The Better Metter Redder Hatters gathered at our local pizza joint just a few hours ago....well, it's been 5 hrs. We had a really good time. We celebrated our 1st Birthday as a group. One of the ladies had taken little clay pots, painted them red, adorned them with jewels and inverted the bottom tray, also painted and bejeweled, on top of the clay pot, creating a "cupcake"! Everyone was able to take one home and use it as a flower pot...after removing the top "cake" of the "cupcake" and putting it back on the bottom of the pot to collect the excess water from the plant. We also played a few games. We took our name "Better Metter Redder Hatters" and created as many words as we could with the letters (I won this game and received a door prize, a Red Hat Notecard set!) We also did the game where we look at a tray of objects for a few minutes and then after the tray is taken away, list as many items as we can remember - I have never liked this game...maybe because I forget everything I saw! ha ha! And we also "guessed how many beans are in the jar". And the fourth door prize went to whomever was sitting in the chair that had previously been "marked" with a sticker. Guess who was sitting in that chair? Yep...ME! So I won two prizes, but I decided to share the joy and gave the towel and oven mitt gift back so that we could draw names for it. Ironically, I originally didn't sit in this chair when I first sat down. I had sat at the other end of the table with "Lady Luanne", but as a lot of the ladies seemed to be at the other end of the table, I told Lady Luanne to come move down to the other end of the table. So I just happened to sit in the next available chair that unbeknownst to me was a winning chair! We had a great time at our local pizza place.
However, Countess Cleo, who also happens to be my neighbor, got a call from her granddaughter who works at the local barbeque restaurant. Apparently "The Food Network" was filming over there! So after dinner at "Village Pizza", we decided to have dessert over at "Jomax"! We walked in 15 minutes before closing time, all dressed up in our red hats (pink in my case, of course) and there were very few people there eating. However, we did find Alton Brown and his crew at a table and we sat down behind them! It didn't take long before we had him up taking a group shot with us and some of the ladies were mercilessly flirting with him and his french photographer, whose name I only remember was Jean Claude. Alton sat at the head of our table and 'broke bread', as he put it, with us. He was getting his first taste of a local recipe "Chewy Bread", or some call it "Chewy Cake", and decided we should all taste it together and give our opinions of it. When he sat down, his camera crew suddenly jumped up from the table where they were eating, grabbed their cameras and the microphone "bunny" (I'm sorry, but I always think of it as a bunny with all that fur!) and began rolling! We analyzed the Chewy Bread,noticing that there was coconut in this batch. Many of us do not include coconut in our Chewy Bread recipes, so someone said "There's no coconut in it." To which Alton said that there was coconut in this bread. "Are you sure it's coconut?" Alton kinda threw his head down on the table in exasperation and awe that someone should even SUGGEST that he didn't know what coconut looked like! We all laughed and agreed that there WAS coconut in THIS batch of Chewy Bread. So he asked, "Since you don't normally include coconut in the recipe, is it still "Chewy Bread" if there is coconut in it?" To which I said "Oh yes, it's still Chewy Bread". He really made the "Chewy Bread" into interview material and just used it to create some potential filler for his show. There was lots of laughter and fun, and I found Alton Brown to be completely down-to-earth and personable.
His photographer grabbed a few candid shots of me and some of the other Red Hatters...what he will do with those shots I wouldn't know. One of our Red Hatters seemed completely smitten with Jean Claude and flirted with him constantly. When she discovered he was from France all she could say was "Wee Wee!" the rest of the night! ha ha! Sitting beside her as she fanned herself, and dabbed at her moist face, I couldn't determine if she was really all hot and bothered by him or if she was having a hot flash!
After our impromptu television debut was ended, our Queen Mother was asked to sign her name and number on a form should they need to contact each of us to sign releases...woo hoo! Who knows...maybe one day soon you'll see us on a Food Network episode near you!
One particularly funny moment (though there were many) was when most of us were standing with Alton Brown for a group picture. One of the Red Hatters stood in front of us prepared to take the picture of all of us, but it suddenly dawned on her that she wanted to be in the picture, too! So she was trying to pass the camera off to someone else to take the picture. She tried to give it to me, but I was already beside Alton and I wasn't moving! She finally did get into the group shot, only I think she passed her camera to one of us who was standing waiting for our picture to be taken! There we were, all standing together posing for a picture, looking at his cameras rolling in front of us, when Alton suddenly exclaims "Wait a minute! WHO'S taking the picture???" There's noone in front of us to take a picture! We're posing in front of the moving cameras, the film cameras, but there's no STILL CAMERA in front of us ready to snap a picture! Jean Claude jumped forward and was going to take pictures with his camera, when at least two or three of our ladies' digital cameras were shoved forward for him to take pictures with them, too! It just struck me as hilarious as I remember us all standing posing in front of the rolling cameras, oblivious to the fact that there was noone standing there to take any snapshots! I still chuckle thinking about it.
All in all, it was one of the most memorable gatherings we've had. Alton Brown was kind enough to give me an autograph and hubby suggested that I take it and a picture of us all and frame it. I think I just might!
Oh, and I'd share a picture of us all, but I'm not sure about the legalities of it yet...I don't know if I'm allowed to post a picture of Alton Brown. Just as soon as I get permission, I'll share the pic!
Updated May 9, 2006 - I haven't heard from anyone, so I'm posting the pic...Maybe then someone will respond...please don't sue me! We love Alton Brown!
BTW, I believe July 29th on the Food Network is when Alton Brown's visit to JOMAX in Metter, GA will be broadcast. You just might catch us Red(and Pink!) Hatter's on there, too!