Recipe for a Scrumptious Life No more sour grapes. • Spilt milk? Let it go. Music wherever you go, in your head or on the radio. • More than you need, less than you want. • Enough silence to hear your conscience. • A little grief to keep you grounded. • True joy, not the laugh track kind. • A doctor you trust with your life, a handyman you trust with your house key, a lover you trust with your heart,
A Friend you Trust with your secrets. • A car that behaves as if it’s always under warranty. • Long lunches with smart people. • A talent for kindness. • One pair of expensive shoes for
Jeans that make you look like a long, tall drink of firewater. • A teenager who thinks you’re still cool. • The pop! pop! pop! of Champagne corks whenever you make an entrance. S’more of Everything! Cover copy by Nikki Hardin, Art by Talitha Shipman
“It's delightful, it's delicious, it's de-lovely.” Cole Porter
Ready to feel scrumptious again?
Time to Tan!
Exhausted? Low libido?
We custom blend solutions uniquely designed just for your specific needs.
We can help you put your love life back on track again.
• Stop suffering from hormone problems! • Have an active and satisfying love life again! • Feel like yourself again!
Available in creams, pills or injections.
Call Jim at See our website for a location near you
879.2325 Skrip Shoppe Pharmacy 406 W. Poinsett St., Greer, SC 29650 www.skripshoppepharmacy.com
Also providing Biohormone Replacement Therapy for your hormonal issues.
BAC K BY P O P U L A R D E M A N D ! Tickets On Sale Now
ENJOY entertaining cooking demos by our top culinary specialists LEARN step-by-step techniques
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 Doors Open at 4:00pm Exhibit Expo 4:00pm-7:00pm Show starts at 7:00pm
Civic Center of Anderson 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd. Anderson, SC 29625
$35 - VIP Tickets $13 - General Admission
PRESENTED NATIONALLY BY
TICKETS: • Independent Mail office at 1000 Williamston Rd., Anderson 29621 • Civic Center of Anderson Box Office at 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd., Anderson SC 29625 • Kitchen Emporium at 311 N. Main St., Anderson SC 29621 • By phone (864) 260-1275 • Online www.independentmailoffers.com and enter code skcook.
MEET people like you who love to cook RECEIVE a free gift bag filled with great products, coupons and Taste of Home magazines
LOCALLY SPONSORED BY MODERN SUPPLY COMPANY Hampton
Linda’s Flower Shop
Nikki Hardin email@example.com National Art Director
Caitilin McPhillips firstname.lastname@example.org National Editor
Margaret Pilarski email@example.com
skirt! is all about women... their work, play, families,
Sheril Bennett Turner firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Executives
creativity, style, health and wealth, bodies and souls. skirt! is an attitude...spirited,
Kathryn Barmore email@example.com
Denise Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org
serious, playful and irreverent, always passionate.
Shelli H. Rutland Shearer Wludyka Photographers
John Fowler 864.380.9332 promoimaging.com Sheril Bennett Turner
Sales: 864.525.9596 FAX: 864.260.1350
Calendar Submissions Send information or mail to email@example.com, or mail to skirt! Greenville, 1708-C Augusta St. #335 Greenville, SC 29605.
Letters to the Editor
Essays and Profiles
Too Much of a Muchness
Stacy Appel..................................................................................... 10 Turkish Delight
Kat Richter....................................................................................... 13 Amy and Kara Play with Meat
All letters must include the writer’s name and city/state.
Amy Vansant ................................................................................ 14
Writers & Artists
Profile: Audrey Stenger
Our guidelines are available online at skirt.com. Submit artwork or essays via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rockin’ the Cazbah.................................................................... 16 Profile: Jan & Barbi Gardner
Homemade Bloggers................................................................ 18 skirt! is published monthly and distributed free throughout the greater Greenville area. skirt! reserves the right to refuse to sell space for any advertisement the staff deems inappropriate for the publication. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Letters to the editor are welcome, but may be edited due to space limitations. Press releases must be received by the 1st of the month for the following month’s issue. All content of this magazine, including without limitation the design, advertisements, art, photos and editorial content, as well as the selection, coordination and arrangement thereof, is Copyright © 2010, Morris Publishing Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this magazine may be copied or reprinted without the express written permission of the publisher. SKIRT!® is a registered trademark of Morris Publishing Group, LLC.
Women Women make make more more than than 80% 85% of all purchasing of all purchasing decisions. decisions.
Profile: Courtney Tessler
Cupcake Queen.......................................................................... 20 All Fluff
Stephanie Hunt .......................................................................... 24 Women spend Women almost 2 ofspend every 3 almost 2 ofdollars. every 3 healthcare healthcare dollars.
Women control 2/3 of the nation’s disposable income.
In Good Taste
Kelly Skinner ................................................................................. 30
From the Publisher/Editor and Letters.............................6 Calendar.............................................................................................. 7 Skirt of the Month........................................................................ 8
Women Women influence influence 80% 80% of of all all car car sales. sales.
Don’t Miss.......................................................................................... 9 He’s So Original with Mike Okupinski and Ed Buffington.................22 skirt! Loves................................................................................... 26 F-Word.............................................................................................. 27 April Survival Guide.................................................................. 28 Child’s Play...................................................................................... 29 Feel Good....................................................................................... 31 Meet... Christina Nyberg......................................................... 32 Browse............................................................................................... 33 Planet Nikki..................................................................................... 34
Ap r i l 2 0 1 1
The Scrumptious Issue
Eat, drink and be merry
when life prepares a feast, and donâ€™t forget the thank-you note to the Universe.
What if I couldn’t read skirt! every month? Life would be less colorful! I love your magazine and look forward to each issue. Elaine Williamson Knoxville, TN
Suggestions for local female foodies to profile? You should talk to Audrey Stenger, founder/owner of The Cazbah and The Cazbah Greer. Great foodie and a truly amazing lady, too! She was doing tapas long before it was cool. Stacy Hammac Greenville, SC Via Twitter @stacyhammac
Cover Artist Talitha Shipman began her journey as an artist at a young
know your game. I just came in here for a garden hose nozzle because mine is broken again, the same as every spring. I will not pause at the bags of mushroom compost or rich black manure or reliable old pine those big sunny smiles. This year I’m not going to be whipped into a
from an artist’s perspective.
buying frenzy by cart after cart of plants being loaded into Hummers and
Talitha was hooked. She hasn’t
I love everything about
Volvos. I’ve been through it with you so many times. The glib promises
looked back since that first
skirt!, from the articles
that our love will grow and ripen. That the thyme I plant between pavers
pack of Crayons. She illus-
on women to the playful
will spread out like eternity. That raised beds are lush breeding grounds
trated her very first children’s
photos and quotes. But
book last year! You Are My
each month my first stop in
for summer’s dinners. No, no and no. Because I know how this love story
Little Cupcake written by
the magazine is the editor’s
Amy Sklansky, hits bookstore
letter—my favorite part.
black spot, the mildew growing on my Martha Stewart roses like jailhouse
shelves this spring. She has a
Your writers are funny and
tattoos. I’m stopping my ears to your siren song of foolproof upside-down
master’s degree in Illustration
touching in each issue, and
tomato planters, ingenious soaker hoses and Earth Boxes. This summer
I can’t wait to see what
my yard can go wild, my soil can fail the county extension test, and my
See her work at lillarogers.com or talithashipman.com. Contact her at talitha_ email@example.com. skir t.
❉ skirt .
❉ skirt .
Edenic juiciness waiting to be coaxed out of heirloom tomato plants. I
Right Ingredients” featured in
just outside of Fort Wayne, IN.
with the burlesque displays of overblown geraniums and the promise of
draw and to “see” the world
a tiny 100-year-old farm house
Don’t think you’ll lure me in this year to your newly stocked garden center
of our local ladies with “The
ing in, and attempting to fix up,
Dear Local Hardware Store,
an artist, taught her how to
and Design and is currently liv-
the scrumptious issue
heads up, Stacy! Audrey is one
from Savannah College of Art
[Ed. Note: Thanks for the
From the Publisher
age. Her mother, who was also
neat observations they’ll give me when I open a new magazine. You’ve inspired me to sit down and try my
straw. Don’t even bother to push the marigolds forward to say hello with
ends. The heartbreak of nematodes. The failure to thrive. The wilt, the
vegetables can come from the Farmers’ Market two blocks away. Including the cucumber I’ll use to garnish the Hendrick’s Gin I’ll be drinking on the porch instead of pruning, pinching back and pulling weeds. Reprinted from Fridaville.com
hand at writing.
Dawn Maddox Cordova, TN
Have you spoken with Mike and Ed at The Community Tap for “He’s So Original”? They’d be great!
From the Editor
Lynn Pilewski Taylors, SC Via Twitter @NatureWalkArt
blinis, darling, with sour cream, capers, and onions. In my condiment-laden way of thinking, everything
I’m a condiment girl. I eat fries just for the ketchup, sushi for the wasabi and ginger, caviar only on tastes better with a little somethin’ somethin’ on top. That might have something to do with a recent
[Ed. Note: We sure did! Find
quarrel with my body, specifically my midsection. Honestly, if I could just give up the main course and
out more about our April men
live on condiments, I would, but what’s going to hold up the ketchup? I do have a relative that eats just
in skirts, Mike and Ed from the
ketchup sandwiches, and she’s still skinny, so maybe there’s a clue. Anyway, I bring this all up because
Community Tap, in this issue]
we are, after all, what we eat. Some of us like the sweet and sour fluff of life, some—like my son who eats everything plain and desires no condiments whatsoever and can’t be my child—like things simple and honest. No matter what foodie life pyramid you live and dine on, I think everyone will enjoy our Scrumptious Issue featuring locals in the food and beverage biz. Bon Appétit!
The 2011 Catwalk Cure will feature a runway show, a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and full bar plus more— all to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to benefit those battling blood cancers. catwalkcure.org
Now in its fourth year, Food For Thought brings together leading entrepreneurs, innovators, chefs and thought leaders for three days of inspiring dialogue and engaging experiences. Foodforthoughtconference.com
Soothe the soul and excite the palate at the 2011 Reedy River Jazz & Wine Festival to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. reedyriverjazzandwinefestival.org
Tasty Tours 2. Meet five executive chefs and enjoy signature dishes while learning about Greenville’s rich history At the Chef ’s Table Culinary Tours. greenville historytours.com
Soulful 17. The group who gave us the iconic sound of the 80’s is bringing their new soul tour to the Peace Center stage. Don’t miss Huey Lewis and The News—Soulsville. peacecenter.org
Winning Women 7. Now in its 8th year, The Amy Kay Stubbs Women of Achievement Awards is a cornerstone in the YWCA’s efforts to recognize and empower women. ywcagreenville.org
World Renown 22. His concerts are legendary. Come hear the music that touches the world—the very best of Yanni and his music. yanni.com or peacecenter.org
Get Moving! 8. Designed to promote physical activity and hearthealthy living, the Start! Heart Walk in Greer City Park is fun and rewarding for the entire family. startwalkingnow.org
Rise and Shine 24. Enjoy the 56th Annual Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock State Park, an interdenominational community worship celebrating the glory of Easter. chimneyrockpark.com
Romance 9. What Hamlet is to drama, Giselle is to ballet. Carolina Ballet Theatre presents Giselle, the most romantic ballet of all time. For tickets, visit carolinaballet.org.
Spicy! 29-30. Learn about well-being through lifestyle, food choices and balance at The Upstate Spice of Life Show, an interactive cooking show with a twist! upstatespiceoflife show.com
Cultural Discovery 10. ShalomFest’11 is the only Jewish cultural and food festival held in the Upstate. Savor unique delicacies while observing different aspects of Jewish life. templeofisrael.org
Award-winning 29-5/15. Winner of seven Tony Awards, Evita brings to life the dynamic, largerthan-life persona of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator, Juan Perón. ficiviccenter.org
Get Twisted 15-17. Jokes abound in Classical Twist, four modern works in which composers poke fun at one another and imitate musical styles from earlier eras. greenville symphony.org
Get Dirty! 30-5/1. Don’t miss St. Francis Mud Run 2011, a 3.5-mile obstacle course designed in Marine Corps boot camp tradition with over 30 obstacles and a giant mud pit! greenvillemudrun.org
Card and Letter Writing Month • Alcohol Awareness Month • Child Abuse Prevention Month • Customer Loyalty Month • National Humor Month
National Informed Woman Month • Jazz Appreciation Month • National Kite Month • National Pecan Month • Stress Awareness Month • Car Care Month skirt.com
Traci Daberko is an illustrator and graphic designer in Seattle, WA. See her work at daberkodesign.com. Patent Saddle Stitched Skirt by Alexander Wang Hampden Clothing 500 East McBee Ave., Greenville 864.235.5755
April 9 Camera Ready! Your family, friends or co-workers can have the time of their life—and it can all be your idea—at Let There Be Mom’s 2nd Annual Seek and Snap Digital Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, April 9! Four person teams will race (on foot) through downtown Greenville to “seek” the answers to clues and use their digital camera to “snap” proof of their find. To register, go to lettherebemom.org. Let There Be Mom was created to help moms when they, or their child’s father, are diagnosed with a life threatening illness by preserving the legacy of the ailing parent.
16 On Your Mark, Get Set… Join Safe Harbor on Saturday, April 16 for the 2011 Harbor Run presented by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System. In their 10th year running, it’s sure to be a great race and a fun event! Courses will weave through downtown Greenville, with expanded 5k team categories to include husband & wife, mother & daughter, mother & son, father & daughter and father & son…with prizes for all winners. Bring the whole family… we look forward to seeing you! For online registration, go to safeharborsc.org. Safe Harbor helps victims of domestic violence, providing safe emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, and community outreach and education in Greenville, Pickens, Anderson and Oconee Counties.
Some people just don’t know how to say no.
hen I was little, the world was a treasure chest of lovely things to eat. My father made vanilla-scented French toast on weekends as my mother slept in upstairs. He carefully grilled thick cheese sandwiches in a cast-iron skillet for lunch and toasted pound cake to be spread with butter. On chilly evenings my mother served fragrant hush puppies rolled in powdered sugar, or chili and spaghetti under a mantle of Parmesan cheese. When the weather warmed and the garden sprang to life, my brother and I picked all of the tiny peaches which looked ripe from the tree in the backyard, or talked Mom into cooking fresh blueberry pancakes for supper. And when the tinny, glorious chorus of bells rang out to mark the early evening arrival of the ice cream truck, we raced down the street with the other neighborhood kids, nickels and dimes clutched tight between our fingers, converging on his window like a pack of wolves on fresh prey. Maybe the sprint down the street for ice cream—with hearts pounding, since the truck often pulled away before we’d made it to the end of the block, and the Good Humor man was never one to show mercy—imbued the treat with all sorts of exhilarating properties which had little to do with the food itself. After all, this was food we had to run after and catch. It didn’t just materialize in our bowls at home. A misstep, a dropped coin, or a rude shove from Milfred the neighborhood bully meant anyone could entirely lose the claim to an orange-flavored Dreamsicle or the last remaining Nutty Buddy cone. For me, it was worse, since ice cream ordinarily could only be obtained in the outside world, under the luckiest of circumstances. My mother wouldn’t trust herself or us with the good stuff, so she stocked our kitchen with unappealing second-bests like plastic tubs of vanilla ice milk and pineapple sherbet, which sat in the freezer so long they were usually covered with fuzz. Once in a while my parents got a nostalgic expression on their faces and packed us into the green Plymouth for a trip to Gifford’s Ice Cream Parlor, an ancient fixture which smelled to me the way heaven ought to smell. In uncomfortable wroughtiron chairs at a glass table, we savored Neopolitan ice cream rolls or hot fudge ice cream cake with whipped cream. And I often volunteered to go shopping downtown with my mother since, if she felt guilty enough about buying a dress or shoes, we always ended up perched on stools at the Woolworth’s counter with butterscotch sundaes—her large glass dish perched beside my miniature one. My love affair with ice cream held fast throughout my junior high school years, when wrapped ice cream sandwiches purchased in the cafeteria were a sort of status symbol as well as comfort food, especially if one’s mother had packed something awful like homemade soup or liverwurst for the main meal. At slumber parties, after growing bored with Fritos and popcorn, we let gallons of vanilla
melt until it was soft, then dripped lurid hues of food coloring into our bowls like young Jackson Pollacks. By my mid-teens, my relationship with dessert had turned volatile. Pie or cookies were okay, but ice cream was alluring and beckoned insistently, like a sort of drug. I spent too many afternoons with friends at the new Baskin-Robbins trying to forget about my father’s depression over a banana split or a dish of Rocky Road. Sometimes I found myself toting a hand-packed quart of Mocha Almond Fudge home to keep me company at the kitchen table along with a book, when no one was around to notice or even suggest that I might be ruining my appetite for dinner. The sugar rush worked, more or less. It was an anesthetic against a complexity of feelings too vague and sad and scary to address, but it left me flat and lonely later, wondering at the emptiness inside a belly which, by all rights, ought to feel full. How much of a good thing is too much? I honestly had no idea, until a couple of years later when I landed steady employment at Friendly’s, a chain restaurant in a large shopping mall whose motto “Where ice cream makes the meal” by that time suited both my thoughts and my actual diet all too closely. Ice cream wasn’t a sinful thing to ingest after all—on the contrary, it was downright friendly—and I could have as much as I liked every day. Friends employed elsewhere at the mall in clothing stores or music shops were envious, supposing that I had snagged a cushy job. I smiled at them demurely, thankful I didn’t have to fold sweaters or box inventory. The uniforms at the restaurant should have been the tip-off: slate gray, with frilly collars, they made each hair-netted waitress look like a prisoner. We were earning what amounted to prison wages while being ordered around by prisonlike wardens. My fantasy melted quickly. The reality of a store selling frozen concoctions is week after week of sticky hair, sticky shoes, sticky customer transactions with the cranky parents of over-sugared children, and the awful, overpowering smell of French fries and 40 open vats of ice cream. What was enticing in small doses on a childhood trip to Gifford’s was nauseating and intolerable day after day. When mingled with the bleach solution used to scrub the place down at night, the aroma was savage enough to ruin any appetite, even mine. At Friendly’s, I quickly realized that my boss was not actually very friendly. Maybe he’d already been fired by another store called Meanies. Ice cream, sherbet and cheeseburgers no longer seemed like such great pals, either. And I really, really didn’t want to stroll around the mall on a break trying to pick up guys while looking like an escaped convict in an apron. Sadly, I took leave of my dream job. If appetite followed logic and experience, I’d be able to report that I have been happily, healthily dessert-free ever since. But trauma fades, and life dishes up delicacies in new forms, like profiteroles or Dove miniatures or pistachio gelato. Or, now that I think of it, Meyer lemon ice cream sandwiched between two delicious chocolate graham crackers at a gourmet store not so very far from my house. I drive by, gazing in awe at the block-long line of folks, young and old, waiting tirelessly to get inside for a taste. Some people just don’t know how to say no. I hope I can find a parking spot.
Stacy Appel is an award-winning writer in California whose work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and other publications. She has also written for NPR and is a contributor to the book You Know You’re a Writer When.... Contact Stacy at WordWork101@aol.com. 10
Comfort the broken-hearted
with casseroles, celebrate with cupcakes and go courting with caviar.
because regrets are passé, you’re alive today and surely hope is on the way.
“Welcome to Turkey. I hope you like it here.”
e is the first to greet our party when we arrive in the tiny Turkish village of Sirince. “You are just visiting?” he asks. Behind him, a stone wall braces itself against a restaurant’s rambling courtyard. I nod, zipping my fleece jacket as I pull my sunglasses into place for Sirince is cold but sunny this time of year. “I love America,” the man continues, noting my companions’ accents. “Welcome to Turkey. I hope you like it here.” We thank him but press onward in search of Sirince’s famous fruit-flavored wine. Tourist season is almost over so we have the entire village—and the first wine shop—to ourselves. With its stone walls, tented roof and floor-to-ceiling collection of luminescent wine bottles, the shop looks like a gypsy caravan. The barman, who could be gypsy himself with his gorgeous dark eyes and bronzed skin, pours us a shot of cherry-flavored wine. It tastes like Christmas and smells of nutmeg and cinnamon. The next flavor, apricot, glows goldenorange in our glasses while the lemon matches the bottles of olive oil that line the wall behind the bar. By the time we sample strawberry, blueberry and the tart, fluorescent-green apple, I consider purchasing a jar of olive oil just for the way its contents catch the light, but in the end, we settle for four bottles of wine. The barman packs them into little brown burlap sacks stamped with “Sirince Koylum.” Continuing along the cobblestone road, which dips into the shadows for dramatic effect (or so it seems, after the rainbow assortment of wine), we reach a market. It’s not your traditional Turkish bazaar. There’s no shouting, no carpet salesmen, and the vendors smile as we make our way past their stalls, some already emptied out for the end of the season. “Here, try, try,” a man urges, offering a handful of sesame-seed covered peanuts. I do, and as their crisp sweetness bubbles across my tongue, I reach automatically for my wallet. Passing silversmiths, lace makers and stray dogs, we enter another shop. Another handsome native greets us, and I begin to suspect there’s something in the water in Sirince—something that gives the men glossy black hair and gorgeous dark eyes. “Would you like to try the sauce?” he asks, decanting a thick dark liquid into tiny glasses. It looks like barbeque sauce, but the taste is sweet and tangy. “Pomegranate,” he announces proudly, “My mother makes it.” He offers to send someone around the corner for Turkish coffee if we like, but we decline and add two bottles of the pomegranate sauce to our collection instead. Eventually, we head to an outdoor café at the edge of the village. Dozens of little white houses rise against the hillside to our left in such perfect succession that I wish I were a better photographer. Behind us, a dog runs back and forth over his owner’s rooftop, barking at a stray below.
As for the café itself, it feels like someone’s backyard, and with its checkered table cloths and wooden picnic tables, it might very well be. The waiter brings us a little bowl of walnuts and three cups of coffee, each with two chewy pieces of Turkish delight on the saucer. Having always been curious about the wonders of Turkish coffee, I’m surprised to find the grounds inside my drink, thick as mud. Surely there’s been some sort of mistake? But as I stir a sugar cube into my cup, careful not to disturb the aromatic sediment, it occurs to me that the wonder lies not in the coffee itself, but in the way you drink it: slowly, accompanied by a smile from the dark-haired waiter, a bowl of fresh walnuts and not a Starbucks card in sight. Eventually, we head back to the car, passing the man from the restaurant. “You are very beautiful!” he calls out. Despite his warm smile and his apology—he likes to practice his English, you see—we don’t stop. We still have sights to see, and it’s over an hour to our next destination, but something in the way the shadows dance upon the cobblestones compel my companions to go back, and something in the young proprietor’s smile drains me of the will to protest. With only a cursory understanding of the menu, we order various meats and salads and at the man’s suggestion, a Turkish drink called raki. He pours the crystal-clear liquor into a tall glass and fills it to the brim with sparkling water. Between the tart green apple wine and the thick Turkish coffee, I’m convinced I can handle anything Sirince has to offer, but the raki tastes like liquid licorice—albeit a very adult version of licorice—and it makes my eyes water. We lean back in our chairs, picking leisurely at the kebabs, and congratulate ourselves for having discovered this “unknown” corner of Europe where stray cats circle our feet hoping for a scrap and the restaurant’s young owner waits on us himself. “Practicing” his English, he informs us that he has just bought the restaurant. It took five years to save the money, during which he rose at dawn every morning to tend to his “peaches garden.” Bringing us a platter of fresh fruit (on the house), he hopefully announces that he is single and offers me a “private tour” of the restaurant. Between the wine and the raki, I can’t help but say yes. Before I know it, I’m alone with a gorgeous, dark-eyed, Turkish man in a wood-paneled room strewn with brightly colored cushions like some sort of modern-day sheherezade. He pushes a chair against the door—his mother, after all, is just a few feet away in the kitchen—and wraps his arms around me. In the darkness, his lips seek mine and I lose myself in the crisp folds of his button-down shirt. “Where are you staying tonight?” he whispers, his breath warm on my bare neck. “I’m leaving,” I confess, pulling my scarf back into place. “We’re off to Greece tomorrow.” With one final kiss, he slips his business card into my hand, but I know there’s no point: he’s Muslim and I’m not. Plus, I have a life waiting for me back in London. Nonetheless, as I stumble back to my companions, wondering if I look as exotic as I suddenly feel, I can’t help but wish I could stay in cold but sunny Sirince, with the man whose skin tastes like Turkish coffee.
Kat Richter is a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and teaching artist. She holds an MA in Dance Anthropology and is working on a memoir about her year as a student at Oxford University. skirt.com
Note to self: Ask therapist if fascination with meat grinding is normal.
love pork. Sausages, bacon, pork chops, scrapple, pork cheeks, fat back—any and all of it. You know that game you play with your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend where you give each other one impossible “freebee?” My husband took January Jones. I took Jimmy Dean. I freaking love pork products. So you can imagine my glee when I flipped through an upscale cooking magazine and stumbled upon a recipe for kielbasa from the Gramercy Tavern in New York City. I only bought the magazine because I thought it would make me look sophisticated to the checkout lady at Fresh Market. Little did I know I would find such an epiphany inside its glossy pages. I could make my own sausage! This hit me like a bolt from the blue, for five reasons:
1. Being married to a Polish fellow, kielbasa is sort of a thing. 2. I love pork products. 3. My husband and I came this close to going to Gramercy Tavern last time we were in New York City, opting at the last second to try 11 Madison. (Fabulous! But here’s a tip: Don’t go to Mario Batali’s Casa Mono for lunch beforehand, because the waiters at 11 Madison don’t like it when they dutifully bring you the fifth of seven courses and, instead of oohing and aahing, you laugh in their faces and ask them if they are insane.) 4. On that trip we stayed at the Gramercy Hotel, which is our favorite in NYC so far, and also has the word “Gramercy” in it. 5. I love pork products.
So I thought I’d make kielbasa. I called in my friend Kara for backup because Kara’s that kind of girl. You can decide to give yourself an authentic prison tattoo, using food dye and a sewing needle, and Kara will be at your doorstep 10 minutes later with a bottle of McCormick’s Blue Number 3 and 14 different sizes of needles. As it turns out, Kara has made sausage before, so she arrived with all the right sausage attachments for my KitchenAid Mixer. If you don’t know what a KitchenAid Mixer is, then clearly you’re much younger than me or not married, because until 2005, it was a nationwide law that you received a KitchenAid Mixer on your wedding day. Also in the rule book: putting that mixer in a prominent place in your kitchen, and then never looking at it again, except the one time a year that you scoop a dusty, dead fly out of the bowl. We commence the sausage making. I had gone to the local butcher and purchased three pounds each of pork belly and beef chuck. We cut them into one-inch squares and proceeded to feed them into the grinder. This is when I discovered there is a real visceral reaction to watching threads of fat and muscle squish through a metal screen. You’re simultaneously reminded of the opening of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the Saw movie franchise. It just feels like something you were supposed to be doing your whole life.
Note to self: Ask therapist if fascination with meat grinding is normal. I handed Kara the cubes o’ meat while standing right in front of the mixer attachment, so every time it suffered a sputtery air bubble, it splattered me with flecks of meat. By the end of it, I looked like the only girl left alive, wearing the remains of my sorority sisters on my tee shirt. I so wished the neighborhood Girl Scouts would show up with their cookies just then, so I could answer the door covered with blood and sinew. (“Sure, I’d love some cookies, girls! I have some money here in the basement somewhere, just follow me down...”) When the KitchenAid clogged, we would scrape the meat out of it, and blood would pour out from behind the blockage. It was surreal. And as a bonus, I got to make all the obligatory jokes with my husband about how I would dispose of his body after he finally asked me to rub his back one too many times. At one point, the grinder clogged badly enough that Kara had to dismantle the unit. I peered into it, my face an inch away from the now exposed bladedisc, as Kara reached for the switch, thinking that turning it back on might help dislodge the blockage. I barely missed having my face sheared off, and we erupted into hysterical giggles. Note to self: Wait until after the dangerous parts to open the first bottle of wine. After the meat was ground, I read the recipe past the part where I got to grind meat for the first time. I’m not what you call a “planner.” Turns out at this point, we were supposed to let the meat season for 24 hours. Whoops. We skipped that part. Note to self: Read whole recipe through at least once before starting. We proceeded to stuff the sausages, with real pig intestine casings I’d ordered online. Turns out you really can order anything over the Internet. Kara fed the meat into the sausage stuffer, and I eased it into the casing, twisting off links at varying intervals, until we had a phallic string of various shapes and sizes. “I remember him,” said Kara, as I’d twist one off. “I remember him. Ooh, I really remember him...” Next, I read more of the recipe and discovered we were supposed to put our sausages into a smoker that I did not actually own. Note to self: Re-read last note. We did a makeshift thing with some wood chips and my ancient char grill, which looks like some sort of busted-ass Transformer from the 1950s. Then we had another bottle of wine. Then we removed the sausages from the grill and pan-fried them, giddy with anticipation. They were utterly disgusting. We over-smoked them and turned wonderful greasy pork products into tubes of sawdust. I was crushed. But, we will try again. Oh yes, my crispy pork lovelies, we will try again.
Amy Vansant is a writer, blogger (kidfreeliving.com), professional nerd and shameless Labradoodle mommy. She didn’t really pick Jimmy Dean. She picked Timothy Olyphant. She’s not crazy. 14
Raise a toast
to sweet sucess and salty tears and to surviving them both.
The Right Ingredients
Audrey Stenger | Rockin’ the Cazbah A native New Yorker who grew up in family restaurants “loving the vibe,” Audrey created her own mecca for Upstate foodies in 2000 when she opened The Cazbah in Greenville. “My girlfriends and I loved dining downtown and would order all the appetizers and share them. For years, I had a vision of opening a small space designed for people to share tapas and good wine.” Today The Cazbah has another location in Greer Station, and this restaurant maverick—who raised two children while building her business—sees herself becoming more of a consultant and mentor in the future. “The restaurant business is very difficult, and while it can be a passion, it’s not for everybody. It takes knowledge in all areas to be successful. Too many people don’t understand all that’s involved and the major sacrifices you must make!” Photo by John Fowler
Take Care of Your
Mind, Body, & Soul From aromatherapy to facials, pilates to yoga, do something special just for you! Your Convenient NEIGHBORHOOD
FAMILY HAIR CARE Haircut 1/2 Off with any Full Color Service
HEALTH STORE 10% OFF Entire Purchase with ad
With coupon. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 4/30/11
1004 W. GEORGIA ROAD
With coupon. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 4/30/11
A $10 Value with Any Service
(located in the Bloom Shopping Center) Walk-Ins Welcome
Men’s and Boy’s Haircuts
Owners Jody & Gigi
With coupon. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 4/30/11
Fi rs t S e s s i o n i s Fre e !
Vitamins & Supplements
Raw Goats Milk & Royal Jelly
Anti-Aging Support Organic Skincare
Sami’s & Other Gluten-Free Foods
Herbs & Aromatherapy
Fresh Eggs & More
Mon-Fri 10-6 Sat 10-3
161 Verdin Rd., Greenville
Healthy Hair is Always in Style
O v e r c o m e s t r e s s , a n x i e t y, depression, panic attacks
Call for information about wedding & prom packages We carry L’anza, Pureology & Kenra Products
220 Arlington Avenue • Greenville, SC • 864-370-0388
1440 Pelham Rd, Suite P Pelham Oaks Shopping Center Greenville, SC 29615 • 864-458-9909
Booth space available
The Perfect Gift
Special Therapeutic Massage & Skin Care NOW OFFERING ACUPUNCTUTE & REFLEXOLOGY
for Mother’s Day Go to the link below to find out about our Mother’s Day Spa Treatment Special.
REGENCY salon & spa
If you would like to advertise on this page or are interested in more information contact
Kathryn Barmore 525-9596 Kathryn.Barmore@Skirt.com
One 30 min Express Facial & One 30 min Express Massage (Regular $100)
503 N. Main St. • Mauldin Late Appointments Available
Specializing in: Therapeutic Massage • Skin Treatments • Ear Candling • Body Treatments • Waxing Beauty/Health Products 75965
Tuesday - Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday 9am-3pm
Essential Kneads Tammy Forbes, LMBT, Lic.#5494 864-616-1380 Healing Touch therapeutic massage • reiki • hot stones aromatouch for detox • neuromuscular chair massage • nationally certified gift certificates & therapeutic packages available
20 off $
Healing Therapeutic 1 Hour Massage Regularly $55 Now $35
Must present coupon. New Clients Only. Expires 4/30/11.
425 N. Main Street • Suite C , Simpsonville • www.tammyforbes.massagetherapy.com
The Right Ingredients
Jan & Barbi Gardner | Homemade Bloggers After over 23 years, Jan, wife and stay-at-home mother of four, had become bored with cooking. On the other hand, her daughter Barbi, a full-time college student, was just becoming interested in learning how to cook. To spice up their lives, the two decided to join forces to create their own family food blog, The Cookbook Experiment (cookbookexperiment.wordpress.com). “My mom’s favorite times in the kitchen have revolved around baking breads and desserts. At age eight, she made her first batch of chocolate chip cookies. I love playing around with seasonings, and am a huge fan of fresh fruits and veggies. Between the two of us, every culinary base is covered,” says Barbi. The men in the family, husband Tim plus three teenage boys, are known to demolish food as soon as it leaves the oven. “We’ve learned to hide certain foods!” laugh mother and daughter. Photo by John Fowler
New Spring & Summer Clothing
g n i iv y! r r A ail D
We hav mov e ed!
Store Hours Sun. & Mon.
By appointment only
Tues. - Fri. 10:30am-5:30pm Sat. 10am-2pm
864.269.5002 www.lollipoptotz.com 112 Halter Dr. Ste E, Hwy. 153, Powdersville
Ready to Sew? Owning a sewing machine is easier than ever with the A-Line Series from Baby Lock! Each machine in the A-Line Series is affordable, durable and easy to use! No matter what your style is, you’ll find a machine that’s the perfect fit!
Prices starting at just $199!
Visit us for a free machine demo!
Marietta’s Quilt & Sew 1004-C West Georgia Rd. Simpsonville, SC 29680
Store Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30am – 6:00pm Saturday 9:30am – 4:00pm
Peony Straw Tote Rue De La Fleur Collection Beautiful Mind Sunglasses
MAKE A BRACELET THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR COLORFUL LIFE.
“especially for you”
263 Market Street • Dogwood Plaza • Seneca Monday thru Friday 10-6 • Saturday 9-5 www.Emilysespeciallyforyou.com
The Right Ingredients
Courtney Tessler | Cupcake Queen When it comes to gourmet, Iced takes the cupcake. “I love what we do because we make dessert personal. We can do pretty much anything and everything with cupcakes and personal-sized cake items,” says Courtney, the proprietor of this upstate cupcake café. Educated in cake decorating and other culinary courses, this hard working entrepreneur prefers the business side of her business best, and credits pastry chef and main decorator Rebecca Dover as a creative force for flavor development and order design. “I have always had a love of desserts and food in general,” Courtney admits. “One of my future goals includes making our products at Iced more accessible to customers and the community, but personally, no matter what I venture into in the future, I just want to be doing something that makes me happy.” Photo by John Fowler
Consignment Chic Smart fashionistas know how to save money and still look fabulous!
Spring Has Arrived! Our Spring selections are here and they are gorgeous. Check out our “new with tags” clothing, prom, and designer jewelry, all at the best prices.
It’s Our Birthday! Join us for a celebration Open House, Sunday, April 3rd, from 1-6 for goodies and great specials! 75960
Come in & Celebrate Our Anniversary April 22 & 23
Store t n e m n ig s n o C e ur Averag Not Yo• 20,000 Square Foot Showroom
and redeem your coupon!
• Men’s, Women’s & Children’s Clothing • Furniture/Home Decor and much more!
We purchase upscale designer bags & shoes BRING IN THIS AD & RECEIVE
PURCHASE OF 76009
Not just a place for jewelry
$25 OR MORE.
Hours: Mon - Fri 10-6 Sat 10-4 110 E. Butler Rd. Mauldin, SC 29662
BRING IN THIS AD & RECEIVE - $5.00 OFF your purchase of $25.00 or more
One coupon per person per visit. Not valid wih any other coupons.
206E New Neely Ferry Rd., Mauldin, SC
Offer expires 4/30/11
(please see our website for other current specials)
Everything For Your Home Furniture, Lamps, Rugs & Art, Mirrors, Home Décor
We purchase brand name children’s clothing, baby equipment and furniture on Mondays & Fridays only.
(864) 288-2333 113-A East Butler Rd, Mauldin, SC 29662
upscale consignment furniture
Immediate payment for acceptable items. Mon-Sat 10-5:30
Interested in Consigning? We accept consignments daily. No Appointment Necessary! 75959
Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm Sunday 1pm-5pm
110 Mauldin Road, Greenville, 29605 • 864-299-0045 • www.southernhousepitality.net
Augusta Roads Newest Home Consignment Store Accepting antiques & “like-new” furniture.
Home Couture A New Concept of Consignment Store Monday-Saturday 10-6 Sunday 12-5
We Buy Estates Unique pieces made by local artists!
Consign & Design
700 Garlington Road • Greenville • 329-1101 (Behind CVS on Roper Mtn.)
Interested in advertising your Consignment/Resale Business on this page?
Call Kathryn Barmore at 864.525.9596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
(next to McDonald’s)
Mon.-Fri. 10-6: Saturday 10-4
GO GREEN! Reuse, Recycle, Refurnish.
Upscale Consignment Furniture New Hours on Monday Mon., Fri. & Sat. 10-4 Tues. 11-6 Wed. & Thurs. 10-5:30 76008
2118 Augusta St., Greenville
www.homeatlastinc.com Furniture Online & Updated Daily
1001 S. Batesville Rd. • Near 85 & Pelham • 848-3737
He’s So Original
Mike and Ed are Hoppy to Malt You! The Community Tap co-owners Mike Okupinski and Ed Buffington—with help from wives Anna and Kim— opened the independently owned and operated, hand-selected craft beer and wine retail store last summer to rave reviews. “I was turned on to craft beer in the ’90s,” says Mike, “so when work was drying up, I decided to put together a business plan for a craft beer store centered around fresh, diverse products, customer service and community.” Known for their Growlers to go with ten tempting brews always on tap, the duo seems to have hit upon a recession-proof vocation. So, are they having any fun, yet? “Seriously. We sell beer and wine. What’s not to love?” Ed laughs. What do you love about skirt! magazine? “The overall creativity,” says Mike. “The fresh layout and great perspective,” says Ed How do you feel about wearing a skirt? “I’m used to wearing Lycra in public,” admits Ed, “so wearing a skirt is not much of challenge, honestly.” Photo by John Fowler
Cheap, sweet, Southern, plastic-wrapped. Whatâ€™s not to love?
The roads are rough and tumble up to Stringers Ridge, where our uphill biking efforts will be rewarded with a wide-open view over downtown Chattanooga, my husband’s hometown. Catching my breath, I gaze down at the Tennessee River winding below, a silver green glisten meandering under bridges and around Moccasin Bend—the bloodied spit of land where the Cherokees embarked on the Trail of Tears and Union troops pummeled Confederate soldiers on Lookout Mountain. We’re biking through a rugged geography here where Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau tumbles down to the river—a land of tragedy and beauty, of kudzued roadsides and graffitied overpasses, and more trans fats than a serious biker should be thinking about. At least here on the last curve where Manufacturers Road takes a sharp left up to Stringers Ridge, just past the unassuming and sad-looking Chattanooga Baking Co. No fanfare on this industrial deadend, no neon, no shiny billboard, none of the “See Rock City” hype that Chattanooga flashes so well. Just old railroad tracks, loose gravel and a fenced-in Baking Co. parking lot with a half-dozen idle bread trucks. Hardly what you’d expect as birthplace and exalted home of the world famous MoonPie. We bike this loop frequently on visits to my in-laws, and each time we pedal past the Baking Company, I imagine what goes on inside the mysterious world of MoonPie making. Vats of Willy-Wonka-ish chocolate roiling. Some mega-squeeze tube from which would squirt, or squish, the pillow of marshmallow fluff that glues two semi-stale round graham crackers together before they’re baptized in chocolate, or vanilla or banana glaze if you’re a second-rate citizen who prefers those bastardized versions to the original. I imagine some tired, hair-netted Chattanooga women doing a Lucy and Ethel conveyor dance as fresh MoonPies fly off the belt and into their individuallywrapped orbit of a cool dozen, boxed and headed to the Dollar General. And if I’m musing scientific, I wonder if the half-life of the wholly artificial MoonPie exceeds that of the Twinkie? It’s a hardy treat, after all, launched into Americana gustatory fame by hungry Chattanooga coal miners who’d slap a MoonPie and RC into their lunch pails and pull an extra shift. Working-class food, working-class bakery. No frills; all fat. More than 100 years after their creation, in the midst of a rising foodieorganic-locavore-slow food revolution, MoonPies still prevail, with nary a hint of quinoa in ‘em. Even today’s “shop local” ploy holds no moral imperative; my husband, a die-hard Krystal burger loyalist (another Chattanooga health food creation), didn’t even realize MoonPies hailed from his old stomping grounds. “We didn’t do MoonPies, we ate honey buns from the day-old Sunbeam outlet,” he says, licking his lips. No worries, he can make up for lost time since the kitschy cookies now have a foothold in our current hometown, Charleston, South Carolina, which joins Chattanooga as the only place to find a MoonPie General Store, where 65 cents buys you 226 calories of waxy chocolaty gooey deliciousness, and if you’re still hungry, MoonPie t-shirts, paperweights…you name it. So what is it about the humble MoonPie from a plain-jane industrial bakery on a forgotten Tennessee back road? What makes them an All-American staple—an anchor of Elvis’s Food Pyramid, something you could imagine being served (warmed, à la mode) at a Bill Clinton State Dinner, and certainly deep-fried at the state fair. Thousands of them are tossed from Mardi Gras floats each year in Mobile, Slidell and all along the Mississippi Gulf; for two years running MoonPies were the official NASCAR snack. They’re high-test treats, fortified with zero antioxidants and all-things forbidden: high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated-anything-you-can-hydrogenate. They’re the snack food equivalent of a Hummer, an environmental disaster for the gut. Cheap, sweet, Southern, plastic-wrapped. What’s not to love? I succumbed and bought a box of mini-MoonPies at the local dollar store once, okay twice, when my oldest girls were in grade school, a treat to tuck into their otherwise boring lunch boxes and make them smile. It was that mix of shame and pleasure that I remember, that sticks with me the way that gummy MoonPie chocolate sticks to the back of your teeth. That moment of “I know better, but…” that a label-reading mom can beat herself up over. MoonPies’ sole nutritional value is nostalgia. They’re artifacts of an era when, for better or worse, food was apolitical and simply enjoyed, when ingredients weren’t a measure of moral stature. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll challenge Michael Pollen to a kale-eating contest any day, then polish off some purple cauliflower for my victory lap. My summer camp nickname wasn’t “Whole Wheat” for nothing. Still, I know bad things can be really, really good. Especially when they’re laced with marshmallow fluff and taste like memory. Stephanie Hunt is a writer and occasional lunch-packer in Mount Pleasant, SC. She sneaks small bites of blogging (alifestill.com) but would, under no circumstances, eat a banana-flavored MoonPie. stephaniehuntwrites.com
NO ONE BEATS A MICHAEL’S PRICE!
Ask the Expert: info@MWFtoday.com
Q: How much should I budget for carpet?
The Rev Says! Sounds like a great question! But like a good haircut the devil IS in the details (and the tips!) Since you shopped last, the flooring world has abandoned Square Yard pricing & adopted Square Foot pricing. The price hasn’t really changed much but how it is quoted has. 9 square feet in a square yard, so what used to be $9.00 a sq. yd. will now be $1.00 per sq.ft. all the same just different! There is no one price & no one quality. Could be low end apartment carpet for about $1 per sq. ft. or premium stuff for $6-$10 or more a sq. ft. Here’s a good rule of thumb, assuming you shop for value and don’t over pay. Expect 5 years of reasonable service for every $1 you spend on carpet per foot. (Not pad or labor) $1 buck! Sq / Ft= 5 years of good service $2 buck! Sq / Ft= 10 years & so on * SMARTSHOPPER TRICK! If you love Filet, but would like it better at Hamburger prices... Remnants are often a great buy, if you are only doing a room or two. Measure your room & shop at a store that stocks a lot of remnants. Same carpet, better value! A lot like great shoes at DSW instead of the department store!
GOT A QUESTION about LOVE, LIFE OR FLOORING FOR THE REV? info@MWFtoday.com & get a personal answer from the Rev & you might even make next months SKIRT column.
Michael’s Wholesale Flooring I-85 & Woodruff Rd. Exit 51 41 Old Country Road Greenville, SC 29607
Sheona Platform Sandal • Nina Shoes
Star and Moon Cookie Jar
Craft Beers The Community Tap 205 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville 864.631.2525
Love Block Twosome Ring Erica Anenberg ericaanenberg.com
Margaret National skirt! Editor
Antiques Plus Mall 100 Piedmont Rd. Piedmont 864.295.2330
Kathryn Sales Executive
f-word [ Feminism Free-For-All ]
Planned Parenthood receives tens of millions of dollars annually from Congress. The money cannot be used for abortions and is instead directed towards pelvic exams, safe-sex counseling and breast exams, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from trying to strip the group of funding. Brava to pro-choice Mayor Michael Bloomberg for fighting back!
A painter, printmaker and textile designer, Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), was the first woman to have her work shown at the Louvre (1964). Her experimental “poem dresses,” representing a synthesis of word, body and movement, are included in “Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay” at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York until June 5.
“Attachment parenting, especially when combined with environmental correctness, has encouraged female victimization. Women feel not only that they must be ever-present for their children but also that they must breast-feed, make their own baby food and eschew disposable diapers. It’s a prison for mothers, and it represents as much of a backlash against women’s freedom as the right-to-life movement.” Erica Jong, “Mother Madness”
“Rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions decrease significantly when women receive a one-year supply of oral contraceptives, instead of being prescribed one- or three-month supplies,” a University of California-San Francisco study shows. For anyone who has waited in a clinic or doctor’s office to get a refill written, that’s hardly a groundbreaking insight.
Pink Saris, by British documentary film maker Kim Longinotto, follows Sampat Devi Pal, the fierce founder of the Gulabi Gang, a women’s activist group in India which takes its name from the color of their bright pink, or “gulabi,”saris. The “Pink Gang” helps women who suffer domestic abuse and wages a battle against the culture of honor and shame that is deeply entrenched in many Indian villages and allows acts of abuse to go unpunished.
April survival guide Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees Fresh paint Blessed by Lucinda Williams Renting Enchanted April Hiking Yosemite Kayak lessons Lucky rabbit charm Prosecco on the porch A cool cardigan
Baby Journal • Moleskine Passions Collection moleskineus.com • amazon.com
Trunki by Melissa & Doug
The Ezy Roller Lollipop Totz 112 Halter Dr. Powdersville 864.269.5002
Slumby Baby Carrier
O.P. Taylor’s 117 North Main St. Greenville 864.467.1984
Inside Out at Home 2131 Woodruff Rd, #2200, Greenville 864.288.9310
Life is short and is not meant to be lived behind a desk.
remember the first time I heard someone refer to food as if it were a forbidden lover. It was my senior year of college, and I was sitting in my magazine review class when the petite girl up front raised her hand to tell the teacher that her dream job was to write about food. “I love food,” she admitted in a near-whisper, “I’m kind of a...foodie.” Our hipster professor nodded admiringly, while the other students looked at her wisely. I sat there perplexed. This was before “foodie” was a common phrase, before Tom Colicchio and Jamie Oliver were household names, before I knew that arugula was a lettuce, not a crustacean. I had no idea what she meant or why she’d said it. It was like me admitting, “I love couches” or “I love the sky.” Why would you say something so broad, so strange, and for me at the time, so random? This was my senior year of college, and I was still essentially a food virgin. I’d eaten a lot of different things in my 22 years, and had actually just lost 25 lbs. from the gorge fest I’d conducted studying in Italy two years before. I had stuffed myself with everything colorful, yummy and most importantly, fattening: gelato, pesto, cheeses of all shapes and textures, sausages, prosciutto. I loved food, but I certainly didn’t consider it a way of life, a calling or a true passion. As I listened to this classmate go on and on about food and her favorite famous foodies, I realized she wasn’t announcing to the class that she was a glutton. Instead, it seemed more like she was bearing witness to her religion and was doing her best to convert the rest of us—quite successfully. It was as if someone had opened a window for me and let in all of the sun. There were great pleasures to be had in life. Yet here I was, ignorantly neglecting a vitally important source of it. Just a year later, I found myself working in a fine dining establishment as a server, and it was the happiest, most wonderful job I’ve ever had. It was only then that all of it clicked into place. My life could be delicious. I discovered what it meant to really, deeply, passionately love food, and to live life in a way that reflected this devotion. The basic tenets of living that I adopted, and which most of the restaurant’s employees had figured out years before, were these: 1. Life is short and is not meant to be lived behind a desk. 2. Traveling is necessary for living an interesting life. Likewise, an interesting life is the whole point of being alive. 3. Chew food slowly. Taste every spice, texture and flavor. Give in to the pleasures of eating.
4. Try new things, not just in the kitchen, but out in the world. Meet new people, listen to strange music, learn to dance ballet, scuba dive, give your phone number to the guy at table 8, get a tattoo. 5. Prepare food like it’s an art, it’s the ultimate source of joy. I’ve found that there are times, and they are rare, where out of the blue, you receive the gift of a large group of friends you don’t deserve. At the restaurant gig, I was surrounded by artists, writers, musicians and talented cooks, who loved nothing more than to eat, drink and have long conversations. There was a support system there and the knowledge that the people around you accepted you for all that you were. We picked up each other’s shifts when anyone had a show; and we always had each other’s best interests at heart. The best part of the job happened in those hours late at night, long after the kitchen had closed, sitting with cooks and servers at the bar, gushing about food, wine and adventures yet to come. My greatest exposure to actual food knowledge came through talks with our head chef at our “family meals.” Lots of restaurants offer a meal to their employees before dinner service begins (think: chicken tenders), but few put the care and the craftsmanship into dinners the way ours did. We never ate pizza or spaghetti—this restaurant’s workers ate well, and our kitchen staff never scrimped on what it served its own. We ate risotto, homemade bread pudding, couscous with farm-fresh tomatoes and asparagus, pan-seared skate wing, clams in white wine and roasted Ashley Farms chicken. As we sat around the table (and by “we” I mean the entire staff), our chef taught us about the specials of the evening (which we’d also get to taste), filling us in on a history of the food, how it was raised and what it tasted good with. He welcomed questions and encouraged us all to read his massive stack of expensive food and wine books kept in the towering bookshelf by the kitchen. I soaked up the chef’s advice like a sponge, and when I didn’t have many tables, I’d watch all of the cooks flip, sauté, grill and chop, absorbing their incredible cooking finesse. At home, in my tiny apartment, I practiced the skills I’d learned at work. I bought wines and paired them with blue-flecked cheeses. I planted herbs and sprinkled them over juicy red tomatoes. I worried over Julia Child’s pot roast and learned what it meant to savor and to enjoy. By the end of a year working in a restaurant and cooking at home, my life had changed significantly. Not only had I gained insight about ingredients and the cultural relevance associated with food, I had found a source of passion within myself that extended outwards into all aspects of my life. My shy shell had long been cast aside—that’s something you have to do when you’re forced to sell wine to strangers—and been replaced by a girl who loved conversation, dinner parties and friends and finally learned how to feed her hungry soul.
Kelly Skinner is an Atlanta-based writer. Her essays and features have appeared in such magazines as Get Married Magazine, The South, Blush and The Atlantan. When she isn’t running with her dog, Maddy or writing, she’s whipping up cakes, jam, homemade pastas and scrumptious roasts in her pint-sized kitchen. 30
1 Fashion models with mouths agape and eyes vacant seems to be the new unsexy trend in national magazines. In her Bulgari ads, the talented Julianne Moore looks like she’s been chloroformed. It may not be fashionable to look happy wearing a fortune in jewels, but smiling not only releases endorphins and boosts immunity—it also gives you an instant face lift.
The Good Housekeeping Drop 5 lbs: The Small Changes, Big Results Diet book features a 25-minute workout that doesn’t require special equipment, changing your clothes or taking a shower afterward. Besides that, you’ll find of hundreds of other little lifestyle changes you can make to shed pounds and be healthier.
3 4 5 “The art of paying attention is vital to human life. Attention is the way we love. We might say that what we pay attention to is what we love.” So says Marv Hiles in the newsletter The Way Through from Iona Center. Keep a list of what you pay attention to this month and see where your love lies.
Mark Bittman, author and New York Times food columnist, says the best
way to describe McDonald’s “healthy” oatmeal offering would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.” Go for homemade instead— almost as fast and cheaper.
The Communal Table is a series of self-published books about sharing the love of eating and gathering together.With recipes from bloggers, chefs and foodies, and illustrated/curated by past skirt! cover artist Caroline Hwang, the first in the series is based on the theme of “A Casual Setting.” As icing on top of the cake, all profits from every book in the series will be donated to a food-related organization. communal-table.com
Meet Shoes I Covet: Rainbows
Christina Nyberg, the third generation involved in the operation of the The Junction Family Restaurants, famous for country comfort foods like fried green tomatoes and fried chicken.
Where I Shop Locally: Chelsea’s
Favorite Feminist: Barbara Walters
My Pet: Max the Great Dane
My Workout: Zumba at Inman Health & Fitness
My Lucky Charm: My Son, Jaxson, who’s two. Favorite Restaurant: The Junction One Item Always In My Purse: Hand Sanitizer My Muse: Planning My Wedding to My Fiancé, Blake Turner Favorite Flower: Sunflowers My Desk: I’m the Post-It Queen I’d Like To Learn To: Sew
Photo by John Fowler at The Junction in Gowensville
Favorite TV Show: Jersey Shore My Guilty Pleasure: Chocolate Signature Scent: Lavender Dream Vacation: Tahiti Favorite Shoes: Danskos
Learn Take an online art stenciling class created by Mary Ann Moss, a blogger whose visual journals are fun and funky and filled with all sorts of delicious craftiness.You can sign up at any time since the class is permanently stored online. dispatchfromla.typepad.com
Laugh To My Husband is an irreverent, foul-mouthed blog of rules and advice for the contributors’ future husbands. You might want to borrow a few or submit some of your own. tomyhusband.tumblr.com
Books we are enjoying
Download Running on empty? Need to find an ATM asap? The AroundMe app identifies your position and shows you a complete list of all the businesses in the category you have tapped on along with the distance from where you are. For
Mapping the World: Stories of Geography Caroline & Martine Laffon Nikki Hardin Publisher
every listing you can choose to see its location on a map and view the route from where you are. itunes.com.
Lists Visit Marfa, TX. Write an erotic novel. Get a Vidal Sassoon geometric cut. Do you keep an ongoing Life List? Check out the one on MightyGirl for inspiration. mightygirl.com/mighty-life-list
Meanie Mouse Versus The Orlando Operators Frederick Malphurs Sheril Bennett Turner Editor
SAY:100 is a collection of online voices that create engaging content, drive conversation and shape opinion—all those know-it-all hipsters we love to envy. From Jane Pratt, formerly of
Sassy, to Seth Godin, business guru, you’ll find the last word on technology, style, parenting, design, food and more at say100.saymedia.com.
Under THe CoverS
Paint it Black
My Boyfriend’s Back
All Along the Watchtower
Heidi Grant Halvorson, The Huffington Post
“Being prepared. It sounds
“I haven’t been getting
“How often have you
so Scout-worthy, so much
enough sleep and I think
found yourself avoiding
like any one of the inter-
I’m running a deficit.
challenges and playing it
changeable mothers in a
I think I haven’t been
safe, sticking to goals you
1960s era sitcom, so steady
dreaming enough. Not
knew would be easy for
and earnest, and sure. Be-
metaphoric dreaming; real
you to reach? Are there
ing prepared for anything.
dreaming. This kind of
things you decided long
In the larger picture of life,
dreaming that filled with
ago that you could never be
are we ever prepared for
irrational beauty and
good at? Skills you believed
tragedy and destruction
wonder and disorientation
you would never possess?”
and mayhem, or do we
and utter belief in circum-
improvise and do the best
stances of disbelief.”
Eddie Vedder & The Million Dollar Bashers Wild is the Wind Cat Power Goin’ to Acapulco
Jim James & Calexico
we can with what we have? I think it’s the latter.” skirt.com
planetnikki [ a visual journal ]
With new lighting installed throughout my house recently, it was startling to read in bed at night without
under a single 60-watt lamp,
but it was also uncomfortable to see my surroundings so clearly. What possessed me to pick that
for the bedroom walls,
and has my long-lost favorite bracelet been lurking in a corner all this time? It made me realize that my soul has needed more
for a while as well.
When did I stop seeing the ingrained habits that resist change? just
Are the secret dreams that used to inspire me dust in a neglected part of my life?
How often do I settle for easy answers instead of
Repainting the bedroom is a quick fix, but living in the light
is a full-time job.
Tickets: spoletousa.org. I’ve seen every amazing, magical Knee High Theatre production that has come to SpoletoUSA and can’t wait for The Red Shoes in May. My dream? To intern with them in Cornwall.
I’d love a Tiny Texas House to use as a writing studio. I’d put a wicker chaise in it and read novels all day instead of writing one.
Too much of this homemade sloe gin from my friends in London and you’ll wake up in a parallel universe with your underwear on your head. Caravan was my favorite shop in my favorite neighborhood—Spitalfields— in London. And they carry the fabulous wallpaper by Deborah Bowness. I crave one of her Wallpaper Frocks for my bedroom in case anyone is searching for my next birthday present.
Nikki Hardin is the founder and publisher of skirt! magazine. She blogs at fridaville.com. 34
A friend gave me a pack of Japanese paper that is so luscious I’m loathe to use it. But I think it’s destined to decorate my journal in some way or other.
F r o m p r a c t i c a l t o p i e - i n - t h e - s k y.
What would you do to improve your community? In 200 words or less, tell us the one thing you think Greenville needs and what you’ll do to help. You could be one of the profiles featured in the August issue of skirt!. [ 1 ] “I think we need a childcare co-op in the arts district…” [ 2 ] “Instead of TV game shows in doctors’ waiting rooms, why not meditation videos? [ 3 ] “I have a great idea for a feminist art installation…” [ 4 ] “How about a public access channel for parenting education?”
Send your idea to email@example.com before May 31. Please include your full name, street address, and a daytime telephone number.
Don’t buy cheap clothes. Buy good clothes, cheap...
Greenville’s designer consignment boutique. Located in McDaniel Village with Panera Bread and Coplon’s
1922 Augusta Street | 864.631.1919 | M-F 10-6, Sat. 10-5 | www.labelsonaugusta.com 75879