BIRDS ! Bonnie and Sara's secret suet recipe
Want to operate the best bird restaurant anywhere? Here's the secret menu item to pack 'em in.....
My wife and daughter are avid birders. We have soooooo many birds all around our house, and we believe the secret is our homemade crumbly suet. Our feathered pals far and away prefer our home-cooking to any store conconction we've ever brought home. Seeds? They like our suet better? Honest. OK, here is the secret recipe....just mix it up into a crumbly mess and put it out for the birds. And look out, you may need security guards to hold back the crowds!
4 cups plain yellow corn meal
1 cup shortening (like Crisco)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
FSU Film School
Somehow little old Tallahassee, Florida ended up with a film school that is rated top 5 or so in the entire WORLD. It hosts a number of screenings of the student short films and they're all free. The most widely attended by the public is the MFA Thesis screening (usually in early August). There you will see 5 or so 10-20 minute short films made by the graduating class of masters students. These are often films that go on to major international festivals and competitions including the Emmys and the student Oscars.
Another lesser-known fact is that because the FSU Film School is one of the only major film schools outside of a production center like LA or NY, the students depend a lot on the surrounding community for help. So if you're really looking for something different to do, you can volunteer to help out on set (see the bulletin board in Doak Stadium, building A), or try out for their twice-yearly open-call acting auditions (usually held at the beginning of each semester).
There's usually a decent calendar of events at: http://www.film.fsu.edu
A new pizza "giant" in Tallahassee and elsewhere..
The Red Elephant has a wonderful and unique style of pizza, a corn-dusted crush with lots of bold sauce and meats. They also have excellent burgers. In addition, the menu is expanded with wings, appetizers, main dishes, desserts and such. The Red Elephant also has full table service, as well as a plethora of big-screen TVs for sports fans, an honest to goodness bar for those who just want a few brews. So far, it appears that the Red Elephant has been a huge local success and in short order, a second edition has opened up here in Tallahassee (out on Kerry Forest Road). They are apparently now franchised and there are Red Elephants in Tampa, and one being built over in Mandarin (Jacksonville). It's the quintessential American success story, and it's damned good pizza.
If you come to Tallahassee and want to have a VT meeting with me, I may well suggest the Red Elephant. And for entertainment, there is the Miracle Movie Theaters across the road - a large complex of all-alternative filmspace. This is the sort of place you'll find foreign films, art films and other non-mainstream entertainment. The last time Bonnie and I hit the Miracle, we saw a film about prewar India called "Before the Rains". It was terrific, and I'm sure you've never heard of it. That's the miracle of the Miracle.
A perfect evening.... a nice and informal meal at Red Elephant and then a movie at the Miracle. PIZZA is what really drives me into the Elephant.
I highly recommend the meat lovers' special.... The best part is the crispy and smoky bacon that they add - and they do so without making the pizza bacon "greasy". It's crispy and meaty, but not greasy. Perfecto.
This road runs straight into the medieval-style façade of the Westcott Building/Ruby Diamond Auditorium. It is a commanding view which only gets better as you continue to approach the edifice. In front is the famous Florida State University gate with the fountain lodged between the two in the middle of a grand courtyard.
~ Tallahassee, Florida ~
Traveling through the hidden capital
From its origin in Jacksonville, Florida’s largest city, Interstate 10 takes a westward trek toward Tallahassee, the state’s capital city. As most of Florida’s population is concentrated along the coastal cities, the route between these two cities is actually heavily wooded and sparsely populated. In fact, shortly after leaving the western limits of Jacksonville, I-10 passes through the Osceola National Forest, although its boundaries are indiscernible to speeding motorists who just see mile after rather monotonous mile of trees for nearly the entire trip to Tallahassee. A little west of the national forest, on the northern fringe of Lake City, motorists pass through an important interchange with Interstate 75, the primary highway link between Florida and Atlanta. Despite this busy juncture, the landscape is still largely dense forests. Beyond I-75 though, occasional farms begin to break up the landscape, and something emerges that is not normally associated with Florida – small hills. As the highway makes its approach to Tallahassee, the hills become more pronounced. In fact, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel on the Northeast side of Tallahassee that was perched up on a hill well above the nearby interstate.
Unfortunately, I-10 only skirts along the northern edge of Tallahassee, so not much of the city is really visible from the highway. Some suburban businesses, sound walls, and a glassy office building (see photo above) dot the highway through town – nothing really noteworthy. Passing motorists will not see downtown, the state capitol building, and Florida State University. Instead, what little is visible quickly gives way again to expanses of hilly wilderness west of the city.
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