Sparkleberry Swamp – the Drink

Speed Limit 20 MPH

I had posted one or two of the photos from my recent trip to Sparkleberry Swamp on on eof the paddling groups to which I belong on Facebook. A commenter suggested that “Sparklberry Swamp” sounded like the name of a drink, so the challenge was on.

The commenter stated that the base should be rum of some kind. It obviously needed some kind of berries, and some sort of carbonation to add the “sparkle.” I put for the question to some of my other Facebook friends to see what they might suggest. Some of these sound more appealing than others… Continue reading “Sparkleberry Swamp – the Drink”

Fourth of July 2014

Canada Day Fireworks
OK, It’s not Fourth of July, but Canada Day Fireworks photo by Ben_Senior

At some point I’m going to stop beginning my posts with “It’s been a crazy week.” It starts sounding like Garrison Keillor’s standard “It’s been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon.” But…it has been a crazy week, topped off by a holiday weekend.

Chorale Concert

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the collaboration between the Furman Lakeside Concert Band and the Greenville Chorale. It’s of our most popular concerts, certainly the best attended. We had rehearsals Monday night, then Tuesday with the band. The concert was Thursday. Continue reading “Fourth of July 2014”

Garlic Shrimp a la Lazy Goat

Garlic Shrimp a la Lazy Goat
Garlic Shrimp a la Lazy Goat

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and we’re still not done. I had big plans to post a 1 year review of retirement. That didn’t happen. I had several photo treks I wanted to take that didn’t get taken. It’s been a week of unforeseen circumstances – the death and funeral of an elderly uncle out of town, and now some serious health issues in our family. This is also a concert week for us – the Chorale is performing a Patriotic concert on July 3 by the Furman Lake, so we’ve had evening rehearsals for that, too.

Sometime in the midst of all this craziness we managed to make it to one of our favorite restaurants, The Lazy Goat. We have several favorite dishes, one of which is the garlic shrimp with tomatoes and arugula. we liked it so much that Laura wanted to see if she could reverse engineer the dish and cook it at home. Here’s our first attempt. Continue reading “Garlic Shrimp a la Lazy Goat”

Artisan Pizza Night

My “Rustica” Pizza

One of our favorite pizza places in town is Brixx Pizza. It’s a regional chain that features brick oven artisan pizzas that are quite tasty. Laura usually gets the “Mexican”, which has chicken and jalapenos. I usually get the “Rustica” which has prosciutto, artichokes, mushrooms, and garlic cloves.

The only problem is that Brixx Pizza is located in the Shops at Gridlock on Woodruff Road, a place one does not drive if one wishes to keep one’s sanity. So, we decided to see if we could replicate our favorite pizzas at home. Continue reading “Artisan Pizza Night”

Stuffed Poblanos with Chicken


This actually started several weeks ago. It was the weekend of the Super Bowl, and I was expected to bring my bacon-wrapped chicken jalapeno poppers. My usual routine is to go to the Augusta Road Flea Market on Saturday and get the peppers from one of the Mexican markets there.

This time things were…different.

First off, this place is always just a bit weird. This particular Saturday it seemed even more so. In addition to the occult stores, head shops, and other semi-legal endeavors, there seemed to be lots of “stripper wear.” There were lots of booths selling revealing clothing for women (or men, I guess). Some might call it club wear, but it looks like it belongs on a pole more than a dance floor. I guess I’m getting old. Not related, but I even found a mountain of bras.

image Continue reading “Stuffed Poblanos with Chicken”

O Tannenbaum

…or, the development of a theoretical cocktail… The Christmas party for Furman’s Chemistry Department was looming, and my friends Greg and Paul thought that a new drink was needed to celebrate the season. Both had agreed that Bombay Sapphire gin would be the base. Greg had lots of rosemary left over from Thanksgiving, and wanted … Continue reading O Tannenbaum

Grits Guilty Pleasure

1. In a cereal bowl, dice a small tomato. Home-grown, garden-ripened with a higher acidic content works best. In this case I just used cherry salad tomatoes from the store, cut in half. 2. Add two packets of Quaker Instant Grits with Bacon Flavored Bits. (Yeah, blasphemous to most true Southerners.) 3. Add enough butter … Continue reading Grits Guilty Pleasure

Carl’s Seafood Bisque

We first had this meal in Florida at Carl’s house.  He is a great chef!  He had caught fresh red snapper in the Intracoastal Waterway and used some of it to make this seafood bisque.  I unfortunately do not have fresh red snapper so I get tilapia from Publix and make this imitation of Carl’s … Continue reading Carl’s Seafood Bisque