I am no stranger to the restaurant, Moon River Brewing Company, located on E. Bay street down by the Savannah River. It’s a place that I will always visit when in town, even if it’s just to get an Apparition ale to-go. (You can get beer to-go and drink it on the street while…shopping.) But usually I stick around for a while to enjoy the company of the living. AND THE DEAD!
Was that too cheesy? That was too cheesy, wasn’t it? That was too cheesy.
This trip, however, was a little different from most because not only did I come for another Apparition ale but I was on a mission to include this place and others in the Halloween countdown series, “Spooky North Carolina”. I know, I know, I know… it’s a different state, but when it comes to material that’s close to a beach and great beer, we can all make an exception, don’t you think?
I was hoping to capture the feel of this place by shooting a video mixed with spooky background music and clips from Poltergeist. Not that I am lazy, but I didn’t plan on making anything out of this trip other than a few videos without commentary. Boy was I pleasantly surprised to get the invite and go where few people can, thanks to the sweet staff of the Moon River.
It’s a spooky place whether you believe the stories or not. Just about every person who works there has had an experience so just in numbers, it’s really hard to argue that this is only a rickety old building. There are documented duels, murder, madness, plague and the hundreds who died on this property, so it’s a wacky place.
In this episode, we start in the basement and end up in the attic, which is way more than I expected to get and am very grateful to the staff for the fun addition. There are some scenes from the show Ghost Adventures that airs on the Travel Channel because they did one Hell of a job capturing the feel of the darker areas. It helps guide you to where we were and why.
I also need to give thanks to the awesome girl who held the camera for me. It must have been a weird proposition but that’s why I am in sales. A.B.C.!
Things are happening over here at the VeggieMacabre HQ! I have been working behind the scenes for the upcoming 2013 Halloween Countdown that will be an official thing starting the last week of August and running through October. I had no idea how big of a project something like this is until I committed with a few fellow web masters, an online show, a couple of product lines and friends for road trips just for the spooky articles. I have already been writing the random filler posts so the chance of a midseason burnout is greatly diminished.
Pretty exciting stuff and I have high expectations so now I need to make sure all the pieces fit just right. Oh logistics in a blog! Always elusive.
Until that kickoff, I have a few more adventures in store. Keep an eye out for a nostalgic tribute and a couple more reviews coming to a computer near you.
Did you know this site has a Tumblr picture blog? It’s true! Mainly I keep it as my photo blog because I have a magical talent of taking inconspicuous cellphone pictures of odd things. I try to keep it classy but every so often I find a rather large lady at the pool with a bad cat tattoo and I just can’t help myself. You will find all of that nonsense there. And trust me, there is a lot of it.
Click the picture and magically transport yourself there!
Also, I am on Twitter too! Say whaaaaaaat??? It’s true! I don’t think I need to make a deal out of this because most people know I am on Twitter even though I don’t say too much about my tiny little webmaster world. I do follow some pretty rad people and shockingly, I am followed by even more rad people. Like Andrew Zimmern! You know, the guy that eats bugs and fish heads as a delicacy on the Travel Channel? He followed me after I tweeted “It would be Hell to be reincarnated as Andrew Zimmern’s toilet”. Good to see he has a sense of humor. I still feel bad about that.
So, come find me and lets follow each other! Forever and ever and ever….
I think that’s enough with blog begging for a day. I just wanted to point out some areas where you can access hidden gems that will get bigger throughout the summer.
Enjoy your day and I will be back with a tribute to the best GI Joe vehicle ever and if you disagree, I will….do nothing. Maybe make noises like “pshhh”. Who knows?
Wow, I never thought a title could be so stupid until I actually saw it typed. And yes, it is amazingly bad so I will leave it. Then again, it does cut to the point of this pointless blog and today I am writing about an easy concoction that any dude can follow. Seriously, if you can’t make this I…I just feel for you. Turn your kitchen into an indoor pool or something because you are obviously like Ozzy Osbourne trying to make breakfast. So let’s get started on this holiday-cold weather-need a sweater-don’t care about calorie CHF for the season: Will-Bill’s take on Shepard’s Pie.
Have you ever had truly authentic Irish food? Not what you were thinking, was it? No, these folks are great at whiskey but when it comes to food in Ireland, I can say from experience, you need an unassuming tongue. But what do I know? I hail from the land of Cheeseburgers. And that being said I have turned Shepard’s Pie into just that…a mashed-up cheeseburger.
First on the list of list is to brown the meat. I always go with the 80/20 because I saw Alton Brown cooking with it on TV and if it’s on TV it has to be right. With the meat I usually add a table-spoon of salt and pepper but thanks to the good people at McCormick, they have their own version that I add to almost everything now.
McCormick’s Grill Mates have a Montreal Steak seasoning that is good on almost everything. If you are worried about your sodium level, they boast to have 20% less salt but lets face it, it’s still a shit load of salt. THIS IS COMFORT FOOD! Read about seaweed and poached kale diets on some other blog. Douse this seasoning liberally to your meat and continue to brown.
Ah, nature’s flavor sponges. I take a package of mushrooms and quarter them. Why do quarter them and not slice, you ask? I really think they are better this way. Don’t worry, mushrooms absorb everything so they shrink. They’ll still fit.
No dinner that I cook is void of these three ingredients: jalapeno, garlic and onion. I chop the jalapeno into halves and add them to the meat right away. (Don’t forget the seeds!) Next I slap-chop the garlic and onion to oblivion. God I love the SlapChop. The only thing I hate though is removing the damn skins from the garlic. But there is no way around it so I guess I will always have to do the whole smash, cuss and peel method. See below.
Alright, the meat is drained (often), and the garlic, pepper, onion and ‘shooms are added. I reduce the heat, cover and let the mix…mix. Now go to the fridge and get a second beer. GO TO THE FRIDGE AND GET A SECOND BEER!!!
While you are giving the mushrooms time to simmer and soak in the jalapeno and garlic, it’s time to bring out the second phase. I call it “Phase Two”. We are adding one and a half cans of cream of mushroom soup (fat-full kind) and one can of drained whole corn. Usually peas are added too but a certain someone who will be eating this hates peas. I can’t think of a substitute so corn is going solo.
When you feel that the mushrooms have taken in all flavor they can we add the soup and corn, cover and let simmer for about five minutes or so on low heat. By now the smell of garlic should be chasing all vampires out of you attic. I assume that your beer is almost done so head over to the fridge and get another. If I have to say it one more time….IF I HAVE TO SAY IT ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!
We are almost there so next comes the third phase or as I like to call it, “Alpha one”. You need to bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium size pot. Once you have achieved a boil, remove the pot from the heat and pour in two bags of Idahoan instant potatoes and whip with a fork until firm. Why instant and not real? Because I’m not a real cook. These potatoes take less time than Kraft Mac&Cheeze so be ready for them. And by read I mean you need to pour the meat’n-stuff into a cooking pan like so…
God, that looks like the worst brownie in the world, doesn’t it? I looks like you invited an old Eastern Euro-Bloc guy to a holiday office party an assigned him deserts to bring. He would say, “I vill bring brownies for holiday party and you vill like!”. I imagine he would look like this.
I forgot what we were doing. How’s your beer?
Now we pour the potatoes over the Bosnia Brownie (I served 3 consecutive years over there. Let me have that joke!) and spread them over the top much as you would ice a cake.
For the final phase or Phase “I don’t know, Margo” we will add an entire bag of cheese. Generally I use cheddar but when I see the word “new” on a bag I buy it immediately. Now, I forgot to tell you to preheat the oven to 375 but I assume you aren’t reading this in realtime as you cook. If you are, then I love you. But sorry, you need to preheat the oven to 375. Time for another beer or SO HELP ME! Cover the whole…casserole(?) with aluminum foil and bake this masterpiece for 25 minutes.
After all that work you should be looking at something similar to this. Wait till it cools before digging in. I feel like I have to say that for some reason. This is an easy dinner that most anyone will like unless they hate beef, mushrooms, garlic, cheese, potatoes, onions, jalapenos or life. In that case there are TV dinners.
ANNOUNCEMENT! The Practical Cook and I are challenging each other to a video review where we assign one another to holiday items to, well, review. Later today I take on that challenge and it will be posted right here. Rock on and be merry, Harry!
I just wanted to capture this moment and preserve it in a blog so I can look back from the future and say, “wow, that was worth it”. It’s inconceivable at my current state to believe so, but given time, I thing it will happen. Almost as if I am shouting to my future-self saying, “FUTURE-SELF! YOU’RE FUCKING WELCOME!” I can feel him reading this now. That smug bastard.
Or wait, what if I am to be future-failure-self and all this is for not? What if I am burning present-self to oblivion and future-self is reading this shouting, “STOP! STOP! I’M A DAIRY FARMER IN SACRAMENTO! YOU DON’T NEED ANY OF THIS!” To that I say…I need to get back to present-self. Fuck off future-self.
I am sure that future-self hates me right now and I get that. I look at past-self with a semi-satisfactory opinion and I don’t believe that is too out of the ordinary. I mean who doesn’t strive to better each day so there is no way that future-self can be reading this without an eye roll or two. Some of past-self’s actions deserve ball punches with extreme prejudice and I am hoping future-self is not as critical from this point forward. And now I am done writing on this.
I was watching Caddy Shack for the 400th time yesterday and I thought I had just about every line committed to memory until I caught the a subtle interaction between the Judge and his grandson, Spalding. It’s very quick but it is now my new favorite quote.
Spalding (teeing off but doing poorly): “TURDS!”
Judge: “Spalding watch your language!”
Spalding: “Sorry Grandpa.”
(Tries again) “DOUBLE FARTS!”
Well, I managed to cross the 100 mile per week running goal and I think this will be maintained for the foreseeable future. I am really surprised how good I feel, though. There is little soreness, the feet are fine, no knee and back issues and the runs are at a quick pace. The military side of me believes I am not pushing myself hard enough because without pain there is no gain but the 32 year old side of me is knocking on wood while doing the Bartakomous’s, “dance of joy”. This may culminate catastrophically but really, do I do it any other way?
NEW FAVORITE SHOW!
I was watching Bert the Conqueror last week and I am a huge fan. He reminds me of someone and it is bugging the hell out of me that I can’t think of who. Regardless, this show is great and I highly recommend it. So watch it. That’s an order.