Category Archives: Winter

Fantasy and Food in Sugar Hill, Georgia

LUNCH AT THE SUGAR HILL BAKERY AND CAFE’ is a foodie’s delight in an atmosphere of  fanciful decorations that brings out the child in all of us.

ON A WARM FALL DAY, my sister Nancy invited me and her friend Debbie, to one of her favorite new places for lunch.  And want a delightful adventure it was!

THE RESTAURANT IS LOCATED IN SUGAR HILL, GEORGIA,  just a frog’s jump north of Atlanta. Parking is available. We approach the bright blue building  with painted sunflowers, pumpkin doormat, and a bicycle by the front door. It’s obvious we are not going to dine in a traditionally decorated milieu.

AS WE STEP THROUGH THE DOOR,  we are greeted by a big panda hanging over a chair.

img_0697 We enter an unusual environment reminiscent of  Alice in Wonderland, and find a cozy table nook to occupy.  The large bakery cabinet across the room dominates the room, brightly lit up trumpting all kinds of sugar confections and desserts.

The menu is simple, but varied, and includes healthy options for lunch.  That is a good thing, because we all want to save room for dessert.

WHILE WE WAIT FOR OUR FOOD,  we look over the fantasy created all around us with colorful and unexpected items on display, …stuffed animals, fur coats, jack-o-lanterns, trees, and lots of glitz, bling and twinkling lights on walls and ceiling.. The women’s restroom, an entrance to “the lion, the witch and the wardrobe” is imaginative. Unmatched vintage wood chairs are pulled up to tables scattered throughout. There is much to see in every corner.

THE THREE OF US ENJOY the choices we make for lunch, including Georgia sweet tea, chicken salad and sandwiches that are fresh and tasty. Finally, the time comes to select OUR dessert.  Such a decision!  We aren’t prepared for the large size of the dessert serving  that is delivered to each of us, especially the one Debbie orders. Some of the desserts necessitate asking for a box to take some home to savor later.  And good!  …. Sweet, flaky, custardy. smooth!  Oh yes.

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THE FOOD IS THE BEST REASON TO VISIT the Sugar Hill Bakery and Café, but the décor is the second best reason that makes having lunch here a respite from a busy life and the usual luncheon fare. It’s a quirky place for girlfriends to meet and chat, a place to take your children to be dazzled by the whimsy, or even for a couple to enjoy a cool drink to begin a romantic evening, in out of the ordinary surroundings.

A CHARMING WOMAN named Nancy (in the middle below) created and manages the Sugar Hill Bakery and Cafe’.  If you stop in for lunch, ask for Nancy and tell her what you appreciated about the experience.( Two Nancys and Debbie in photo below.)

Bon appetit’!

Sue Marquis Bishop 2016

 

 

 

 

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RedBirds, Southern Snow and Lebanese Porkchops

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WE’VE WAITED ALL WINTER for a decent snowfall in the sunny south and it’s finally arriving.  It was dark when it began to snow, and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures of the snow coming down in huge snowflakes, blanketing our world outside.

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OUR 3-4 INCHES OF SNOW will melt in two days, but we enjoy it while it’s here.

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THE SHOWY REDBIRDS  gather at the backyard feeders as the snow  begins to fall.

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THE RED BELLIED WOODPECKER family visits to sample the peanut suet.

TWO CROWS stop in briefly and the small birds arrive and walk under the feeders catching the fall out.

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TIME TO THINK ABOUT DINNER. The slow cooker is a welcome fixture in my kitchen, especially on a cold winter day, when I want to prepare an easy meal.  I decide to make Lebanese Pork Chops. Each Lebanese cook creates her own mixture of spices, based on family tradition.  This is my version of Lebanese Seven Spices Seasoning, modified from a recipe I found several years ago in The Week (no author).

5 Tablespoons  Allspice

5 Tablespoons Cloves

3 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon

4 Tablespoons Ginger

4 Tablespoons Greek seasoning

4 Tablespoons Nutmeg

3 1/2 Tablespoons Pepper

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COAT THE PORK CHOPS well  with the Lebanese Seven Spices mixture and rub into meat. Brown each side In a hot skillet with a splash of olive oil to seal in juice

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MOVE PORK CHOPS TO CROCK POT (slow cooker). Wash and cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and add to crock pot.

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ADD ABOUT 1/2 CUP OF ORANGE JUICE.  Cook on low for 3-4 hours until pork shops are done.  Then, I peeled apples and cooked them with butter and brown sugar in the microwave oven. (Sometimes I  add the apples to the crock pot later in the cooking  time )

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WHILE THE PORK CHOPS WERE COOKING,   I  baked some mini apple caramel cakes for dessert by adding diced apples and spices to a cake batter and topped with a caramel topping.

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It’s difficult to catch the woodpecker with the camera, but I finally caught him two days later, as the snow melted away.

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Sue Marquis Bishop February 28, 2015

Winter Beauty: Sculptures All Around

WINTER SENTINELS

Black trees on the hill
like sentinels anchored to the land
stretch on tip-toes,
reaching Hedra-like arms and
slender fingers stripped bare
toward winter skies,
their strong trunks
holding the line – unmoving.
Do they dance out of formation
when no one is looking?

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Black trees on the hill,
hidden from view
in fog swirling
’round their feet.
Rooted in earth,
they bring me comfort,
standing bare
against storm  and stress –
sometimes for lifetimes.

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Black trees on the hill,
dressed in winter white
sprinkled with sparkling crystals,
divert my attention
from winter grays.
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Black trees on the hill
take my breath away
in winter,
seeing their naked sculptural forms
spread without embarrassment
against the Carolina blue sky.

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Black trees on the hill
stand tall in formation,
while the last ray of sun
fades from view,
never waving rudely for
the sun to hurry away.

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MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME to appreciate the beauty of trees at each season of the year. On my daily walks, I notice the trees and their relationship to the sky and land – and I always think of Mom.

THIS WIRE SCULPTURE of a winter tree is a favorite of mine that graced the hall table of my dear mother-in-law Nora’s home – and now resides in mine, sharing its beauty and memories.

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Sue Marquis Bishop 2013