It’s go time. Thanksgiving is nine days away and you know that bird’s not going to brine itself. But there’s no need to panic. We’ve got you covered with a seasonal blend of conversation starters, recipes, and coping strategies, served up with a twist of inspiration. We’re calling it The Shot.
Does anything evoke the warmth of the holiday season more than riding a miniature pig train through a mall parking lot with the ones you love? Not if you live in Atlanta, where the city’s inexplicably weird, but much beloved, Pink Pig fired up for action last week at Lenox Mall and unofficially launched the holiday season in the city.
Priscilla (the pig) got her start in 1953 when Atlanta’s best-known department store, Rich’s, was looking for an attraction to bring families downtown to do their Christmas shopping. Seventy years later, Rich’s has closed for business and Priscilla has moved out to Buckhead, but the Pink Pig is more popular than ever. In a city that changes constantly, taking a spin in a pink pig’s tummy is one of the few traditions that has endured. Don’t try to understand it, just hop aboard and love it like everybody else.
Space Beer, Y’all
The gents at Oconee Brewing Company in Greensboro, Georgia, achieved one giant step for craft beer last week. They used a weather balloon to launch a can of their craft beer into the heavens, a drone to film it, an art installation to keep it company, and two business cards in case somebody found the beer once it landed.
Why? “Life is really short here,” says co-owner Nathan McGarity. “Why not?” After a week and a half of intensive research, Team Oconee fashioned a balloon-and-brew contraption that managed to fly just over 120,000 feet high (about 22 miles), stay aloft for 2 1/2 hours, and come back to Earth 60 miles away. With the help of two GPS devices and a local farmer, the John Glenn of beer cans returned home safe and sound. “We’ve got it back at the brewery now,” McGarity says. “We’re going to make a little space helmet for it.” What kind of beer was it anyway? Round Here Beer, of course.
“G” Is for Gift
The truly organized among you ordered your holiday cards in September and have your Thanksgiving menu ready to roll. So what else is a Type A to do but move on to gift giving for the ones you love. That’s where Mercantile & Co. comes in, Garden & Gun’s online emporium of life well lived, featuring unique items made in the South.
Blackberry Farm biscuit mix and jam for the teachers? Check. Cast-iron-everything for your sister who has almost everything? D’uh. Elk punch bowl? Why not? Mercantile & Co. is our one-stop shop for duck calls, barware, gift crates, and maybe a little fantasy shopping for the day we, too, need a signature portable cornhole set. Until then, pass the etched crystal decanter.
This week, the team at The Shot is … Popping the champers for G&G chef-crush Mashama Bailey and her incomparable Savannah restaurant, The Grey, for being named Eater’s restaurant of the year. …. Still looking for the other Southern cities on National Geographic’s list of the 25 happiest places in the country, which includes only Charlottesville, Virginia, in the top 10. Has National Geographic never been to Tuscaloosa on Game Day?…. Looking for an excuse to book the new Waffle House party bus. It’s real and it’s spectacular. … And finally, we’re still singing along to Darius Rucker’s performance of “Hold My Hand” at last week’s CMAs, backed up by what seemed like half of country music and every member of the CMA audience. After a year of hurricanes, earthquakes, tragedies and sadness, we were all Blowfish in that moment. And it was beautiful.
Until next week, friends.