Went to the Decatur Book Festival twice on Saturday, both times to hear cookbook authors--the fiction writers they gathered were not appealing to me. (Quite lit'rary, you know.) Bought Scott Peacock's book which I'd already read from the library, and will order Shirley Corriher's Cookwise from Amazon soon.
I must try to replicate Corriher's demonstration recipe--she made biscuits with cherry butter. Luscious, lighter-than-air biscuits, and the cherry butter was a mix of butter, cream cheese, cherry preserves, and cherry liqueur. It was a combination to die for. Major trick: she didn't try to get the biscuit dough to where it could be handled. Instead, she dumped globs of dough out with an ice cream scoop onto a heavily floured baking sheet, and patted each into a biscuit shape before cramming it into a pan. No gluten developed there, and no extra flour added either.
Corriher's book is heavy on the "why" of cooking--she mentioned a failed flourless chocolate cake where she'd added cream, and the dairy buffered the acidity of the chocolate so the eggs couldn't provide the rising action. Result: chocolate pudding/soup, not cake. I like that sort of cookbook! Scott Peacock made a strong pitch for everyone to make homemade mayonnaise (he was demonstrating a tomato salad with a garlic mayonnaise), and I may have to do that for the next big family gathering. My mother made her own mayonnaise until I was in high school or so, and I made my own for a while after getting my first apartment. It's definitely not the same stuff as what you buy in jars.
In addition to various authors speaking at 5 or 6 venues, they had a lot of booths from writers' groups, small and academic presses, independent booksellers, and the like scattered around the square. Looked like a good turnout--I hope this will continue, and if it does, I'll be writing to suggest more genre fiction presence.
Saturday night was the Georgia Tech/Notre Dame football game. Lots of hype in the Atlanta papers about Tech's chances at an upset (Notre Dame was #2 in the country in pre-season polls), but while Tech played well, we lost 14-10. Very confusing uniforms: Tech was in gold jerseys with white pants, ND in white jerseys with gold pants. Confusing fan dress, too--Tech's colors are white and gold and fans are encouraged to wear gold shirts to the games, but dark blue is the most common accent color. Notre Dame colors are blue and gold. The only clearly marked fans were those dressed as Irish leprechauns, or in other forms of Irish green.
Sunday my sister-in-law and I took the nieces to a musical: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which is starting a national tour. Very funny, nice music, with lots of local jokes worked in as well. The show gets several audience volunteers to participate at each performance, and that really works well, too. The audience gets an immediate connection, as they call the names of the selected people and have them come up on stage after the opening number. We did have to inform the nieces that some words would be spoken (or sung) that they are not permitted to use...
And the final weekend activity to mention was moving Summer, the younger of my brother's dogs, back to her yard. And again. And again. It seems once Summer figured out how to get into my yard, it became a haven for whenever the older dog got too alpha. We thought she might be jumping the fence (it's a low chain link) or the gate, but B. spent the afternoon filling holes along our common fence line, and thinks that the deepest one might be how Summer was getting in. Out. Whatever. He's filled the holes and put concrete pavers along the base of the fence, and Summer has been scolded and put on a tie-down after 2 incursions, so perhaps between barriers and behavior modification she'll be convinced to stay in her own yard. We'll see.