After much deliberation, hubby and I decided to spend this 3-day weekend on a staycation, exploring the overlooked gems hiding right in our own backyard. That way a little money gets pumped into the local economy, and our environmental footprint isn’t reminiscent of Sasquatch.
Saturday took us to Andalusia, Flannery O’Connor’s old stomping grounds in Milledgeville. The sight of her lakes and pastures, typewriter and desk reminded us both how much we love words — and how the landscape around us can inspire them.
Topping that trip was a daunting task, so we decided to go in a completely different direction.¹ Literally. Turning the car west to Montgomery, Ala., we searched for a restaurant I discovered online just a couple of weeks ago. True blends classical French cuisine with ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers, and their Facebook page confirmed they were open for a Sunday brunch that was calling our name.
Hubby and I each started off with a roasted beet appetizer covered with pecans, blue cheese, lemon vinaigrette, and cranberries. For the mains, I couldn’t resist fried catfish, lemon confit grits, and tomato ragout. Brad, ever the fan of pig products, devoured pork belly with grits, sauteed mussel cream sauce, poached eggs, and scallions.
I’m still amazed he passed up the chicken biscuit with bacon jam and apple mustard. Seriously, bacon jam?² (Why do I have the sinking feeling I’ll soon be making this ungodly concoction?)
It was, in a word, ridonkulous.
Having soothed our ears with Flannery’s words and our taste buds with True’s French-Southern fusion, there was only one way to finish this Weekend of the Senses: treat our eyes to the latest offerings at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art.
While the Rembrandt exhibit drew us in, it was the work of Alabama’s own Thornton Dial that made a lasting impact. Yet another reminder that creativity can thrive in the most surprising of places, even that mundane backyard we take for granted.
¹ Jenn decided this without my help, actually, and at the last minute. I literally came in from a tennis match, and she tells me “Shower and get dressed. I have a surprise.” She wouldn’t tell me where we were going until we got there. Very sweet.
² Seriously, over pork belly? Hello???