Muskrat delayed: A Delmarva culinary lesson learned

While I do like to eat muskrat, I might like telling people that I eat muskrat nearly as much and sharing my muskrat adventures most of all. Friday night I declared a (fairly spontaneous) Varmint Fest, which is to say I wanted to arrange to go out to a muskrat dinner. There are only small pockets of places that serve this delicacy and the Delmarva Peninsula is one of them. The simple reason is that they

The best kind of alcohol tasting tour

The best part of trying different brands of alcohol at trade shows is that it gives you a chance to taste things you normally might not try. The first time I learned that tequila can be its own drink was from a guy at a trade show. I actually spoke with him this week, but failed to get his name. He’s been hawking tequila for decades and was on his third or fourth brand. This year

(Last) Week in Review

  In addition to posting this weekly, I’m going to start an email newsletter so you can stay in touch and eventually I can trick you into buying one of my books. If you’re interested in any of that, click here. Last week was a busy enough week that I couldn’t get the roundup posted Friday, but I’ll bring you up to speed quick: I got trolled by some beer people, changed one of our

Podcasting for public radio and mostly not vanity

Podcasting for public radio is something I do as much because I the medium as anything else. I do three podcasts each week: One on beer, one on writing and one on culture (insofar as it differs from beer and writing). The writers podcast, “So What’s Your Story” recently was added to the local public radio station as a “proper” show. I can’t tell you how excited this makes me. Public Radio is the only institution

My public restroom obsession

The last time I had a fast food hamburger was in Fuddrucker’s in the 1990s. My kids called it “Funrucker’s” so I did as well. On inside marketing material the chain referred to itself as “Fudd’s” way back in the beginning of corporate self-nicknaming. Even if you’re not familiar with the place, you’re familiar with the concept, the high-end McDonald’s knockoff. Diners order from the counter, wait for their order and schlep along a Fixin’s-style bar, piling

Imagining The Ramble in real life

While it’s not a full blown tragedy, it was a little unfortunate that the threatening weather prevented some people from attending the Ramble Festival this weekend in Laurel. The festival wasn’t just a fun fall event, although it was a fun fall event. Rather it was a kind of a physical thought experiment that invited attendees to imagine a future downtown Laurel. The future Laurel it suggested was more than just a retail haven, although

Blades resident overcomes adversity, gives back to fellow single mothers

In the 1940s, Helen E. Young was a single mother and a seventh grade dropout. Last year, the Blades resident endowed a $50,000 scholarship for single mothers at Coppin University. In the intervening decades she put it a lot of hard work, raising six sons and overcoming the handicaps of segregation and a secret disability. Born in 1932, by the time she was old enough to recognize hard times the Great Depression nearly was over,

‘I knew when I was in the 8th Grade that I wanted to be a Trooper’

Captain Sherri Benson of the Delaware State Police poses  with a photo of her grandfather, Harry Howard, and the  Laurel police officers he worked with in the 1960s.  Benson, who retires this year was inspired by him to  become a state trooper. Photo by Tony Russo In the mid 1980s, when Capt. Sherri Benson’s career with the Delaware State Police (DSP) began, women still weren’t common applicants. In fact, she was only one of three in her class that

Tech Talk evolves into community service at the Laurel Library

Libraries always have been centers of learning more than they have been repositories of knowledge. More than a place where a community keeps its books, libraries also attract people who want to help others get the most from their library experience. In the last few decades, that has come to include adding cultural and academic programs for child and adult learning. In more recent years the library’s mandate has come to include providing community access