A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to Sips and Vittles of the Modern South: A is for Abita #AtoZChallenge

healthy living-1

Honestly, I think the Blogging from A to Z Challenge is the Devil.  Every year at the end of March it lures me in with its sweet words and easy promises and every year I leap from the bridge of common sense into the blog bog with high hopes and good intentions, only to flop miserably around the letter M, crushed motionless (see what I did there?!) by time and responsibilities.

“This year shall be different,” I say! (yeah, I really don’t believe me either).

I do actually tremendously enjoy the theme I {attempt} to write each year through my alter-ego, “The Hellacious Belle,” regarding A – Z topics on life in the Modern South.  This year, I’ll gonna try to shepherd you through a maze of materials of which I possess a tad bit o’ knowledge:  Food and Drink (or, Sips and Vittles, as I’ve so dubbed them).

Allons-y: the Letter A!


A is for Abita Turbodog Beer

Quite a long time before swanky craft beers and artisan gastropubs were a way of everyday life in the Deep South, there was Abita.

Abita Brewing Company was founded just outside of New Orleans in 1986 and quickly became the go-to-brew of my panhellenic party peeps during my early collegiate days at the University of South Alabama.

To be transparent, I’ve never been much of a beer gal.  I’ll enjoy a “canoe” beer (WARNING: Adult Content in the link), like Coors Light or Amstel, while sunning at the pool or fishing (it’s actually fairly de rigueur in these parts) but a hearty, heady, hoppy half-pint never much floated my boat.

That is, with the exception of Abita’s finest (IMHO) the legendary Turbodog.


And don’t ask me why, because I can’t tell you.

I just find this beer pretty damn tasty.  Abita credits it to pale, caramel, and chocolate malts and Willamette hops giving the ol’ T-Dog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate, toffee-like flavor.

I credit it to memories of roadtrips with my sorority sibs, sunny Gulf beaches, barbeques and boating, captured through a glorious, golden Instagram filter of happiness.

Here’s raising a glass to one of my favorite pups!

(And for you brave culinary adventurers, a recipe from Abita’s Website for Turbodog Barbequed Alligator Legs)

Chef Greg Collier – Red Fish Grill

Makes 6 appetizer portions

The Alligator Legs

1 gallon water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon liquid crab boil
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
5 pounds alligator legs, skinned

Combine the water, salt, onion, crab boil and Creole seasoning in a large, heavy pot over medium heat.  Bring to a gentle boil, add the alligator legs and simmer until the meat begins to fall off the bone.  Drain and pick the meat off the bones.  Set aside.

The Barbecue Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 ounces Abita Turbodog (3/8 cup)
9 ounces ketchup (1 1/8 cup)
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Crystal hot sauce (or other hot sauce)
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until they are soft, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to an electric blender and puree.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the alligator meat with the barbecue sauce and arrange in a baking pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.
Serve warm.

Note:  In Louisiana some specialty markets and supermarkets carry alligator meat.  Alligator legs and meat are also available at http://www.nafood.com






14 thoughts on “A Hellacious Belle’s Guide to Sips and Vittles of the Modern South: A is for Abita #AtoZChallenge

    • I am having a hellacious time leaving comments for some reason – just left your page and I’m not sure it my post made it! Great to see you Barbara! Look forward to reading your posts again!


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