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Sazerac June 2024

Unsolicited Advice

According to Simon & Garfunkel, June will change her tune. And according to the Gregorian calendar, she’ll change her season from spring to summer. Typical Gemini. So take your fae-thful friends and family to the arboretum and celebrate at the Greensboro Summer Solstice Festival from 2–10 p.m., Saturday, June 22. We’ve got some tips to help you make the most of this magic moment. Fairy thee well!

Make like a mermaid and scale up on the water intake or you’ll be one parched pixie. Don’t worry — porta-potties abound. As do adult beverages — you know, for hydration.

Speaking of sweat, three words: waterproof body paint.

Show a little elf control? Not here. Let your inner fairy fly for the day — glitter, wings and all!

The evening culminates in an outstanding fire show, where the lawn at Lindley Park turns into gnome man’s land. Set your derriere on your fairy chair on the early side for a stellar view.



Photograph © Greensboro History Museum Collection

Window to the Past

Ready oar not, summer is arriving later this month. Lake Brandt has been welcoming water lovers since 1925.

Sage Gardener

We hope you’re sitting down, because according to The New York Times, “2024 is going to be a really exciting year in cabbage.” Celebrity chefs are stir-frying it, banking it into beds of hot coals and, in Asheville’s Good Hot Fish restaurant, adding it to pancakes served with sorghum hot sauce.

My momma used to braise it in bacon grease, a technique I’ve since discovered seals in the mustard compound that cabbage shares with horseradish, onions and mustard greens — the very compound that, according to the Times, “can make your house smell like a 19th century tenement” but has become “the darling of the culinary crowd.”

Mom, you always did know what was hot and what was not — and that everything tastes better with bacon.

Mark Twain observed that “cabbage is nothing but cauliflower with a college degree.” Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts — in the same family as kale, broccoli and bok choy — have both recently had their moment in the superfood spotlight. Now, it’s cabbage that’s taking center stage on white tablecloths in New York and L.A.’s elite boîtes, going for $18–20 as an appetizer paired with the likes of anchovy breadcrumbs and brown-butter hollandaise. Try serving one of those instead of corned beef and cabbage next St Paddy’s Day.

Brassica oleracea, aka wild cabbage, though not mentioned in the Bible and apparently unknown to early Jewish cuisine, is “a plant that has accompanied mankind throughout the ages,” according to The Oxford Companion to Food. Prized by the Egyptians and Romans, it was sacred to the Greeks, purportedly springing full-grown from no less than Zeus’ own sweat — perhaps because of how it smells?

I’ve grown it only once or twice. I’ve never had well-drained, sandy loam, which it prefers. And being an organic gardener, by the time my cabbage begins to head, aphids, flea beetles, cabbage loopers, diamond-back moths and cabbage maggots get a lot more of it than I do. Besides, cabbage is incredibly cheap, organic or not, even when purchased in a farmers market. (I find N.C. mountain cabbage particularly tasty and it makes terrific sauerkraut. North Carolina, by the way, grows something like 12,000 acres of cabbage a year.)

So remember, you heard it here first (unless you read The New York Times story): “Among the food-forward, cabbage fever is rising.”

        David Claude Bailey

Growing Goodwill

Survey four of the Triad’s youngest residents and one of them will tell you they face food insecurity. Share the Harvest board president Linda Anderson, a retired educator, does her best to improve that grim statistic. Sometimes, she says, it’s as simple as grabbing a hoe or driving a truck.

“There are times during the growing season when our gardens are overflowing with vegetables and we don’t know what to do with the excess. This is when Share the Harvest can help both the gardener and the individuals in need,” says Anderson.

Anderson says donations have grown since 2012 from a few community and church gardens donating food to local nonprofits into an expanding program benefitting organizations, collecting and distributing food to the needy via various programs offering meals and food pantries. For its 10 core volunteers, the need has motivated them to collect, coordinate and distribute donations from groceries, restaurants, gardens, farmers markets and even N.C. State A&T University’s farm.

From May through October, the growing season, they collect, aggregate, then store fresh products at a central collection site for distribution.

“In the beginning, the first year, we had 1,200 pounds of veggies. Last year it was 15,241 pounds received.” See for more information. 

                                              By Cynthia Adams


Dear Editor,

OK, I look a little grumpy, I admit. How would you feel after eating dirt in the dark for 17 years?

If you find my surreal red eyes deeply disturbing, I say, “Good!” It’s not like anybody asked me how I wanted my DNA arranged. You think your kids are so cute. They don’t even have exoskeletons! No wonder you’re running them to the ER every other day.

A cicada’s life isn’t much when you think about it. In 30 days’ time above ground, the most dramatic thing that can happen is having a cat or dog eat enough of us to spew up a blob of legs and wings on somebody’s living room carpet. Or having kids trap us in Mason jars to amplify the sound. Like that’s really a science experiment. Stick to the fireflies and leave us alone!

This spring, all you heard was “Total Eclipse! Won’t be another until 2044!” Everybody bought special eyeglasses and threw a party.

Well, this summer, not only are we 17-year cicadas emerging, but our 13-year cousins are, too. Guess the last time that happened. 1803, when Thomas Jefferson was president. You know, author of the Declaration of Independence. How about throwing a cicada celebration, we, the people?

And who’s this Harry Blair joker, anyway? When in our conversation did I grant him permission to reproduce my likeness? Please spare me the public figure argument. I’m a bug!

You’ll be receiving a letter from my attorney.


    A. Cicada, Esq.

Just One Thing

During a residency at Charlotte’s Village at Commonwealth, muralist and fine artist Liz Haywood decided it was time to try “something totally different, something to inspire me to branch out of my comfort zone.” Her focus up until then had been on the “many different faces” of diversity, she says. And that something different? Space exploration. The twist? A series she’s calling “Alien Worlds”: “By using a palette of warm pinks, purples and sunset hues, I bring an updated feel to a subject often seen through a masculine lens.” No surprise. Haywood is constantly doing her own dive into the unknown through film and literature. “I’ve basically read every science fiction novel available,” she notes with a laugh. Her canvas offers her a way to imagine the world beyond and bring it back to this planet through a feminist lens. Just as space is full of unanswered questions, Long Walk Home, seen here, is also open to interpretation, she says. “She’s walking into the distance. You don’t know — is she walking back to her ship? Or is she leaving and going somewhere else?” Haywood encourages her viewers to use their own imaginations. This painting is part of her second iteration of “Alien Worlds,” on display at GreenHill Center for NC Art’s “LEAP: Artists Imagine Outer Space” exhibition. “Space is the next frontier,” she muses. “I hope we venture out with open hearts and curious minds.” And does she hope to explore space one day? “I need to be around people ,” she says. “If my dog and my boyfriend and other people could go, then yes!” Info: