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CONTENTS 2015 • VOLUME 12 • NO. 6

features 51 Introducing the “I do” couples 68 West Tennessee Wineries New vineyards grow, entertain, educate

79 Here Comes the Bride What’s your style? 86 The Un-Bachelor Party Gathering with the unconventional grooms

departments 14 Living Well Advanced Dermatology’s Dr. Patel talks summer skin care 19 Notables The quiet force of Palmer Home’s Robert Foster 22 Exploring Art Clinton’s copper artist

46 Greater Goods 94 Homegrown Doodle Bugs Stationary 96 Southern Harmony Jackson’s String Quartet

26 Exploring Books Mississippi’s most loyal poet

98 Table Talk Covington, Tennessee’s Old Town Hall & Cafe

30 Into the Wild Go Ape in Memphis!

100 In Good Spirits A Pink Gin

34 Exploring Cuisine Exquisite Phillip Ashley chocolates

102 Exploring Events

38 Exploring Destinations Mississippi’s own Beau Rivage


42 A Day Away Tupelo, Mississippi

104 Reflections A Triscuit Summer



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editor’s note }


Here’s to…

The grand summer month of June and our biggest issue of the year. Each year, we have the honor of sharing our pages with many young lives, blushing brides, nervous grooms, and quite possibly, overwrought parents. But hey, it’s all part of the deal when the star-crossed meet and decide to hold hands for an eternity. While all may look perfect on the page, anyone associated with planning a wedding or large event can attest to the unexpected, unplanned hilarity of life’s moments that make these times even richer for everyone. June officially begins the summer travel season. If no weeks are marked out on your calendar, it’s not too late to find some fun. This month also marks the start of our annual getaway giveaway, and this year, we’re proud to be working with Mississippi’s own Beau Rivage to welcome a lucky reader to the Gulf Coast resort. If you’re not familiar with the Beau Rivage, let Jill introduce you in high fashion on page 38. Be sure to throw your name in the hat If you’re still hunting that perfect gift for the newlyweds, let us introduce you to Copperworx, a Mississippi-based business focused on copper artistry and located in Clinton. Terri Dallriva proves once again that when inspiration hits, it’s impossible to ignore. Self-taught and determined, she represents the best characteristics of a Mississippi artist through her works.

June 2015 • Vol. 12 No.6



EDITOR Karen Ott Mayer


What’s amazing is we never have to look far to find people in our region who fit this bill. Turn to page 34 and meet Phillip Ashley of Memphis who is creating chocolates--or art? These highly-detailed works of culinary art will truly amaze--and look too good to eat. June is ideal for outdoors. Follow Devin as he zips down the Go Ape zip line in Memphis. Or if you prefer something more sedate, follow James around West Tennessee and discover a burgeoning wine industry. With so many choices out there, we thank you again for taking a moment with DeSoto again this month. Best to all our brides--and the June beach bums,

Karen on the cover Adam Lynch shows Brittany Cox how romantic an old barn can be. They tied the knot on April 26 at the home of Josh and Natalie Lynch. Read more about the day Brittany said “I do” on page 56.

CONTRIBUTORS Karen Ott Mayer Paula Mitchell Jill Gleeson Andrea Brown Ross James Richardson Dr. Purvisha Patel Mary Ann DeSantis Devin Greaney Joe Nolan Sarah Frenzel Chere Coen Robin Gallaher Branch Charlene Oldham


2375 Memphis St. Ste 205 Hernando, MS 38632 662.429.4617 Fax 662.449.5813 Get social with us! © 2015 DeSoto Media Co. DeSoto Magazine must give permission for any material contained herein to be reproduced in any manner. Any advertisements published in DeSoto Magazine do not constitute an endorsement of the advertiser’s services or products. DeSoto Magazine is published monthly by DeSoto Media Co. Parties interested in advertising should email or call 662.429.4617. Visit us online at DeSoto 9

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living well }

protecting skin and skin cancer

Keeping Summer Skin Safe By Dr. Purvisha Patel. Photography courtesy of

Sunshine and summer spur on the pursuit of the perfect tan, which frequently means balancing risky practices with skin protection. Who hasn’t had a sunburn at least once in their lifetime? During the carefree days of childhood, this seemed as much a rite of passage as a first date. As we age, however, the reality sets in. Just how much can our skin handle? As the largest organ in our body, skin is often the most overlooked when it comes to care. Sorting out the facts among all the marketing hype can be challenging. A sunburn occurs when the top layer of skin becomes red and inflamed as a result of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. The more redness, the more DNA damage and the more your skin is trying to keep up and heal itself. Even before we step outside, a real danger lurks inside: Tanning beds. Many people believe that a base tan somehow 16 DeSoto

adds a level of safety to sun exposure. As a result, the tanning bed entices a person to climb in to get that base tan. The reality? Tanning beds are equal to laying on a bed of uranium. In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of The World Health Organization added tanning beds to the most dangerous form of cancer radiation. The cultural perception that a person won’t burn in a tanning bed so it must be safe, only offers a complete misperception to consumers, especially to the young. Hands down, I am treating more and more women ages 20 to 40 for cancer directly linked to tanning beds. In over a decade, the number of cases has increased 200 times so we are facing a real phenomenon.

Another misperception about sun safety revolves around skin types. Those with olive complexions who manage to brown easily without burning may have less risk of damage, but they still face real risks and are still exposed to the UV radiation that causes the damage. Whether we’re talking browning or redding, the fact still exists that cell death is a normal reaction to overexposure. So how do we protect our skin? Sunscreens still offer one method of protection. Perhaps the most familiar label is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) which is simply a measure of redness and an attempt to protect against UV rays. We need to use a standard measurement to gauge how long you can stay in the sun. The higher the SPF, the longer you can stay in the sun without experiencing redness or inflammation. SPF can range from 15 to 70. If using a paraben-free product, any concerns about sunscreens themselves causing cancer are eliminated as they are completely safe to use. Likewise, physical barriers that actually reflect the sun like zinc oxide are completely safe to use. Perhaps the best method of protection is a hat. Clothing can add another layer of protection but not if its transparent or thin. Even a loose fitting t-shirt will allow rays to penetrate. Today, special clothing for surfers and outdoor enthusiasts is actually designed to block the UV radiation. Following some well-known guidelines like avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is at its highest peak can be helpful. A good rule of thumb is if you can see through a piece of clothing, then UV light can penetrate it. Sunscreen application needs to be generous. Manufacturers indicate the amount of sunscreen used should fill a shot glass and be applied like icing on a cake. Imagining this description compared to how most sunscreens are applied, we already know inadequate coverage can be a common problem. It’s important to apply sunscreen on a daily basis--and not just during the summer. Spray tans have become popular especially for children. Caution may be in order as not only can spray applications be uneven, the chemicals from the spray create another health risk if accidentally inhaled. As we age, our thoughts turn more towards health. Skin care, nonetheless, should begin at a young age and continue for a lifetime. Annual visits to a dermatologist can encourage us to pay attention to our skin, even when we’re not having a specific problem or find a suspicious spot. It’s never too late to protect yourself while in the sun. This summer, enjoy your time at the pool, beach or tennis court with the added knowledge that protecting your skin should come first. With that approach, enjoying an endless summer might just be possible.

Do you know your ABCs of Skin Cancer? As we age, our skin changes. Age spots, freckles or moles may appear to change. So how can we determine what’s benign and what could be cancer? Remember your ABCs when it comes to skin cancer signs. A = Asymmetry - One half of the mole doesn’t match the other B = Border - Edges of a mole are irregular, ragged, blurred or notched C = Color - The color varies over the mole D = Diameter - Mole maybe larger than 1/4 inch (Information courtesy of The American Cancer Society) Dr. Purvisha Patel practices with Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Associates with offices in Germantown, Tennessee and Olive Branch, Mississippi. Dr. Patel is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. She is a fellow of the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology and serves as a clinical professor of the University of Tennessee Department of Dermatology.

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notables }

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palmer home’s dr. david foster

Peeling Away the Layers By Mary Ann DeSantis. Photography courtesy of the Palmer Home for Children

It takes a village to raise a child, and every village needs a strong leader. At the Hernando, Mississippi campus of the Palmer Home for Children, one of those leaders is Dr. David Foster. His official role is Vice President for Children’s Services, but he is much more: counselor, mentor, fundraiser, child advocate, and an occasional basketball player with the kids who live on the 150-acre campus. Palmer Home was chartered in 1895 in Columbus, Miss. as a Presbyterian orphanage, and a second location was opened in Hernando in 2003. Today, both Palmer Home locations are governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Directors, each of whom is loyal to the basic tenets of the Christian faith. When Palmer Home first opened its doors, orphaned children came and usually didn’t leave until they were young

adults. Today, however, children come for variety of reasons but most often because of abuse or neglect. In many cases, the goal is family reunification or finding a permanent home for them. “A kid would come here and spend their whole life in 1898,” said Foster. “The difference now is that we try to maintain connections with biological parents. We encourage parents to visit and for children to return when that is feasible. DeSoto 21

If parents’ lives improve, that’s the ideal.” Until that happens, however, the Palmer Home provides a safe haven where children can thrive. Foster says care focuses on the whole child — from physical and academic needs to counseling and spiritual guidance. “Virtually every child comes here with emotional baggage,” he explained. “Counselors help with the issues that come from abuse and neglect. On the spiritual front, we try to live out the Gospel before them and that is at the heart of what we do.” Foster, who previously worked in community health and other public children’s service organizations, says the privately funded Palmer Home provides many of the same services that secular organizations do. The difference is an added biblical and theological element.   “We work hand-in-hand with the public foster care system,” he explained. “We’re following two different paths and philosophies to get to the same end result, which is to create a safe and secure environment where children can maximize their potential.” Many folks in DeSoto County know Foster from his unwavering commitment to raise more awareness about the need for orphan care around the world. He also is working to raise money to double the capacity of the Hernando campus, which currently can house up to 24 children in three cottages. The Columbus campus has space for 48 children in six cottages. “We currently have 17 kids on a waiting list and no place to put them on either campus,” he said. He is also developing a training curriculum to teach others how to care for children who come from abusive backgrounds. Titled “The Whole Child Initiative,” the curriculum will have its own website. Another program that has his attention is Jonah’s Journey, named after the first child to come to Palmer Home. Based in Nashville, the program helps incarcerated women place their children in Christian homes. So far, 154 children have come through Jonah’s Journey and requests for the program are coming from all over the nation, according to Foster.    The part of the job that gives Foster the most satisfaction, though, is the daily interaction with the Palmer Home children. He and his wife, Vicki, live on the Hernando campus and their home has a constant flow of kids who stop by to bake cookies with Vicki or shoot hoops with Foster. Daily walks with his Westie terrier, named “Atticus Finch”, usually result in children joining him along the way. “Walking the dog and out on the basketball court are the most productive places when it comes to getting kids to talk about their lives,” Foster said. “Palmer Home kids are like onions. With each passing day we learn a little bit more about each child. When a sense of safety is created for them, they often divulge painful memories of abuse and neglect and the layers are peeled away.” Telling their own stories often helps the children work through their painful pasts then pursue hopeful futures. Foster and his wife, who also has an educational testing background, came to the Palmer Home two and a half years ago following what he thought was going to be early retirement. “God has surprises for all of us,” he said with a laugh. “I couldn’t think of a better place to be. “It’s gratifying to observe the changes that occur in children who come to Palmer Home. God’s hand is clearly at work,” Foster said. “Frowns are turned into smiles, normal physical development often gets kick-started, attention to schoolwork increases, and, for many, new life in Christ is established.”

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exploring art }

Copper luminaries

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Copper placemat

Caught in Copper By Robin Gallaher Branch. Photography courtesy of Copperworx

Terri Dallriva, a copper artist whose wares add artistic details to high-end homes, unabashedly credits prayer with her career change and job success. “I was a corporate controller for 20 years. When I was 35, I started praying that God would show me something I could do and be self-employed; a job where I could make money and do what no one else was doing. I didn’t want to supervise people.” With characteristic humor, she asked God to make it very specific.  “Even write it on the sky!” she exclaimed.  “I needed to know it was what He wanted me to do.”   She prayed daily for five years.   One day when thumbing through the magazine Windows and Walls she saw a picture of a copper ceiling. “I knew! I just knew that was

what I wanted to do!” she said. She called Keith Chew, the architectural artisan who created the ceiling. “I shot him a hundred questions and asked if I could ‘rent’ him for a week so he could teach me.” Chew agreed. She quit her job, took her sister with her to Denver, and learned the trade of copper artistry. That was 16 years ago. “He was a lovely, lovely guy,” Dallriva said.  “He got me over the fear of working with acid.”  Coming home to Mississippi, she set up shop in an old convenience store in Clinton and started practicing her new trade.  She named her shop Copperworx and tagged it Copper Accents for the Home. She primarily specializes in houses DeSoto 25

starting at about $300,000 and going to $5 million. Her kitchen accents include copper vent hoods over ranges, back splashes, and countertops. Dallriva tells a funny story describing an early learning experience. One of her first jobs was a copper ceiling. But after a few months, the copper squares started falling off. “I called Keith. He asked me a hundred questions and the last one was about humidity,” she recalled.  It turned out that the glue she used could not withstand Mississippi’s weather. Denver has little humidity. Dallriva changed to 3M’s Super Strength 90, re-glued the ceiling, and has had no subsequent problems. Dallriva loves every day of work. She comes in without makeup, wearing her “grungies” and a baseball cap. “I go to work, to work out,” she joked. “This can be dirty work.” That’s because copper artistry is hot, heavy, and dangerous.  Dallriva carries burns and cuts to prove it.  “I don’t even feel them anymore,” she said. She wears a respirator when cutting the copper and applying the lacquer. Through trial and error she learned as she progressed. She quickly discovered that she didn’t like soldering, so she bends and manipulates a single copper piece with her hands. Consequently, her shiny flower pots and planters never leak; and they transfer easily from the inside to the outside.   Copperworx’s most popular item, especially with brides, is the copper placemat. Available as squares or rectangles, the mats have a cork backing to avoid table scratches. “I sell a zillion,” she said. “Her placemats go nicely with contemporary things,” confirmed Adrienne Oeding, manager of Babcock Gifts in Memphis. “We do quite well with her planters. She also has a wonderful little bird feeder.” Over the years, the price of copper has skyrocketed a whopping 400 percent. “It changes daily,” Dallriva said. The shiny metal’s easy maintenance makes up for its priciness. Just wipe with a damp cloth or use Windex,” Dallriva said. 26 DeSoto

However, copper countertops require about the same caution as do granite or marble and it’s best to avoid cutting on them. Any scratches merely blend. “Copper already looks warm and old,” she said. In addition to Mississippi, her work adorns many kitchens in Florida, Alabama, Texas, and Tennessee. Recognition for her work comes regularly. Mississippi Magazine has featured several of her kitchens in its annual Best Kitchen contest. “It’s really fun to get my monthly Southern Living and see my copper in many of the homes,” she said. “It’s pretty cool that people love my copper and want to use it.” Although willing to travel, she prefers to do the vent hoods in her shop rather than onsite in a home. It’s simply easier to work in her shop. She’ll cut the copper, treat it, and glue it.   Treating the copper with acid forces the metal’s patina to surface. “Copper has a movement to it like granite because of the acid,” she explained. “It has a deep, rich patina and tones like brown, green, black, and taupe.” Dallriva obviously loves her work, and at 56, has no thoughts of retirement. “My plans are to keep on doing what I’m doing. I get up excited. I have fun coming up with new products to sell,” she said. She describes herself as a loyal friend, a hard worker, and a Christian. “I am very much an accountant temperament. I’m good at following directions. I taught myself how to weave, knit, and crochet,” she said. Then, she added slowly as an afterthought because of her life with copper. “But I’m beginning to think I’m creative, too.” 601-925-9648 Where to Buy Mississippi Gift Company 662-455-6961 300 Howard St. Greenwood, MS 38930 The Everyday Gardener 601-981-0273 2905 Old Canton Rd. Jackson, MS  39216 Babcock Gifts 901-763-0700 4626 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38117

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exploring books} poet patricia neely-dorsey

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Poetic pull By Robin Gallaher Branch. Photography courtesy of Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Patricia Neely-Dorsey loves Mississippi, crisscrosses the state talking about it in glowing terms, and writes poems lauding its way of life. As she says in one of them, “I’m simply Mississippi through and through.” On February 6, 2015, Gov. Phil Bryant recognized her efforts as writer, poet, and motivational speaker by proclaiming her an Official Goodwill Ambassador for Mississippi. She numbers among Mississippians “who claim their Mississippi heritage proudly with a badge of honor throughout this great nation,” his proclamation reads. As an additional honor, the legislature is considering her poem, “Meet my Mississippi”, as the official state poem and will vote on it during the 2016 session. The poem extols the Mississippi roots of authors

William Faulkner and Eudora Welty and musicians like Elvis Presley. “Where would we as a nation be without the Delta music?” Neely-Dorsey wondered. She loves Mississippi’s lifestyle of hospitality, country roads, mockingbirds, and flowers. Yes, she acknowledges its national negative rankings—Mississippi’s high obesity rate and the state’s low school test scores—“but there’s so much more,” she added. DeSoto 29

Her poetry shares the joys of a happy childhood in rural Mississippi and her observations about Mississippi’s particular beauties. She looks back in fondness on ordinary, daily activities like shelling peas, making cracklin’s, killing hogs, and gardening. Consequently, in many ways her writing she says resembles poetic autobiography. It resonates with many Mississippians, especially those over 50, because of one reason. “We share the same upbringing,” she said. She describes her poems, which are mainly in rhyme, as “bouncy hop” and influenced by those of Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet popular in the 19th and 20th centuries.  “My father, a country doctor, often read to me, and he read me poetry,” Neely-Dorsey said. Neely-Dorsey, 51, started writing poetry suddenly—literally on Valentine’s Day 2007.   “I woke up with a poem twirling around in my mind and wrote it down,” she recalled. The poems kept coming in that manner, and her two books are largely poems written in 2007.   Quoting Matthew 12:34, Neely-Dorsey said, “‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks’, and that’s what happened to me. I speak about Mississippi from the overflow, the abundance, of my heart.”  She is a native Mississippian and lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry, and Miniature Schnauzer, appropriately named Happy. A happy, positive person, Neely-Dorsey proclaims the positives of Mississippi in book signings, speaking engagements, and poems.   “I try to preserve, protect, and promote our rich cultural heritage,” she explained. She’s self-published two books of poetry, “Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia:  A Life in Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings—In Poems”. Each book contains about 90 poems, sells for $15, and is available on websites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.   Although she doesn’t write every day now, she says she keeps notes and frequently records observations for future use. A significant time of her life was spent at Boston University where she earned a degree in psychology. She was soon homesick for the sun and the people of Mississippi. The ignorance of Northerners about Mississippi amazed her. “They thought we walked around without shoes and had outdoor facilities!” she exclaimed. She quickly set them straight—and kept on talking so much about Mississippi that nicknames arose. “Half my friends call me Tupelo and the other half call me Mississippi,” she joked.  “Either is fine, for I love both my city and my state.” While she agrees that Boston was a great place for learning, Neely-Dorsey noticed “everything was gray—from the buildings, to the weather, to the birds, even the pigeons.” Perhaps that’s why she often mentions the pull of nature in her poems about Mississippi—the sweet smell of honeysuckle, the melodies of mockingbirds, the mighty river that defines the state, “and the green, green, green of the fields.”   Actually, Neely-Dorsey loves all things Southern. Her motivational speeches applaud a Southern lifestyle and compliment Southerners. In “Southern Man,” she paints a composite character sketch about Southern men drawn from her father, husband, and other fine male examples from throughout her life. Their traits include “sweet molasses talk and a slow, smooth gliding walk,” and values like love and family responsibility. Habits like going to church run deep in her Southern man. “He’s a rare and special kind,” she writes, “and the best you’ll ever find.” Neely-Dorsey knows this: She belongs in Mississippi.   “My slogan is always, always celebrating the South and promoting a positive Mississippi,” she said. Indeed to Patricia Neely-Dorsey, Mississippi is the Queen of the South. 901-848-6800 Her books are available for sale on Amazon at and Barnes and Noble at

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into the wild } go ape zip line

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Zippin’ in Memphis Story and Photography by Devin Greaney

I was connected by three safety lines and they were all exactly where they were supposed to be. My instructor at Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure, Curtis Jackson, seemed very competent as well.

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But there is that fear. Not the will-I-outlive-my-401k kind of fear, but the kind that emanates from the most primitive portion of the brain that keeps me- and for that matter the species- alive by urging me not do it. “You can do it. You’ve got this,” Jackson said to me at the exact moment I decided to climb down, take off my harness and interview the two women ahead of me climbing, swinging and zip lining. Standing on a platform 40 feet up in the pine forest of Shelby Farms in Memphis, Tennessee, I could not quite convince myself to jump. Yet.   I discovered eventually that instincts can be influenced. The moment my feet stepped off the platform, the fear was gone. The harness took over gravity and it held me comfortably and securely as I swung into the rope net, bounced back, then returned to climb up to the next platform, up a mesh bridge then off to the real zip line which started at one side of the pond and ended at the other. As I took the flight across Pine Lake there was no fear but plenty of excitement as I watched my wood chip landing strip approach rapidly from more than two football fields away. A strange sensation indeed. It was like sitting in the pilot’s seat during the landing of a remote control airplane. A hard landing. “When they are done we like to ask them their favorite part of the course, and overwhelmingly, the large response is everything,” said Zach Schroeder, deputy manager. He moved here from Delaware in time for the course’s opening in March. It’s the first in the area so most of the instructors are as new 34 DeSoto

to Memphis as most Memphians are new to the concept that jumping out of trees is a good idea. And, of course it is! What it isn’t is passive. It’s not like standing in line at an amusement park ride. You climb up rope ladders. You maneuver your way across hanging bridges and you use your arms and legs to make it to the top of rope nets. This is for those who wish experience over entertainment. It takes nearly three hours to complete the journey so it’s essential to keep water handy during summer visits. One big reassuring rule: At least one safety line is attached to you at all times whether climbing, standing, sitting or jumping. It was one rule my instructor had no need to repeat.  Another advantage is the pines that give Pine Lake it’s name are pretty much the way they were when only a hiking trail was there. Designers maintained the park’s natural setting. Go Ape manages several other courses throughout the U.S. and makes an effort to remove as few trees as possible. The trail remains as it was before construction with the exception hikers and joggers may hear people scurrying through and sailing out of the trees along with the birds and squirrels. Shelby Farms has not been turned into a carnival midway. Grace Burgess of Memphis was doing this as an “adventurous journey” on her quest to get The Duke of Edinburgh Award. Her friend, Robin Scott of Covington, came along as well for the course. Both seemed fearless making their way through the trees, and though they look like the type you would see climbing boulders in Utah, this was the first rope course for either of them.

“Climbing up the first ladder was intimidating because it was so steep and you had to get used to the harness holding you up but once you get through that initial fear, it’s fun!” Burgess said. As for Scott, “I’ve always wanted to zip line. I didn’t want her do it alone so I did it for fun.”    Rain or shine the course stays open but closes for ice and lighting--but not the brave.

To participate, guests must meet the following requirements. • Be at least 10 years old (with an adult), • Measure 4’ 7” or taller • Weigh 285 pounds or less and fit into the harness. A 30-minute instruction session is included in the fee. $62.27 over age 16 $40.42 under 15 800-971-8271

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exploring cuisine } phillip ashley

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Chocolate or Art? By Charlene Oldham. Photography courtesy of of Phillip Ashley

Visitors to Phillip Ashley Chocolates can sample about 20 creations, each piece painstakingly designed and laid out in display cases like fine jewelry, while perusing original artworks and possibly sipping a complimentary blood orange margarita. A shopping trip a month later might mean a new art exhibit, set off by a flute of champagne and a different selection from Phillip Ashley’s arsenal of about 170 flavor combinations that doesn’t include a single variation on the chocolate-covered pretzel or other standard confectionery fare. DeSoto 37

“We’re not a candy store,” said chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix from his 1,300-square-foot studio in Memphis’ Cooper Young District. “I’ve developed it as a chocolate boutique and design studio because we are not just making chocolate, we are designing chocolate and creating concepts of look and flavor.” But Rix was a sales and marketing executive with no formal culinary training when the inspiration to develop designer chocolates took hold in 2007, so he had to learn to fill molds before he could break them. In those days, there were few programs and classes devoted to chocolate making. That drove Rix to embark on his own program of study that hasn’t ended yet. “No one was really teaching it, so I just found the information wherever I could, read whatever I could,” said Rix. “Really, imagination and insight into cooking helped me do the rest.” Rix wanted to radically expand on the one- or two-note flavors already available by using unconventional ingredients like bleu cheese or barbecue sauce. Today, exotic offerings include the Geisha, a layered flavor combination of white tea, dried cherries and rose water. One of Rix’s favorites is a praline that reminds him of pecan pies from his grandmothers’ kitchens and substitutes rich bourbon molasses for standard Karo syrup. “It’s called Magazine Street and it was inspired by just hanging out in New Orleans,” he said “I was like, ‘Man, there is a praline store on every corner here.’” Rix draws inspiration from all sorts of people, places 38 DeSoto

and events. And the store’s offerings are driven by seasonality and availability of ingredients. That means a favorite flavor might be off the menu for months, yet Rix wants to perfect the recipe to ensure it tastes the same every time. “I wanted to be able to create and really compose flavors in chocolate, not just put a bunch of stuff in chocolate just because it sounds good or it’s intriguing,” he said. “I wanted to create my own perspective, my own viewpoint in food through chocolate.” Chocolate making is intuitive, but also grounded in science and mathematics, which inspired Rix to name his original venture Chocistry, which is still the philosophy behind his eponymous brand. “It was really kind of me fusing the history, chemistry and artistry of chocolate making. Chocistry is just the science of what Phillip Ashley is and does.” That meticulous approach led to several years of Rix spending his days in corporate jobs at FedEx, UPS and Apple and his nights in the kitchen, supplying chocolates for events and selling online and at pop-up locations. Soon, people were asking Rix where they could find his permanent storefront, prompting him to open Phillip Ashley Chocolates in November 2013 and get back into the full-time business of marketing, this time for himself. “I didn’t spend my whole career in the kitchen. I spent it talking to people from the warehouse to the CEO’s office,” he said. “I don’t know if things would be going as well or if the business would exist at all if I’d have gone straight into culinary

school out of high school. I wouldn’t have had the exposure from a business and a marketing perspective that I have.” And, like the Apple Stores operated by one former employer, Phillip Ashley Chocolates offers events that add to the retail experience. Complimentary cocktails are a frequent feature and, for a fee, the monthly Spectrum series offers a flight of seven spirits paired with chocolates. Artists regularly host openings for exhibits at the studio, where customers can purchase not only the chocolates, but the art. “So, in that regard it’s very much like an art gallery,” he said. “It gives us another dimension, another reason for people to come in to the store. We want to bring something completely different to Memphis and the Mid-South.” Rix might eventually bring his unique approach to other markets, he said. Meanwhile, the married father of four founded the event planning company Phillip Ashley Presents earlier this year and is organizing the second annual Masquerade Charity Ball to benefit a handful of local nonprofits. “T here are times when I am working 16 hours a day. I’m on my feet all day and I’m in the lab or in the studio until three o’clock in the morning because we have a big project. There’s just no way around it,” he said. “I love it even when I hate it. I chose to do this and I couldn’t see myself doing something else.”


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exploring destinations } beau rivage resort and casino

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Beau Rivage Romance By Jill Gleeson. Photography courtesy of

It’s a tall, sleek slice of modernity rising 32 floors above the Mississippi Gulf Coast shoreline. It boasts 1,740 guest rooms and suites, a casino with the most table games on the coast and Fallen Oak, where golf’s best come to compete. But what may be Beau Rivage Casino and Resort’s finest amenity is also its best-kept secret. This Biloxi palace – as spectacular as any MGM property in the world – is the state’s most idyllic escape, perfect for weddings, honeymoons or just a weekend respite to reconnect. “It’s a beautiful, romantic getaway,” said Mary Cracchiolo Spain, public relations director for MGM Resorts

Mississippi. “You’re going to have a complete coastal resort experience. You can park your car and leave it once you get here. It’s a very relaxing combination of the beaches and the islands. There’s gaming, but it’s ancillary to the overall experience.” Beau Rivage offers 10 eateries, enough options that even the most finicky palates are satiated. And couples who long to entwine fingers between leisurely courses served in a DeSoto 41

glamorous atmosphere will find what they seek at BR Prime and Jia. Both are rated AAA Four Diamond and have won the Wine Spector Award of Excellence. The former is a steakhouse where beef becomes art, while the latter transports diners to the exotic Far East with authentic Asian fare. Even more lavish is the Spa at Beau Rivage, which recently debuted an interior refresh and an array of new treatments. Now under the direction of Natalee Lynch, the spa gives twosomes the chance for side-by-side pampering in its couples suites and pedicure area. The bright and airy solarium, a co-ed space, provides the opportunity for lunch together and further relaxation before a sweeping view of the resort’s gleaming, palm tree-shrouded pool. Already named to Travel + Leisure’s list of the Top 20 Hotel Spas in the U.S., the Spa at Beau Rivage has upped the ante with the introduction of ultra-luxurious services and products. Among them are the Deep South Massage, the spa’s first-ever deep tissue massage, and the HydraFacial. “It’s performed with a machine using different tips to do deep cleansing, painless extractions, vitamin infusions and a great hydration treatment,” explained Lynch. “The HydraFacial is more advanced than a standard European-style facial. It’s on the level of a medical-grade facial.” In her quest to provide therapies unique to Mississippi, Lynch has debuted European line Sothys, which is now being used in facials and body rituals, including the Hanakasumi, Ceremonial Body Ritual and Elixir Body Exfoliation. “They’re more ritualistic, experience-driven treatments,” Lynch noted. “They’re all about touch with very specific movements. So it’s not just a body exfoliation or a wrap or something very general. The whole flow of the treatment is very intentional. It’s really beautiful.” For couples who want some action after their relaxation, Beau Rivage serves up serious nightlife with hot spots like Coast Nightclub and the swanky Eight75, which features live music every evening. Shoppers can browse Rolexes 42 DeSoto

to souvenirs at a dozen shops, while the Tom Fazio-designed Fallen Oak challenges golfers of all skill levels with its renowned 18-hole, par-72 championship course. It’s available only to Beau Rivage guests, who are whisked by limo from the resort to Fallen Oak, 20 minutes away. Beau Rivage’s biggest news may be the MGM Park set to open across the street from it this summer. Future home of the Minor League Baseball team the Biloxi Shuckers, it will give the resort the ability to host events and concerts for some 15,000 people. In the meantime, the breathtaking cirquestyle “YAYE,” which has been created exclusively for MGM Resorts, will debut June 9th in the Beau Rivage Theatre and run until August 9th. Featuring the world’s best acrobats, clowns, dancers and aerialists, “YAYE” promises Vegas-quality entertainment for prices beginning at just $12.95 a ticket. Special family packages for “YAYE,” as well as golf packages and the best room rates can be found on the resort’s website, For couples searching for the perfect wedding locale, long-together pairs looking to recharge passion with a special retreat, or anyone in between, Beau Rivage remains Mississippi’s romance haven. “It’s a very lovely combination of relaxation, nightlife, great dining, shopping and golfing, too,” said Cracchiolo Spain. “That’s our priority, to create a really wonderful resort experience.” Need a getaway further north? MGM has you covered with Gold Strike Casino Resort, a Tunica, Mississippi resort and casino with stylish, recently renovated rooms, the Wine Spectator award-winning Chicago Steakhouse and Ten10 Wine and Whiskey Bar, which holds regular tastings. “I’m really proud of Gold Strike,” said Cracchiolo Spain. “It has amazing service. We spent $6 million on the buffet, it’s just incredible. There’s a spa and top entertainment, too – we have a summer circus-style show there, Balagon. It’s a great facility!” For more information, visit

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a day away } tupelo, ms

Tupelo, Mississippi

ken biscuits 9:00 Breakfast at C onnie’s Fried Chicken. Fill up on delicious chic do not make and blueberr y doughnuts. The doughnuts are a local favorite. If you C onnie’s for breakfast head over to Blue Can oe later for C onnie’s Blueber ry Doughnut Bread Pudding. given an 10:00 Tour Elvis Presley’s Bir thplace and Museum. Visitors are 5 inside look at the humble begi nnings of the King of Rock n’ Rol l, born in 193 in a two-room house built by his father. d, cup of soup 12:00 Sweet Tea & Biscuits is the perfect spot to grab a salangue or sandwich. Save room for the homemade pie with mile-high meri . off Main 1:00 Pass the afternoon shopping the Midtown District. Just ythi ng from Street, this district offers 24 locally-owned shop s offering ever specialt y gift items, f lowers, clot hing to jewe lry and antiques. over 100 3:00 Wal k through the Tupe lo Aut omobile Museum. Feat uringmus was once automobi les from 1886 to present. This 120,000-square-foot er,euma 1929 a privatel y owned collection. Highlights include a rare 1948 Tuck Duesenberg and several movie and celebrit y vehicles. art from 4:00 Str oll down Main Street for a unique experience. Sho p for . fine Be sure Mississippi arti sts, stat ionary, home decor, gifts and much more Reed’s to pop into Tupe lo Hardware where Elvis bought his first guitar and Department Store--which has been in busi ness for over 100 years! law 6:00 Whi le Downtown enjoy a farm-to-table dinner at Kermit’singOuthear th gril l Kitchen. Del icious food from local farms prepared on a wood burn nding on what is is what makes KOK a culinary delight. The menu changes depeks, fresh and in season like hand-shucked oysters, dry-aged stea and bone-in pork chop s.

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Tupelo Elvis Festival June 4-7, 2015

Tupelo Elvis Festival is a musical celebration designed to honor Elvis Presley, Tupelo’s native son, and the impact that his music has on the world. Each year’s festival features regional, national and local artists along with a Sunday Gospel Concert and a Tribute Artist Contest. The Tribute Artist Contest winner will go on to compete in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis during Elvis Week in August. After competing Thursday, Friday and Saturday the winner will be announced Saturday evening at BancorpSouth Arena. Across the street artists like Memphis Jones, Paul Thorn and Sara Evans will take the stage at Fairpark. The “I Believe” Gospel Concert will round out the festivities Sunday morning. In addition to all of the great music, the festival features a number of local food vendors, a carnival midway, pet parade, beauty pageant, 5k run, disc golf, movie poster exhibit, and much more. For more information visit or call 662-841-6598.

Visit these sites to plan your Tupelo trip: 46 DeSoto

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greater goods } anniversary gifts

Anniversary Gifts McCarty Pottery Cynthia’s Boutique 2529 Caffey Street Hernando, MS 662-469-9026

Arthur Court heart tray $35 Bon Von Gift Shop 214 W Center Street Hernando, MS 662-429-5266

Elisa necklaces $50 - $65 The Pink Zinnia 134 West Commerce Street Hernando, MS 662-449-5533

Three E Pottery Merry Magnolia 194 E Military Road Marion, AR 870-739-5579

Sarge Steak Knife Set $70 TROVE Tupelo 1725 McCullough Blvd. Tupelo, MS 662-269-3197

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greater goods } father’s day

Father’s Day

Wallet $44 Blue Olive Shop 210 E. Commerce Street Hernando, MS 662-449-1520

Great selection for Dad Merry Magnolia 194 E Military Road Marion, AR 870-739-5579

Hand Towels Bon Von Gift Shop 214 W Center Street Hernando, MS 662-429-5266

Smathers & Branson Wallets $44.95 - $74.95 Southern Cloth 122 S. Industrial Road Tupelo, MS 662-844.2187

Over Under leather belt $72 So Co Apparel 2521 Caffey Street Hernando, MS 662-298-3493

Leather Trays $25 - $30 Cynthia’s Boutique 2529 Caffey Street Hernando, MS 662-469-9026

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greater goods } engagement rings

Engagement Rings A fabulous collection of dazzling Diamond Engagement Rings & Wedding Bands to signify your enduring love & fondness for your soul mate. Begin your journey of love with any of these beautiful symbols of eternal union. Princess Cut Diamond Solitaire Ring in 14K White Gold Bob Richards Jewelers 7730 Wolf River Blvd. Suite 103 Germantown, TN 901-751-8052

Van Atkins has a well deserved reputation for being one of the nations finest jewelers. Van Atkins Jewelers 129 W Bankhead Street New Albany, MS 662-534-5012

Custom Jewelry has been offering jewelry products and jewelry services to the Southaven, MS community since 1986. Custom Jewelry 1055 Goodman Road East Suite D Southaven, MS 662-349-9070

Sissy’s Log Cabin diamond experts are ready to assist you with finding your perfect diamond. 14k White Gold Diamond Halo Engagement Ring Sissy’s Log Cabin 404 South Grove Park Road Memphis, TN 901-834-0067 Signature Diamond Ring. Mednikow always searches for diamonds that have a certain indefinable but important character. Mednikow 474 Perkins Extended Memphis, TN 901.767.2100 50 DeSoto

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Sara Swaney THE BIG DAY

& Daniel Allen

October 12, 2013 Memphis, Tennessee. Second Presbyterian Church

THE ROAD TRIP After working a night shift, Sara was sleeping in the car on the way from Charlotte to Knoxville for a football game, as Daniel had previously planned. Sara woke up to find herself in Asheville, NC. Daniel told her to get dressed up and that they had somewhere to be. A horse drawn carriage then took them on a tour of the Biltmore Estate, then to the top of the mountain, where a bottle of champagne and a picnic awaited. Daniel got on one knee and asked Sara to be his wife. BRIDE’S GOWN: Aveline by Wtoo FLOWERS: Deedra Stone Designs PHOTOGRAPHER: Susan Hudson, Andrew Hudson- videographer THE RECEPTION: Family home of Frank and Grace Uhlhorn. Located on their tent-covered tennis court and lighted patio. CAKE: Red velvet wedding cake by Me and My Tea Room. White Chocolate grooms cake by The Flour Garden FOOD: Me and My Tea Room

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Anna Peterson THE BIG DAY

& Daniel Stanphill

September 19, 2014 Outdoor estate wedding at the home of Anna’s parents in Olive Branch

A UNIQUE WEDDING Anna has health concerns that leave her with a limited amount of energy so a big wedding was out of the question. Instead, she worked with event planner Mona Dunlap of Mona E Dunlap Events to create a fairy tale wedding at home that spanned two days. The ceremony with about 150 guests took place on Friday, September 19, with a very simple garden reception afterward. The following night, Anna and Daniel returned to celebrate at the “Swanky Soiree,” a party hosted by her parents for about 75 guests.

THE ENGAGEMENT: Daniel offered Anna a fortune cookie with the fortune reading “an important question is coming your way!” BRIDE’S GOWN: Maggie Louise Bridal FLOWERS: Deedra Stone Designs PHOTOGRAPHER: Cassidy Carson Photography, Nashville, TN THE RECEPTION: Underneath a lighted tent embellished with heirloom florals at the home of the bride’s parents. FOOD: Elizabeth Heiskell of Woodson Farms, Oxford, MS

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Brittany Cox THE BIG DAY

& Adam Lynch

April 26, 2014 Hernando, Mississippi at the home of Josh and Natalie Lynch. The ceremony took place under a century-old magnolia tree illuminated by a family chandelier.

HER SURPRISE Brittany had just finished her last exam in nursing school. They went out to enjoy a celebratory ride though the Mississippi Delta with the top off the jeep. Adam surprised Brittany by proposing at the very same spot at Moon Lake where they were first introduced by a long time friend, Tony Pastori.

BRIDE’S GOWN: Vintage ivory floral lace from Low’s Bridal PHOTOGRAPHER: Snaphappy Photography THE MUSIC: Smiley and the Young Guns, complete with a horn section and tons of energy FIREWORKS: Privided by a good friend, Dr. Jason Coleman THEIR PLANS: Travel the country

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Alyssa Tucker THE BIG DAY

& Stephen Norris Jr.

May 24, 2014 The ceremony was held at the bride’s home church, Collierville United Methodist in Collierville, TN.

THE BRIDE’S GOWNS Alyssa bought her gown after appearing on “Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta.” Her belt is from Maggie Louise, buttons on the belt from her maternal grandmother’s wedding suit, and lace on her veil is from her mother’s wedding dress. Alyssa changed into an altered version of her mother’s wedding dress in which to dance and leave the reception. THE CAKE: The wedding cake was made by the bride’s mother, Janet Tucker. FLOWERS: Karen Farmer PHOTOGRAPHER: Josh Malahy THE RECEPTION: Spring Creek Ranch Country Club Collierville, TN THE HONEYMOON: The couple honeymooned at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

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Kelsey Massey THE BIG DAY

& Matthew Locke

September 20, 2014 Sardis United Methodist Church. Sardis, Mississippi

THE RECEPTION Following the ceremony, the bride’s parents hosted a reception at 211 Main in Como. The event hall was beautifully decorated with lights, tulle and fall colored floral arrangements on each table. The food was served in an elegant display of Mississippi pottery. The bride’s cake was a four tier white cake with buttercream frosting designed with an intricate pattern on each layer, and topped with flowers to match the bride’s bouquet. The groom’s chocolate cake was surrounded by chocolate strawberries and topped with a Peter’s Pottery turkey and turkey feathers. Entertainment for the evening was provided by DJ Wes (Wesley Flint).

BRIDE’S GOWN: The bride wore a beautiful ivory lace gown by Mori Lee PHOTOGRAPHER: Patrick Remington, Jackson, Mississippi THE FLOWERS: The bride carried a hand-tied bouquet of white hydrangea, cream garden roses, white and green Gerrando gerbera, green dianthus, green Fuji, and green hypericum berry. Cathedral St John - The divine restoration program 62 DeSoto

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Brandi Sharpe THE BIG DAY

& Michael Johnson

September 27, 2014 211 Main Hall and Gardens. Como, Mississippi

POPPING THE QUESTION Michael had been trying to ask Brandi for over a month, but everything kept falling through. He had been carrying the ring around with him whereever they went just in case he found the right moment. One day, Michael suggested going to the Memphis Zoo where they are members and go all the time. He found the right place and asked for her hand in marriage. The zoo was a cute and perfect idea!

BRIDE’S GOWN: One shoulder A-line style from David’s Bridal THE CAKE: Three tier almond and strawberry cake from The Sweet Boutique FLOWERS: Butterflies Florist PHOTOGRAPHER: Hendricks & Co., Heather Horton Photography

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Bethany Prince THE BIG DAY

& Rob Ramage

June 28, 2014 Hernando First Presbyterian Church. Hernando, Mississippi

THE CAKES AND FOOD Cakes provided by Carolyn Holderfield. The bride’s cake consisted of four beautiful tiers wrapped in white fondant and covered with elegant designs, coral Calla Lilies, and babies breath. The grooms cake was a three tiered chocolate cake that reflected the groom’s involvement with Arkansas State football. John Wood’s First Choice Catering served guest delicious coconut shrimp, fruit and pimento cheese sandwiches. Shrimp, punch, and assorted vegetable cups were also provided.

BRIDE’S GOWN: Madeline Gardner ivory dress with Venice lace appliqué on net, edged with crystal beading and waistband. PHOTOGRAPHER: Bennie Durham THE FLOWERS: Words Bride’s boquet consisted of baby’s breath, white hydrangeas, white and coral roses, and greenery. Ivory lace around it and blue beauty pin from bride’s baby dress. Bridesmaids carried white hydrangea bouquet with greenery. THEIR DANCE: They danced to History in the Making by Darius Rucker THEIR TRANSPORTATION: After the ceremony, they left in Rob’s 1987 944 Porsche turbo!

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Amber Parvin THE BIG DAY May 24, 2014 Cedar Hill Farm. Love, Mississippi

& Matthew Wallis

THEIR RECEPTION ARRIVAL The new Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Wallis arrived at the reception on a 1969 John Deere tractor adorning a flagged burlap banner declaring their wedding date. Cedar Hill Farm’s barn was decorated with tulle and twinkling lights setting the most romantic atmosphere. An elegant southern buffet was offered to guests with tea and lemonade. Soft music played in the background with a photo booth for all to enjoy. Under the pavilion were candlelit tables and a slide show of the happy couple.

THE ENGAGEMENT: Matthew’s family farm near a beautiful pond - all built by his great grandfather BRIDE’S GOWN: White satin gown covered with lace and a bateau lace neckline with a sweeping train. The waiste was appliquéd with sequins, pearls, and crystals. THE CAKES: Cakes designed by Brown Baguette Bakery Cafe. The four layer shabby chic cake was adorned with flowers and the couple’s initials. The groom’s cake was a John Deere tractor. PHOTOGRAPHER: Ashley Upchurch. Olive Branch, Mississippi THE HONEYMOON: A beach cottage in Rosemary Beach, Florida

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Crown Winery in Humboldt, TN

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de terra Winery grape vines in Somerville, TN

Tasting West Tennessee Wineries Story and Photography by James Richardson

Wineries are not a new thing in Tennessee, although the idea of a West, Tennessee winery may feel somewhat counterintuitive due to climate. This isn’t exactly Napa Valley weather. Looking across the landscape, however, it’s clear more than one business hopes to wine its way into the Southern lifestyle. DeSoto 71

According to U. S. Census records, just prior to prohibition, Tennessee produced 208,000 gallons of wine, as well as five million pounds of grapes. Tennessee was said to be the third largest grape-growing state in the nation. Prohibition brought Tennessee’s wine industry to a halt, and after prohibition ended, the wine industry in Tennessee did not make a comeback until the State General Assembly began loosening restrictions on the industry in 1977. In 1978 according to the U. S. Census, there were only 125 acres of grapes in Tennessee. Now, there are nearly 50 wineries in the state and seven in the western division of the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance (TFWA), an organization that promotes Tennessee wine and coordinates the activities and relationships between the grape growers and the wineries. It also aids in the promotion, information, and favorable legislation to their industry. One of the newest wineries in West Tennessee is the Delta Blues Winery located in Lakeland. The winery held its grand opening this past February. The owners are Ed Stevens, a retired Ph. D. in microbiology from the University of Memphis, Dianne Day, and Jim and Sheila Wilson. Jim Wilson, also the president of the developing Wine Trail of West Tennessee, spoke about wineries in West Tennessee, “There are fewer wineries here because, I think, it’s just who’s putting it together. There are more vineyards in the East and Middle to begin with. People have said that you really couldn’t grow wine here in the West, but that’s not true. Actually, we have some of the best vineyards in the state here. Good soil, a good vineyard manager, and someone who knows what they are doing makes a good vineyard. We face a lot of diseases, bugs, and everything else. It’s just like we are farmers. Farmers, first and foremost. Farmers from vine to wine.” Rita Wilson Howard, co-owner of the Crown Winery in Humboldt with her husband Peter, added, “Many of the wineries in Middle and East Tennessee don’t have the vineyards, just the winery. They want to make the wine and they bring in juices from California and other places. We grow everything here.” Most of 72 DeSoto

the West Tennessee wineries do grow some of their own grapes. Some have just a few acres of grapes. Others many. Often times one winery will sell grapes to another if the need arises. All bottle their own wine. Some are small operations. Some large. T here are similarities and differences in the West Tennessee wineries. They are all after the same result: great wine for the consumer. They share knowledge and sometimes resources. But there has to be a little competition among them. After all, they want to survive and stay in business. That is one reason that all have events to draw customers and consumers to their places of business. Delta Blues has events and is available for rentals, like corporate parties, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. “So, as they say, you can’t live by wine alone. On Friday nights, we have what we call, ‘Friday Night ReWine’,” said Wilson. She continued. “Weddings are our main source of income here. We didn’t plan it that way, but if it weren’t for weddings, we possibly would be out of business.” Old Millington Vineyard and Winery, the oldest in West Tennessee, has music on Sunday afternoons. Even a smaller operation like the de terra Vineyard and DeSoto 73

Century Farm Winery in Jackson, TN

Winery in Somerville has events. As Carl O’Cain of the Century Farm Winery in Jackson pointed out, “Each winery in West Tennessee is sort of unique in its own way. Here our motto is, ‘We’re the real deal from the vine to the wine,’ because having a vineyard and winery is a double-dose of trouble and it is very easy to just buy grapes from someone else who deals with all the funguses, rainfall, freeze, frost, storms, and the harvesting to get it to a winery that opts just to make wine...and not grow grapes.” A century farm is one recognized by the Department of Agriculture that meets certain criteria. It has to have been in the family for 100 years, and it has to have been farmed continuously in that period of time. It must still exist with at least 10 acres and be an active farm. “It does not make us benefit financially in any way, but does put us on a list of certain farms in Tennessee,” said O’Cain. Most all the West Tennessee wineries have their specialty wines. O’Cain noted, “The wine I like to say is our specialty, because we are one of a few in Tennessee that do it, is a Norton wine. Norton was said to be a native American grape discovered in Missouri around 1811 to 1812. But since then, it was found that it probably was grown by some in Thomas Jefferson’s time in Virginia. During the Revolutionary War, all that work was destroyed and all the paperwork was gone. So, it’s been called the lost vine, and there’s a book about that...The Lost Vine.” Jerry Pentz of de terra related that his property is steeped in history. Before he bought the land, it was used by Digger O’Dell as a nursery, and before that it belonged to a Thomas Jefferson Claxton, who bought it before the War of 1812. One of Pentz’ wines, called Ghost White, was named after the mother of Lucy and 74 DeSoto

Polly Claxton -- the last two living Claxton children. “After their mother died, Lucy and Polly brought a glass of wine to the cemetery every day. So, we named the wine after her... Ghost White.” Howard of Crown Winery talked about their specialties. “Champagne takes five years to make. We can’t call it champagne because it has to be from a certain region of France, but that’s what it is. We call it Crown Gold. And of course, we have Strawberry Strut because Humboldt is the Strawberry Capital. We had to have a strawberry wine and it’s made from seven tons of pure strawberries grown five miles from here.” Old Millington specializes in fruit wines. Their blackberry wine is their yearround bestseller. They buy their blackberries elsewhere, but grow two and a half acres of Chambourcin grapes that grow well in this climate. This variety is made into their red wines. DeSoto 75

Each winery markets their own, and most are self-distributors. As Jim Wilson of Delta Blues explained, “Tennessee requires a third-party distributorship. Recent laws here gave us the opportunity to charge for wine tasting, which had never been done here in Tennessee. We sell wine by the glass, and self-distribute up to 36,000 bottled, or 3000 cases on our own. So, we can actually distribute to restaurants and others who want to sell it.” Century Farms markets solely to the local customers. “We have advertising out on the interstate and we pull all the non-local customers off the interstate,” said O’Cain. While explaining his marketing, two travelers on their way home from Arkansas came in and inquired about their Tennessee wines. Something apparently works about wineries in West, Tennessee.

For more information: Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance Century Farm Winery 1548 Lower Brownsville Road Jackson, TN 38301 (901) 424-7437 Crown Winery 3638 East Mitchell Street Humboldt, TN 38343 (731) 784-8100 Delta Blues Winery 6585 Stewart Road Lakeland, TN 38002 (901) 829-4685 de terra Vineyard and Wines of Somerville 605 Joyners Campground Drive Somerville, TN 38068 (901) 606-3390 www. Old Millington Vineyard and Winery 6748 Old Millington Road Millington, TN 38053 (901) 873-4114

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Wedding Gowns Coast to Coast Photography: Sarah Rossi Photography Dresses Provided by: The Barefoot Bride Location and Props: Propcellar Flowers: Kacie Copper Floral Design Hair: Allison Becksfort and Emily McElhaney Makeup: Gia Marina Models: Nikki McKnett, Emily Van Epps and Kelly Hill

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This preppy, seaside resort is all about a classic look. The plunging V-neck ivory swiss dot chiffon dress is elegant with a sweeping train. Pink lips and cheeks with a sleek ponytail add the perfect finishing touches. Anne Barge Bailey Gown 82 DeSoto


The dress is a soft, ivory matte satin fabric with grey metallic lace overlay across the bodice. The low swooping back with delicate spaghetti straps add the right amount of drama. The 1920’s “Gatsby” inspired look is topped off with red lips and birdcage veil. Elizabeth Fillmore Charlotte Gown

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The Boho laid back lifestyle of this community calls for an ethereal and romantic look. The v-neck and v-back on this dress are stylish and modern, while the flutter sleeves and sweep train add a touch of romance. WTOO Leah Gown

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Nothing says high fashion like this stunning silky, taffeta strapless gown with shirred drop waist bodice. The trumpet skirt with pleated floral detail makes a big impact from behind. Watters Mahala Gown

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In the South bigger is better. The champagne tulle and shimmer taffeta ball gown is a modern twist on the traditional Old South hoop skirts. The Swarovski crystal embellished lace applique bodice and draped waist add to the elegance of this beautiful dress. WTOO Oriana Gown

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Beach weddings are casual and comfortable. This silk washed organza gown with lace bodice, spaghetti straps and long tie back sash is perfect for your laid back coastal wedding day. A flower crown finishes the look. Watters Celaya Gown

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PARTIES TAP FOOD & FRIENDS By Joe Nolan. Photography by Sarah Frenzel. On-site Creative Director, Didi Rainey.

Another wedding season has arrived in Nashville, Tennessee.

For men, wedding season may be synonymous with another rite of passage: the bachelor party. Just mentioning this manly rite fills the head with images of drunken, debauched dudes seeking out regrettable circumstances as they grieve the loss of yet another member of their tribe. DeSoto 89

Niman Ranch Lamb with cracked wheat, apricot, radish, cauliflower, pistachio and mint salsa verde and grilled peas in their pods with oregano, chilies, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil

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While no doubt true, it could also ring true that more and more grooms are seeking an “un-bachelor” experience, focused on friends---and of course, food. In fact, surfing the Internet using phrases like “guys, gourmet, get together” or “artisanal Superbowl” or “classy fight night” will generate lots of links revealing the fellas are no longer happy just hanging together to get stuffed and drunk. Frohne insists that alcohol, food and music are key to any guys night out, but nowadays that’s more likely to mean craft beers and single malt scotches, and handmade, organic tacos or pizzas covered with local ingredients. Case in point. My most recent experience of this all-important guys-nightout was a perfectly respectful meeting for dinner at Merchants restaurant, enjoying appetizers, wines and beers, lingering over entreés – I had the trout – and getting to know our new British friends from the bride’s side of the family. This trend of gourmet guy time is catching on. When Hank Delvin of Delvin Farms, Bob Woods of The Hamery, Josh Corlew of Hands on Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program, and Tom Maddox of Carter Creek Greens made a trip to Mason’s to grab a beer, light a fire, and feast on the creations of Chef Brandon Frohne, it quickly became a party. “I was honored to be included,” said Delvin. “We’re all dressed up kicking back and drinking beers and eating delicious food.” Chef Frohne’s menu included fries sprinkled with truffle salt, bone marrow and beef cheek confit, and lardo glazed scallops. The dishes were a big hit, and it’s no surprise that Frohne’s kitchen has some pretty clearcut rules when it comes to serving groups made up exclusively of either sex. “Of course, the first thing you have to consider when you’re making your menu is your guests,” says Frohne. “When men get-together it’s usually a meat-driven meal – my first thought is ‘What’s my protein?’ I just go for delicious, fattening flavors. A great go-to for me right now is grilled barbecue oysters – we’re adding them to our menu for the summer. It’s a pretty simple preparation: we just grill them until the shells pop open then we add Sriracha lime butter and finish under the broiler.” So, is cooking for men substantially that different than for a group of women? “With women it’s just as creative, but my first DeSoto 91

Crab corn dogs with chives and Mississippi comeback sauce

Lavash crackers with pimento cheese, carrot hummus and tomato agradoice


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thought in that case is ‘What am I making for dessert?’ I always try to keep my apps and entrees more fit and health conscious but if I’m cooking for women I know I’m going to end with a big flourish for dessert.” A summertime treat that’s got the chef ’s attention is semifreddo: a class of Italian semi-frozen desserts made by combining equal parts ice cream and whipped cream. A current favorite take on the treat is an ice cream sandwich using blueberry yogurt and graham crackers. “I’m a champion of Brandon’s,” said Woods. “He works harder than any chef I know.” Of course, Woods loved the food, but it was the experience that he’ll remember most. “It’s not often I wear a $600 sports coat curing ham. It was fun and completely different than the kind of thing I usually get to do.” Where guys previously insisted that “more is more,” many are now claiming that “better is better.” While this preference for quality over quantity is currently trending, its actually a throwback to the start of this story and to the beginnings of the bachelor party. In Western society, the bachelor party is the archetype against which all male social gatherings are measured, and for good reason; the earliest bachelor celebrations date back to the ancient Spartans who are credited with holding dinners for groomsto-be on the nights before their weddings. The Spartan men may have been the first to feast and toast one another as a manner of marking the important new passage in a groom’s life. The “bachelor’s dinner” carried on for centuries all the way into modern times. By the 1940s and 1950s it was called a “gentlemen’s dinner” and was thrown by the groom’s father. Along with the eating and drinking, these occasions brought the older, married men of the family together with the younger, single men as they noted the right of passage of the groom from one way of life to the next. The “bachelor party” as we know it today came into being sometime after World War II but before the film career of Tom Hanks. Perhaps the trend away from those celebrations of bad behavior signals a return to a focus on friendship, family and male bonding, that the original bachelor rites were intended to honor. Real men have never much gone in much for frivolity anyway, and when DeSoto 93

heavyweights like the fellas at our guy gathering convened, the talk inevitably turned to local, sustainable food--just one of the many socially-conscious topics that filled the air. “First and foremost local eating eradicates the carbon footprint,” said Maddox. “Our travel time from harvest to table is 20 minutes.” The taste and nutrition of justpicked foods speak for themselves, but between local food deserts and grocery aisles overflowing with processed foods and chemical additives, it’s a message that can be easily missed. In order to meet these challenges, local farmers and chefs have to be educators as well as producers. “We have a program called crop city at our urban farm,” explained Corlew. “We teach kids how to grow, we talk about nutrition, we spend a lot of time cooking and then we look at the impacts of the current food system on the environment and health, and contrast that with the journey of a locally produced tomato from seed to plate.” Frohne agreed with Corlew. “Educating people is a huge part of what we do. When I’m not cooking food, I’m 94 DeSoto

talking to people about it. We’re all advocates when it comes local sustainable foods.” If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then gathering for an un-bachelor party where food, friends and family reign seems to be the answer this wedding season.

Chef Frohne insists that alcohol, food & music are key to any guys night out, but nowadays that’s more likely to mean craft beers & single malt scotches, & handmade, organic tacos or pizzas covered with local ingredients.

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homegrown } doodle bugs paper

Doodling Around By Andrea Brown Ross. Photography courtesy of Kacey McLendon

With today’s technology, letter writing may appear to be a thing of the past. For Kacey McLendon of Belzoni, Mississippi, however, combining her love of paper and personalization created a niche, ironically of all places, on the internet. She shares the story of how her online personalized stationery company evolved. “Doodle Bugs Paper was started in January 2003. I have always loved stationery and I have a deep love of anything personalized or monogrammed. When I first began my personalized stationery business, I was strictly a dealer for several major stationery companies. I quickly decided that I wanted to do the designing and personalization myself. My focus quickly turned to selling items I designed, rather than being a sales rep for other companies.” McLendon’s use of the internet has kept her business going strong through the years. 96 DeSoto

“I started selling on eBay back when eBay was the only online outlet for small business owners. In November 2004, I worked with a web designer to start my website. The look of the website has changed a few times over the last 11 years and the product selection keeps growing. I continue to add new designs, and currently have about 10 new designs I am tweaking and getting ready to launch.” McLendon currently offers a wide selection of paper products, many of which are personalized. “Doodle Bugs Paper has a large assortment of

products and numerous design options. Products include note cards, note pads, stickers, labels, bag tags, fill-in-the-blank thank you notes, notebooks and calling cards. My biggest selling products are kid’s fill-in-the-blank notes and address labels. I recently added a Mississippi Collection to the product line, and it has been very popular. This collection is also carried in several gift shops around Mississippi. The top spiral notebooks are also very popular and are perfect for kids and adults. There is also a “generic” inventory sale category on the website that has non-personalized items that make great gifts,“said McLendon. “The products I carry are exclusive to Doodle Bugs Paper. I use a lot of my own artwork, but I also use licensed graphics from graphic artists I have met over the years. There are lots of designs and choices and with everything online it is easy for customers to see everything at once. There’s no flipping through a catalog or looking at samples to pick an item to order. Everything is online and can be viewed easily on the website,” she explained. Like many retail businesses, McLendon’s busiest time is near the Christmas holiday. “October and November are my busiest months with Christmas orders. I usually close the website the first of December while I process and finish orders in time for Christmas delivery. Back to school is usually a busy time with teacher gifts. Then, springtime brings in extra orders with Mother’s Day, Easter, and especially graduation. “ Customer service and attention to detail rank high in McLendon’s business. “Customers also really enjoy, that if they have a question, they will be speaking to me directly. There is no middle man between a sales man and a printer. I personally design and print each item and I put my eyes on each item before it is shipped.” Word of mouth has made Doodle Bugs what it is today. “Happy customers spreading the word has helped me grow this business tremendously. It is also an honor to call some of my customers very good friends,” she continued. McLendon elaborated on why personalized stationary is an appropriate gift for many occasions. “The products I sell are also affordable and can be given as gifts. Personalized stationery is an inexpensive and perfect gift for all ages--babies to adults. I also have a large teacher customer base. Whether you are buying for a new mom, a child’s birthday party, teacher appreciation gift, new bride, graduation, or for yourself, there is something for everyone.” “Doodle Bugs Paper started as a hobby and has grown into a full-time business. I still hold a full-time job as a first grade teacher but my stationery business keeps me busy early in the mornings, in the afternoons, and mostly on the weekends. It is definitely a huge commitment and time consuming business, but when you enjoy something so much it doesn’t feel like too much work,” explained McLendon.

Visit Doodle Bugs Paper on Facebook or view the entire collection at

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southern harmony } jackson string quartet

Strung Together By Jill Gleeson. Photography courtesy of Jackson String Quartet

The way violist Hristo Hristov figures it, he and the rest of the Jackson String Quartet have watched about 300 couples pledge to spend the rest of their lives together. Founded by Hristov a decade ago, the Jackson String Quartet plays an average of 30 weddings annually, plus around a half-dozen other special events, such as corporate parties, art exhibitions and banquets. That’s in addition to the musicians’ day job; most are also members of Jackson’s esteemed Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. 98 DeSoto

It’s a lot of music making, but Hristov, who also teaches privately, calls playing in the quartet with colleagues from the orchestra “big fun.” Fun, too, must be occasionally switching up the group’s roster. At any one time there are about a dozen members in the Jackson String Quartet, ensuring that should someone need to drop out of a performance at the last minute there is another capable musician ready to take their place. Better to be safe than to disappoint, according to Hristov. After all, brides on their wedding days are generally not known for their go-with-the-flow attitudes. Along with reliability, another particularly pleasing aspect of the quartet is its diversity. The youngest member violinist Julia Kirk, whose mom is renowned Mississippi Symphony Orchestra violinist Marta Szlubowska, is just 18. Next month Kirk will tour Asia with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America. Another young member, Jocelyn Zhu, is seeking her Master’s degree in violin performance at The Juilliard School. Other musicians come from exotic ports of call like Brazil, Lithuania, Peru and Cuba. Hristov, who was born in Bulgaria, says of his multi-cultural group, “When I started working in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in 2004, my friends were those who came from Europe and other countries, so that’s who I asked to join the quartet. But I also think that if you’re able to find a job in an American orchestra coming from abroad, that is an indicator of ability.” If talent is a necessity to play in the Jackson String Quartet, so, too, is an appreciation for the quirky. Over the past few years, says Hristov, he and his buddies in other chamber ensembles have noted a decided shift in the musical tastes of bridesto-be. Increasingly they seem to request popular music selections. Some songs, like a hit from Adele, or “Let it Go” from “Frozen” fit in fine with nuptials, others, like Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” are a bit of a head scratcher. Even more unusual was the couple who asked that the theme from “Star Wars” be played for their walk back down the aisle as man and wife. “That took two or three days to find the music,” recalled Hrsitov. “They were very happy with it. People can do what they want but it’s just strange…people are asking for everything. For another processional the bride asked us to play ‘Flight of the Bumblebee.’ So I asked her, ‘Are you going to run or are you going to walk down the aisle?’” But plenty of couples still want to hear the time-honored tunes, like the granddaddy of them all, Mendelssohn’s “The Wedding March”. And that’s fine by Hristov; he loves playing the classics. They suit a string quartet, just like a string quartet suits a wedding. “There’s a long, long tradition of string quartets in weddings,” said Hristov. “The string quartet was used in all the big weddings throughout history, all the weddings of the royal families. It’s the easiest way to give a magical atmosphere to a ceremony.”

Interested in booking the Jackson String Quartet for an event? Here’s what you need to know: • You’re probably going to need to book fairly far in advance, particularly during wedding season. Hristov says six months to a year out is a safe bet. • Prices are $850 for a wedding, including a 30-minute prelude, the ceremony and the postlude. There are additional charges to book the quartet for the reception or for weddings over 25 miles outside of Jackson. String trios may also be booked – the price drops to $700 for a wedding – but Hristov advises, “A trio is always like a compromise, because one of the voices is missing. For me the string quartet is much, much better.” • When booking the quartet for an outdoor event, make sure you have a space for them that is not only out of precipitation but also direct sunlight. Both will damage the musicians’ instruments.

For more information, visit or phone 601-201-8558. DeSoto 99

table talk} old town hall and café

A BITE of HISTORY BY Andrea Brown Ross. Photography courtesy of Nancy Peeler

At Old Town Hall & Café in Covington, Tennessee, eating locally is now the business of the day. Originally the town hall from 1878 to 1913, the building remains historically accurate, providing an original backdrop for dining. Nancy Peeler and her husband, Judge Bill Peeler, opened the café in 1999, having opened the Old Town Hall two years previous as a retail gift shop. Today, not only is the Old Town Hall & Café a place to shop and eat, but it is also available to rent for special occasions. Catering is available for events such as rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and corporate events. With 14-foot ceilings and exposed brick, customers can enjoy the ambience of days gone by. However, it’s what’s on the plates that make the café more than just a 100 DeSoto

restaurant with interesting décor. “We have a full menu available everyday. It consists of soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. We also offer a “sandwich of the week”. Each week, I create the “special of the day” menu with consideration to customers’ seasonal favorites. The specials and soups change every day to enhance the full menu of sandwiches, salads, and sides,” said Nancy Peeler. Certain dishes have even garnered awards. “One of our special entrees is hot chicken salad served over rice and is one of our all-time favorites. Also, we have many customers who come in exclusively for our pretzel salad.

All of our desserts are homemade, but chocolate cobbler is the Chocolate Tour Award Winner.” If poultry pleases your palate, then you’ll have plenty of options, such as, Acapulco chicken over rice and green beans with hot bacon dressing, chicken fajita potatoes with roasted asparagus, and creamy almond chicken with vegetable salad, just to name a few. On any given week, the daily specials range from entrees like Greek quiche with tomatoes Rockefeller and Caesar salad, shrimp and grits, spicy glazed meat loaf with mashed potatoes and English peas, salmon covered with fresh veggies and spinach salad to beef pot pie with squash casserole. These made-from-scratch recipes vary week to week, typically with a seafood, chicken, beef, or pork offering as the entrée meat, depending on the day. “In the summer, we offer a lighter menu, with at least eight salads to choose from, as opposed to our menu offerings in the winter. We typically offer heartier vegetable servings as the temperature gets colder. In addition, we try to purchase our fresh ingredients locally when possible,” added Peeler.   Peeler points to local support as a critical part of the café’s success. “Each week our Chamber of Commerce faxes our weekly specials menu to local businesses. Of course, we also use Facebook to post our weekly specials. We celebrate customers’ birthdays several times during the week by serving a complimentary dessert. Our community considers Old Town

Hall & Cafe to be a favorite location for rehearsal dinners, bridesmaids’ luncheons, showers, and occasions of any kind.” Faithful customers have shared their reasons they return to the Old Town Hall & Café. “The Davis couple has been one of our best customers for almost 16 years, since our cafe opened. Now that they are retired, they eat with us two to three times per week. They have told us they enjoy the “at home” atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff. They also enjoy the variety of madefrom-scratch menu selections,” said Peeler. As much as they appreciate local support, the Peelers also welcome those from out of town. “On Saturdays, we serve brunch in addition to our full menu. We prepare items such as mixed berry French toast with hash browns, rolled omelette with spinach and goat cheese, fresh fruit, and muffins. The square in Covington, with lots to do, is a fun place for families to visit on Saturdays.”  

Covington is located approximately 40 miles north of Memphis, Tenn. The Old Town Hall & Café is located in Covington at 110 East Ct. Square. Lunch is served lunch 11am - 2pm Monday thru Saturday. Weekly menus are posted on their Facebook page,, or call 901-340-7281.

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in good spirits} pink gin

A pretty pink, raspberry gin

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Pretty in


By Cheré Coen. Photography courtesy of

Call it a convenient excuse or a medicinal aid, but the Pink Gin cocktail remains a great example of sailor ingenuity. And what would British writers have done without it. In the 19th century, sailors in the British Royal Navy created the “Pink Gin” aboard ship to cure seasickness. They combined Plymouth gin with a touch of Angosture bitters consisting of red Venezuela spices, which gave the drink its “pink” tint. Some also give credit to Dr. Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert for this tasty cure. Once sailors returned home, however, they missed their pink companion and soon the drink was being served throughout Great Britain, labeled “Pink Gin.” The drink became popular on land starting in the late 19th century and in popular culture of the 20th century. James Bond sipped the drink in the Ian Fleming novel, “The Man With the Golden Gun,” secret agent Jerry Westerby enjoyed it in John le Carré’s thriller “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and Agatha Christie employed her characters to its enjoyment in the Poirot series. A typical Pink Gin is one dash bitters and one part gin. Whether the bitters remain in the glass is at the prerogative of the drinker; many prefer the bitters to coat the glass and be discarded, then the gin poured into the glass. Cedric Charles Dickens, the great grandson of Charles Dickens, advised placing about six drops of the bitters in a wine glass, then top with the gin and an equal amount of ice water or more to taste in his book “Drinking With Dickens.” His “Burnt Pink Gin” recipe places a teaspoon of Angostura bitters over a flame, then adding the bitters into the gin with cold water to taste.

Some bartenders will create a Pink Gin and Tonic, which is the Pink Gin cocktail topped by tonic water and ice in a highball glass, then graced with a lemon peel.

Pink Gin Fizz

2 ounces orange juice 1 1/4 ounces gin 1 tablespoon Simple Syrup 4 ounces fresh pink grapefuit juice Seltzer Instructions: In a glass, pour orange juice over ice. Combine gin, simple syrup, and pink grapefruit juice; slowly pour over orange juice. Top with seltzer. (Recipe courtesy of

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exploring events } june 67th Annual Germantown Charity Horse Show

June 2-6 Germantown, TN This all-breed event showcases over 800 horses, including hunter/jumpers, American Saddlebreds, Roaster and Hackney ponies, and Tennessee Walking Horses.For more information visit or call 901-754-0009. “Sunset on the Square” Summer Concert Series June 4-15 7:00 PM Courthouse Square Hernando, MS Each Thursday in June, enjoy Hernando’s “Sunset on the Square” Summer Concert series, presented by First Tennessee Bank and Hernando Main Street Chamber of Commerce. It will be a fun-filled evening of music for the whole family. A variety of musical acts will appear on the stage and don’t worry about supper as there will be food vendors around the square too. Door prizes will be given away throughout the night. For more information visit www. or call 662-429-9055. Tupelo Elvis Festival June 4-7 Tupelo, MS Tupelo Elvis Festival is a musical celebration designed to honor Elvis Presley and the impact that his music has on the world. Featuring regional, national and local artists along with a Sunday Gospel Concert and a Tribute Artist Contest. For more information visit FedEx St. Jude Classic June 8-14 TPC Southwind Memphis, TN The FedEx St. Jude Classic has been played in Memphis since 1958 making it the longest running golf tournament on the PGA. The tournament is played at TPC Southwind and benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Headed to Memphis this year is Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Martin Laird, Ryan Palmer, Nick Watney and many more. For more information visit or call 901-748-0534. Carriage Crossing Movie Night Thru September The Shops at Carriage Crossing Houston Levee at 385 Collierville, TN June 12- Cinderella Rated PG June 26-Muppets Most Wanted Rated PG Movies will begin at dusk in Central Park. Weather permitting, schedule is subject to change. For more information visit 3rd Annual Juneteenth Family Fun Festival June 13 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM Latimer Lakes Park 5633 Tulane Rd. Horn Lake, MS Fun for the whole family! There will be a wide range of activities including various food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, pony rides and a petting zoo. Enjoy a Greek step show featuring some of DeSoto County sororities and fraternities. Also, a car show featuring Beale Street Corvette 104 DeSoto

Association, Vintage Car Competition, live Gospel, Blues and Country music featuring some of Mid-South’s finest entertainment. For additional information please call 901-481-3968 or visit Warfield Riverfest benefiting Camp Looking Glass June 13 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM Greenville, MS Nestled inside the beautiful Warfield Point Park overlooking the mighty Mississippi River in Greenville, families from across the Delta and the multi-state area will spend the day enjoying games and free activities, arts and crafts vendors, a talented line-up of music, delicious festival food and lots of BBQ. For more information visit Lady Antebellum Wheels Up Tour June 13 7:00 PM BankPlus Ampitheater Southaven, MS With special guest Hunter Hayes. For more information visit or call 800-734-3000. Balagan Theatrical Circus Sensation June 19 - July 12 Millenium Theatre Gold Strike Casino Tunica Resorts, MS Be amazed by the artistry, music and centuries-old European tradition of marketplace circus entertainment. For tickets visit or call 888-747-7711. DeSoto Family Theatre presents “The Secret Garden” June 19-28 Landers Center Theatre Southaven, MS Tickets are $15-$30. Season tickets are $55 for Youth and Seniors, $65 for Adults, and $90 for Premium Section Seats (Center Section, Rows A - E). For additional information visit or call the DFT office at 662-280-8098. Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Ball Presented by Le Bonheur Club, Inc. June 20 6:30 PM The Peabody Hotel Memphis, TN The Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Ball is a black tie event filled with heartfelt fun. The Ball will be held at The Peabody with silent and live auctions, a seated dinner, a presentation from a Le Bonheur family and a performance from a children’s choir. The Soulsations will provide great music for dancing, and we’ll have a photo booth. For more information visit Live at the Garden Summer Concert Series Aretha Franklin June 26 Memphis Botanic Garden Memphis, TN Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Come early and get your picnic spread on the lawn or purchase your food from vendors offering tempting Garden treats. Call ahead and pre-order food from one of the caterers. For tickets visit or call 901-576-4107.

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reflections} a triscuit summer

a triscuit summer By Karen Ott Mayer

I don’t get along too well with Triscuits. And before someone calls the Triscuit Division of Liability and Slander, let me explain further the reason I can’t stomach Triscuits. During my childhood, my family spent a good part of the summer parked at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina doing a whole lot of nothing but swimming, fishing, paddle boating and bickering. We stayed for what seemed weeks. The general daily routine remained the same: Jump out of the RV bunk, eat a bowl of cereal, throw on the swimsuit and head out the door. My parents always parked the RV on a campground spot just across from the beach, so we four gypsy children could just meander from sandy beach to RV door and back again... about 40 times during the day. While it didn’t bother us in the least, the endless stream quickly became old hat for my mom. I remember this one afternoon particularly well. It was about this time of year, lovely warm days, sunshine...good beach weather. It wasn’t unusual for us kids to stay on the beach until the last light or until we heard mom’s scream. On this day, I remember one thing. I was starving. With sandy feet, tangled hair and zinc oxide on our faces, we trudged one last time across the warm pavement to the RV. As I grabbed the screen door handle, nothing happened. We knew the big people were inside because we could hear them. For anyone not familiar with an RV screen 106 DeSoto

door, they have these neat little sliding screen doors installed about mid-door. Even that wouldn’t open. “Mooooommm!! Open the door!” From somewhere inside the RV, I heard a distinct answer. “No!” We looked at each other, confused. The rather frustrated unseen voice raised again. “You all are too sandy. You’re not coming in!” That did it. “But we’re staaaarrrving!” What happened next remains clear in my mind. The little screen insert slid back and a hand threw out an entire box of Triscuits---and a stick of butter. Like a pack of hyenas, we kids jumped on the box and butter, carrying it to the picnic table. Now, I have no clue how many crackers are in a box or how it’s divided between four kids, but I’ll suffice it to say, that math doesn’t matter in the face of reality. I am fairly certain there is a scientific method for proving Triscuits + Butter + Water = Expansion. I’ve never really queried my siblings about their Triscuit memories. Am I the only one suffering from post traumatic cracker syndrome? Quite possibly, because despite everything, I have always maintained my loyalty to butter.

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Profile for DeSoto Magazine | Exploring the South

DeSoto Magazine June 2015  

Here’s to… The grand summer month of June and our biggest issue of the year. Each year, we have the honor of sharing our pages with many you...

DeSoto Magazine June 2015  

Here’s to… The grand summer month of June and our biggest issue of the year. Each year, we have the honor of sharing our pages with many you...