Simply Varnell

Living Life Left-Handed in The 'Sip

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Serving Up Quinoa Burgers and Smith County Watermelon

A little over a year ago I went vegetarian. It happened sort of accidentally but became a permanent lifestyle change nonetheless. It’s odd to think that I’ve had no meat, seafood, fish, etc. for this long.

It’s even odder that I’ve not lost an ounce of weight from eating healthy either. I’m probably the first fat vegetarian known to man, but that’s okay because I like being first.

A Meatless July 4th

This wasn’t the first 4th of July I’ve had as a vegetarian although it’s the first one I thought I’d try some sort of “burger” on the grill for our celebratory meal. I guess the World Cup has added to my patriotism of  all things American and I wasn’t going to be denied grillin’ something on 7/4.

Enter the red quinoa zucchini burger. I subscribe to Vegetarian Times (you should too if you’re vegetarian or vegan) and it’s always full of great recipes and I found the “burger” recipe in the latest edition. I’ll list the ingredients below, but the original recipe can be found here.

As with any recipe I try, I never follow it exactly. For better or worse, I just have to piddle with the ingredients. If you decide to try them and want to know how I altered the recipe, just give me a shout out and I’ll let you know. They actually ended up being really tasty and I’m sure I’ll make them again and make even more changes to the changes of the original recipe.

Red Quinoa Zucchini Burgers

Red Quinoa Zucchini Burgers


July 4th Vegetarian Meal


What 4th of July meal would be complete without watermelon. Back in the day, we always used to spike a watermelon but I have reached the age where heat, vodka and watermelon don’t mix. If you’ve never tried one, here’s how we did it.

Spiked Watermelon

  • 1 – watermelon
  • 1 – 5th vodka

Cut a circular hole in side of the watermelon just large enough for the top of the vodka bottle and deep enough to reach the red portion of the melon. Open the bottle of vodka and turn it upside down pushing the top of the bottle down into the hole you cut. Place the watermelon in a deep cooler of ice or in the refrigerator. Let sit overnight and prepare to get waylaid when you cut into it the next day. Simply tasty and refreshing.

Smith County Watermelons

Now back to our tame version. There is no watermelon better than those that  come out of Smith County, Mississippi.  Ours came from Brenda’s Produce at the ORIGINAL Jackson Farmer’s Market. That’s the one at the corner of West and Woodrow Wilson. Brenda Langham and Doris Berry have had their stands there for as long as I can remember and you can’t go wrong with anything you buy from either one of these fine ladies.

Smith County Watermelon

With crazy-ass green bird Lola’s help, we made short work of this delicious melon. On second thought, perhaps I should have spiked it. Would have served that bird right for all the meanness she dishes out.

Hope all of you had a great 4th. Until next time, bon apegreenbird!



Enjoying July 4th and 2014 World Cup

Old Glory

Whew, it took me a while to make it to Skanksville but it does appear I finally made it. I’m resting up from the long trip by thanking old Tommy Jefferson and friends for getting us away from those uptight Brits and allowing me to have a day off to celebrate. In addition to enjoying some cold bud light, I’m watching the 2014 Fifa World Cup.

I’ve never been a soccer fan. That is, until now. My friends Diego and Marshall have gone on for years about the greatness and beauty of the game and I have only muttered to myself, “What idiots.” When somebody says the word football, I say “hotty toddy” or “go Pack!”

I am not cognizant of when or where it happened, but I have been totally obsessed with this year’s World Cup. Although the United States is no longer in competition, I am much relieved that England isn’t either, seeing as it’s the 4th of July and all. I knew hardly anything about this other futbol folks talked about. Thanks to Diego and Marshall, I have been in on-the-fan-training and they’ve been great at explaining this version of futbol to me. Of course, they have no idea I was calling them idiots under my breath either.

I’ve watched every game, but have had one major complaint throughout; those fake-ass falls and claims of injury. I kept thinking surely I’m not alone when, low and behold, Rick Cleveland penned a story about that very topic in today’s Clarion Liar. He calls it “flopping” and I think it’s the one thing that keeps me from really adding soccer to my list of favorite sports. These grown men who consider themselves athletes fall and flail about from another player’s tailwind just blowing by. That’s why this game will always be considered “soccer” and not “football.” Football isn’t for sissies, while it appears soccer does allow drama queens to play.

Happy 4th of July and Go Brazil!

Gif by Sparrow667

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