The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Brittany Howard and Alabama Shakes

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Hello everybody and welcome back. I hope you enjoyed your Game of Thrones feast and that your favorite character is alive and that your least favorite character is dead.

This week we are going to change things up a little by reviewing a Netflix original and using a grill! Thanks for not calling me out on my bait and switch, suckers.

This entry will be the same idea – food, drinks, television and music tied together with a common theme – but the format will be slightly different. For this entry we will make the food first, watch television after dinner and then listen to some tunes with a night cap. Feel free to comment on the new format!

For this entry we are pairing the Netflix original program Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (2017) with soul/rock/R&B band Alabama Shakes. The theme is going to focus on women who are strong, both figuratively and literally.

Alright, let’s make a drink and start prepping some food! Well, either that or practice our body slams, figure fours and turnbuckle slams.

DINNER

Our friends Leslie, Alyssa and Joe joined us for this entry. Leslie brought a delicious fruit salad and a tasty dessert was provided by Alyssa. Here is a photo of the Gorgeous Ladies of West Columbus:

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Let’s start with the Liberty Bell Lemonade. GLOW character Liberty Bell is the All-American girl next door and most certainly drinks lemonade on hot summer days.

Liberty Bell Lemonade

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  • 1 container frozen lemonade
  • 1 lime
  • Ice
  • 1 bottle of Brut Champagne.

 

What to do:

  1. Fill pitcher or dispenser with ice
  2. Prepare lemonade according to label instructions and pour over ice
  3. Slowly pour champagne into dispenser
  4. Cut lime and add to dispenser
  5. Mix and serve

 

Megan ‘The Marauder’ Wetli’s Pesto Caprese Salad

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My wife’s go to wrestling move is asking a lot of questions. Whether the questions be about your day, your lunch, or your students, she will ask questions until you tap out. She is a formidable foe and her finishing move is called ‘The German Inquisition’.

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic peeled clove
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Fresh Roma or Summer Tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Cut tomatoes into slices
  2. Cut mozzarella into slices place on top of tomato slice
  3. Put remaining ingredient in blender and blend until you reach desired consistency
  4. Place pesto on top of mozzarella and serve
  5. Top with salt and pepper

Garden Pasta Salad

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  • 1 lb tortellini – I use Buitoni.
  • 10 0z grape tomatoes
  • 1 half red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced black olives
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup Italian dressing

What to do:

  1. Boil and strain tortellini
  2. Cut tomatoes in half
  3. Dice red onion
  4. Strain black olives (you can use the same strainer the tortellini currently occupy)
  5. Slice cucumbers
  6. Add vegetables and tortellini to large bowl
  7. Add dressing
  8. Stir and refrigerate 2 hours before serving

Grilled Zucchini, Cucumbers and Squash

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  • 2 cups sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups sliced cucumbers
  • 2 cups sliced squash
  • 5 cups olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons basil

What to do:

  1. Put vegetables in large bowl
  2. Add olive oil and basil and mix
  3. Add vegetables to grill pan
  4. Grill for roughly 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Leslie ‘The Lighting Bolt’ McGabe’s Fruit Salad

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Our friend Leslie is smart and uses her brain to recruit international students to THE Ohio State University. Here is her delicious fruit salad recipe.

  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cups diced jicama
  • 1.5 tablespoons lime juic
  • 5 tablespoons hone
  • 1 tablespoon minced mint

What to do:

  1. Place strawberries in bowl and coat with sugar
  2. Add all other fruit
  3. Stir in lime juice and honey
  4. Refrigerate for two hours before serving

 

Grilled Pork Belly and Pineapple Slider

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These sandwiches are petite and powerful, just like the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. These sandwiches are also easy to make and are a delicious crowd favorite. In fact, when my grilling team last competed, we won the People’s Choice award and these sliders were a big reason why.

  • 2 lbs pork belly (found at your local butcher shop – Thurns always works)
  • 1 package sweet King’s Hawaiian Buns
  • Cinnamon
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 container fresh pineapple from produce section on local grocer

What to do:

  1. Let pork belly sit at room temperature for 30 minutes
  2. Cut pork belly into 2 inch x 2 inch (roughly) squares
  3. Cut buns in half and toast in oven or on grill
  4. Slice pineapple into circles and grill for 5 minutes per side. Set grilled slices on upper rack of grill
  5. Put pork belly squares on clean and preheated (350 degree) grill
  6. Season each side with pinch of cinnamon (a little cinnamon goes a long way) and pepper flakes
  7. Combine bread, pork and pineapples.

Alyssa ‘The Assassin’ Fry’s Birthday Cake

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No one can hold back this busy professional’s career or social life. This socialite uses her networking skills to raise money for Mount Carmel Hospital and beats her opponents into submission with her charm and smile. She is going take home the championship belt and no one can stand in her way.

  1. Have a busy social life
  2. Go to Whole Foods
  3. Purchase Birthday Cake
  4. Serve

Now that you are done wrestling with these items, it is time to eat and pour a drink.

‘Zoya The Destroya’, like ‘Liberty Bell’ is a character played by a character on GLOW. Zoya is proud to be from the Soviet Union and is Liberty Bell’s arch nemesis. A Russian sounding drink was an easy call.

Zoya the Destroya Moscow Mule:

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  • 3 parts ginger beer
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 lemon or 1 lime slice. Or both.

What to do:

  • Put desired amount of ice inside Copper Cup
  • Add vodka and ginger beer to cup
  • Stir
  • Add basil, lemon/lime

Ok, let’s watch some GLOW!

SHOWTIME

For those not familiar, GLOW or The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a woman’s wrestling program that ran in syndication from 1986-90. Like the Netflix show that shares the same name and concept, GLOW was a staged/planned program that gave women who were trying to break into the entertainment industry a chance to do so.

Like the popular World Wrestling Federation, there were skits, scripts, heels and heroes – all performed by beautiful women. Like many men my age, I remember this show fondly. Very fondly.

The Netflix program tells the tale of how this wonderful experiment got started. The show is fun and goofy and is equal parts drama, comedy and parody.

GLOW focuses on a struggling actress names Ruth (Alison Brie). Ruth is resourceful and witty but also makes bad decisions. As a result of these choices, she finds herself at odds with fellow actress and former best friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin), both inside and outside of the ring.

As Ruth and Debbie learn to wrestle, they become friends with the other wrestlers (a collection of underdogs, pariahs and misfits.) The women are joined by washed up director Sam (Marc Maron) and party animal producer ‘Bash’ (Chris Lowell).

As the deadline to air approaches, this group of loveable, last chance rebels and rejects rush to accomplish a common goal. Along the way they learn about themselves and each other. In many other formats, this plot is a tired trope, but because GLOW doesn’t take itself too seriously, this formula works.

All in all, GLOW is worth the watch. It is witty and smart with the right amount of sentimentality and at 30 minutes each episode goes by quickly. Give these Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling a shot.

NIGHTCAP

All right, it is time to talk some Alabama Shakes and lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard. Howard is one of the most talented, unique, and intriguing figures in contemporary popular music. She is a strong and talented woman and could be a character on GLOW. Let’s make a drink and spin some records.

GLOW Gin Fizz

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  • 3 parts gin
  • 1 part club soda
  • Cherries and/or lemon slice

What to do:

  1. Add ice to shaker
  2. Pour gin and soda into shaker
  3. Shake
  4. Serve with cherries and lemon slice

Alabama Shakes is a soul/R&B/rock band from Alabama. Most of the members met in their late teens or early twenties and have been making great music ever since. You have probably heard their breakout single ‘Hold On‘, off of their 2012 debut album Boys & Girls (ATO Records).


Boys & Girls is gritty, dirty and fun and could have been produced by Jack White. This album has honkytonk pianos (You Ain’t Alone, Heartbreaker), blues guitar riffs (Be Mine), and soulful pop (I Found You). This album flows well and is the kind of album that can only be written by hungry, hurt and hip twenty somethings.

In 2015, ATO Records released the follow-up to Boys & Girls, entitled Sound & Color.

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This album debuted and #1 on the Billboard 200 and contained the uber popular single ‘Don’t Wanna Fight’. Other notable tracks are Sound & Color , the incredible Gimme All Your Love and the Rockabilly hit  Shoegaze.

This album is more polished than its predecessor but there are long experimental tracks at the end of the record seem out-of-place. It is still a great album, even with these few missteps.

At its core, Alabama Shakes is a Brittany Howard project. Howard is a great musician and songwriter, but I believe her most valuable assets are her voice and stage presence. Watching her live inspires awe and is akin to watching a hurricane wrestle an avalanche.

Howard has a unique style and doesn’t sound like, look like or pretend to be like anyone else. Popular ‘indie’ rock music can be a white, boys club, but don’t tell that to Howard. Howard is talented, fearless and kicks ass and we should all applaud the way she has reinvented the game.

I think that wraps it up! You should really try to do make the pork belly sliders – very simple with a big pay off. Let me know what you think in the comment section and PLEASE subscribe! Thanks!

ADDITIONS & SUBSTITUTIONS

  • As an Ohio State alum and fan, I hate to give the state of Alabama credit for ANYTHING, but musicians from that state are absolutely killing it right now. Jason Isbell’s most recent album, The Nashville Sound debuted at #1 on the country charts and is my favorite album of 2017. I will be seeing him and his band, The 400 Unit, live next month. Expect a few words on that.
  • St. Paul & The Broken bones are a really great new band out of…you guessed it, Alabama. Soul, R&B, and Rock fronted by a chubby white dude who dresses like Liberace and sounds like Al Green, this band is a music nerd’s dream come true. Megan and I are traveling to Kentucky to see them in November. Expect a few words on that also.
  • Is there any Rich Sommer role in which he does not play a cheating skeeze? His romantic entanglements set up the plot and conflict for GLOW. He also played Harry Crane on Mad Men and Alex on The Office. Don’t remember Alex? ALex hit on Pam under the guise of trying to convince her to stay in New York when she attended Art School.
  • If the show, characters and dynamics all seem familiar, it is because they are. GLOW is the brainchild of Jenji Kohan and Carly Mensch – producers of Orange is the New Black. If you like Orange, you will definitely like Glow.
  • I believe the break out star of GLOW will be Beatty Gilpin. She has a unique look and is very convincing as jilted friend and lover, Debbie.
  • Stand up comedian Mark Maron steals most scenes. He won’t win an Emmy, but hopefully this role leads to more work.

 

 

 

 

 

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