to about my craft — people who are equally excited about new cookbooks, jam techniques, revolutionary ice cream methods, writers, authors, bloggers. People who talk about how they do things, what works for them, what you should try, who you should contact, who knows who and how the heck it is that we’re all connected. Talking, sharing, exchanging, advising, giggling, eye-rolling. These were the people who, all week, were right across the table from me at the crack of dawn gossiping over a soft boiled egg or drinking dry martinis in bright turquoise chaise lounges as the second hand neared midnight.

mintI’ve been home for a little over a week now. I miss my tribe dearly. Reality has a way of forcing you to jump right back into daily life though, doesn’t it? I made almost 60 pounds of granola last weekend, baked pies for the farmers market, and managed to unpack, throw a load of laundry in and download these photos. I made an heirloom tomato salad and caught up with a few friends. My head is still spinning. In a good way. You see, that’s what happens when you’ve got your people around. That’s what happens when you’re challenged, baffled, inspired, and nourished.

In addition to all of the great networking and new friends, I’ve taken home a cocktail recipe that I couldn’t seem to get enough of while at the Greenbrier. The Mint Julep.

At the hotel bar, we’d meet before dinner and order mint juleps. They were served in the traditional silver cups and were just the way I like them: strong and not at all too sweet. The Greenbrier uses perfectly-shaped, pearl-sized pieces of ice and I actually spent some time searching these out here in Oakland with little success. So I settled on some good mostly-crushed ice. I know some of you on the East Coast are in fall mode right now, but in California it feels more like July than September. So there have been mint juleps this week. And I hope you’ll find time to squeeze one in before the evenings get too chilly. I hope you can enjoy one with “your people,” too. Whatever that looks like for you. It’ll mean more that way. Trust me.


Mint Julep
Inspired by evenings at the Main Bar at the Greenbrier Hotel

Ingredients:
7 mint leaves
finely chopped ice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces bourbon

Directions: Place mint leaves in the bottom of a glass cup or traditional silver cup. Add the sugar and muddle the mint and sugar together, breaking down and bruising the mint and making sure the sugar is dissolved. Fill glass with finely chopped ice. Pour bourbon over the ice. Stir well; add more ice if needed. Garnish with a few sprigs of mint.

Note: If you like your mint julep a touch sweeter, make a mint simple syrup and add 1-2 teaspoons, depending on taste. Makes: 1 cocktail

  1. Posted September 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I love all of this. Especially the mint juleps!

  2. Posted September 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    I am now craving a mint julep!

  3. Posted September 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Oh that sounds perfect. Take me with you, I want to be one of your people.

  4. Posted September 22, 2011 at 2:16 am

    What a perfect love song to our time at the Greenbrier. Your words and photos are gorgeous and true. Thank you for this! Wish I was still out in CA so we could connect there….

  5. Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I’m so happy to be part of your tribe. Also- the pictures are perfect – thanks for sharing! I did a horrible job documenting the place in photos and had a hard time describing the vibe, which you captured perfectly! Can I get your granola on the east coast/NYC area?

  6. Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Always wanted to go to the south too and eat biscuits. I have a friend in Austin to visit, but like you say, I’m not sure how “south” Austin really is.

  7. Jessica Kyler
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

    Beautiful article, Megan! Lynn sent it to me this morning and it made my day. Love your photos!

  8. Posted September 22, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Refreshing and delightful drink! Mint being my fav..will make it for sure.

  9. Posted September 22, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I love hearing more about your trip! It looks and sounds amazing.

    Did I ever tell you my Mint Julep story? A friend and I ordered them at the Alembic a few years back, and they were crazy-strong. You probably would have liked them just that way but I was so not prepared for it! Not wanting to offend the snooty bartender (or embarrass ourselves, I guess), I actually ran across the street and bought a box of sugar. And I just happened to have purchased a set of teaspoons that day, which were in my purse (weird, I know). So we sat there, sneaking teaspoons of sugar into our drinks under the bar until the Juleps were more manageable.

    Totally ended up with sugar spilled all over my purse the next day.

    I bet yours are better.

  10. Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Megan, you captured the sense of “the tribe,”
    as well as the look and feel of The Greenbrier.
    Wonderful! Toni Allegra

  11. Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I’ve been waiting for this post!! Short of a happy hour conversation, this is the next best thing to catching up. So happy to read that you had a great time, it sounds like the start of many an adventure and good projects, and it couldn’t be more well-deserved :)

    I may have a bottle of mint julep mix in my cabinet that I won at some networking event a couple of years ago and is still untouched. Interested?

  12. Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Sounds like a lovely trip! Hooray to being inspired and to drinking mint juleps. It’s been ages since I’ve had one and I’d love to drink one down south in a traditional cup.

  13. Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I love that “your people” :) I always feel lonely and that my kids, honey don’t understand why I write. I do it for me and for no one else.

  14. Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Happily stumbled upon your blog! I too am enjoying mint juleps during this heat spell. Up here in wine country, it’s been 95+ the last 3 days. Cheers to a possible Indian summer and mint juleps till the rains come.

  15. Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Beautiful photos and the drinks look lovely, love the little mason jars.

  16. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks, Aaron! So glad you stumbled upon the blog and are enjoying it. It is kind of perfect weather though, isn’t it: cool mornings and evenings and hot days? Happy (almost) weekend.

  17. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Hmm generally don’t turn down those kind of offers! Wonder if it’s a super sweet, pre-mixed kind of affair? And yes, we so desperately need to catch up. I’ll be thinking of you in NYC, my friend and our sort-of upcoming dinner. xoxo.

  18. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks, Toni!

  19. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hey Emily! It was hard to step out of the moment and take photos, wasn’t it? I’m so happy you’re part of my tribe, too! Thinking about you over there in that chicken coop :) I do ship the granola, but it’s not currently available in retail shops back East. Info. on the Marge Bakery website. Hope you’re well, my friend!

  20. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Ashley: you are one of my people :)

    Maureen: So lovely to meet you. Thanks for your sweet comment.

    Janet: Hehe! You never told me that story; I love it and can just picture the whole thing (why did you have spoons in your purse?!)

    Maris, Jessica, Casey, Bridget and Amanda: Thank you!

  21. Posted September 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    What lovely photos. We’re smack dab in the middle of the south where I live here in north Florida. I’d happily show you around sometime.

    The symposium seems amazing. I’d love to attend next year. I seem to be out of the loop with it.

  22. Posted September 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Such a lovely post. The mention of bacon reminds me of my first visit to my brother-in-law’s farm, which is midway between the Greenbrier and Roanoke. We ate pork at every meal and it was so delicious I couldn’t get enough of it. We all joked we’d need the pork patch when we left. There is something so wonderful about the languid pace of that area.

  23. momgordon
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Oh Megan! Once again you just captured the “essence” of the experience. The photos are beautiful! Dorothy Draper lives on!

  24. Eric G
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    i’m so flippin’ jealous, seriously! the greenbriar! i knew from the first image and i’ve never been! happy for you though to find your “tribe” and experience the g. let’s talk!

  25. Posted September 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Wow. The Greenbriar looks AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing!

  26. RM
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    And…was the once-top-secret Congressional bomb shelter on the tour?

  27. megang
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Oh my god, Rod: it was fascinating! I was kind of skeptical to go, thinking it’d be touristy and weird, but it was pretty great. Incredible that it existed for so long without anyone knowing.

  28. Mary
    Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    What a week! So excited for you, Megan!!

  29. Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Maaaan I am so desperate to visit the deep south! I wana go now!

  30. Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:27 am

    You know what I love about your posts? You have the distinct ability to carry me away to another place. I have always wanted to go to the Greenbrier, and your post almost makes me feel like I have. Ok, I still want to go, but it was a really nice diversion! Thanks. :)

  31. Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    You captured the experience so beautifully my friend, wish we had more time to spend together. Plotting a trip out west for 2012. You are such a rockstar.

    Be well, until we meet again ;)

  32. Posted September 30, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Delicious! and love the pictures. I’m from Spain and I always say I really want to have a southern accent… if you heard me try, you’d laugh quite a bit! but the truth is, accent or not, I love grits and pecan pie.

  33. Posted October 5, 2011 at 5:02 am

    As a writer (and aspiring food writer), it was very inspiring to read this. It can be a lonely task, and I understand the inspiration and camaraderie that comes with spending time with others who do the same thing.

    Also — West Virginia is certainly southern, but you must experience time in the Deep South to experience southern culture to the fullest! Thanks for sharing!

  34. Posted October 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    how did i miss this post?! your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! jealous!

  35. Mary Kate
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Love theses photos, Megs! This seems like it was a lovely trip in a perfect place!

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*