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Especially when it comes at 4:50 a.m. It is clear to me that riding 102 miles on a bike today is perhaps not the best use of my time and/or buttocks.

Hope no one gets flattened today.

It’s the first Tour of Richmond and I’m on it. A different sort of tour than I usually do on a Saturday with Real Richmond–Food Tours & More. Gummy Bears and pretzels really can’t compete with what our Shockoe Bottom/Church Hill food tourists will get today from 2113, Globehopper, C’est Le Vin, Tio Pablo and Station 2. Damn. Good thing I hand-crafted trail mix for the ride last night.

Now that a partner and I have started  REAL RICHMOND, bringing food tours (and more–just you wait) to yummy Richmond, VA, it might make sense for me to impress upon you how much of a foodie I really am. 

Perhaps I should take photos of the contents of my refrigerator or the fresh produce rotting on my kitchen counter or the kitchen garden overrun by the neighbor’s feral cat colony.  If you’re a loyal reader, you know you don’t want to see what’s under my stove though it’s much cleaner than it was before the floor refinishing guy needed the high voltage plug there last month.

So what’s a fake foodie to do? Impress you with my latest baking feat. For the pal who designed Real Richmond’s so cool logo, I baked a six layer version of Thalhimer’s yellow cake with chocolate icing. 

Dig In! Get it?

I’d give you the recipe, but the icing recipe was all wrong and only turned out ok after extreme husband intervention.  The thing looked impressive, weighed more than me, and tasted damned good. It’s too bad it is poison. I was happy to see the leftovers go out the door. Something weird has happened to me.

Still, my tastebuds are particular enough that it occurred to me as I was concocting my latest batch of trail mix (lightly salted cashews, Craisins, and Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips), that I can tell the difference between the trail mix I painstakingly mix in a plastic baggie and leave on the counter and the trail mix I mix in my mouth. Chucking cashews, chocolate chips and Craisins a couple (or handful) at a time into my mouth when I’m in a rush for a rush just doesn’t pass muster.  Don’t worry–I won’t be offering samples of that on a food tour.

The floor refinishers needed a 220 outlet to plug in the floor sander, so the hunt began. The very hung-over guy tasked with plugging in the machine dismissed the plug behind my dryer–too hard to get to–and instead wanted to know where my stove was.  I cringed because though I know it isn’t all that hard to move the stove out from the wall, it gets done approximately once a decade, so I knew the floor beneath my stove would bring me down–kind of the opposite effect of the wind beneath my wings though actually that song brings me down, too. But I digress.  The guy with the phlegmy, hacking cough taught me something that morning–there’s no need to move the stove. Turns out the oven drawer can be removed quite easily, exposing both the 220 outlet and the detritus of my life.  Who knew it was that easy?

With trepidation I got down on the floor to inspect the scene–more chocolate than you would think I would’ve let get away. The theme was surprisingly outdoorsy–a combination of  trail mix and dust bunnies too laden with grease to hop far. It was interesting to note (and almost thrilling to clean up) that health food doesn’t live under the stove–it died there. It belongs in the great outdoors or in my mouth. I am happy (ok–bursting with pride is more accurate) to report that no insects or animals were spotted, and two cake pans long assumed lost in the wild reappeared. I know I’m a bit of a braggart.

I’m back!