Traditional recipes

Atlanta Gears Up for a Peachy Celebration

Atlanta Gears Up for a Peachy Celebration

Peach Jam 2013 promises 4 days of festivities honoring the fuzzy fruit

Peaches are Georgia’s official state fruit.

If you’ve ever visited Georgia, you’ve seen them either centered on every license plate, or listed on more than 70 streets. There are jumbo versions perched atop water towers, and billboards off I-75 boasting roadside stands that have the best. But on June 26, peaches take their rightful place on the dining plate at Peach Jam 2013.

The third annual Peach Jam partners with Slow Food Atlanta and Community Farmers' Markets in a four-day festival centered on Georgia’s essential fruit. Each day brings a different competition to one of Atlanta’s farmers' markets, offering a tasty twist on peaches.

Emily Cumbie-Drake, the Slow Food Atlanta organizer for the event, told The Daily Meal, "Peach Jam provides a community-building opportunity for people to meet their growers and other members of their community in a fun festival environment."

Each of the markets for Peach Jam was chosen based on a partnership they have with Community Farmers' Markets. The festival draws people to the farmers' market who might not typically go.

Cumbie-Drake adds, "We really want to support our vendors through this. Last year, the festival days were the busiest of the whole season for the farmers’ markets."

A new market to join this year is the Decatur Farmers' Market. They bring a BBQ Sauce Competition and pig roast where amateurs and chefs alike will put their sauces to the test. Who can cook up the best topping to backyard favorites?

But East Atlanta Farmers' Market draws the most popular event: the Cocktail Competition. This event brings mixologists from Atlanta’s most popular bars together for a showdown. What mixologist can shake up the best peachy cocktail?

The schedule for the festival is on the next page. It is a free event, but attendees have the opportunity to buy tasting tickets for the competitions.

Great American Cookies® Gears Up for a “Doozie” of a 40th Birthday Celebration with Great Deals this Spring

ATLANTA (March 1, 2017) – Great American Cookies® may be turning the big four-0 in June, but they are offering deals that are anything but over the hill in March, April and May. To gear up for its “Doozie” of a birthday, the national gourmet cookie shop will offer sweet deals on its famous Double Doozie cookie treats, Cookie Cake slices, beverages and more.

Every Tuesday in March, Great American Cookies customers can take advantage of $2 Double Doozies – two fresh baked cookies sandwiched together with delicious icing. In April, you can get a free regular beverage with purchase of a Double Doozie and of course, there is the annual Tax Day cookie freebie with all customers receiving a free Birthday Cake Cookie on April 18 (more information to be released closer to the date). May will include:

Tuesday, May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30: Buy One Get One Double Doozie Free
Wednesday, May 10: Buy a half dozen Double Doozies get a half dozen Double Doozies free.
Thursday, May 11: Free regular fountain drink with purchase of a Cookie Cake Slice
Friday, May 12: Score a free cookie if you take a selfie and share it on Great American Cookies’ social media channels.

"For 40 fabulous years, Great American Cookies has been encouraging America to Share the Fun of Cookies and to celebrate the lead-up to this milestone, we want to share great deals with our customers," said David Kaiser, Executive Vice President of Great American Cookies. "Come visit us this spring and treat yourself to the fun of cookies!"

Plans are in the works for a big celebration for Great American Cookies’ actual birthday on June 22. More information will be announced via a press release closer to the date, but the day is expected to feature $.40 cookies all day long on June 22 and free Cookie Cakes for the first 40 customers at each store.

Jack’s Oxtail

[This preparation is more of a guide than a strict how-to recipe. As with the other recipes, it has not been tested by The New York Times.]

Season the oxtail to your liking, with the spices of your choosing.

Add a little oil or butter to your pot.

Sprinkle white or brown sugar into the oil and heat until the oil smokes.

Add the oxtail and brown the meat to give it a good sear and render the fat.

Add onion, garlic, peppers and whatever aromatics you like.

Add beef or vegetable broth to cover the oxtails.

Cook for four hours, checking for tenderness. Add more aromatics in the last hour. Thicken your gravy however you please.

Serve with white rice, fried plantain or cabbage.

Frozen Peach Moscato

This is the most recent picture of my sister and me. And it’s often how you will find us. With at least one kid attached to us, if not inside us. She’s pregnant in the picture and due very soon!

In fact for at least the past 4 years, one of us, if not both of us have been pregnant. So, there hasn’t been much time where we’ve been drinking together.

While there isn’t really a middle sister between us, we both have characteristics of them and can find ourselves honored by the names of all of the Middle Sister wines at some point in our life there is the Mischief Maker Cabernet Sauvignon, Wild One Malbec (if I had to pick one for her in her younger years, this would be it) and I know she would pick the Goodie Two Shoes Pinot Noir for me. Now, we might both have our moments as the Drama Queen (Pinot Grigio) or find ourselves as a Rebel Red (red blend), I decided to go with the Sweet & Sassy Moscato because that’s what both of our husbands think of us, I’m sure! You can find Middle Sister as most Target stores.

And when I opened the bottle and the cork went in instead of out I knew I made the right choice.

Since she’s in another city and not allowed to travel, I took one for the team for our celebration and celebrated her soon-to-be-earth-side second daughter and my soon-to-be second niece with a frozen peach Sweet & Sassy Moscato. I’m a good sister like that! Meanwhile, she can enjoy the brand makeover and that features “Drops of Wisdom” which are a dose of inspiration right on the front label. I mean, what pregnant woman doesn’t enjoy walks to the fridge (we’ll hold off on the wine part for now!).

Peaches are super easy to come by right now, so it seemed like the perfect choice. Plus, we used to climb a peach tree in our backyard! I cut up two peaches and frozen them until they were solid. No, I didn’t peel them either. Of course, purchasing frozen fruit would work.

I put them in my >blender, with 8 ounces of Sweet & Sassy Moscato and hit blend until it was nice and smooth. The result was a perfectly sweet and peachy frozen beverage that is just right for the hot days of summer. It’s refreshing, light, and delicious!

I enjoyed my Middle Sister wine created by award-winning winemaker Nancy Walker (a middle sister herself) while cooking dinner this weekend. It was the perfect match to our grilled meal!

Which Middle Sister wine would you say describes you? How about your sister?

Basil and Peach Flavor Combo

Have you ever had peach and basil together?
It&rsquos an amazing flavor combination!
I first discovered several years ago when I made this recipe for my girls.

I think I then ended up eating peaches, yogurt, and basil everyday the rest of the summer.

The basil is so light and fragrant.And when you combine it with the acid of the peach, it just explodes in your mouth.

So, when I decided to make Peach Crumble Cups for Farmer&rsquos Market Week, I knew I wanted to incorporate some fresh basil.

Wahoo! Grill

Wahoo! Grill in Decatur is open on May 9 from 12 pm to 9 pm and offering their regular dinner menu.

Heated outdoor space (weather permitting) and safely distanced indoor dining available (indoor tables are separated with clear partitions).

Brush Sushi Izakaya

Brush Sushi Izakaya in Decatur is offering a Special Mothers's Day Omakase dinner with Chef Jason Liang. Priced at $185 per person. Seatings at 6 PM and 8 PM on May 9.

Selection of Seasonal & Premium cuts of Sushi and Ingredients.
A piece-by-piece nigiri tasting, in true omakase fashion.
( per person )

15 Pieces Nigiri Sushi:
Ika, Squid
Shiromi, Premium White Fish
Yellowtail Family
Tasting of Bluefin Tuna
Hikarimono, Silver-skin
Uni, sea urchin
Signature Tamago, shrimp & egg custard

Special Course:
Grilled Bluefin Tuna Cheek Donburi

Toro Ikura Temaki,
Hand Roll w/ Fatty tuna, Marinaded salmon roe, Maruyama nori.

Invest in Memories

Photography by Danny Bergin for Chellise Michael Photography

Sarah and Evan saved on little things (the groom’s bow tie, the vow books, the cake topper, the rings), all of which were sourced from Etsy, and dedicated more than half of their budget to photography. “If you’re going to spend your money on just one thing, it should be the pictures. That’s what you’re going to have for the rest of your life,” says Sarah. Their photographer, Danny Bergin , brought along a Polaroid camera, which he handed off to some of the guests during the reception. The casual snapshots are now prominently displayed on the couple’s living room coffee table in a shadow box.

Ambitious Plans for a Building Where Sears Served Atlanta

ATLANTA — As large as 20 Wal-Mart stores, the cavernous former Sears building now known as City Hall East towers above a motley assortment of restaurants, underground dance halls and a strip club a few miles northeast of downtown. The building, which at 2.1 million square feet is the largest brick structure in the South, according to its owners, has been mostly vacant since Sears left in 1989.

But now there is a plan to salvage the space. A prominent Atlanta-based developer, Jamestown Properties, which owns Chelsea Market in Manhattan, bought the building from the city last month for $27 million. It expects to spend $180 million to convert it to a mixed-use cluster of restaurants, apartments, office space and perhaps even a rooftop amusement park, all renamed Ponce City Market, by early 2014.

“That’s a big hunk of building, and it’s been dead space for so long,” said David F. Haddow, a consultant and architecture professor at Georgia Tech. “But it’s not going to be easy.”

Others have tried before. The city bought the building for $12 million in 1990 — “the deal of the century,” Maynard Jackson, the mayor at the time, said — but ended up using only 10 percent of the space, mostly for police offices and storage. Then, in 2006, a well-connected former state lawmaker introduced a plan to build apartments there, but that idea fell victim to the economy.

The real estate market in Atlanta is still sluggish. But supporters say the project has a better chance than most. City Hall East is at the junction of four fashionable neighborhoods: Midtown, Virginia-Highlands, the Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park. In a city known for glittery newness, the 1926 building is raw, historic and authentic.

So the conventional wisdom among civic leaders is: right building, right place, right developer. But is it the right time?


“There are clearly challenges,” said David Bennett, a senior policy adviser to Mayor Kasim Reed who helped broker the deal. “There is a 20 percent vacancy rate in Atlanta in the office market, the condo market is in disarray and even the commercial market is down quite a bit.”

The city is so invested in the outcome that Mayor Reed spoke at the purchase ceremony, predicting that a successful development could have a $1 billion economic impact. A kickoff celebration in October will feature a concert by the Indigo Girls and catering by a who’s who of Atlanta chefs.

“We see this as being transformational for that area of Atlanta,” said Ernestine Garey, the executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Atlanta Development Authority. “It is a huge, huge opportunity.”

Early blueprints make Ponce City Market look not unlike Chelsea Market, the renovated biscuit factory that leases space to the Food Network and other technology and media companies. It will contain high-ceilinged office space, a range of restaurants, a food market, apartments, exhibition spaces, a skywalk and perhaps even an amusement park, Jamestown says.

The plan calls for reducing the building’s square footage by nearly half, to 1.2 million square feet, constructing a parking garage with at least 2,000 spaces inside the structure and demolishing many internal walls and ceilings. But Jamestown says it will preserve the exterior and as much equipment as possible from the original Sears department store and distribution center. A giant electrical panel will become the backdrop for a bar, and a train trestle will be repurposed as a pedestrian walkway.

“We think the history is really central to the culture we’re trying to create,” said Michael Phillips, a managing director of Jamestown. “We’re trying to keep the spirit of this place alive and to keep it true to its Southern roots.”

In its heyday, Sears shipped to customers across the Southeast. Older Atlantans remember picking up furniture or clothes there. “That’s where everybody shopped,” Trudie Wade, an Atlanta resident who worked at the Sears in the 1970s, says in a video that Jamestown produced about the building’s history. “It was huge. I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s such a huge store that we’re going to get lost in here.’ ”

Other cities have refurbished Sears stores and distribution centers. In Seattle, a former Sears is now the headquarters of Starbucks. In Dallas, one has 400 apartments and a nightclub. In Boston, one has an REI, a Best Buy and a movie theater.

But Atlanta’s Sears center has its own difficulties because it was vacant so long. The city spent months removing and auctioning the office equipment that had piled up inside over the years, raising more than $100,000.

Architects are still figuring out how to avoid damaging a sewage system from the early 1900s that runs directly through the building’s lower floors. Although it retains its elegant maple flooring and tall glass windows, parts of the building have fallen into disrepair.

“The office spaces quite literally looked like terrorists had run in the front door and people had fled out the back door in a panic,” Mr. Bennett said. But Jamestown says it has faced obstacles with historic buildings elsewhere: Chelsea Market the former Port of New York Authority at 111 Eighth Avenue, now owned by Google and Warehouse Row in Chattanooga all required substantial overhauls.

For the 64 years that Sears owned City Hall East, the building was treated “like a Rolls-Royce,” said Jim Irwin, a vice president at Green Street, a subsidiary and development arm of Jamestown.

Tenants are already signing up. Anne Quatrano, an Atlanta chef and restaurant owner who has worked with Jamestown before, said she planned to open a po-boy shop at Ponce City Market.

“It’s a little scary,” Ms. Quatrano said of the building’s uncertain prospects. But if you like the building, the developer and the history of the neighborhood, she said, then you have to trust that customers will come.

A Shavuot Revelation

I’m particularly excited to have this Shavuot piece appear in the Atlanta Jewish Times. I’ve had so many great Big Peach experiences over the past few decades. I think I have performed in nearly every major Jewish institution, Reform, Conservative and Orthodox over the years. I have so many dear friends in the area. I love the music I love the melting pot I love the whale sharks in the aquarium. I hope that all my Atlanta friends new and old enjoy this writing and I wait steadfastly until the dust settles and I can regale your awesome community once again.

Shavuot is a mysterious holiday. This commemoration of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai isn’t given a specific date for its celebration instead we are told in Sefer Sh’mot (the Book of Exodus) to schedule it seven weeks from the second night of Passover. I never heard about it as I grew up. It usually transpires after Hebrew School adjourns for the summer and other than serving Aunt Martha’s blintzes without mentioning why, my folks never brought it up. The tradition is to enjoy four sumptuous meals over the two days of the holiday and ensure that at least a few of them feature dairy foods. Evidently, back at Mount Sinai, we received the laws of kashrut (keeping kosher) but didn’t have time to master proper slaughtering practices, so eating dairy was a safer bet. Another reason for cheesecake at this time of year: the gematria of the word chalav (milk) is 40, paralleling the number of days that Moshe spent on the mountain.

Shavuot offers a welcome respite after the semi-mourning of S’firat Ha’omer [Counting the omer]. One highlight is the custom of staying up all night to learn Torah, called Tikkun L’eil Shavuot, the healing of the night of Shavuot. Why a healing, one might ask? In the description of the morning of the revelation at Sinai, the Midrash describes how the Israelites overslept and had to be awakened by Moshe. How could we have fallen asleep the night before? We should have been too excited to sleep a wink! Thanks to our exhausted ancestors, we pull an all-nighter to rectify this grievous error.

One reason Shavuot has no set date is because the essence of Torah is outside of time and space. Whereas sanctifying food requires a new blessing with every meal, the blessing over Torah study need only happen once a day. We don’t just study Torah. We live Torah. This blessing finishes with the words, “Who gives us Torah,” stated in the present tense. Shavuot is less an anniversary than a celebration of the continuous flow of revelation.

Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. With no specific duties other than learning, praying and eating as much as possible, it’s a (cheese) cakewalk. Some years, we have rented a cabin in the local mountains with a minyan of friends and a Torah scroll to reenact the Sinai experience. In our ‘hood, most shuls keep java on tap and use the extended period to dive into titillating text study until dawn. When the horizon ignites at 5 a.m., all the bleary-eyed survivors slam-dunk a festival Shacharit service and then walk home to pass out until lunchtime. For years, the Happy Minyan in Los Angeles sponsored a Torah Slam, allowing anyone to take the stage, but limiting each speaker to exactly one minute to make a point. Intense creativity, humor and spontaneity were unleashed and best of all, it was easy to stay awake!

I have certain rabbis with whom I really connect, rare individuals who see the big picture, possess both academic and Torah backgrounds, and live their learning. One year, one of those individuals was coming to town to lead the study and I didn’t want to miss a word. Shavuot with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg featured almost continuous learning over the three-day weekend. The first night he spoke at services and then resumed teaching from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. The topic, near and dear to my heart, was thorough text study of the Hallel service. After a sunrise Shacharit service, we slept until our festive lunch began and then did the diaspora “Groundhog Day” routine on the second night of the holiday (just like Pesach, Jewish folks outside of Israel are privileged with a duplicate day add-on). That particular year, the extra day happened to be Shabbat. So there were more inspired classes with the rabbi, celebratory meals and then a final class Sunday night. I felt like I was opened up, firing on all cylinders, with new enthusiasm for the “same ole” prayers and new eyes to see the colors of life.

I was not only high from the Shavuot learning the week before the holiday I enjoyed a soul and parnasa (income) boost from several unique concerts. I performed a few shows at synagogues in Northern California and then returned to L.A. to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” at the Dodgers-Mets game. While it was quite exciting to sing for the nearly sold-out crowd, my main focus was giving nachas to my season ticket-holder father who has occupied the same box seats behind home plate since the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn. The next night, I regaled 1,200 Aish banquet attendees at the Beverly Hilton and then drove to La Jolla to perform a Torah dedication concert at the San Diego Jewish Academy. I made it home with an hour to go before candlelighting, hugged my wife and kids, and dashed off to shul for the erev Shavuot services. Just like the glory of the revelation of Torah led to a cataclysm with the golden calf, so, too, did our communal holiday celebration end in disaster.

The day after this action-packed week, I opened up my studio, turned on the various racks of audio gear and started up my trusty Mac. My first move is to check my email and since I had been away, there were hundreds begging for attention. Two caught my eye, both with the heading “Baruch Dayan HaEmet” (Blessed is the True Judge). These are the emails I never want to read. These are the words Jews utter automatically when hearing shocking news, usually about someone’s death. This stock phrase counters the tendency to respond, “Oh, it’s not fair” or, “How could God let this happen?” Jewish tradition insists God knows exactly what is going on and even though we might not understand, this tragedy is also God’s will.

Two of our close friends lost their wives. Both were young mothers, each with three grade school children. Strikingly beautiful women beacons of charity and kindness. Two agonizing funerals were followed by intense shiva minyanim (prayers during the first week of mourning). After the first funeral, I was asked to lead Mincha at the shiva house. I shouldn’t have agreed. I sobbed throughout the service, starting and stopping and trying again. When visiting with their guests, the husbands would bravely tell anecdotes about their wives and then convulse again in misery. Speechless family and friends watched as prepubescent kids struggled with Kaddish.

These calamities occurred the day after we celebrated the giving of Torah. I struggled, as did many in our community, with this stark contrast. On the one hand, the holiday emphasizes that everything happening to us is directed by God and like the Jews at Sinai, it’s our job to respond with acceptance and allegiance. But I’m human, and I was grieving, and part of me struggled to accept the horrible events handed to people whom I really cared about.

To add to this schizophrenic contrast, the next night I went to a Lakers game with my brother Joey. Yes, life is for the living. The energy was palpable as the crowd jumped to its feet with every heroic basket. We were awestruck by the team’s miraculous coordination and perseverance. I had to resort to inserting earplugs halfway through the game thanks to the din of manic fans. After the final buzzer, I went to hear some of the greatest musicians in the world play at an LA nightclub. Keyboard wizard David Garfield led his septet through the brambles of some of the thorniest charts imaginable, bringing waves of unbridled pleasure to this music lover. I marveled as they spun spontaneous improvised melodies, flurries of notes soaring over the funkiest grooves, performed with seemingly impossible dexterity. Again, I was brought to tears, but this time they were tears of joy.

I decided to drive home over the canyon, rather than the more expedient freeway. At the top of the pass, I pulled off at a beautiful wilderness area, the headquarters of the LA-based environmental group TreePeople. With the aid of the ambient glow of the metropolis, I hiked a mile to the top of a hill and prayed Ma’ariv under a waxing moon. As I pondered the night sky against the shadows of towering pines, I had a realization: while dating my wife, the first party I saw her throw was a benefit for TreePeople. I was astonished by her grace and efficiency as she made sure every detail was perfect and all her guests were cared for. I noted she shared her generous smile with everyone. That’s when I knew she was the one. Shira is the light of my life, beloved in our extended family and treasured in our community. We also have three kids who are the same ages as the kids who just lost their mothers. The tragedies of the week hit too close to home. How did this figure in God’s plan? Where is God’s “beneficent kindness” amidst this daunting sorrow wracking our community?

The same God who arranged for these two women to pass on this week is the same God Who created the universe, who gave us Avraham and Sarah, who freed us from slavery in Egypt and gifted the Torah 3,500 years ago on the very first Shavuot. This is the Makom, the Omnipresent, who will help my now single-father friends cope and bring them and their children healing.

We are always receiving divine messages, heavenly love notes, holy whispers of oral Torah. We may not always understand them. Shavuot is here to open our hearts to this communication and encourage us to keep the conversation alive. Perhaps Shavuot has no set date so we make every single day a celebration of receiving God’s instructions for living. May the words of our beloved Torah always be sweet on our lips. May these two families feel the shelter of the wings of the True Judge may the Omnipresent comfort them, together with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Rosy Glow

Courtesy of Claire Fountain

Slightly spicy, zesty and aromatic, this cocktail seamlessly transitions from summer to fall.


  • 1 1/2 oz. Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose
  • 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 2 oz. Fever Tree Refreshingly Light Ginger Beer
  • 7-8 Raspberries
  • 1-2 slices Ginger
  • 1-2 slices Lime

Preparation: Lightly muddle raspberries and combine with the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain contents into a wine glass over fresh ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with fresh ginger and lime.

Watch the video: Peach Drop moves back to Underground Atlanta (December 2021).