Sunday, September 12, 2010

Celtic Music in Jackson, Mississippi

On Saturday afternoon drove down to Jackson, Mississippi to check out Celtic Fest and it would also give Dabney a chance to show me Jackson and Millsaps College. We arrived in Jackson and checked into the hotel, which was right next to Millsaps. Dabney showed me around the campus and after we drove around the neighborhood a bit. After a brief swim with Steve Steffens and a couple of cocktails we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Que Sera' Sera'. It was semi-upscale Cajun place. Dabney got Chicken Alfredo and I go a Blackened Ribeye. There was something Dabney did not like about her's and now she wants to try and make herself. My Blackened Ribeye was juicy and tender and aptly described by Steve as a Fred Flintstone slab of meat. After dinner we went back to the hotel room and saw some of the Alabama vs Penn State and Oregon vs Tennessee games. I was happy with the results of both (Alabama win and UT loss). By this time we had been in Jackson several hours and we had not seen or heard any Celtic music. Steve told us that most of the musicians would be coming back to the hotel and usually a jam session would break out. Sure enough at about 11:30 they all started pouring and started playing. One musician would start a tune and other would join in and would usually play about ten to fifteen minutes. People played, danced, drank, and talked. I got the feeling there was two festivals going on, the official one and the late night jam sessions. Dabney went to bed before I did, but I soon went to bed because tomorrow we would actually experience the festival.

After breakfast we drove over to the festival about five minutes away. Celtic Fest is a festival of Celtic food, dancing, and music held every year. There were several stages for music and dancing and several people selling food and merchandise. Steve and Lauren Hesse went every year, and was the first Celtic music festival they went to together. This is the first year Steve went without Lauren, and he was going to speak at a memorial for several friends of the festival that had passed over the course of the year. Before the memorial we saw a couple of bands and saw many of the people that we had been jamming away the night before. At about 1:30 we gathered at one of the music tents. It was very nice and three different people were memorialized. Steve did a really good job talking about Lauren and her passion for Celtic music and especially Celtic Fest. After that it was time for us to head back to Memphis. After hearing about the Celtic music festivals for a couple of years I finally got to see one first hand. On the good side I met some really nice folks and heard some world class musicians do their thing. On the not as good side I think I prefer my Celtic music a little punkier (Flogging Molly or The Pogues) and after awhile the music got a wee bit repetitive. Overall the good far outweighed the bad and it was overall a very positive experience.

On the way out of town Dabney and I hit a burger place called Five Guys. It is a chain place but there is only handful of restaurants around the country. Really good burgers and hand cut fries. Their basic burger is a double and they use really good meat with a variety of toppings. With the great burger meal finished our Jackson trip was over and it was time to head back to Memphis.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Herb Butter Chicken

I tried making some herb butter. It had basil, rosemary, thyme, and oregano in it. I took some chicken breasts and put the herb butter underneath the skin and baked it. I had the chicken with a wild rice mix. The breast was nice and juicy with crispy skin. The herbs and butter added nice flavor to the chicken, but once you got through the top layer of chicken it does not have as much flavor. I think I need some kind of sauce or something that adds flavor. I made some plum bbq sauce that I had with pork, that might be good with chicken too. I baked it this time but it might also be good on the grill.