Tag Archives: Shelby N.C.

Lil something for everyone

The other day I complained to you about a recent case of writer’s block. You reassured me with good advice.

Truth be told, I’ve also been suffering from acute reader’s block—provided that too isn’t a made-up disease of lazy people.

While I usually read more than ever in the summer, I’m still reading a book I started last December, while nibbling bits of other books and articles in between.

I’m three months behind on my Vanity Fair and two months behind on Esquire and, these days, it takes me longer than usual to get through The Washington Post in the morning—sometimes until well into the evening. Or the next morning, when I feel I must read it before starting that day’s paper.

I know this all seems strange; I know it’s strange for me. I’m still reading; I’m just reading a variety of things in no logical order. Habits change, I suppose.

All this said, a magazine has come into our house that recently captured my attention.

In April my husband received a birthday gift subscription to Garden & Gun. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

I know, Garden & Gun doesn’t sound like reading material suitable for a household of flaming libs. Well, maybe the gardening part. Our household is, however, composed of one native North Carolinian, one recently-returned North Carolina transplant and one whom my father calls the “Beltway Baby.”

The magazine’s full title is Garden & Gun: The Soul of the South and, obviously, covers all things Southern. This week I decided to crack open the last two issues—while I was in the middle of reading something else, no doubt.

I commend it to you. Rest assured; you won’t see Larry the Cable Guy or read anything that reveals, “You know you’re a redneck if…”

G&G a rather nice piece of publishing and superb writing on some interesting subjects.

Granted, you’ll be shown the anatomy of the perfect hush puppy and learn the characteristics of the ideal tomato and maybe learn something you didn’t already know about rhubarb.

You’ll also get to meet Nashville painter Emily Leonard; Merigold, Miss., pottery artist Lee McCarty; Athens, Ga., fabric designer Susan Hable; and Steve Huff, thought to be the Best Fishing Guide Alive.

If you pick up these latest issues, you’ll read about the so-called Memphis Mafia, learn the Rules of Yard Art and get a glimpse into Livestock of the Rich and Famous. This Beltway baby was tickled to see a spread on the Washington, D.C. dining scene.

Moseying through Dixie on your summer vacation and want to know where to find a good barbecue joint? I recommend their list of the 20 best, in part because Red Bridges of my husband’s hometown of Shelby is featured.

Last night I was finishing an article on Gregg Allman when I wondered why I hadn’t seen anything about guns. Then, near the back, on page 108 of the April/May issue, I saw a piece about Griffin & Howe, a famous gunsmith and store—in Greenwich, Connecticut. Maybe it’s in south Greenwich.

The piece notes that Griffin & Howe “is presided over by Guy Bignell, president and CEO of G&H and a Brit of such surpassing handsomeness that he is often assaulted on the streets of Greenwich.”

Am I the only person who finds that funny?


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, Reading

Poor girl’s pâté

I am stuck in town this weekend, which means, once again, I will be missing the annual Shelby, North Carolina, Fall Festival and Livermush Expo. Another year I won’t be crowned Livermush Queen.

Livermush is indigenous to the South and specifically to Western North Carolina. Lest you assume it is the same as scrapple, allow me to point out the distinctions. Both are composed of pig liver, head parts and cornmeal, commonly seasoned with pepper and sage and fried with grease in a skillet until crisp. By definition, livermush must contain liver; scrapple may but doesn’t have to. Scrapple originated in Pennsylvania.

The first time I tasted scrapple was on a camping trip with my aunt and uncle. Oh, how I loved that first crunch, then the  mush.  Mmmm-mm.

My husband was born and reared in Shelby. I was interested to learn of the first Fall Festival and Livermush Expo in 1987. I think they crowned a Livermush Queen in those days, but that rite now appears absent from the Expo. I remember telling my in-laws how cool I thought it was that Shelby had a livermush festival, noting that I was a big fan of the stuff. My mother-in-law was horrified. Apparently not everyone in Shelby enjoys livermush. I believe she said only “those of poor breeding” have a taste for such things. I further embarrassed myself—and her—when I ordered it at breakfast once. I feel bad about that.

My husband’s parents have since passed away. We rarely visit Shelby but for the occasional funeral or Shelby High reunion. But before I die, I hope to attend this momentous event. I’d visit all the exhibits, taste one of Mack’s famous livermush sandwiches, sample the delicacy on a stick, maybe sip some sweet tea.

Yep, that’s another one for the bucket list. I suspect I’ll be going alone.

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Filed under Food, Travel