Photo | depositphotos.com
It’s a favorite annual festival for downtown Mobile if you’re one of those in love with our city’s food trucks. The Bay Bites Food Truck Festival is coming to Mobile’s Cooper Riverside Memorial Park this Thursday, July 22.
You’ll find yourself immersed in exquisite food from some of our best wheels, as well as craft beer, wine, live music and lawn games. There will also be giveaway prizes and a variety of entertainment options for the kiddos as all proceeds go to Mobile Baykeeper, the leader in our area for clean water, clean air and healthy communities.
“Bay Bites is an awesome celebration of summer on Mobile’s riverfront. It’s a fantastic way for the community to come out and support Mobile Baykeeper’s work for clean water while having a fun time enjoying good food, cold drinks and great music,” Cade Kistler, acting director and Baykeeper at Mobile Baykeeper, said. “We are thankful to our sponsors for helping us make it possible!”
This year’s participating food trucks include Divine Empanadas, Greek Gals Yummies, The Hotdoghery, Smac’s Shack BBQ, Frio’s Gourmet Pops and more.
If the food isn’t enough to get you there, our friends Symone French & the Trouille Troupe will be delivering their popular brand of soul and blues as well as singer-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Harrison McInnis, who will let you know what his solo act is all about.
The multitiered ticket options ($15-$35) don’t include food purchases, but can include drink add-ons and discounted Mobile Baykeeper memberships. Find which one suits you the best at mobilebaykeeper.org. Don’t forget your reusable water bottles, picnic blankets and camping chairs!
Jones Soda entering the cannabis game
So here we go. Like it or love it, there will be legal cannabis in the near future. It seems fitting a Seattle-based soda company like Jones Soda would be there to pioneer the soft drink sector. These guys have been offering off-the-wall flavors of sodas for a long time, some of which may already be considered “stoner-friendly.”
I used to say the Green Apple was my favorite, but the Orange & Cream is probably better. Even the plain Cream Soda is incredible. All of these are sweetened with cane sugar. I wouldn’t call real sugar the “secret” ingredient in these 140-calorie soft drinks, but I’d say it’s that kind of attention to detail that makes them so good.
President and CEO of Jones Soda Mark Murray said infused beverages and edibles “are a perfect fit for the iconic personality of the Jones brand.” With big money rolling around in SOL Global Investments Corp. and Pinestar Gold, we are likely to witness the cool kids of the soda pop world at the forefront of the “Green Rush.”
It begs the question: When will we see these and similar products in Alabama and Mississippi? The safer-than-White-Claw elixir will get here, just a step behind the rest of the United States if history tells us anything. Now is the chance for “Smokey and the Bandit Part IV,” where a mustachioed Southern hunk and guitar-playing truck driver walk the fine line of violating the Mann Act with a wannabe Broadway dancer who used to work as a flying nun and beach pixie, all to bring back sodas from somewhere west of the Mississippi River. Paul Williams can do the music. I’d like to audition for the trucker role. Will work for cream soda.
Pot Sticker 101
We eat potstickers (nothing to do with the above cannabis soda bit) when available. There’s no discussion — if they’re on the menu we have them. Let’s use the term potsticker loosely. Any Asian-style dumpling will do. A true potsticker should be cooked in oil and then steamed in water until the dumpling sticks to the pan or, eh, pot, but those just steamed or deep-fried or prepared in any other way will find their way to our table.
I’m now practicing to challenge Bruce Helbig, local golf guru and gyoza connoisseur to a dumpling fight. He’s at the top of his game, so the competition will be fierce. I don’t mind sharing my insights, even if it gives him a leg up. This will help you cut through the online disappointments to start making some great dumplings right from the start.
My ingredients are simple and can be altered to include whatever protein you prefer. The art and purpose of this column is the preparation. Assembly is about as fun as peeling shrimp, but cooking them is a blast.
1 pound ground pork (or sausage)
1 cup of grated cabbage
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 package wonton wrappers
Grape seed oil for frying
Mix the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Allow them to sit for a half-hour or so. Lay out the wrappers on parchment paper. Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the center of each wrapper. Fold into a triangle and wet the edges to seal. Stand them up, pointy side to the sky, and press down until they look like the dumplings we know and love.
I tried various combinations of recipes from the internet, but on my fifth attempt settled on our favorite method. In a bamboo steamer, steam the dumplings in batches for six minutes. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Fry the dumplings to desired crispness.
If you want that true potsticker look, only fry the bottom side.
I was very pleased with the prepackaged wonton wrappers and saw zero benefits in making my own. After eating over 40 potstickers in one week, I’m happy with our honed product. I’m also happy we aren’t sick of these things. Now it’s time to experiment with the dipping sauce. Look out, Helbig. I’m coming after you!
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