Today is a beautiful day-the sun is out, tomorrow is Saturday (always a good thing) and I have plenty of food to eat (and share!!). There is so much sadness in the world, that sometimes we just need to take a break! Turn off the news, don't read anything sad (I know, it is hard), leave all sad conversation at the door and have a happy day. Just for one day, only good conversation, no gossip, no sadness-just happy thoughts and fun! We deserve it. It is important to stay informed and do what we can to improve the world, but just for today, let's be happy. And if you need some help, come visit me at Karma!! I am going to be enjoying this day, forgetting all that is sad in my life, around me and the world - just celebrating all that is good in life. Have a wonderful day and come and see me!!! Hugs, Lorna
I read about it before I go to bed at night; I dream about it; I get up, shower then start making it and I stop right before I go to bed at night. Food!!! I love to think of all the things I can make with it; look at other people's recipes and I figure out how to change them into something wonderful; and I plan what ingredients I need to purchase to make everything I desire. Yes, it is my guilty pleasure, my obsession and one of my favorite things. I am not going to lie; I love food!!!!
I know I need to be careful with the amount and type I eat. Lately, I realize all my "big" clothes are getting tight. I should exercise instead of eating that early morning treat, but ooh I am already getting ready for my piece of sour cream pound cake-I thought about it all morning long..I just need to get to Karma so I can eat it before I cook. I will just have a small piece with coffee, it is soo good. Then I will make...hummm.. maybe red pepper cheese-so good-cheddar, cream cheese, fresh herbs, some fresh scallions (my friend, Roosevelt gave me some he brought to the Farmer's Market-they look sooo good). I could make red skin potato salad with the scallions, too. Should I start Curry for tomorrow? I am going to make stuffed peppers with a fantastic red sauce...or should I make ....Okay, I need to stop and focus...
Okay, now you see how my mind runs-food all day long every day. It's okay, because it is what I do-I cook!!! Well, it really is a little too much, but I do love to cook (and eat and eat...). Now if you have a problem like mine, I can recommend a place for you to go. I use to work there! I use to encourage people to eat less food, smaller portions, only healthy options...I wonder why I don't have that job anymore?
Okay, just for fun-a look into my mind this morning. We all need to eat healthy foods (and you can find lots at Karma), control our impulses to eat excess amounts of sugar, exercise and drink lots of water. Tip for the day-water is really important. Lots of times when we are hungry, we are actually thirsty (thirst can masquerade has hunger). So, drink that water, stay hydrated and healthy ....of course visit Karma regularly and often. WHY- because we have good food, you know I want to see you and we love you there!!! Have a great day!!! Hugs, Lorna (Excuse all grammar errors and typos-not proof reading - off to Karma)
I think when you go out to eat and pay money for food, it should be perfect. Everything that is suppose to be hot should be hot; and cold food should be cold. Spices should be just so and everything should be cooked as you ordered it. Many a time I have sent back an under done steak or a plate of cold potatoes. Brown leaves on my salad are a no-no as are mushy tomatoes. I am a foodie and I want everything to be wonderful, fresh, good and perfect!
However, this is life and things need to be put in proper perspective. For me, it took owning my own restaurant to realize-"It's just food". Yes, hot food should be served hot and cold food, cold. Waitresses should be beaming and eager to serve you. Food should have just the right amount of herbs and spices. BUT....if everything is less than perfect, will it shorten your life (we are not talking about food poisoning here-that really is something to complain about. You give me food poisoning and you will never hear the end of it. I will show up at your door, send the food police...oh, it will not be pretty, lol), make the world end, or shatter any life long dream? It is one meal, and yes it should be good and we paid for it to be good, but ..it is just food!
I have learned to be more patient with my waitresses; especially if a restaurant is extremely busy. I have become more accepting of kitchen problems, while I will always send back unacceptable food for what should have been served-it should be right, but I no longer act as though the world has ended when I get a rare steak (not my thing-give me shoe leather, please). If onions are missing on my salad or my dressing is wrong, I now politely ask for the problem to be fixed. If I have to wait five minutes for my drink to be refilled, I no longer act like I have been dying of thirst in Death Valley. If my potatoes are tepid my nasally whining, comparing cold potatoes to ice in the artic is gone. I now simply ask for them to be reheated. All and all I have gone from being the prima donna diner, to one of the princess of patience. Come on, the poor waitress has been on her feet all day and the chef has been stuck in that furnace of a kitchen. Mistakes happen! I will still send back imperfect food, but now with a smile and a kind world.
At Karma, I try to insure everything goes out as it should; wait staff wear smiles and have friendly words flowing from their lips and deliver, refill, and clean up in a timely manner. I want to know if anything is wrong-you know I will fix it! I do however, appreciate how our Karma friends do react when something is not perfect. None of us are perfect-even though, it is just food, you paid for it and it should be correct. I can honestly say we have the best customers anywhere and they deserve the best fresh food and service. Little Karma info: while I have learned to be a better customer at restaurants (and you all know, when Karma is closed, I am checking out the competition! There are some really good competitors out there, especially in Chapel Hill and Durham. I have a few top picks!!), we have a secret weapon for good food and good service-100 percent satisfaction. When we make a mistake (and we are imperfect-our friend, Kevin calls Karma "Imperfect Perfection"-Kevin loves Karma and we love him. The fresh flowers you see at the register are flowers Kevin brings us from his garden.), we make sure you leave happy. Everyone should leave Karma with a song in their heart, a full stomach and a smile on their lips. That is my job and I take it seriously!!!! See you soon and thanks for being such wonderful customers!! You know you are--yes, I am talking to you!!! Hugs, Lorna
The dove we have been using since we opened is rather cute and signifies to us we have hope for the future and want to help others. However, it does not signify that to everyone and people are confused by it! We need something that shows we have good food, care about others and the community around us. We need something fresh, exciting and something that will make people want to come to Karma!
Here is the deal-We are the little café with a big heart, but no money. Our Karma friends are wonderful and giving, but we need the community at large to know we are here and what you find at Karma (such as good food-not birds flying around, as one customer thought, lol). So, we need your help. A contest where you could win a $50 gift certificate is involved. Here are the rules:
Come up with a logo-draw it on an 8 by 10 paper (you may use your computer, as long as you are not using anyone else's work). If you have the winning logo-voted on by a group of judges to be determined by Karma-you win a 50 dollar gift certificate and we have a new logo. You may also win another $25 gift certificate! Contact local artists who may be interested in painting on our building (local art students, artists-anyone with the ability to do so)-get a price (low cost is great, free is even better...Okay, I can try, lol). Bring in a quote and information from the artist. If we use the artist you suggest, you get a $25 dollar gift certificate.
Remember, we can not use other people's copyright material-this has to be your own original design. Thank you in advance for entering our little contest and helping us create a new logo! See you soon. Hugs, Lorna
When Nero first told me he was going to plant vegetables for me to use at Karma, I have to admit, I was really skeptical. He is only home on the weekends; plants need water and I am always at Karma; in the past his gardening did not produce much editable. However, if he wanted to put in the time and effort, he could go right ahead-not me, I got better things to do and know lots of local farmers and growers.
When I first went to the garden to water (which, I admit is rare), I have to admit I enjoyed looking around at all the "growing things"-veggies, fruits, flowers. Since Nero's garden is in The Mebane Community Garden, there are many "green thumb" members growing some great stuff. I like walking and looking at everyone's little patch of soil filled with all sorts of growth. My favorite is the Girl Scout's garden with the cute little fake flowers incorporated with real. Another favorite is the windmill garden-someone has dispersed windmills through their plot, and I love windmills. Everyone's garden is different and one even is a bed of grass...mine! Nero "rented" two plots and one little one just got ignored! Fortunately the other is doing just fine (some weeds, but things can still grow), we have plenty of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, scallions Nero though would grow to become big onions (no, dear, they are scallions!) and a few strange things I will figure out later.
I must say I am impressed-last year I think I got two handfuls of grape tomatoes and three skinny scallions for all of Nero's hard work. That was a big help in a restaurant that serves fresh veggies when possible! I think the staff ate them for a snack. This year will be different.... the staff consists of Ian (who is not likely to ever eat a good for you vegetable, although I believe he now will eat lettuce and onions) and a couple of friends, who certainly are well fed at Karma and are unlikely to start eating the veggies from the fridge (actually, one friend might, I did catch her eating my cherry tomatoes-but now I have lots). We now have lots of shiny and yummy tomatoes of all sizes-cherry, normal size and extra large! We have some cucumbers, scallions, squash of all sorts, radishes, and...in a minute I am going to see.
As I look at Nero's garden and feel excitement each time we find something new ready to pick and eat; I remember my first successful garden. We were living in Wytheville, Virginia and Nero had thrown a pile of dirt in our backyard, after building a pond he had fill dirt left over. I decided to plant a garden, inexperienced as I was in yard work. It was a circular planting (I just planted where he threw the pile of soil) of flowers, vegetables all from seed. Suddenly, I had cucumbers, and peppers, wild flowers, cherry tomatoes all growing together. It was really an adventure to see what was going to pop its head out and what we could incorporate in dinner. We had a cookout and one of my friends showed me how to weed and told me what some of the flowers I was growing were. We enjoyed fresh cucumber salad that day. Very little expensive involved in that garden, but lots of pleasure.
So, as I teased Nero about his mini plot of land, I have to admit, I am enjoying it! Gardening is a gift-it is inexpensive for the most part, gets us outdoors in the fresh air and how much fun is it to see what is popping out of the ground (and into your mouth!). We have used no chemicals of any kind-so everything is organic and healthy. Our little commune with nature, so as to speak. Come to Karma and share some of Nero's fresh vegetables-come on, you know you want to!!! See you soon-Hugs, Lorna
We have, for quite a while, offered gluten free breads, pita and some desserts. We are finding more and more people requesting GF products and we are responding. Yesterday, Teresa baked several GF desserts: we have chocolate chip and almond cookies, an orange GF cake, chocolate truffle cake, and GF magic cookie bars. These are yummy for all; and we are glad to be able to share our desserts with our GF Friends! Yesterday, Cheri and I made a trek to Durham to the Mediterranean Deli to pick up our GF Pitas. Then, I stopped on the way to Karma and bought more GF bread. So, I guess that while I don't eat GF, I still had kind of a Gluten Free Day of another sort! Along with our GF friends, we also have vegetarian friends......and half my family-dinner at our house always has something for everyone. Since we consider our Karma Friends to be like a big family, we want everyone to find something good to eat that fits their diet. Therefore, we offer vegetarian and vegan along with gluten free. Just ask, and we will make it happen! To us our customers/Karma Friends are like honored guests and should be able to have a wonderful meal and not have to worry about having the options they need. So, come visit us and eat the way you need or chose-we want you to feel the magic of Karma the way you desire! Hugs, Lorna
Yesterday was a wonderful day at Karma!! Chad was preparing our food, Ian was assisting and Lexie was baking. What was I doing? I was across the street shopping and planning for this week's Karma specials menu. I have lots of fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash of all types, lettuce, onions and more. What a wonderful array of fresh fruits and vegetables! One of our wonderful farmer friends brought us a large bag of all types of fresh veggies-how generous and nice! We love our local farmers. We at Karma pride ourselves on being the only Mebane restaurant to serve items obtained from our Farmers Market all summer long! If you want to eat fresh, local, organic when possible -eat at Karma! We support our local farmers and growers. If you don't believe it, come out on a Saturday morning and see me carrying bags of wonderful freshly grown goodness back across the street to be used for the upcoming weeks meals. A lovely lady asked me what I was going to do with all the tomatoes I bought from our wonderful farmer (and former teacher/principal) friend Roosevelt Perkins. I said "I own the restaurant across the street"-we both laughed at her imagining I was going to use all those tomatoes at home! Someone asked me if it costs more for me to shop locally. The answer is "yes", however isn't it worth spending a little more to have quality locally grown produce- much of it organic and support our local growers? Those tomatoes sure beat the ones we have to buy when they are unavailable! To all our local growers and farmers-we love you!! Keep bringing me wonderful produce and I will keep buying. My money is going to buy Karma the best produce and support some pretty wonderful people. Support our farmers and growers-(and of course, Karma!). Hugs, Lorna
Here is just a little humor for today and I promise it is a true story. Recently, we had a small group of people come into Karma who had never been here before. It was one of our quiet evenings and I was doing the cooking and the serving. Luckily, they were the only table at the time because they wanted to "sample" everything. "Can I try the soup" ME: Of course, let me get you a sample" Them: "We need three" Me "Of course, let me get that" Them, after tasting:"It is too salty" Me: "I am so sorry, I use very little salt, so I am surprised." Them: "Can we try the Curried Chicken Salad?" Me: "Certainly." Them, after trying it: "This is too dry, I can taste the curry, you need lots of mayonnaise in chicken salad." Me: "I am sorry you don't like it, It does have curry (thus the name-but I didn't say that), we don't use lots of mayonnaise, no one has ever complained before, but I will look into it (not really, it sells out daily). Next request: "Can we try some of your salads, how about the Karma?" My answer: "Well, I don't have salads or anything else premade, we make things to order. I am so sorry!" Them: "Do you have anything else we can try?" Now I was thinking you might try the door to leave or the restaurant down the street, but I held my tongue! "No", I replied sweetly, "That is all I can give you to sample, I am so sorry," At which point, they said, "Okay, we are ready to order", I almost fell over-I was sure they were going to leave! They ordered and all but one lady (who, I think is pickier than any of the four children I gave birth to-which I thought was impossible) told me how good the food was and they left me a nice tip. Moral of the story-always be nice, keep you snarky remarks inside your head (if your name is Lorna, they sometimes run around like crazy in there-I could have been the next Don Rickles (dating myself here-if you are young look him up!). So to sum up my lesson learned (and you all know I learn a lot of lessons!) Be kind, Be patient and Never lose your temper-these might turn out to be return customers or future friends AND my own mother does things like this, really-she is a waitress's worst nightmare-love her thought and it is a story for another day. Come in and sample the spirit of Karma- Hugs, Lorna
We are excited to have some new additions to our Karma Team! Chad M. will be in the kitchen creating some new specials and helping me serve up all your favorite foods. Chad is an experienced trained chef, who hails from Northern NY (like me!!). We are lucky to have Chad-everyone, make sure you get to meet him when you come in! Lexie M., a 16 year old high school student will be baking cupcakes and more for us this summer and hopefully, we can persuade her to find time to continue in the fall. Her first day was yesterday, and the response has been terrific! Lexie's cupcakes were a big hit and everyone said they were the best ever (should I feel bad-I make pretty good ones...okay, I admit defeat-Lexie's are better). Stop by on Wednesday morning and meet Lexie. You will be able to get your cupcake treats anytime..unless we run out! Teresa R., my good friend will be focusing on the gluten free treats and making quiche (which I love her to do-she does an excellent job-two ladies told me it was the best quiche they ever ate just yesterday-I have to make the next batch, let's hope I get the same response). We all use the same recipe, but Teresa has the magic touch. Teresa is an awesome baker (which reminds me, I have a custom order for her-her pound cake is to die for!). You will see Teresa at Karma baking up a storm! It is great to have such wonderful new help!! You will still see me all the time-cooking, cleaning, waiting on your tables, making lattes, and doing lots of things. Hope you love all our food and all of us at Karma. I know we love you! We have the best Customers/Karma Friends ever!!! ...excuse any mistakes-tired, and off to take a short rest before returning to Karma. See you soon! Hugs, Lorna
Okay, at Karma, we have the tools and the skill to provide you with the food to fuel your body; keep you on a healthier track; and get you on your way to better eating. All the while, eating foods that are good for you, possess fewer calories, and taste really fresh and good. Wraps, salads, soups, and more-we have plenty to choose from. I am going to be focusing on adding more healthier options in upcoming months. Why-because it is something I believe in and it is also what I need to be eating! We will still have all your regular favorites and I don't believe we ever need to let go of special, higher calorie, less healthy food we like to eat. We need to use moderation (yes, you can lose weight or feel healthy with occasional indulgences! Actually, you need these little treats to stay going in that healthier direction.).
So, join me on a healthier eating journey! I will help you by always having available healthier options and providing you with as much information as I can to help anyone interested. See you soon at Karma! Hugs Lorna
Now available for salads and wraps is our new organic honey orange dressing- approximately 27 calories! No olive oil (the only oil I will use! Karma goodies are even baked with it), just orange juice, organic honey and a few little no cal ingredients.