This is the time of year to trot out our rituals. We have to eat a turkey on this certain November Thursday and go shopping before sunrise the day after. Maybe we automatically put a spangled tree or a menorah in our houses. Too many of us try to get to the bottom of a bottle in order to flip the calendar over to next year. But what if we could make a thought or feeling ritual instead of just a series of actions? A seminar class of undergraduate art majors at UNC-Chapel Hill did just that on Monday with “A Taste of Empathy,” a one-evening culinary installation in the Graham Memorial Lounge. The class, taught by elin o’Hara slavick and teaching assistant (and INDY contributor) Amy White, applied some creative groupthink to some big art questions: What is it exactly that we have to express? And what's the best way to express it?
Students made 10 different cakes, each representing a social issue that they were concerned about such as poverty, racism and domestic violence. Then they held a semi-formal tasting in the elegant campus sitting room complete with a pianist and twin glowing hearths. Held aside, the poverty cake would be delivered to a local shelter after the event.
Just ask Rebus Works owner Shonna Greenwell. Today, the men of local wrestling outfit GOUGE Wrestling will be smashing and bashing outside her arts and crafts gallery, entertaining spectators as they take part in another one of Rebus Works’s Food Truck Rodeo.
So, just how did an art gallery owner hook up with a bunch of tights-wearing bruisers? Well, for starters, she lived next to one for years.
“Count Grog was my neighbor,” says Greenwell, referring to the wrestling manager and GOUGE commissioner. She got invited to one of their shows back when they were performing over at the Berkeley Café. Greenwell, who was dabbling in photography at the time, found them to be the perfect photo subjects.
“These guys, or men and women, would completely go into this other ego or other personality, and it was always your classic, like, good vs. evil,” she says. “And they would get the crowd riled up, and you could get all your frustrations and everything out. You could yell whatever you want and basically cheer for whoever you wanted as well.”
Greenwell got the GOUGE crew to perform outside Rebus Works for one paid event, but it turned to be, in Greenwell’s words, a “borderline disaster.” She forgot that because Rebus Works is located below the Boylan Street Bridge, passersby could watch the action from the bridge and not pay a dime.
It's the next-to-last night of the North Carolina State Fair, and my friends and I are stalking the fairgrounds in search of deep-fried butter. Everyone we've talked with claims that it's here, but no one's actually seen it.
Since Oprah Winfrey shared the flash-frozen sticks covered in batter with her audience at the Texas State Fair earlier this month, everyone has wondered if it will make its way to North Carolina. And rumors are flying around. "It's like the Loch Ness Monster," says James Rice of the booth Rice's Corn and Lemonade. "Everyone claims they've heard it's here, but no one's seen it."
It wouldn't be surprising if deep-fried butter showed up. I remember when I was a kid and saw news reports about this new novelty item at the fair called "fried dough." Even at a young age, it seemed weird that you could sell something that was the basic ingredient of most pastries by itself if you just deep-fried it.
Today, fried food forms the basis of most of the fair's cuisine-the official blog for the fair is even called "Deep Fried." As one wanders from one end of the fairgrounds to another, they might encounter the aforementioned fried dough, along with fried Oreos, fried candy bars (Snickers, Three Musketeers or Milky Way), fried pickles, fried strawberry cobbler bites, fried banana pudding bites, fried pecan pie, fried alligator tail, fried PB and J, fried Twinkies (also available frozen and dipped in chocolate) and the ever-popular fried cheeseburger on a stick.
The sticks are particularly important. The gourmands are like civil engineers of grease; if there's a way to get something on a stick, they'll find it. It's simply a matter of shoving a splint of bamboo through some flash-frozen consumable before coating it in the batter of choice (usually cornmeal), and sending it on to the cauldron of trans fats.
Personal chef and singer/bassist extraordinaire Shirle’ Hale Koslowski is no stranger to television – she did a cooking segment on News 14 for a while until she was replaced by some dorky guy. But this latest development is just surreal.
Koslowski, who plays in the Durham band Free Electric State with her husband David, will appear Monday, Oct. 26 on the “Rachael Ray” show, which airs in the Triangle at 10 a.m. on WTVD.
A wine rack that Shirle’ made out of coffee cans will be featured in Ray’s regular "Double Duty Tips" segment. It turns out that a production assistant on Ray’s show spotted it on Shirle’s “Rockin’ the Stove” blog.
“I got this email, like, two months ago, in the morning,” Koslowski says. “I thought it was spam. I’m sitting here in my office, laughing, and going, ‘Hey David, check out this piece of spam I just got from The Rachael Ray Show.’” David thought it was “junk,” too, but when Shirle’ examined the return address, she saw that it was from Oprah Winfrey’s company. So she wrote back, and the segment producer called her within minutes.
A script was emailed to Shirle’, and David shot the footage that outlined the steps for making the wine rack. The producers will edit it down to a one-minute segment that will likely include David as well, enjoying a glass of wine with his wife.
Shirle’ is still just surprised by the whole thing.
“I had no idea that anyone subscribed to my blog, other than friends and family.”