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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Knowing The Southern Art of Social Etiquette While Attending Holiday Functions (Even If You Were Raised In A Barn)

Tis' the season to be jolly and certainly sociable...and a true Southern lady knows the fine art of social etiquette while attending all those fabulous holiday functions and parties. Why I have three soirees on my agenda for the upcoming week, and I'm really a bit of an introvert. However no fear, even if you were raised in a barn, one can always honor her true Southern heritage by following these five easy pieces of almost constructive advice...

1.  It is always proper to let the host know if you will be attending or not, even if there is no RSVP. After all, the host was kind enough to invite you, and if you are a real dork that keeps their host guessing, you certainly will not be invited again. Harsh, but so true...

2.  Don't arrive early!!! I know you may be suffering from ' have no life syndrome' however, the host appears to have a life or would not be throwing a party. Duh! And, the often frazzled host certainly does not need you banging on the door before the announced time, due to the attending of a  million and one last minute details.  Early birds get no worm here, only a good thinking about when the next party invitations go out. Remember, holidays are a lonely time of year...

3. Mingle, mingle, mingle! This involves not latching onto old familiar surroundings like they were the only people in the room but instead seeking new masses to engage in thoughtful conversation. Get over the fear and on with the idle chit chat! This is where that bachelor's degree you struggled with for so many years comes in awfully handy. Who knows, you might meet a new friend who will be a keeper...

4. If the event happens to be a sit down dinner with no place cards in sight, pile make your plate and then go sit down ready to converse with whomever might be on each side. Hopefully, the chairs will not be turned up with a chair Nazi there to tell you they are taken... this is the equivalent of saving pews in the sanctuary each Sunday and we all know God is gonna get ya' for that...

5. And after the gala event is over, thank the host not only once, but twice. First (and always), when you are leaving (only genuine ding-a-lings leave a party without saying goodbye no matter what) and secondly, it is especially nice to call or send a note after the event. This may sound a bit extreme, however our goal is to be invited back. Ahh, the lost art of  correspondence via snail mail. Just imagine the glow on your host's face as he/she reads your special hand written, postal delivered thank you...that is, if the post office is still delivering mail at this time...second thought, better Fed Ex it just in case.

No excuses...you now know the Southern art of social etiquette while attending holiday functions. Go out, have a blast, enjoy your friends, and certainly no drinking and driving...Miss Alice can give you instructions on that...MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remembering Coy's in Hot Springs and that Fabulous French Dressing!

Years ago we would frequent Coy's restaurant in Hot Springs, Arkansas which served a decanter of spicy French house dressing on every table. It was sooo delicious that we would gobble it up with the basket of saltines long before the salad or meal came along. Oh, just admit it...you did the same thing too! So sad the place burned down in 2009 however, I've been making a similar version of this dressing for many years. Whenever I serve it, everyone has to have the recipe. Now that I'm dabbling in vegan-ism, this is my vegan version of that old favorite we all loved so long ago. Just use regular mayo for the standard recipe.

How to make an absolutely delicious French (vegan) salad dressing:
1 cup Veganaise (get it at the health nut store)(use regular mayo for standard version)
1 cup tomato ketchup
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup minced onion with juice
Whisk together all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into a decanter and serve with your favorite salad greens or plain old crispy saltines. It's really good with anything! I'm serving it for our Thanksgiving meal...