Photos | facebook.com/artsoupmobile
Friday, Nov. 12, will have downtown Mobile showcasing the beloved Art Soup, Version 2021. Forget those of the past, this year’s event is going to be a street party in the middle of Joachim! Put together by the Loaves and Fish Community Ministries and the Food Pantry at Central, in conjunction with the LoDa ArtWalk, the alfresco soirée runs 6-9 p.m. directly in front of the beautiful Saenger Theatre and the Mobile Arts Council.
Each ticket ($35 in advance, $40 at the gate) gets you soup, a drink ticket and a handmade bowl. The bowl is the “art” side of the event. Handcrafted by local artists, each empty bowl represents the fight against hunger. Online advance tickets also include early VIP admission to get a jump on selecting your favorite bowl to take home.
On top of all that, the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed’s (MOJO) own Jimmy Roebuck Trio will be doing what they do best while local restaurants provide soup, desserts and regional craft beer. Be sure to also enter raffles for gallery-level art pieces, tickets to the Mobile Symphony, Mobile Opera or Mobile Ballet, and a three-night downtown stay during Mardi Gras.
Advance tickets are available for Art Soup 2021 through Eventbrite, and proceeds benefit the Food Pantry at Central.
Bourbon by the Bay turns 5!
Let’s get our livers ready for the fifth annual Bourbon By the Bay, Sunday, Nov. 21, 3-6 p.m. It’s a sampling of a wide variety of bourbons, whiskeys and more with proceeds benefiting Coastal Alabama Partnership, a regional leadership effort to make Coastal Alabama the best place to live, work and play along the Gulf Coast.
This event also features heavy hors d’oeuvres, craft cocktails from local mixologists, a selection of wine and local brews, plus a silent auction and live music from Fat Man Squeeze.
VIP guests will have early access (2-3 p.m.), a priority access space with presentations from distillers, gourmet-paired food samplings, as well as higher-end bourbon tastings. General admission tickets are $75 ($125 for two) and VIP tickets cap out at $125 each. You’ll find this event at 23 West at Brookley, located at 38 Fifth St. See you there.
Thanksgiving approaches, preparing to fry starts now!
This year isn’t as scary as the last. Or is it? I’ve had news outlets yelling at me about a turkey shortage and threats of an astronomical price hike per pound. This chills me to the wishbone. My brother and I fry turkeys every year, as many as a half-dozen, so of course I was concerned.
To execute a good fry, one must find a turkey less than 13 pounds. Anything larger than that will be burnt by the time the internal temp is up to snuff (165 degrees) and likely too large for your pot. Imagine my concern when I was told there was a turkey shortage! I need my 12-pounder now!
In mid-October, the panic set in. I went to the butcher department of my local grocer and he told me, “Nah, we only have the big ones leftover from Easter. The Thanksgiving ones have yet to arrive.” He ended up apologizing and finding a bird coming in around the 13-pound mark. I took it. “At the very least, I could smoke this one,” I said to myself.
Yesterday, at a different grocery chain across the bay, I scored an 11-pound, fancy-brand beauty for around $20. Perfect. Point is, they’re out there now. Not to sound like a toilet paper hoarder, but if I were you, I’d get what I need pretty soon.
If you’re new to frying turkeys, let me give you a nickel’s worth of free advice, or whatever my column breaks down to for you generous subscribers. Don’t do one. I mean, if you’re doing it, do more than one. It’s not worth the expense of peanut oil and the general mess to fry one turkey. We have neighbors and co-workers and acquaintances bringing us turkeys to fry. Our fee? We keep the giblets.
We have to start fairly early, since three minutes per pound in 325 degrees oil averages out to 35 minutes per session, give or take. We fry the livers in between and snack. It’s the perfect base coat with a 7:30 a.m. beer.
Secondly, brine or inject. I have enough room to brine two turkeys, fully thawed, without spoiling them. Those who bring us unbrined birds will get the injection treatment … the bird, not the customer. Any of those buttery injection marinades will do. Brined or injected, the entire bird gets doused in cayenne pepper and tossed in a brown bag with flour for battering. Shake until your tail feathers wiggle.
Have a good set of thermometers, one for the oil and one for the meat. You can pull the turkey at 155 degrees and let it rest its way to the finish line, especially if it’s looking dark on the outside. You don’t want it to dry out, do you?
Finally, practice safe frying. This is a game where amateurs can really hurt someone. The most important thing to understand is the volatility of ice crystals in oil. It’s dangerous. A grease fire is the second-most-dangerous part of this equation, so don’t let the oil spill over. Before you get started, measure the oil height by placing your largest turkey in the pot and covering it with cold water. Remove the turkey and mark the waterline. That’s how much oil you’ll need.
Wear gloves, do it outside (not under your carport) and keep the hose and extinguisher handy. If you want the bejesus scared out of you, Google “deep-fried turkey fails.” That’ll get you to fly straight.
Gobble ’til you wobble.
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