Garden & Gun, Mrs. Manning, Ball Gowns & Berettas, and other stuff I love.

I just returned from a hilarious trip with my girlfriends, where I worked some and we played more and the SF Giants clinched the NL West Championship and we danced Gangnam Style along with Jon Miller.

It was Epic.

I came home exhausted with no voice. To a big-ass pile of mail. Meh. But…could it be? YES. My new issue of Garden & Gun is here.

Garden & Gun is my favorite magazine in the history of ever. Its first-place position is closely followed by Mental Floss – and then there’s about 5-7 titles on the next tier down, mostly food & lifestyle stuff.

The ever-talented James Collier introduced me to Garden & Gun – he also introduced me to + shares a love of my friend Tracy, Bulleit bourbon, and the Masumoto family’s Sun Crest peaches – which has lead me to believe that James is actually my soul sister, if you can imagine that in a he-wears-flannel-and-boots-and-is-generally-manly kind of way.

Garden & Gun is the “Soul of the South” – with articles about the 50 Best Southern Bars, Chef Dean Fearing’s Cookbook collection, the Country’s Finest Gun Engraver and Alzina Toups, the greatest Cajun Cook alive. Part of me has always thought I should live in the South.  (Of course, I also feel at home in San Francisco and every time I’m in Seattle I wanna move there. But I think I’d do very well in Dixie with all that butter & bacon. They take Italian-Armenians, don’t they?)

I’m not even gonna lie. Every time I start reading G&G I picture myself marching through a field of brush with my friend Becky Ellis Rhoton in Lucchese boots & Carolina Herrera ball gowns, armed with 20 gauge Beretta over & unders, flushing out a couple of wild quail before we go meet our MadChow girlfriends for lunch in celebration of Bourbon Heritage Month or jump on a boat to catch some black sea bass & snapper off the Charleston coast. I also crave shrimp & grits, feel the urge to wear a big hat and speak with a twang for at least 20 minutes after I put the magazine down.

Here’s why I think the editors of G&G and I might actually have a cosmic connection:

I was in a conversation about football with a friend of mine who has a favorite team and that’s that. 49ers. No variance.  And I explained that while I have a favorite team, I don’t really watch football with the same level of devotion as baseball, and I really just root for players that I particularly like. (Honestly, isn’t it enough that we’ll talk sports with you at all, boys? Count your blessings.) In any event, when I was questioned about liking the Manning brothers, my answer was simple: I like Eli & Peyton because Olivia Manning is a badass who raised her boys with “quiet authority” over margaritas with her girlfriends and she has their backs entirely but continues to cheer for the Saints, and her boys adore her. (I find it necessary to share that this response rendered a generally verbose man speechless, and then he mumbled something about it being impossible to argue with me when I say stuff like that.)

NO LESS THAN TWO DAYS LATER, my Aug/Sept. issue of G&G showed up with an article about what a badass Olivia Manning is. Plus, it specifically mentions the margaritas.

This issue features the South’s hottest new restaurants, baseball promoter Mike Veeck & an editorial in defense of okra. Smitten.

Garden & Gun, I’ll love you forever and always. Now, if I could just get a meeting with one of the Bourbon boys


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