I mean well, really I do, and when I promised to bring back the ncgypsy.com Blog, I had good intentions. Then life got in the way, and... well... I realized that it has been awhile since I posted anything. Imagine my shock when I looked and saw the last post was more than a year ago. Sorry about that. Thoughts came and went, the action to follow through didn't happen. So, time to get cracking and what better subjects to move forward with than holidays and food?
It's my favorite time of the year (late July through the end of December actually), and things are in gear for an early Hanukkah (Nov. 27 - Dec. 5), a late Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), and what promises to be, in my house, a scrambling Christmas season (I won't go into details, just trust me here). At the center of it all is food.
North Carolina is fast becoming a foodie paradise, a destination that rivals the best of other states known for fabulous cuisine. Here you can find culinary artisans creating palate pleasing works of edible art that are made with locally farmed or regionally obtained ingredients.
The masters behind North Carolina's culinary revolution are young, hip, creative, and excited about what they're doing. Even better, they are supportive of each other's efforts. Gone are the days of chef rivalries, this generation knows a good thing when they taste it. I'll be writing more about the food in North Carolina in future posts, but to whet your appetite, click HERE for a great article on StarChefs.com about Rising Stars in the Carolinas...
Now don't think for a second that the seasoned restaurants are taking a back seat to the new kids on the block. Many are changing the menus and adding special events to spice things up. One event, a personal favorite, happened recently at The Weathervane in Southern Season, Chapel Hill. An Afternoon Tea that was positively scrumptious and gave this native New Yorker a chance to feel like a Southern Belle. I am a huge fan of English tea time, but southern Tea has a different feel to it - and a different taste.
Unlike the English offerings (which are increasing in diversity), some of the tea options at Afternoon Tea included Organic Jade Cloud, Creme Caramel Oolong, and Nutcracker Suite, a 'nutty, sweet tea w/ flavors of candied nuts and pineapple'. My friend, Tingmei and I opted for Nutcracker as one of our pots - now one of my 'must haves' for the holiday season (it can be purchased at Southern Season).
Afternoon Tea is a Weathervane special event, not offered on a regular basis. If you are - or will be - in the Triangle area, get the scoop on Weathervane and Southern Season special events (that include visiting celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone - positively scrumptious in his own right) by signing up for their newsletter HERE.
For more Tea offerings in the state, check out Tea Map.