Flamingo Surprise

(Or, alternatively, “What I was initially freaking out about yesterday but what actually turned out to be for the best.”)

So, yesterday my cup literally runneth over with potential blog topics…and I’m afraid I’m back at work today, so I can’t wax lyrical the whole day through. Organization is always a problem for me when I write (or, heck, when I talk, really), and this has potential to be the most stream-of-consciousness entry to date. But, stay with me…as I promise I always have a point. (Or maybe I’m building it up too much…)

Yesterday, as you may recall, was my aunt’s 60th birthday. And I knew I had to do something BIG. I was having lunch with a friend (who we will call Pants) and complaining about not knowing what to do…when out of thin air, she suggested a “Flamingo Surprise.” (Folks come in the middle of the night and set up a whole bunch of pink flamingos on your front lawn…and hilarity ensues.)

I might have also mentioned that I was in Miami for a conference (more on that later). For reasons that are partially my fault and partially out of my control, I ended up missing my super-early flight yesterday morning and arrived at Miami International Airport in something of a panic. This, however, turned out to be written in the stars as I was able to go standby on a later flight and had lots of time to kill at the airport so I went shopping and found FLAMINGO WINDCHIMES on the very same day as my aunt’s Flamingo Surprise and I am now convinced it was fate that I missed the earlier flight.

I also happened to find a copy of Southern Living which did my heart good as I used to live in the South and my mother used to subscribe, etc., etc. The cover of February’s issue – and here’s where missing my flight and the flamingo windchimes establish a direct connection to a blog about pies – features a piece of banana pudding pie. But that’s not all! There’s an ad for Orlando – which, as you may recall, is where the big pie-baking competition will take place in, oh, 9 weeks or so – with all sorts of reasons why everyone should visit Orlando. Parents, for example, are more fun there: “In Orlando, you don’t say ‘clean your room’ or ‘practice the piano.’ Instead, it’s “LET’S GET AN ICE CREAM” and “WANNA DRIVE A RACECAR?'”

I wonder if those phrases will work on my friends as I continue to search for someone (anyone!) to go with me to provide moral support…as I will crack under the pressure by myself!

This particular issue of Southern Living also features favorite restaurant desserts across the South. The list includes banana pudding from the Galax Smokehouse. Coincidentially, my friend Pants makes an annual pilgrimage to Galax for a fiddler’s convention. (She hasn’t been to the Smokehouse though…) But that’s not all! There are pies galore – including a section on the pies of Texas and fried pies in Oklahoma. Beignets made the list, too. (No offense to the great state of Louisiana, but I never really understood beignets…)

And – it gets better. There is an ad for Crisco no-stick spray with flour! I think it’s safe to say that I have never been so excited about trying out a no-stick spray.

And still there’s more! There’s even a tip about using pancake mix to make onion rings! And I would have missed all of this had I made the earlier flight!

Part II is forthcoming!


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