Monday, February 23, 2009

Moon Pies!

Of course everyone knows well that Mobile throws it's unique item the moonpie, which the krewes purchase by the ton. The story of how the moon pie got its start is also well known, but if you're not familiar with the story, please head on over to to and click history.

The story here revelers is the history of how a moon pie came to be used as a throw in the Mobile parades.

Food has always been involved as a throw ever since 1949, when Crackerjacks, (peanuts and caramel nuggets) were throw by a lot of krewes as a treat for the revelers. Crackerjacks, were brought about because of the cheap alternative it presented to beads. However, people kept getting beamed with the end of those rectangular boxes that the treats came in, and those box ends were hard and sharp. Sensing something needed to be done the mobile city official banned the candied popcorn as a throw about 1972.

A lot treats and articles preceded the mobile icon into the parades as the krewes searched for a replacement, to the popular popcorn in a treat.

The first to throw moon pies were the krewe of "Maids of Mirth" in 1974 as an alternative to the recently banned boxes of cracker jacks. Soon other krewes were following the action as the throw caught on.

Moon Pie is a trade marked name of the Chattanooga bakery in Tennessee. New Year's Eve, 2008, saw the first Moon Pie drop over the City of Mobile, while downtown partiers were invited to partake in the "world's largest moon pie!"

My favorite are the Banana ones!

Mardis Gras Weekend

Well, it was another busy, busy weekend for us. I had put our some feelers amongst our friends to see if anybody wanted to go to Mobile this weekend for mardis gras. I had checked the parade schedules, and Saturday looked like a good day to go down and join in the merriment. So Adam and Katie and Heather and I headed down Friday.

I took off work early, partly because I have spring fever, and partly because I was just plain excited to be going somewhere different, especially mardis gras. So we got all packed up and headed south. I figured we could just stay in Jackson at the cabin since Mobile would only be an hour away. Adam and Katie left after we did, and ended up getting to the cabin about 9pm.

A little bit of history for ya...

Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile in 1703 when it was a colony of French soldiers. After having survived a particularly nasty bout with yellow fever, they decided to celebrate, but since party favors were few and far between in the New World, the men opted to paint their faces red and just act crazy for a few hours. They must have had fun because it became an annual event.

Mardi Gras was transformed into a parade event in 1840 by a group known as the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, the first of many of Mobile's so-called mystic organizations who journeyed to New Orleans in 1857 to help a group there set up a Mardi Gras celebration.

After the Civil War, Mobile was occupied by Federal troops, and it was not a fun place. Hostilities had long since put Mardi Gras on hold. However, in 1866, a man by the name of Joe Cain felt it was time once again to bring back the merriment of Mardi Gras and decided to do his part to put life back into the town. Cain decked himself in full Chickasaw Indian regalia, proclaimed himself Chief Slacabamorinico, climbed aboard a coal wagon with six spirited (figuratively and literally) friends calling themselves "The Tea Drinkers," and road his one-mule, one-float parade through the town.
Mobile during the Festival of Lent has never been the same since.

There are twenty-two parades, with at least one parade each day during the two weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day, but the Saturday, Sunday and Monday before, the excitement begins to build up with two to three parades each day. The crazy crescendo is tomorrow, Fat Tuesday when six parades turn Mobile upside-down for the day. My family plans on being down there all day tomorrow to join in the good times.
At the stroke of midnight on Fat Tuesday, it all goes away. But it will be back next year, because as early French colonists and ol' Joe Cain discovered many years ago, enjoying the unreal, getting a little bit crazy, if just for a brief time, is a great way to deal with the real. And, Lord knows, this year we all have a lot of real to deal with.

Our day Saturday began with the Floral parade at noon, followed by the Knights of Mobile and the Order of Angels parades. Then about 1pm, we took our chairs and cooler a couple of blocks over to Bienville Square where we ate a picnic lunch, listened to some music and soaked up the scenery. A lot of Mobile's homeless live in Bienville Square, and even they were in the spirit, covering their grocery carts with beads.

We also spent part of the afternoon walking around downtown Mobile and Fort Conde. Fort Condé protected Mobile and its citizens for nearly 100 years from 1723-1820. It was built by the French as a defense against British and Spanish attack on the strategic location of Mobile and its Bay. The military importance of Mobile and Fort Condé was huge. The fort and town protected access into the lands between the Mississippi River and the Atlantic colonies along the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers. Two other fort served to protect the area as well. Fort Gaines sits on Dauphin Island and Fort Morgan is in Gulf Shores. All of the forts are open to the public, and if you've never paid them a visit, you should take the time to do so.

The Mystics of Time parade was Saturday night, and the police estimated that over 83,000 people were in attendance. The Mystics of Time parade is known as the mammoth parade, and lasted about an hour and a half. It has been said that the Saturday night before Fat Tuesday is when the "lid comes off" in downtown Mobile, and from what we could see after the parade, it definately came off. Downtown was packed with people dancing in the streets and DJ's on balconies throwing beads, cups, and even dollar bills to the masses below. We sat back and enjoyed a hurricane and took it all in. Adam walked around with Aidan on his shoulders and each time they came back by, Aidan had gotten more and more beads. The ladies all thought he was cute, Aidan that is, and loaded him down with goodies.

After watching the crowds for awhile, we realized that we needed to get some food. So we ate at the original Wentzell's Oyster House. Having been in business for over 70 years, they are famous for serving their oysters "fried, stewed, or nude." We left full, happy, and worn slap out.
Needless to say, we were glad to get back to the cabin and crash and go through our loot!

Laissez les bons temps roulez!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentine's

What a busy weekend we had! I woke up this morning feeling as though I could use a couple of extra days to rest. We pretty much stayed on the go Friday and Saturday. But it was Valentine's so we changed things up a little.

The Tuscaloosa County University of Alabama Alumni Association sent out emails last week offering free tickets to the BAMA vs LSU gymnastics meet Friday night. We love gymnastics, and had intended to buy season tickets this year. But when I looked at the schedule, I realized that Heather would be working during half of the home meets, so we never did anything about ordering them. So when I got the free offer, I took it and we went to the meet. As always, it was a lot of fun. The announcer and the band really keep things going in between rotations. They have a lot of give-aways, the kiss-cam, YMCA, BAMA gymnastics trivia, and other cool stuff to keep the pace moving along steadily. The girls all did great. It is amazing how they can throw themselves around like that. LSU ended up winning overall by a little over a point. But both teams did very well.

Saturday we went to Birmingham. We started off doing some car shopping so that I could get a better idea of what I want to buy. I really would rather not have to buy anything, but my car has given me nearly 200,000 miles, and she is getting tired. So I know the time to trade is fast approaching. I'm not ready yet though, and just went to look. I have had in my mind that I want a Nissan SUV. Xterra, Pathfinder, Murano.... I like them all but wanted a closer look. So that was my plan. Before I even sat down in one of those vehicles, Heather started talking about a Volvo. I tried to supportively discourage her, but she persisted, so we looked at a black XC90. Wow....what a mistake. I almost forgot about not wanting a car payment. All of a sudden I wanted it bad. If we had driven my car, I actually may have traded in a weak moment. But that was not my plan when I left home, so on to the Nissan's. I will have to say that although I liked the Xterra and the Pathfinder, I still liked the Volvo more. But what about fishing and pulling a boat? A Nissan may be better suited for that. The afternoon definitely gave me some things to think about. Maybe in a few months I will break down and do something. I can look a lot more til then.

After an afternoon of car shopping, we were starving. We met our friends, Kim and Rusty, at Sumo for sushi. The restaurant was packed, but we had called ahead a couple of weeks earlier and put our names on the list, so we didn't have to wait at all. The whole time we were there, they kept calling out our names to be seated. Reeves, party of 4. We were finishing up and the hostess was still calling us. The food and everything was great. Of course, sushi rolls are not low-carb, but we decided we could splurge since it was Valentine's.

Then on to the Comedy Club where we heard Tom Papa. He used to open for Jerry Seinfeld and was one of the voices in Bee Movie. He was hilarious! I knew nothing about him beforehand, but I thoroughly enjoyed his show!

We got home late, but it was good to get out and about. Hershey was glad to see us. It was a very nice Valentine's indeed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fine Dining at the Reeves Home

Ok. So I promised to let ya'll know how the tenderloin turned out. Holy Moly!!!! One of the best things I have EVER put in my mouth! I had a Heritage Commission board meeting at 5pm, and Heather got home early today since today was a teaching day for her, so she started it when she got in and it was almost ready when I got home. We used Splenda brown sugar instead of regular since we are watching carbs. And it was so good coming out of the pan, that we almost didn't open a bottle of wine to make the sauce, thinking that we could eat it as it was. But the juices in the pan had started to caramelize and get thick, so Heather wanted to go ahead with the sauce. Here a suggestion for you. DON'T SKIP THE SAUCE!!!! So good! So so so so good! We had it with steamed green beans and hollandaise. (Hollandaise is carb-free!) If any of you are thinking of a romantic dinner for Valentine's on Saturday night, this would definately be a recipe for you. It reminded me of something we would get at Evangaline's or Kozy's.

Here's the recipe....

Brown Sugar Glazed Pork

3 fresh garlic cloves
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (we used Splenda)
2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning
1 Whole Pork Tenderloin (about 2 lbs)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup red wine

1. Crush garlic, using garlic press, into medium bowl. Use knife to remove garlic from bottom of press. Stir in brown sugar and steak seasoning until well blended.

2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium heat 2-3 minutes. Cut pork diagonally into about eight 1-inch-thick slices. Place pork slices in bowl and press into mixture. Turn and press again to lightly season both sides (wash hands).

3. Place 1 tablespoon of the butter in pan; swirl to coat. Add pork (wash hands); cook 5-6 minutes on each side or until well browned and internal temperature reaches 160°F (for medium).

4. Remove pork from pan. Stir in wine and remaining 1 tablespoon butter; simmer 1 minute, stirring continually. Serve wine sauce with pork.

CALORIES (per 1/4 recipe) 230kcal; FAT 9g; CHOL 90mg; SODIUM 440mg; CARB 8g; FIBER 0g; PROTEIN 24g; VIT A 4%; VIT C 2%; CALC 2%; IRON 8%

The Splenda brown sugar should cut the carbs down even lower.

Ya'll are gonna really enjoy this. I promise!


My mother in law sent this picture to me this morning. No additional comments are required.

What a Great Weekend!

I have a fever. Spring Fever that is! HA! How cheesy is that?

It was a busy weekend at the Reeves home. The house got cleaned from wall to wall and I stayed outside working in the yard for most of the day Saturday. The weather was great for being outside. Heather was working, so Hershey and I had the whole place to ourselves. I did some trimming, and raking, and got myself some nice new blisters on my hands. I am truly amazed each year at the amount of leaves that fall in our yard. We have help with them in the main part of the yard, but we do the flower beds ourselves. Our forsythias up next to the fence were swamped with leaves, and cleaning that area was the biggest part of the day.

I did notice that the birds were especially appreciative of my work. I guess there were plenty of bugs and worms and such under all those leaves and the birds were literally flocking to our yard Saturday evening. I saw our pair of red birds who normally live around the yard, and several other varieties as well. I even saw a woodpecker out in the woods. He was as red-headed as could be. I went ahead and refilled the feeders. Maybe they will all like our yard and stay around awhile.

So that was the weekend in a nutshell. Not terribly exciting, but I sure did enjoy it. I still have things on that ever-growing list of things to do. Maybe next Saturday I can do it all again!

On another note, I found a recipe for a pork tenderloin in this week's Publix sale paper. I bought the tenderloin yesterday, and I'm going to fix it tonight. I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why can't we just all be thin?

This may be a tough day. The folks over in the water department are having a bake sale to raise money for the American Heart Association. They even have little ham and poppyseed rolls! I also saw rice crispy treats and brownies. Of course, nothing is low-carb. I must be strong.

I am starving and the only thing that is keeping me from going over there and making a $50 "contribution" is the fact that the auditors from JMF are feeding us pizza and salad from DePalma's tomorrow for lunch. So if I cheat today, I can't cheat tomorrow.

I just ate a stick of cheese. Not even close to rice crispies.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It was Super Sunday

I'm not really a fan of pro football. Never have been. I'm much more of a college level guy. But I do usually watch the Super Bowl if for no other reason than to see the commercials. I suspect that I'm not alone in that. But last night's game drew me in. It was actually a good game. And even though I haven't really followed either team, I found myself cheering for the Cardinals. So I was a little bit disappointed in the outcome, but not so much that I will need therapy or anything.

We went to Greensboro after lunch yesterday to Adam and Katie's. We knew that we wouldn't be staying there for the entire day, since Monday's are Heather's days to teach at the hospital this semester and she would need to be in bed early. So we went on down so we could eat all afternoon. I fixed this new chicken appetizer recipe that Mama saw on one of Paula Deen's shows last week. I'm not sure which show. Mama says it comes on the Food Network at 4:30 in the afternoons though. Anyway, it basically is bite-sized chicken breast wrapped in bacon and rolled in brown sugar and chili powder. It was time consuming, but I enlisted Heather's help and we got them made and in the oven without too much work. Trying to be carb-conscience, we used Splenda brown sugar instead of regular. The rest of the ingredients were no problem.

Katie made meatballs. She is expecting in April, and evidently had really been wanting some meatballs, since she has mentioned them several times in the last week or so. She made them with ground beef and ground sausage and cooked them in that bbq and grape jelly sauce. Then she had bought croissants to put them in. Mmmm. They were so good. I almost made myself sick. And yeah... we blew the low-carb diets for the day.

We also had conecuh sausage cooked on the grill, cheeses, and homemade guacamole that Adam fixed us. So we basically sat on their deck and grazed all afternoon while enjoying the beautiful weather. The dogs played and Aidan even pulled Hershey in a trailer behind his John Deere tractor (made by Power Wheels!). Hershey was not amused.

Right after we got there, Heather and Aidan walked across the street to the Dollar General. Aidan came back with a shiny new sword, and I will tell you this.... it was a dollar well spent. He carried that sword around for the rest of the day. The dogs were all terrorized, but he was highly entertained!

Later in the afternoon we took a break from the deck for some Mario Kart on the Wii. That actually kinda went on into the first quarter of the game.

Heather and I left after the 3-D part of half-time. So I missed seeing The Boss. I haven't heard anybody really saying anything tremendous about half-time though. So I guess we didn't really miss too much. We got home in time for the 4th quarter, and I watched it through the end of the game. Heather turned in a little earlier.

So it was a busy and tiring Super Sunday. But it was a great day. I could use a few more like it.

Here's the chicken recipe in case you're interested...

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Bites

4 boneless Chicken Breasts, cut into large cubes
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Pound of Bacon, sliced in halves
Salt to taste

Cut up the chicken and salt it. Then wrap the chicken pieces in bacon and secured with a toothpick. Combine the brown sugar and chili powder in a zip-lock bag and tos chicken wraps in it a few pieces at a time. Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 1 hour @350. Then transfer to a crockpot set on low to keep them hot.