Sunday, October 12, 2014

12 October 2014

October continues to be hectic at work and One Britt. Week before last involved an impromptu mid-week business trip to New York City. I returned just in time to attend the City Council meeting on Thursday night. That weekend began with an excellent First Friday Octoberfest in downtown Canton which included a special sneak preview of our exciting new watering hole, The Study. Joe Guynup has done an excellent job on the space, menu and concept for this upscale tapas, sushi and craft cocktails bar. He even offers valet parking on the weekend, and I wish him great success!

Last Saturday was my 30th reunion and the 100th anniversary of Mountain Day at my Alma Matter, Berry College, in Rome, Georgia. I arrived in time to see the Grand March down Lavender Mountain and got to spend a few hours with some very dear college friends. One included one of my oldest and dearest friend, Amy Phelps. Amy and I went to school together from first grade through college, and I know we will always be there for each other. We are planning to get our core gang of friends together for a weekend gathering at Berry in the Spring, and I can't wait to spend some quality time catching up with everyone.

Speaking of dear friends, my best girlfriend and fellow designer, Ann Willoughby, arrived at One Britt on Sunday for a short visit from Kansas City. I met Ann over ten years ago when I chaired the AIGA's national Communication Graphics design competition. Ann was one of the judges, and I knew we were kindred spirits the moment we met. We are both Southerners who had special relationships with our grandmothers. We both love bacon, good food, good wine and great design. Like Amy, Ann will always be in my life, and I am so thankful to have her as a close friend. For last week's Sunday Supper, I made Chicken and Dumplings in her honor. We had a wonderful visit, and I can't wait until our next one.

After another very busy week, we enjoyed the "official" opening night of The Study, complete with food service on Friday night. The food was great, and we visited with a lot of great friends from Canton who also came in to celebrate the big night. On Saturday, we did a lot of catching up around the house and tried to relax a bit. That night, we enjoyed a great meal at Riverstone Corner Bistro as the Farrars celebrated their second anniversary. They always do a nice job, and it now feels like home when we eat there. Mike and Shelly Farrar are great hosts, and their team are equally as pleasant.

Today began with grocery shopping and prepping for tonight's Sunday Supper. On a sad note, Farris Yawn's father, Aubrey, passed away on Saturday, and the visitation was this afternoon. Farris loves cheese straws, so Jeff spent the afternoon baking some to take over to the funeral home. We are keeping Farris, Nadine and the entire family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. After the visitation, I had a lot of chopping and prep work to complete since tonight's Sunday Supper involved an Asian theme. I prepared homemade pork dumplings, Chicken Chop Suey with Jasmine Rice and Almond Shortbread cookies for dessert. It all turned out very well, and it is almost time to begin another busy week.

Next week, I head to Market in High Point, North Carolina to help a client launch a new home furnishings collection. There will be cocktail parties with editors, dinners with Bloomingdales executives and much more hobnobbing. At the end of the day, it's just a job, and I will give it all I got. Here's to a great week, and don't forget to vote!

The Menu:

- Steamed Pork Dumplings with Asian Dipping Sauce

- Chicken Chop Suey with Sesame Jasmine Rice

- Almond Shortbread Cookies

The Recipe – Almond Shortbread Cookies


1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 drop almond extract
1 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour, plus extra to dust
3/4 cup ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon


In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the beaten egg and extract. Add the flour, ground almonds and lemon zest and mix until dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead into a ball. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a log, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, and slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until golden brown at the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 3 or 4 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks to cool.

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