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Monday, June 5, 2017

A Day Late and An Elf Short

Well! We sure had a great visit in Memphis with our friend Wilma Davis. We ate some great vegan food at a couple of vegan friendly restaurants and paid a visit to our FAVORITE food truck EVER, Raw Girls. Came home with a cooler FULL of great Raw Girls stuffs!! So, let’s get on with all our foodstuffs and beyond.
Our trip had several purposes…first to visit Wilma, a dear friend who opened a Wild Birds, Unlimited here (our first and only) in 1991. Your Elf was working next door and dropped in during lunch most days. The intrigue of bird watching caught and fairly soon, we were working weekends at Wilma’s store. The friendship has lasted through the sale of the store and Wilma moving to Memphis to be close to her daughter and grandkids. So first and foremost, the trip was to honor that friendship. Second, Wilma generously GAVE your Elf a chaise lounge that we have coveted since we first lounged on it. No amount of insisting on payment would do…it was a gift. We had doubts whether it would fit into the Element…oh ye of little faith. It did.

Next up was always to visit Raw Girls Food Truck…it’s just an experience waiting to happen with tastes and deliciousness found in ‘raw’ foods. AND, to visit newly opened restaurants that are vegan friendly. We also went to a great seminar at the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs MS
on,YEP, SNAKES!! It was really very well spent two hours! More later. And finally, we went to the Memphis Italian Festival where your Elf found a vegan offering AND a friendly lion. And NO trip to Memphis is complete without a visit to Penzy’s Spices where we found something we didn’t have! So, without further ado, let’s talk food. For our first evening meal (we brought ‘daytime’ food), we went to Lyfe Kitchen…a fairly new and sleek cafe with outdoor seating not far from Wilma’s home. We had the Spicy Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps and Wilma had the Black Bean Burger. Note—Wilma is not a plant-based eater but is working to add more and more plants to her diet. She is always a good sport about trying new plant-based/vegan friendly restaurants with us. Since the weather was cooperating with a cool breeze and cloudy skies, we chose to eat outside. It was quite lovely and our Vietnamese Lettuce wrap was quite tasty.
That being said, it’s a bit dicey to wrap the Romaine leaves so we just piled the leaves full of the tofu based filling and ate away. It would also have been easier to load the leaves with the filling a bit less soupy.
The flavors were delicious. Wilma said she loved her Black Bean Burger and could not tell the difference between it and a regular meat burger. Another plus for Lyfe Kitchen is the dog-friendly patio. Very nice. For those of you interested in looking at this restaurant further, they have a Facebook page (under Lyfe Kitchen Memphis or just Lyfe Kitchen) and here is a link to their website.
OK—that was Thursday. On Friday, we were up and at ‘em with some nice mornin’ coffee time in Wilma’s wonderful back yard. As a Master Gardener, Wilma has made her backyard a haven for birds and people alike. And, she doesn’t have to MOW!
After our nice beginning, we shifted into ‘GO’ after Wilma completed some necessary errands. We went to the Memphis Italian Fest, ever-so thankful for the cooler temps and continued cloudy skies. After visiting all the booths, we found a place to have lunch that even offered a vegan option! Pasta and home made marinara sauce!! It was delicious…Wilma had Italian Spinach. It looked wonderful but has eggs and cheese, so not on our plate. Then we got a chance to sit with some friends in their food cooking booth and enjoy some sangria and people watch WHEN…we spotted a LION!! Your Elf got a s-elfie with the lion who is the mascot for nearby Cedar Hill Wild Animal Sanctuary.
They had a booth there to call attention to their mission of providing a lifetime home for abused wild animals.
We also enjoyed looking at some of the highly decorated booths the cooking teams have…they get really serious about the theme and the food!
Soon it was time for SUPPER and we went to City Silo…we think the most recent arrival on the vegan-friendly restaurant scene in the area.
It’s a terrific little place that also has a small pantry to purchase some good healthy stuffs.

We were pretty tired from a long day, so we opted to order ‘to-go’. Wilma ordered one of their great little salads. One of the cool things about this place is that you can order from their breakfast menu all day, so your Elf had a WONDERFUL dish called ‘The Hippie Scramble’, vegan version. O.M.G! Was this ever GOOD!! And there was enough left to have for ‘real’ breakfast the next day. Instead of eggs, the vegan version offered tempeh which was not only plentiful but also very well seasoned. A MOST tasty dish!!
City Silo WILL be on the rotation from here on out. They also have a Facebook page (City Silo, duh) and here is the link to their website.
As we left City Silo, staff there mentioned that we could find really good vegan desserts at a local bakery that was about 3 doors down. Well, we made a beeline for Muddy’s Bake Shop.
Wilma indulged in a piece of chocolate chess pie (not vegan) and your Elf got a vegan chocolate cupcake with peanut butter icing AND a vegan chocolate peanut butter bar. They had a vegan vanilla cupcake as well.
We LOVE when the baking community can make delicious plant based desserts!!
Saturday morning, we were up early to help Wilma’s daughter at a garage sale and then on to Holly Springs MS and the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center for our snake seminar. It was really a great learning experience for your Elf and was led by Shannon McGee who is has a veterinary practice in Collierville TN and is a highly respected herpetologist. Here he is holding a live corn snake for us to see and to understand that the snake is harmless.
In this next picture, he is holding another live snake for us to touch and see but the scene stealer is his daughter who is absolutely fearless when it comes to snakes.
Our favorite stop of the day was Raw Girls Food Truck…WE LOVE THIS FOOD!!
And we even brought a cooler to stock up! Here’s what we walked away with.Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Basil

Chopped Thai Salad
Live Burger
Vegan Indian Curry Vegetable Dalh
Famous Taco Salad
Mung Bean Pasta
and finally, Blackberry, Blueberry and Raspberry cobbler.
And, we might add, we got two of each to bring home and enjoy this week!
We had supper Saturday night at a local Mongolian stir-fry spot called Genghis Grill. Not even close to vegan, they do have vegan options for your stir-fry. We had a tofu stir fry with udon noodles. Wilma had shrimp with her stir-fry. It was close, we were tired and that was that! Other places we went were Aldi’s grocery store…not much there to interest a vegan. They have purportedly gone all organic for their produce; glad for that but we don’t particularly care for pre-wrapped produce.
And finally, we went to Penzey’s Spices where we found some interesting spices…Turkish Blend (sounds like tobacco; hope it doesn't taste like tobacco), Galangal powder and Berbere, which we have but always like to try different brands to see who has the best.
Early Sunday morning, your Elf busily loaded her cooler with the take from Raw Girls Food Truck.
Once fully packed, we piled into our chaise lounge loaded Element and barreled our way home. Today, we plowed into the Gazpacho for a mid-morning treat.
This stuff is so good, it makes you weep; we could have eaten the entire container. And for lunch, we had the Falafel. This is the pre-wrap version and much easier to wrap than Romaine.
The flavors of these raw and raw-ish foods are unbelievably good! It’s no wonder that Raw Girls now has two trucks at two locations!! The Elf needs to learn how to make some of these. Raw Girls also has a Facebook page and the link to their website is
Well, this blog was quite the adventure!! We so enjoyed writing it.

So, until we meet again, always remember to Look for the GOOD, be an EXAMPLE of the GOOD, and ACT for the GOOD as HARD as you can, in as MANY WAYS as you can, EVERY DAY that you can. In other words, “DO EPIC”!

Your Elf

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