“And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.”
“May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”
This is just one of many Irish blessings that can be found surreptitiously placed in Ed Riley’s “new baby” Mo’Cara. Many of you have probably already sampled some of Ed’s culinary creations, as he has operated his catering service, Two Fat Men, for over nine years. The concept and goal of Mo’Cara, which translates to “my friend” in Gaelic, is to bring fine Southern-influenced food, made from the freshest possible ingredients from local sources, whenever possible.
And even though many of his patrons who have a Southern heritage or an Irish heritage (or BOTH as I do) might recognize many of his food offerings by name, Ed says, his won’t look like what our mothers cooked.
I asked Ed where the origins of his culinary skills sprung from, expecting him to talk about days spent in the kitchen with a grandmother or something
similar. His response with a wry smile on his face was, simply “hunger”. And that is a good enough motivator for anyone to come try some of Ed’s delicious creations. And seriously, if you come to Mo’Cara’s, you better come hungry!
I have already sampled several things on the menu, and the majority has been listed as “Starters”, but a couple of Ed’s starters constitute a full meal! The first things I ever tried were the Deviled Eggs. There are six of these served in three unique ways, each very delicious. His Southern Egg Roll is very unique as well. It is homemade and stuffed with collard greens, chicken, smoked corn, julienne onions, and local Kenny’s Farmhouse white cheddar cheese, with some peach mango salsa, roasted red pepper sauce and spicy mustard. His Bonnie Blue Fried Goat Cheese is not to be missed.
Ed’s “Sides” are also something I have to write about. I love mushrooms and I love root beer (IBC cold in the bottle is the best), and Ed combines these two in his one-of-akind Root Beer glazed mushrooms. His corn casserole is incredible, with just the right kick provided by the jalapenos that are present. And many are already raving about his fried mac and cheese, but I think I like his “One of a Kind Mac and Cheese” even better. It is horseradish havarti mac and cheese topped with Benton’s bacon. And for those who do not know or have never tasted Benton’s bacon, you are in for a real treat. Allan Benton is a farmer in East Tennessee who used to drive around in his pick-up truck peddling his bacon and hams. He got his “big break” when the chef at Blackberry Farms (consistently one of the top-rated bed and breakfasts in the U.S.) discovered his unique and delicious smoked bacon. My nephew Matt Gallaher, an accomplished chef who got his start at Blackberry Farms and is now the Executive Chef for Governor Haslam and his wife, told me that now ALL the top chefs from New York to Los Angeles use Benton’s bacon. My nephew still talks to Allan (he insists that my nephew call him by his first name) every few weeks. On one of their last conversations Allan told him that he answered his cell phone, and Bobby Flay was on the other end praising his product and asking how he could get more!
As for the “Supper” items, people are already talking about Mo’Cara’s Meatloaf with fried mac and cheese as well as the blue corn dusted catfish. Ed’s country fried steak is made like no other. It is prepared sous vide, which literally means cooking under vacuum, but actually means low pressure cooking. And low and slow it is because Ed will slow cook it in this manner for 48 hours before it is breaded and pan fried … hungry yet??? And if you want to try any of the dinner items mentioned so far, don’t hesitate very long because Ed plans on having an ever-changing menu, depending on what is fresh and in season. I cannot wait for strawberries to start coming in because Ed promised a dish of blackened scallops with a strawberry jam/balsamic reduction.
I haven’t even talked about one of my favorite things about Mo’Cara, and that is the atmosphere and decor. When you enter, you will see a beautiful mahogany-finished bar with a black quartz bar top. You can sidle up to the bar, and you will promptly be greeted by Scott, who is very friendly and very knowledgeable in ALL your food and drink options. But if you would rather dine at your own table, then you will be escorted into the main dining room with its exposed brick and beautiful decor.
Mo’Cara is open 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They also hope to eventually be open for lunch. And I cannot wait for their outdoor covered patio to open as well (which probably is there by the time you read this). I will end my writing with another Irish blessing; this one I found printed on the back of my menu.
May the sun shine, all day long,
Everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
And may all the wishes you wish come true!
It’s berry season in Tennessee! A very, very happy time around our home. There’s a six-week period when most every meal involves strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. These recipes are highly adaptable – feel free to substitute your favorite berries or the freshest picks from the farmers market.
Strawberry Surprise Salad
1-6 ounce package spring mix
½ mango, pitted and cut into chunks
Strawberries, hulled and cut into slices
4 ounces crumbled bleu cheese
Spiced pecans (recipe follows)
Strawberry vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Combine spring mix, mangoes, strawberries, bleu cheese and pecans in a large salad bowl. Gently toss with strawberry vinaigrette.
3 Tablespoons strawberry preserves (You may substitute blackberry, blueberry or raspberry preserves)
2 Tablespoons vinegar of your choice (Champagne, Balsamic, or Apple Cider)
6 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk together strawberry preserves, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Add olive oil and whisk until the mixture emulsifies.
1 egg white, beaten
2 cups pecan halves
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350°. Add pecans to beaten egg white. Stir until evenly coated. Stir together sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Stir into pecan mixture until evenly coated. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick vegetable oil. Spread pecans in a single layer. Bake at 350° for 15- 20 minutes or until pecans are toasted. Cool on a baking rack until pecans are room temperature. May be stored in an airtight container for 5 days.
Angel Food Cake with Lemon Filling and Berries
1 angel food cake, sliced into 3 layers
2 – 8 ounce containers of whipped topping, thawed
1 – 3.4 ounce package of instant lemon pudding & pie filling
Seasonal berries of choice
Whisk dry lemon pudding mix and whipped topping in a small bowl. Place the first cake layers on a serving stand. Spread lemon topping mixture on the layer and top with berries. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third layer on top and spread lemon topping. Arrange berries on the top layer in any design you choose. Refrigerate for an hour or until ready to serve.
Do you have a favorite recipe to share with Wilson Living readers? Send your original, unpublished recipes to Stacey@wilsonlivingmagazine.com
By ROY W. HARRIS
My first basketball memory drifts back to the playground at Washington Elementary School. The paved playground, metal backboard and faded netless rim drew me like a moth to a flame. The challenge of shooting the ball through that hoop was one that grew quickly. I didn’t know much about the game, but I did know that I enjoyed it and wanted to learn more.
My second memory moved off the playground onto the hardwood floor. While shooting baskets during lunch time one day I was encouraged by Mr. Leonard, the elementary school basketball coach, to try out for the basketball team. To my surprise, I made the team. I remember receiving my uniform and wearing the yellow and blue warm up shirt to class all afternoon even though I was about to die from the heat. I didn’t take it off till I arrived home after school.
Basketball was my first love. Fortunately I had a coach who loved the game for the game itself. There was purity for the game that he instilled deep within me during those early days. Thanks again Mr. Leonard. I went on to play middle school, high school and college basketball, and those basic principles formed a prism through which I came to view all sports.
With March Madness having ended, a new NCAA national champion crowned, the NBA playoffs just over the horizon, basketball is fresh on many sports fans’ minds. Sports, in a way, are a snapshot of who we are. I know the good old days were never quite as good as our filtered minds remember, but I believe good old day principles never go out of style. Here are a few basketball principles that also play well in the game of life.
Good Sportsmanship – I remember hearing my coaches say the most important thing is not if you win or lose but how you play the game. We worked hard in practice and were taught to play hard and give it our all every minute of the game. We were also taught to appreciate the good play of our teammates and the opposing team. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a whole lot more fun winning than losing, and I’d much rather be at the top of the conference than in the cellar, but the emphasis on winning has become more important than appreciating the joy of the game. I’m troubled by those who try to take a shortcut to success by introducing performance enhancing drugs into the final score or those who try to get an advantage by unethically or illegally obtaining the other team’s plans. We were taught that we should be gracious winners and good losers.
Deportment – Deportment is an old word that deserves a new look. How you behaved on the court, how you looked and what you did off the court mattered. It’s a bit troubling to see the lack of good deportment on the court. You never chided or made light of your opponent’s mistakes (although you did your best to take advantage of them). Often you see jawing going on between players which sometimes escalates into open brawling. Once upon a time there was a warning then a technical foul if things like that persisted. If you played hard you or your opponent would eventually end up on the floor. You always helped an opponent to his feet, and you were concerned that he might be injured. In most college and pro games today, one only helps his teammate up from a fall and never an opponent. The goal seems now to dominate your opponent in every way. This is illustrated by what I call the Emancipation & Intimidation factor.
The look of the player matters. Many players now sport bookend tattoos covering most of both arms. The college players imitate the pro players. In my ever so humble opinion, I believe this is a statement by the individual player that it matters little what others think, he has freedom to do what he pleases. I think the goal is to try to intimidate the opposing players. This is America, and people are free to look and be whatever they want to be. However, I do think that since the emancipation & intimidation factor has entered the game, that the game has taken a step backwards.
Teamwork – Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Dr. J., Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are only a few on a list too long to name who generate visions of champions and success. Although each man was very unique each made his team better. Our coaches taught us that you are never bigger than the team. There are some sports which focus on individual achievement, golf for instance. But isn’t it amazing when the Rider Cup matches with the Europeans roles around every other year, how individual performance is measured by team success. Those individuals like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods become part of something bigger than themselves. I learned to pass the ball to the open man who had the best chance to make the shot. I learned to wait for my teammates on a fast break when we didn’t have the numbers and to pull the ball out and until the odds evened up. Emphasis now is on the franchise player. Who is the guy who will win us a championship?
No man wins a championship. Teams win championships. A guy or gal should be careful about thinking the sun rises and sets on his/her ability as a player. A truly good player makes those around him better.
By Erin Brown
I’m so excited to share with you my beauty picks for this summer! This issue is fully dedicated to your skin, hair and all beautifying products!
I have my personal, ‘tried and tested’ fave beauty picks starred with a pink star that you can’t miss. The rest of the products featured, were selected by topbeauty professionals in the area.
And, because some of my friends have the most sublime skin, I have included the products they rave about.
I hope you enjoy this issue and pick up some products to try for yourself…Run by the listed vendors for a sample! I’m sure they wouldn’t mind and it’s fun to try the newest in skincare or hair products for yourself, before you buy!
Have an awesome summer and even when driving around town, don’t forget the SPF!
You can contact Erin at email@example.com
By SUE SIENS
If you have a stopped up drainpipe or leaky plumbing, you call a plumber, right? Well, maybe you should call a specialist … especially if the plumbing is in you!
Since 1989, Dr. Charles Gill has been diagnosing and treating urological disorders, serving thousands of patients in Wilson County and surrounding Middle Tennessee. Urology is the medical field dedicated to the treatment of disorders related to the kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, ureters, urethra and male reproductive organs.
Urology also includes surgery and treatment of various related cancers including prostate, bladder and testicular cancer. As Dr. Gill explained, “Your urinary tract is much like plumbing with pumps, filters and tubing. Your kidneys filter and cleanse the blood, producing a waste product, which flows through the ureters into the bladder, and then it is pumped out as urine. It’s your body’s natural way of getting rid of toxins and waste. When there is an obstruction like a kidney stone, infection or other disease in the organs, that’s when the patient begins experiencing problems.”
“Sometimes our patients might be reluctant to seek treatment or discuss these issues because of the personal and private nature of their problems,” said Dr. Gill. “We are aware of their sensitivity and treat them with respect and discretion,” he added. Some of the more common related disorders treated are kidney stones, kidney and bladder infections, incontinence, overactive bladder, enlarged prostate and prostate cancer, male infertility and sexual health. “More adults are enjoying healthy, more active lifestyles at all ages. Thankfully, public education and advertisement of available drug therapies has encouraged many people to seek beneficial treatment,” he stated. Dr. Gill believes health education is important. He regularly speaks at senior citizens centers, community groups and on local WANT radio.
Dr. Gill is the only board-certified urologist based in Wilson County, with offices located in front of University Medical Center. There you will be greeted by Dr. Gill’s warm smile and treated with his kind, compassionate manner. Dr. Gill and his 29 partners in Urology Associates, Tennessee’s largest group practice of urologists, treat patients at several area Middle Tennessee healthcare centers, including Summit Medical Center. Urology Associates also operates a state-of-the art diagnostic and outpatient surgery center in Nashville. Dr. Gill has previously served as Chief of Surgery and Chief of the Medical Staff at University Medical Center, where he regularly performs surgery and consults with patients. He is a member of numerous medical and professional associations.
A Middle Tennessee native, Dr. Gill graduated from Vanderbilt University with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in both English and Biology. He earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency at St. Louis University. Gill remarked, “I always enjoyed Science and English. I thought about going into law, but I was drawn more to medicine.”
That should be no surprise. He joined a family tradition, with uncles, a great-grandfather and his father being physicians. Dr. Gill is a “junior”, that is, he is the second Charles A. Gill, M.D. in the family, the senior being his father, who retired after serving many years as an OB/ GYN physician in Nashville.
By Randy Rudder
Unconventional Facility in Mt. Juliet Offers ‘Functional Training’
In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses to lead his people out of Egypt. After Moses offers up a series of excuses as to why he is not qualified, including a lack of resources, God asked, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses answered, “A rod.” Later, with the Egyptian army hot on his heels, Moses stretched that same rod across the Red Sea and parted it. The message and metaphor are clear: use what you have at your disposal and more will be given to you.
Crystal Kensinger, co-owner of Re:MOVE Training on Nonaville Road in Mt. Juliet, is the quintessential example of making use of what you have. The personal trainer always had a vision to have her own training business but had few or no resources when she began. So she started offering exercise classes outside an apartment building. “The business started in a parking lot where I did boot camps. We trained in the wind and in the rain, and one time we even worked out in a thunder and lightning storm. We were pretty hard core,” she said. “I’ve used curbs and steps and picnic benches to do our workouts — whatever was available,” she explained. “Pretty soon, the business grew, and we had so many clients that we were filling up the parking lots, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, we have to find a home.’”
That home recently became 200 Nonaville Road where Re:MOVE is located on the back half of the office building. “I’ve been in the business for about seven years. I worked in a corporate setting, I worked at a Gold’s Gym for several years, I worked at a private training center downtown, and I worked for Del Webb, working with the elderly. I also did some one-on-one training with couples, training them at home, but this style of training is what I’ve always loved.”
“This style” is a type of training that is sometimes referred to as “functional training” and includes everything from turning over 250-pound tires to putting ropes around clients and having them pull each other around the gym. The approach combines cardiovascular training, strength training, flexibility and rehab.
“It’s not the kind of facility where you come in and put your headphones on, and just tune the world out. The group classes we have are very interactive and supportive. It’s more like a family than a work-out facility,” she said. “Some of our clients were pretty large people when they first came, and nobody will shy away from them or anything. Everyone will just walk up and introduce themselves right away and make them feel at home.”
By BECKY ANDREWS
One afternoon in June of 2011 something that felt like a sledge hammer hit Captain Jason Gray as he sat at his desk reviewing incident reports, something he had been doing since 1998 when he took a position with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department. “Everything inside my head shook. It didn’t really hurt but everything seemed to change for me after that.” Jason says with a serious tone followed by a laugh.
It’s a Monday morning when Jason and his wife, Danielle begin telling me about the day they found out Jason, a strong, healthy husband and father of two, survived five strokes.
When Jason talks about it you would never guess that he’s had any medical issues. As his wife puts it, ‘He’s just as annoying now as he was before the strokes.’ She’s kidding of course. Jason and Danielle have one of those marriages that is made stronger with laughter. And it’s that laughter that helped sustain them both during a period of time filled with tests, doctor visits, little sleep, hospital stays and finally a diagnosis. While they were thrilled to finally have answers, the diagnosis also meant the beginning of another season of life filled with more questions.
It was June of last year when Jason had the ‘sledgehammer’ moment while sitting in this office. Later that afternoon he called Danielle and said he was going to the emergency room. “Because he’s always joking around, I ignored what he said and started telling him about something else.” Danielle says. So Jason went home and the following week decided to make an appointment with Ophthalmologist, Dr. Wayne Boles to discuss his vision. When Dr. Boles suggested a prescription for glasses, Jason told him that his vision wasn’t just blurry but he was missing vision. Dr. Boles scheduled what would be the first of many tests. When this test revealed that Jason’s vision was being blocked from the brain, Dr. Boles immediately sent Jason to University Medical Center in Lebanon for an MRI.
After the MRI, Jason and Danielle went home to wait for the results. At 11 pm that night, Dr. Boles called and informed Jason that the MRI showed he had a stroke and that was the reason behind his vision loss. “We were in shock! I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.” Danielle said while squeezing her husband’s hand. Jason was referred to a Neurologist but when they went to the appointment the doctor said Jason needed to see someone who was a specialist in MS. Shaking his head Jason says,
“We didn’t know what to say. Did I have a stroke or not?” Danielle jumps in, “Now we were convinced he had MS. So the next day we went to our family physician, Dr. Sorrels.” Sorrells started a panel of tests used to diagnose Multiple Sclerosis. He also ordered additional tests on Jason’s heart.