Before Paula Deen was exposed for being racist and ignorant, I made tons of her recipes. One of my favorites was her homemade apple pie recipe (which included her recipe for a homemade crust). This is a classic southern recipe with shortening and butter. I tried to lighten it up and make it healthier by using wheat flour for the crust, but it just wasn’t as good. Serve it a la mode with vanilla ice cream on top.
the city I call home has
a terrible nickname: hotlanta.
like all slang, it was popularized
by white people who genuinely
thought it was cool long after it wasn’t.
the city I call home has
streets all named peachtree
which intersect a sprawling grid
that defies logic in its layout,
confusing drivers & bikers alike.
the city I call home has
the best parts of the deep south
(soul food, whiskey bars, & friendly residents)
without (as many) willfully ignorant people
outside the bourgey neighborhoods.
The doorbell chimed and woke Bea with a start. She slid from the couch to the floor, adjusting her blanket cocoon. (A blanket cape gave her more mobility.) She wiped sleep from her eyes and ambled to the front door. Not bothering to check the peep hole, she unlocked and opened it.
Bea couldn’t blame her confusion on her waning fever. A vaguely familiar gangly guy stood on her front porch. His name escaped her (or had never been committed to her memory).
“Hey Bea!” The disheveled hipster thrust a cup of melting ice cream into her hands. “I knew you were craving it, so I thought I’d stop by with some.”
Her eyes widened. “Are you psychic?”
“You tweeted about it this afternoon.”
“Do I know you?”
Ice cream dripped from the paper cup onto her hands. Her fingers stuck together as she gripped the cup tighter.
“I’m Miller. We met at The Cults show a couple weeks ago?”
Bea squinted and cocked her head.
“Your line was when you asked if I was named after the shitty beer –”
“Oh. You’re that guy. For future reference, that wasn’t a line.”
“Sure it was. You were negging me.”
“That was your justification to stalk me on Twitter?”
“You wouldn’t give me your number, so you gave me your Twitter handle.”
“Being hammered makes me pity assholes like you.”
“Why am I an asshole? I brought you ice cream because you’re sick!”
“I mocked you at the bar because you were quizzing some poor girl wearing a Toro Y Moi shirt –”
“I just wanted to know if she was a real fan or –”
“–just a poser? How old are you, fourteen?”
“Get out of my house. And take this with you.” Bea threw the Coldstone cup at his car and cheered when it splattered on his windshield.
“What the hell is wrong with you?! I was just trying to be nice –”
“That’s the problem with guys like you, Miller –”
“Guys — plural — like me? I’m one of a kind! Women don’t appreciate men who treat them well –”
“– you say you’re nice, but are incensed when a woman won’t fuck you because of your niceness.”
“I never said I was –”
“Your creepiness says it for you.”
“So because you’re not interested that makes me a creep?”
The door slammed behind Bea. She locked and dead-bolted it. Disgusted, she shuffled to the kitchen and scrubbed her hands clean.
Over the years, Shaina and I have helped Andrea expand her culinary horizons. We’ve been successful for the most part. She eats kale and chickpeas on a regular basis now. But there are still certain foods she won’t eat.
It was the week after Andrea’s birthday, so we had a celebratory dinner at Inoko in Athens. While she enjoyed the fried rice and vegetables, she hated the shrimp. I was happy to steal the rest of her shrimp after that.
Paprika is an excellent restaurant in St. Mark’s. Prior to NYC’s ban on brunch-time bottomless drinks, Andrea and I had bottomless mimosas to accompany our delicious entrees. It’s a tiny spot, but we didn’t have to wait since we were both running late. The staff didn’t mind that we lingered to catch up (and enjoy too many mimosas) before she had to take the bus back to D.C. and I had to meet up with Ceddy to catch our flight home.
“You stole the last jalapeño popper.”
Ed turned slowly to face his accuser. “Pardon?”
The petite woman frowned. “You snatched your sixth one before I could even try my first!”
“I couldn’t help it — they’re addictive!” He held his hand in front of his mouth to hide his enthusiastic chewing.
“Good.” She smiled. “‘I made them.”
“Denise. My lil’ brother couldn’t pronounce his d’s, so he called me Nisey.”
“One of the many joys of being an only child — no siblings to give you nicknames.”
“In your case, I’m sure the bullies at boarding school did the honors.”
“How did you know I went to boarding school?”
“Just a hunch.” Nisey drained her solo cup and shook it, rattling the ice cubes.
“I owe you a drink.”
“Good thing drinks are free at potlucks. Kay’s goin’ on a liquor run soon –”
“Which is why we should walk to the pub down the street. She’ll buy the shitty stuff since the party’s winding down.”
“You’re real slick.”
Ed offered his arm. “Shall we?”
Nisey narrowed her eyes and looped her arm through his.
“I’m too old for this!”
“Neckin’ with my friend’s husband’s cute friend.”
“So you think I’m cute?”
“Wipe that smirk off your face! Would I be straddling you on your couch if I didn’t?”
“You could just be using me for sex.”
“Who said anybody’s gettin’ laid tonight?”
“I didn’t assume — just trying to lighten the mood!”
“Ed, I’m forty years old –“
“You’re smokin’ hot.”
“– thank you, but I’ve been divorced for a couple of decades. I’m good at being alone –“
“Nisey, I’m thirty years old. I’ve been divorced for a decade. I’ve dated a lot of women since –“
“A lot, eh?”
“– and I know right away whether I like someone or not. I like you.”
“I like you, too.”
“Since neither of us wants to waste our time –“
“Amen to that!”
“– what’s the harm in enjoying each other’s company, as the feeling is mutual?”
“Speakin’ of savin’ time…where’s your bedroom?”
“This was way better than either of our first weddings.”
“We should advise any youngins who wanna get hitched –“
“What’ll we tell them? If you meet someone at a friend’s party, marry the person a year later?”
“No, dumbass. We’ll tell them to save the money they’d use on a wedding and put it toward a downpayment on a house –“
“They don’t buy houses — they buy lofts or condos these days.”
“– get a friend to marry them, and go out for margaritas and nachos afterward.”
“The kids we know don’t have friends who are judges.”
“They’ve got friends who’ve bought marriage officiant licenses on the internet!”
“You can do that?”
“Yes, you old man.”
“Your old man.”
“Your sappiness is embarrassing.”
“C’mon — gimme a kiss, missus.”
“Fine. But only ‘cuz I expect wedding night action when we get home.”