The Queen’s Speech

“I’m writing at the suggestion of John Edge.  He is working on a tasting seminar that will be part of the Fancy Food Show education program this Summer and we would like to invite you to participate as well.  The panel is called REVIVING THE RELISH TRAY and it will take place Sunday July 10 from 8am to 9:45.  ………….. We envision this session as a guided tasting of what is hot and new in the world of pickling…….. As you are in Athens, we would pay for your travel to DC  as well as 2 nights of comp hotel in DC.  You would also receive a complimentary badge to the trade show floor for yourself and two others……….”

And to answer this email I received in January 2011…..I said YES!

Tea Cup, Cap Man, Margaret's Bracelet

My social anxiety meds: Proseco filled tea cup, Margaret's bracelet, & my good luck charm....a little painted piece of wood from Cap Man!

If you’ve known me for any time at all…and especially if you were in school with me…you’d know that I DO NOT SPEAK IN FRONT OF LARGE CROWDS!  In middle and high school…I’d write a splendid book report and then take a zero on the oral part because I just couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t.  So…this was a really big, exciting, SCAREY opportunity for me.  Not to mention….John T. Edge is someone I really wanna impress.  I mean…hello…Southern Foodways Alliance, Oxford American, Garden and Gun Magazine, Several books about people kinda like me…from the south….doing food the way it oughta be done.  So….I had about 5 and a half months to stress about it! I lost a lot of sleep….

So…the day finally came…..

Thank goodness Phin was with me to excort me through the Atlanta and D.C. airports & especially when it came time to hop a ride on the METRO in D.C. I wouldn't have known how to navigate w/o him....I would've been a basket case! We made ourselves home at the Renaissance on 9th in D.C. & then picked up my Speaker Badge at the Convention Center & headed to China Town. Fortunately Clyde's Irish Pub called our name...as we weaved in & out of sweaty people in the humid, soy sauce-filled air. I wasn't in the mood for chinese food....& the basil-y concoction & good conversation w/locals at Clyde's was the perfect refreshment to calm my nerves.

There were folks at Clyde’s that were in D.C. for the Fancy Food Show….and after making them promise me they wouldn’t attend my portion of the education series….to see me ‘make a fool of myself,’ we made our way back to the hotel…. I set my alarm for 5am, slid my mask over my eyes, and I slept…

They were just gonna throw our panel signs away so.... I had to take them! 😉

                          And then the morning comes…..
I sprung out of bed at 5am….showered, prayed, got dress, prayed, kissed Phin goodbye…(as he was still sleeping and I secretly didn’t want to wake him for fear he too would be in the audience to watch me fail,) and then I headed one block over to the Convention Center 30 minutes early.  I needed to be early….for myself…to compose my thoughts and my nerves.  Many things went through my mind.  Here I am….this girl who grew up wading in creeks, making mud pies, riding horses through the pecan orchard in Albany, Georgia….dropping into the tea-colored water of the Suwannee River from a tree rope, riding alongside my daddy in little john boats into dark gator caves…..never going to college….and always thinking that these things disqualify me from things like this.  And…when John T. Edge walked into the room…. with Jess…the spitting image of him…. I wonder did he know….could he see?  That really….I believe now…that all those things about me, where I come from, what I learned from my up-bringing, what I know now, my experiences, what I think….All these things make me qualified. ….and maybe even more qualified than the most qualified. That is something to ponder…  I don’t believe I’m better than anyone….I just finally believe that I’m QUALIFIED.   For some that’s no big deal. For me…it’s EVERYTHING.

Reviving The Relish Tray ....a guided tasting

And guess what? There was absolutely nothing for me to be afraid of! I didn’t have to stand up alone in front of everyone… I just had to talk. And talking I can do! James Beard Award winner, Ann Cashion talked about her pickled sour cherries and her pickled taco relish…both unbelievable! And Noel Garrett talked about his food production business, ‘Low Country Produce,’ and I talked about my favorite chow chow from Blackberry Farm and our best seller…the Okies.  John Edge talked about Miss Jenny’s Salt & Pepper pickles and Alecia’s Tomato Chutney.  I also got to talk about how I started Phickles….where the name Phickles comes from….the why behind Phickles….and where I hope Phickles is headed.  And…my two favorite parts of the whole speaking part are:

John T. Edge introduced me as ‘the girl traveling the south with a fanny pack full of pickles’ and secondly….Jess, his son was lying on the floor under the table during the whole thing…right at my feet.  Oh yes, we’re like family now. Hehe!  All I gotta do now is learn a few french words….         And in case y’all are wondering if we were able to ‘revive the relish tray…’ Well, it never ended in the south.  We grew up on pickles…. Pickles are still in our fridges and on our plates…. & Pickles are our future.  Oh wait! PHICKLES ARE OUR PHUTURE!  😉

Fat Tuesday at Nona ~New Orleans 'n Athens

double you double you double you dot PHICKLES dot com to order the best pickles in the south!     “If it ain’t fun…..don’t do it!”

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About southlandroots

Owner of Phickles, LLC ....a gourmet pickle company in Athens, GA using the freshest, closest produce available & taking pride in every jar. I'm touring the South Land with a fanny pack of pickle jars! You just never know where I'll pop up next!
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5 Responses to The Queen’s Speech

  1. Shayne says:

    WOOOHOOOOO! Nothin to be nervous about! Way to kick ass, lady!

  2. jimmy says:

    Great job! And a nice write-up too.

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m so proud of you and happy for you, Angie! 🙂 You go, girl! You are certainly QUALIFIED!

  4. natrat says:

    Love this blog post Angie! What an exciting time for you!
    Your phriend,
    Natasha ; )

  5. stacybartel says:

    Great job, Queenie! Proud of you! totally relate…..love the details & LOVE YOU! 🙂 Stacy

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