Buying, Eating and Living Local

This weekend was one of those “I couldn’t have planned it better” weekends.  I did a lot of catching up with friends.  My new job has kept me tres b-u-s-y so I haven’t had much time for the people I care about lately.  This weekend certainly made up for it.

Friday after work I met my old coworker and friend, Becca, at a local Belmont dive, JAX, for Happy Hour.  We try to do this once a week but sometimes we have to skip a week or two.  This week was exceptionally crazy for both of us so it was a much needed date.  Appetizers were half off so we split nachos and our favorite fried cajun shrimp.  We desperately wanted to snag these glasses, but the waitress was kind enough to let us have them:

The next morning, I got up bright and early to help set up a Voter Registration booth with another friend, Elizabeth, at the local farmer’s market in Mount Holly.  I love going to the farmer’s market and checking out local produce and talking to farmers about harvesting and what they enjoy most about cultivating delicious fruits and vegetables.  There were beautiful sunflowers, peaches, meats, cheeses and vegetables galore.  I skipped breakfast as I was running late as usual so my mouth began watering immediately.  I sought out the bakery booth and got a blueberry muffin and cinnamon orange bread.  Then I sampled a bacon cheddar cheese, fresh sausage, gala apples, pimento goat cheese….and suddenly my hunger subsided.  The coolest part of the market was the cooking demonstration by a local chef and caterer, Bocca Felice.  The master chef herself, Gina, was super spunky and fun to watch. She even posed for this pic while she was talking about produce:

All of the ingredients in her cooking demonstration were from various vendors at the market.  How cool is that?!  The only thing that wasn’t was the olive oil, but she got that from a local place called Olive 2 Live (where I get all of my infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars).  Her menu included basil pesto yellow fin tuna steaks, zucchini fritters with fresh corn kernels and tomato basil soup.  Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed her tuna!

Isn’t she cute? I think so. It was very hard to take this picture without stealing her tuna!  After we sampled all of the tasty dishes, we loaded up our reusable “shop locally” bags with goodies from a few of the booths.  One man had fresh veal and if it hadn’t been $40 I would’ve definitely come home with some!  Instead, here was my spread at the end of the day:

Goat milk lavender lotion, wildflower honey, heirloom tomatoes, okra, cinnamon orange bread, pimento goat cheese, goat cheese log and sausage.  I am so excited to indulge this week!

After the farmers market, I met my BF Jayni at a Selwyn Pub in Charlotte for a drink (she had just gotten off from a 12 hour shift in the ER) and froyo.  We double treated ourselves :).  My froyo was taro with coconut and brownie bites….DEEEELISH!

A few hours later, I met my old high school friends, Veronica and Andrew, along with their adorable baby, Beckham, for dinner at a new local place, The Round Bistro.  On the way, we had to drop their oldest, Jack, off at his grandparents.  But not before singing “Call Me Maybe” and dancing in the car.

Adorbs!  He is my little buddy.  I love spending time with them…Ronica, Drewby and I always have some great laughs about high school, parenthood (even though I can’t quite relate) and our food obsessions.  They totes (short for totally) get me.  I also kinda set them up in high school, so I consider them my most successful matchmaking experiment :D.  Anyway….I had a scrumptious portobello burger that I could only eat half of (maybe it was the late afternoon beer and froyo?).

After dinner (and some awkward sightings of peeps from our past lives), we came back to my place and enjoyed another beer while we made peach crisp from fresh local peaches Andrew got from another local farmer’s market.  Then it was Beckham’s bedtime so they had to scoot and I took full advantage of an early bedtime myself!

Sunday morning was a continuance of my weekend of catching up, eating and apparently drinking.  I met Elizabeth and Becca for brunch at 2 p.m., where we had a blast mixing our own Bloody Marys at their brunch bar.  I decided to go for a mix of the lobster, crab and Jamaican Me Crazy tomato juices, worcestershire sauce, tabasco and lime.  I also snagged a ton of okra – my fave – from their pickled veggies selection.

My drink went so well with my afternoon breakfast…

The bacon was thick AND crisp, which almost never happens, and the grits were creamy goodness.  Becca literally licked my bowl.  I’d say all in all I had a pretty tasty weekend!  I had a fabulous time trying new, local dives and shopping locally!