Otherworld and other Immersives

We were able to visit Otherworld in Columbus, Ohio — it’s 32k sq ft in what was probably an old K-Mart or similar in a run-down shopping center — of what’s rightfully explained as an immersive experience, annnnd so immersive that after :45 or so, we were all ready to get back into the ‘real world’. That sounds more critical than I mean it, though. Sure, it probably something that most of us will want to do only once, but it was absolutely worth doing, and was really fun just to explore. I’ve really wanted to try something like this since I heard of Meow Wolf‘s Omega Mart and others.

We’ve done the traveling grand-scale Beyond Van Gogh exhibit in Birmingham

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Birmingham AL

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Birmingham AL

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Birmingham AL

and the permanent Monet & Friends Alive at the Indianapolis museum (post coming soon)

Monet & Friends Alive, The Lume, Newfields, Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN

Oh! And I almost forgot Candytopia that was in Atlanta

Candytopia, Atlanta

Candytopia, Atlanta

Back to Otherworld:

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Otherworld, Columbus Ohio

Not like this but absolutely immersive in another way is one of my favorite exhibits of all time, Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors, which we saw at the Frist in Nashville. It’s at SFMOMA through June 2024

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

Share: Family Reunion Food

Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant, Birmingham Alabama

Would you share what dish(es) you bring to a family reunion, and the ones that another family member brings that it wouldn’t be the same without?

Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant, Birmingham Alabama

Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant, Birmingham Alabama

I noticed this article at Southern Living about 34 Classic Dishes You’ll Find at Every Southern Family Reunion and while I’m lucky to have gone to a few and been invited to friends’ reunions, there are several listed that I don’t think I’ve seen on those tables: reunion pea casserole, chicken tetrazzini, turkey noodle poppyseed casserole, butternut squash gratin, and something with goldfish crackers on top.

Family Reunion Soul Food Restaurant, Birmingham Alabama

My list would include several versions of fried chicken, barbecue and bbq chicken, those jelly-glazed meatballs, potato salad, coleslaw, seven layer salad, macaroni salad, strawberry pretzel salad, ambrosia, pimento cheese, homemade rolls, macaroni & cheese, hashbrown and some other casseroles, lots of pies and cakes (hummingbird, strawberry are a must) and cobblers and bars/candies, a bundt cake or other that’s been overly-spiked, and someone’s ‘famous’ baked beans (prob also with a good glug of bourbon). Oh, and deviled eggs, deviled eggs, deviled eggs. And a couple giant watermelons.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I’m missing a few but that’s what comes to mind first. Recipes for much of the above are in this section.

What about you — have a specialty? Please share…love this!

 

Donna T’s Tea, Tang Tea, and High/Afternoon/WhatHaveYou Tea

The mom of of my best friends from college made the best iced tea. Okay, two people in my life have made the best iced tea, actually. The other was my aunt Helen — my grandfather’s sister — whose secret ingredient (remembering that she was a housewife in the ’60s after all) was TANG. And it was fabulous.

Anyway, I asked my friend’s mom for her wonderful tea recipe, and you know it’s gonna be sweet because she started her message back to me with “Hon”:

Donna T Tea

Love her. She won’t mind me sharing.

It’s two family-size bags of tea to a kettle of boiling water, add a heaping cup of sugar, take the kettle off the heat, and add water to the pitcher to taste. That turns out to be not some crazy secret recipe like I thought maybe. No doubt what made it so good was that SHE made it. And Shugie approves.

Shugie and his Donna T Tea

Now, Aunt Helen passed away in the late 90s so I never asked her what the recipe was for her Tang tea, and I’m not sure I have the hang of it, because whatever I do, it’s not as great as I remember hers tasting. I even tried it as some sort of takeoff on an Arnold Palmer, but…

Tang Tea

Tang Tea

If you know the secret to Tang tea, pass it on! Would love to hear how to do it the right way.

Now, two quick good natured things before we do the really terrific tea services:

Po Folks, Manischewitz, Kedem

Still life of Po Folks tea gallons, Manischewitz, and Kedem bottles at a luncheon in Florida from a few years ago,

and at Rojo in Birmingham, this is how they label their tea urns:

Sweet Tea, Cruel Tea at Rojo, Birmingham AL

One of my besties treated me to Independent Presbyterian’s 73rd annual tour of homes and afternoon tea last month. We loved it! IPC’s sanctuary:

Tour of Homes & Afternoon Tea at Independent Presbyterian, Birmingham AL

upstairs, the tea:

Tour of Homes & Afternoon Tea at Independent Presbyterian, Birmingham AL

Served in beautiful silver

Tour of Homes & Afternoon Tea at Independent Presbyterian, Birmingham AL

We really enjoyed our table guests too, and had a lovely time, and the treats were terrific

Tour of Homes & Afternoon Tea at Independent Presbyterian, Birmingham AL

Destination Tea is the best tea room finder I came across when looking for establishments just now.

There are certainly teas going on at some higher-end hotels in Atlanta and New Orleans. Shugie’s favorite hotel in Atlanta, and maybe mine there too, is the St Regis and they have a tea at their Astor Court.

St Regis Hotel, Buckhead, Atlanta GA

St. Regis, Buckhead

Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans LA

Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans

Windsor Court, New Orleans

Year round, there is a tea at Le Salon at Windsor Court in New Orleans, but I wind up going upstairs at their Grill Room which is a terrific meat & three at lunch.  Saturday afternoon tea is served at the Davenport Lounge at the RC.

When Sucre had its Salon in the Quarter, I did that once with a blooming marigold tea:
Sucre Salon, New Orleans LA

Sucre Salon, New Orleans LA

Sucre Salon, New Orleans LA

Sucre Salon, New Orleans LA<

Sucre Salon, New Orleans LA

The best, best, best has been the afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas a few years ago. The hotel is now the Waldorf Astoria and still offers that service

Mandarin Oriental Tea Service, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Tea Service, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Tea Service, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Tea Service, Las Vegas

Mandarin Oriental Tea Service, Las Vegas

If you know of a fab tea room or a fun tea experience, please share. xoxo!