Behind the scenes of our inspired week of charcuterie.
I’m sitting with artisan chef and restaurant owner Roberto Leoci in an old meat-packing building that is now Meddin Studios. It’s 80-degrees outside, but cold in here, as if the refrigeration has permanently seeped into the concrete floor. The place is creepy. Barn-size metal doors divide the rooms; to slide one open you have to press your entire body against it. The old wooden tables move as easily as live oaks and are just as creaky. Everything is heavy. Even the new glass doors are propped open by 25-pound sandbags.
If you drive far enough away from civilization you come upon something that feels more authentically like life. It’s not a life with which I’m familiar, and yet the wide-open space, the simplicity of sprawling fields cut into perfect right angles, feels just right.
We descend upon the Lee Family Farm in Bulloch County at sunrise, the sleep still in the corners of our citified eyes as the bright sun cuts across the horizon. It’s eerie and beautiful—in the distance, a few workers dot the fields in meditative labor, looking like solitary statues emerging from a thick blanket of silencing fog.
I want to be a sprinkle. Not the tiny circus-colored variety that crunches like birdshot, or the crystallized pink sparklers that feel as if you eaten a mouthful of sand. “A sprinkle,” Rebecca Gardner tells me, “is someone who walks into a party and they’re peppy, they introduce people, they have self confidence and stories to tell.” It’s her job to know this.
This week on Simmer Down Brenda and Libbie introduce you to five people who are teaching us the new “old way” to eat. Listen to what you have to look forward to in the next several weeks on Salted and Styled. Fantastic recipes, the incredible photography by Chia Chong, artwork, fashion and profiles on each person featured here and in Savannah Magazine’s Epicurean issue.
I’ve never been one to go against the grain. In fact, I’m usually about 3 years behind every trend because I prefer to have others pave the way while I do a risk assessment from the sidelines. Overtime, when the threat-level hovers around mellow yellow, I get on board. I only recently bought a pair of skinny jeans and aviators. Consequently, I’m perpetually chasing trends on their way out, but such is life spent swimming in the mainstream.
I grew up wanting to work in the fields, a dream my parents deferred my entire childhood.
Every elementary kid did it, or so it seemed. Each summer a chartered school bus would haul sleepy-eyed kids from their homes to the sprawling strawberry fields just a short 15-minute drive into the county. While I lazed around watching “Tom and Jerry” and lapping up “toasted rice” cereal, I imagined my schoolmates singing songs and forging friendships in my absence.
I’m all about living a thoughtful, introspective existence, but some things are better left unexamined.
Like the Easter Bunny.
I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t like, at least not one I couldn’t make more palatable by bathing in butter, showering in salt or layering in liquid cheese. That is, until I met the radish. She came into my life somewhat unexpectedly, showing up in my dinner salad—her dusty, magenta skin and bright white meat a stark contrast to the sickly green manger of iceberg lettuce and sliced celery on which she rested.
My dad grew up on a farm in the Northwestern-most part of Washington State. He and his two brothers rose early every morning to feed the livestock, milk the cows and bale hay. Dad resented almost every minute except when he was tipping cows or tying makeshift parachutes around the farm cats and tossing them from the barn’s loft.