Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Epicurious in the 901 - Soul Fish Cafe

After coming home from a not so great day at work to find that my place was without power, I quickly made an Executive Decision and drove to Soul Fish Cafe for some much needed good food! Soul Fish Cafe is one of those places where you can't go wrong with anything on the menu - whether you want seafood, catfish, or a good and hearty salad, Soul Fish Cafe has what you're looking for!

Although I've tried several items on the menu, my go to has been and always will be the crawfish po-boy (and yes we do have them in Memphis, unlike one of my dearest NOLA friends tells me that it's CRAYFISH up here!) The po-boys comes with your choice of side - guaranteed stuffed belly within minutes!

A friend of mine once taught me a nice "trick" - eat as much of the crawfish with your fork before trying to stuff the po-boy in your mouth - prevents embarrassing accidents leading to you wearing your food. The crawfish is nicely fried and seasoned well and the remoulade is perfect for dipping or smearing on your po-boy. My photo many not look like a lot of food but it is. I'm sure the other po-boys are just as good but for me, the crawfish is a WINNER!

Although I was feeling sort of full from my meal, I had to order dessert. They are one of the best places in the 901 for cakes - the strawberry and banana cakes are divine! However, I wanted to try a new flavour, so I ordered the carrot cake!

The chilled cake slice was perfect in taste and the icing was not too sweet - great way to end your meal!

Like I said, I have yet to have a bad meal at Soul Fish Cafe - a nice place to enjoy a quiet lunch or to enjoy dinner with friends and family. If you are going to be visiting Memphis soon, make sure to have time to visit Soul Fish Cafe! They have several locations in the 901 and the iced tea always flows!


Monday, November 28, 2016


1961 India.

The Portuguese rule parts of India with an iron and crooked fist. The native men are seen as crumbs and the women worse than that. One downtrodden woman named Nakushi decides to fight back - with the aid of Agni, the god of storms, she becomes Bombay Sapphire! When she says the word Ashmita, she transforms into a dazzling being with blue skin and clothing and dark blue hair. She can fly, gain weapons in her hand with a mere thought, and delivers more damage to her enemies while barely lifting her finger.

Author and Alban Lake publisher Tyree Campbell delivers a knockout with Bombay Sapphire, the first book in the trilogy through ProSe Press. This slim novel delivers more than expected from the norm of superheroes. Nakushi/Bombay Sapphire hates what's being done in and to her country, yet the evil tendrils dig deep. Her sister, Savitra, wants a clean place to live, food every day, and pretty saris to wear. When she learns that her older sister is a superhero, the desire for more and better quickly consumes her, driving her to do the imaginable. Nakushi/Bombay Sapphire fights for all that is right and just, even as the evil moves ever closer towards her.

One main reason why I like Bombay Sapphire so much is because, although she is immune to danger to a point, she still has moments of doubt and concern. She is, in short, REAL. As many of you know, I am a big fan of Moon Knight (Fist of Khonshu!). I like him for the fact that, although he is truly a bad ass, he's also very real and vulnerable at times. His insanity is his Achilles Heel, one that I don't think will ever go away. With Bombay Sapphire, she makes choices between fighting the bad guys or eating rice and vegetables. Doing what's right for her country or keeping her little sister out of trouble. When she steals money from the Portuguese, it would have been all too easy to keep the money and completely turn her and her sister's lives around. However, she sets aside her personal problems for the problems of many. The many voices of Bharat.

That, to me, is a true superhero.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Epicurious in the 901 - Queen of Sheba Restaurant

While working the Cooper Young Community Farmers Market yesterday, a man and fellow foodie informed me of a great little Middle Eastern restaurant in the 901 that I had to check out. Queen of Sheba, he informed me, was a place I needed to visit hungry. The man informed me that the chef was from Yemen, to which my eyes grew wide. He also informed me several times to try the tea. After he talked about the tea the first time, I made up my mind to visit as soon as the market was over. So glad I did!

For those who you who live in the 901 or visit frequently, Queen of Sheba is right off Summer Avenue, 4792 Summer Avenue to be exact, east of the Summer Avenue/Covington Pike intersection. The place is small yet don't let that fool you: this place is packed with good food at very reasonable prices.

My meal began with a small yet very tasty cup of tea. When I took the first sip, I think I moaned. It's black, sweet, and minty - perfect! The tea was enough for me, yet I knew my lunch would be arriving soon. When the waiter brought it to me . . . well, just look at the photo below.

This delightful set up consisted of lamb haneeth with rice and potatoes, hummus with olive oil, and bread. The lamb was so tender that it fell off the bone, while the rice and potatoes were perfectly seasoned. I had to keep stopping myself from shoveling food in my mouth. The hummus tasted fresh and flavourful - almost as if it was made that same day. Probably was. While eating and reading, I kept wondering if I wanted dessert. I finally decided When In Rome and saved part of my meal to take home so I could order Ma'soob.

When my waiter brought out my dessert, I wasn't really sure what to make of it, yet when he handed me a spoon, I figured I would dig right in and see just what I had ordered. Ma'soob, according to the menu, is a blend of bananas with ground flatbread, mixed with honey, nuts, cream, and raisins. It was warm and lightly sweet and quite good, yet several spoonfuls later, I realized that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I quickly asked my waiter for take out boxes.

If you are looking for great Middle Eastern food, Queen of Sheba is an excellent place that will provide you just that.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Twenty Stories . . . All NOLA

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. If you weren't able to be with loved ones, I hope it was still a good one.

Twenty Stories has now made me a full fangirl of author/photographer Kristin Fouquet. These stories, seemingly based in NOLA, show off the city and Her residents in a light that only locals and regulars can understand and appreciate. I've been visiting NOLA ever since I was a child, yet there is always something new to discover whenever I'm down there.

Some of my favourite stories are "The Painters", "Dames of Dumaine", "The Moon is New but Love is Old", "Another Initiation", and "A Reason to Believe". Although all of the stories are simply delightful, those really stood out in my mind. Fouquet's writing, as I informed Viking (yes, that is a real person in my life), is like smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of absinthe while your lover reads to you in a house one rainy day. She speaks and breathes NOLA; her love of the city comes through her writing.

When I first read Fouquet's work, I was in Rue de la Course, a bank turned coffee shop in the Oak Street area in NOLA. I just visited Blue Cypress Books and wanted to take a break. Fouquet was perfect to read as classical music floated through the place while I sipped on lemongrass tea. I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but by the gods, I can remember moments like that!

Fouquet's website - Le Salon - shows off her photography, writing, and where to purchase her books. Since today is Small Business Day, it's a nice place to start.

Thank you again, Kristin - maybe we can have lunch the next time I'm down there.


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

A Great Sorcerer Needs A Great Tea! NEW TEA BLEND!

It's 9:31pm and I'm watching the awesome anime Shigurui (Death Frenzy) while making tea for Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention ! If you are going to be in the 901 this weekend, you need to check it out. A lot of fun for everyone!

Let me get right to the point with the new tea blend - Nickadeamus' Tea! This simple blend of assam tea and dried goji berries is perfect for a brooding sorcerer - dark and salty sweet! This blend was inspired by the book The Truth of Betrayal, written by Jason Fedora. Here's the blurb from the book:

They can strike at any time, from anywhere. A shadow assassin could be anyone. It could even be the daughter of the King himself. Nickadeamus finds himself trying to prevent the Kingdom of Altera from being plunged into another disastrous and bloody conflict. 

Not only does he have to contend with potential assassins, an ancient book - The Book of Forgotten of Sorrows, has been stolen by Mordkom, his one-time friend and brother. Created from the blood and ashes of the War of Sorrows, the book should have never been written. Filled with the type of secrets that never should have been whispered, it was sealed away in a secret room for seven hundred years. 

Nickadeamus now has to hunt down this murderous thief by following a trail of sorrow, deceit, death, and betrayal. Not only must he learn the secrets of the book, Nickadeamus must also stop Mordkom from delivering The Book of Forgotten Sorrows to the Dark Emperor of Drath-cull.

I read the book not too long ago and loved it - a great book to read if you enjoy fantasy or adventure or both! 

The tea will be available through my Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, and it will be premiered at MCFC this weekend! Be one of the first to try Nickadeamus' Tea! Also, Jason Fedora will be a guest at MCFC; stop by his table and purchase his book!

May your Cup never dry!

Monday, November 14, 2016

One Woman's Treacherous Paradise

The late Swedish author Henning Mankell, best known for his Wallander mysteries, was also known for other stand alone novels that seemed to be on the edge of mystery yet be so much more. A Treacherous Paradise tells the story of Hannah, a young Swedish woman in the early 1900s who leaves her small town on a ship in search of adventure in the faraway land of Australia. Although she discovers adventure, she finds it not in Australia but rather in Portuguese East Africa. There, after scrambling to land still reeling from the grief of losing her husband, mate Lundmark, she discovers a foreign world inhabited by a successful bordello, liars, murder, harsh racism, and a chimp who comes to be a friend.

This book reads like a nightmare softened by a dream, if that makes any sense. It took me a while to read several of the brutal scenes in the book, not because they were horrific to read but rather that Mankell wrote them so eloquently. His writing softened the blow of many of the injustices in the book and I found myself turning the pages even faster. Hannah witnesses much injustice against the blacks through the whites and wishes to rise above that, yet still falls into the trap of holding anger and frustration against them. However, she becomes more of a player in the "game" when she inherits the bordello of African women as owned by her late second husband, and even becomes the main defender of an African woman who is imprisoned for murdering her Portuguese husband. Everyone is a liar in the small town and everyone is a hypocrite, so long as whatever they do serves their needs for the time. The same white men who lash out at the blacks in town are the same ones who frequent the bordello. When the rumour of the rare appearance of an iceberg floats through town, everyone gathers together on the port to witness such a miracle without thought of race. However, when the rumour appears to be false, the fear and anger return just as quickly.

As much as I felt myself wanting to get angry at the events in the book, it stunned and pleased me to know that Mankell was involved in many charities in Africa and saw beyond colour. At the very end, Mankell discusses his "research" and advised that Hannah was based on a real Swedish woman who lived in Africa and owned a bordello - there's not too much information about her yet Mankell's book was a well justified example of what could have been.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

~ sensualist ~

Do you like John Keats,
I wonder while kissing you.
Salty sweet flesh
Prepare me for something greater.
You are of darkness and yet
It tickles my chin.
Honeyed tongue gives me no mercy
But only pleasure that blinds me.
Fallen, I wonder if it is true,
And still I smell the sulfur
Wrapped longingly around your body.
Keats could have been your Muse
If you were only so young;
I am smarter than that.
I want to deny you and yet I can not
For your lips I have yet to feel.
Today I discovered you in my mind
Sitting contentedly like a satisfied cat.
I still want to experience you
Knowing that it will cause my death.
Fellow sensualist are you,
Seducing me with candied words
And phrases developed by sybaritic gods.
I know I should expect more than this
As my desires knows no bounds.
I am lost because of you. 
Hades, claim my soul.

(Elmwood Cemetery - Memphis)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

~ bliss ~

My tears will no longer come
yet my eyes are heavy from anger and lack of sleep.
A light - there is always a light -
is far away yet I can see it in the dense fog
created by a breaking of trust.
Someone broke it carefully, like an egg.
I want my tears to come,
seducing me into a false hope
that I can no longer deny but accept from within.
The light comes painfully,
ripping my skin apart,

preparing me for the next level of bliss.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

~ distorted ~

The rain patters quietly on the grass -
each drop a sensitive kiss -
what I focus on while listening to you
tell me you no longer love me.
Distorted focus helps the heart
mend faster; of course it should hurt
deeper - a realization that I am still alive.
So you pack your things
except your books
and leave, my eyes still focusing
on the extreme green grass;
too late to accept my wrongs, decided quickly

over green tea sipped carefully and no conversation.

Monday, November 7, 2016

~ mask ~

It is simple, really;
Prepare the mind
For what is to
Come and the rest
Falls like a deck
Of tattered cards.
A face, hidden behind
A mask of despair,
Was the best act
Ever performed.

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Dapper Man Needs a Dapper Tea!

Tea for a SHAVING COMPANY?!?!?!

Why yes. Yes, indeed.

So, it came to pass at Hypericon that, while sniffing and smelling several beard oils made by my friend under the company name of Dr. Mike's Shaving Emporium, that the idea for a tea came to light. Since my friend is quite the dapper man who smells nice, I wanted to make a tea that would suit the man who lives a different life: one who enjoys a smoking jacket with slippers, wears beard oil, and listens to old records while reading Jules Verne. Yes, THAT kind of man.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the newest blend of Viridian Tea Company:

Dr. Mike's Old Fashioned Tea!

This simple blend of assam tea, dried cherries, and dried orange peel will put you in the mood for a proper shave! And while you're at it, check out Dr. Mike's Shaving Emporium for all your shaving et al needs. He has quite a selection of shaving soaps, beard oils, mustache wax, shaving soap and more! For the record, I did learn that many of his products are good for women as well. His many beard oils are perfect as perfume for a woman who is looking for a different kind of scent. I highly recommend Devil's Cut - one sniff of this and I was in heaven! Think of a wickedly delicious mixture of bourbon and vanilla and then some.

The tea will be available through the Etsy store, ViridianTeaCompany, as well as any conventions that I attend, and possibly through Dr. Mike himself! I'm sure we can work out a proper deal.

Dr. Mike's Social Media Links: Facebook, Twitter - @DrMikesEmporium, and Instagram - drmikesemporium.

May Your Cup Never Dry!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

~ 16 November 2014 ~

This is what happens,” she said
when love has been given and thrown away.”
Her face, something I want to forget;
So many lines, each a sad tale.
Each one a reminder of how weak she used to be.
Eyes dull but still have the occasional spark
Created from defiance through rejection given.
Not too late - her mouth says although her lips
Do not move, only I can hear her thoughts.
Such anger caused her to deny movement
To any other part of her body.
Bitter, hating, the cycle played out over and over
Till she is dead, her body becoming organic.

Dreams fading away.

(Hollywood Cemetery - Jackson, Tennessee)