Sazerac June 2023

Unsolicited Advice

In 2019, Omaha Steaks conducted a survey in an effort to finally reveal what it is that Dad really wants this Father’s Day. The results shared in the New York Post are eye-opening. We thought we’d use them to create some helpful suggestions that will make his day an absolute dream come true.

The number one gift Dad wants? A phone call from a child. C’mon, Dad. You know we don’t use our phones for actual conversations and genuine human interaction these days. LOL. Won’t a text suffice? We’ll even make it more personal by adding a GIF.

Coming in second is a big, juicy steak. Due to environmental concerns, we’ll be making our dad a cauliflower “steak” that, when doused in enough seasonings, is sure to hit the spot. And give him gas. Hmmm, on second thought, make it a portabello.

Three out of four dads prefer an experience over a gift. May we suggest scheduling that colonoscopy dear old dad’s just about due for? And kudos to Dad number four, who isn’t ashamed to admit he likes being showered in prezzies.

Put down the “World’s Best Dad” mug STAT. As it turns out, 64 percent of fathers specifically don’t want anything with that moniker printed on it. Noted. *Adds “World’s Most Mediocre Dad” T-shirt to cart.

Looking for more insight? Check here:

Just One Thing

Juneteenth GSO has grown into a full-fledged four-day affair, “celebrating the culture” with events such as the Black Food Truck Festival and Gospel Superfest ( Feast your eyes on artwork and handmade goods crafted by local Black artisans at the inaugural Uptown Juneteenth Arts & Crafts Festival from noon until 6 p.m. at Sternberger Park, north of World War Memorial Stadium. Local artist Caprice Baynes will be on site with an array of original works. Baynes, 37, grew up sketching clothing designs as a child wanting to be a fashion designer. After earning a degree in advertising and graphic design from Alamance Community College in Burlington, she picked up a brush in 2010 and taught herself to paint. The resulting work, Blasian, is a fusion of fashion, graphic design, acrylic paint and, more recently, mixed media. It all blends together various cultures as seen in much of her work. Of the painting pictured here, she says, “I love Asian inspired art and fashion and I infused it with my own culture.” Baynes’ work can be found at Danny’s Restaurant, Demhaj Poetry Lounge in High Point, downtown Burlington’s 4th Friday Live Art Walks and, of course — you gotta go — at the Uptown Juneteenth Arts & Crafts Festival.

Sage Gardener

My tomatoes are in the ground and the race is on against my two next door neighbors as to who’s going to put the first ripe one on Facebook. We’ve joined something like 18.6 million other backyard gardeners, more of them (86 percent) growing tomatoes than any other vegetable. And yes, I know that “Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits because they develop from an ovary.” That from The Tomato Book by Sheila Buff, who also observes, “Almost all cultivated tomatoes [are] self-pollinating, since pollen from the plant’s own anthers can reach the ovary.” Which is way too much information on tomato sex for me. And this, from folks at ScottsMiracle-Gro: The average return on a vegetable-garden investment is 757 percent. (After the first year start-up cost, they say.) I tell this to Anne, who started ordering tomato-enhancing fertilizers and sprays in January. She reminds me that Bill Alexander did a cost-benefit analysis, from Havahart traps to Velcro tomato ties, on how much each of his tomatoes costs him. He’s the author of The $64 Tomato. Bill lives in the Hudson River Valley, where deer fences, we decide, must be way cheaper than here. “Here’s a guy on who identifies The 10 Best Tomatoes to Grow in N.C.,” I holler across the room to Anne. “Roma is No. 1, Brandywine is No. 2,” I tell her. “And he says that Brandywine is the hardiest, tastiest and easiest to grow of all heirloom tomatoes.” Her keyboard clicks: “Did you notice that he’s from Ohio?” I did not. I let her know that NCSU’s various extension agents flog disease resistant hybrids such as Whopper and Better Boy, but concede that German Johnson, Homestead and Mr. Stripey are heirloom varieties that stand up to North Carolina’s long, hot summers. Anne? She plants a dozen varieties, hoping she’ll get two or three that will thrive in spite of drought or too much rain or damp-off or early blight or wilt or tobacco mosaic virus or blossom-end rot or bacterial cankers. And one or two always do. But why am I bothering? I’ve labeled Anne the tomato police: “Dig that hole deeper so I can break off a few stems.” “Three feet apart.” “Never grow them in the same place twice.” “They need suckering.” “Not too much fertilizer or you’ll have all growth and no tomatoes.” After decades of arguing, I’ve become her designated yard boy and just say, “Yes m’am,” doing exactly what she says.     

Window to the Past

Photograph © Carol W. Martin/Greensboro History Museum Collection

A little birdie told us that the 1947 U.S. Women’s Open was held at Starmount Forest Country Club. Above, two golfers prepare to par-tee.

Everything Under the Sun

The things one mother remembers carrying while at the beach with a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old, aka a modern-day parent’s equivalent of “I carried a watermelon:”

The usual suspects: a sand covered paci, a handful of soggy goldfish that were for some reason spit into my hand, a half empty juice box that kept squirting me with its straw and a soaking wet swim diaper. All at once.

A decaying crab.

On one occasion, two wet beach towels, a cup of completely melted ice cream (flavor: “blue”), my infant daughter and a tiny white bird feather she picked up for her big brother, which was also blue by the time it reached him.

A just-purchased plush horse (“Horsey”) with a saltwater-soaked mane and sand-covered marble eyes, which silently ask me ”Why?”

A book, never opened.

My 4-year-old, extra long son, who is best carried by bending my body into a sideways C-shape while barely lifting his feet off the sand that was “freezing me, Mommy!” (He meant burning.)

A tiny, dime-sized pancake that he wanted to save.

A shell so sacred that it apparently had to be kept separate from all the other shells.

A rainbow Band-Aid — not ours — that my daughter would not stop playing with.

A beer, immediately knocked into the sand.

A sand-covered boogie board flying behind me like a kite while it knocked into innocent bystanders. If that was you, sorry!

A tiny human — my favorite carried treasure of all — with wild hair that smelled of sunscreen and sweat, and tasted, when kissed, like salt.    — Sarah Ross Thompson

Recommended Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search