Page 1

Old Waverly Farm Ham’s | Johnnie’s Drive-In | French Hermit Oyster Company

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Hooray for

Herbs

APRIL/MAY 2020 $

4.95

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 31, 2020

SmokeGrilled Rack of Lamb Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake Watermelon Arugula Salad eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI •1


We appreciate your hard work and dedication to serving our community through these challenging and uncertain times

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI 2 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Order take-out or purchase gift cards from your favorite restaurants. Purchasing a gift card now for future use can help them get through this challenging time, as we all work together to return to business as usual. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 3


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

How Sweet It Is in Jackson Whether it’s for a birthday, special occasion, or you’re just craving some cake, there are several places in the capital city that offer delicious cakes. Here are a few of our favorite spots to get a great cake!

Campbell’s bakery – 3013 N state street Open since 1962, Campbell’s is Jackson’s oldest bakery. Campbell’s is known for their teacakes, petit fours, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, and, of course, cakes. Whether it’s for a birthday party or a wedding, Campbell’s can do it all, and they even have several flavors to choose from. Cake flavors include lemon, caramel, carrot, red velvet, hummingbird, Italian cream, devil’s food, strawberry, chocolate fudge, and white. For birthdays and other fun occasions, Campbell’s can personalize cakes to include anything you could imagine.

la brioChe – 2906 N state street An authentic patisserie, La Brioche creates fine pastries and cakes with fresh ingredients daily. Their desserts and cakes are decadent, delicious, and great for any occasion. La Brioche’s cakes are entremets, which is a classic French mousse-based cake with multiple layers. Choose from options like Natalia, 4 • APRIL/MAY 2020

made up lemon mousse, vanilla cake, and raspberry mousse topped with white chocolate glaze, or Seraphina, made of layers of raspberry mousse, vanilla cake, and dark chocolate ganache with fresh raspberries topped with a dark chocolate glaze. Entremets are available in 6, 8, 10, and 12-inch options, and all orders must be placed up to four days in advance, but if you’re in a bind, you can purchase cakes from the storefront case. C For heaveN’s Cakes aNd CateriNg 4950 old CaNtoN road Another delicious bakery, For Heaven’s Cakes is known for its delicious wedding cakes, grooms’ cakes, and birthday cakes, too. No matter what event you have coming up, For Heaven’s Cakes has you covered. Though they don’t have a storefront, you can call 601-9912253 for catering inquires and more information. UrbaN Foxes – 826 N state street Belhaven’s newest sweet shop is serving up baked goods, coffee and craft beer, pies, and even slices of cake. The smallbatch bakery is owned by Jackson native Cody Cox, who formerly worked as the general manage at the Fondren Cups location, and he and his co-owner, Molly West, prepare sweet treats daily. Flavors of cake rotate often, so you might have to check their social media pages for daily offerings, but they’re sure to be fresh and delicious every time. Cake slices are $4, and flavors can range anywhere from Coconut Lemon to Tres Leches Pound Cake, Chocolate Espresso, Buttermilk Blueberry, and everything in between. No matter which day you pop in Urban Foxes, a slice of cake will be waiting for you.


FEED YOUR

visitjackson.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 5


CONTENTS April/May 2020 Volume 9 Number 2

54

17 in this issue 18 HOORAY FOR HERBS Three Recipes with Huge Flavor from Herbs

24 FRESH & FLAVORFUL

49

Growing Herbs at Home Is Fun

28 MISSISSIPPI MADE Old Waverly Farm Hams

in every issue 8 From the Editor 11 What’s Happening 12 Fabulous Foodie Finds 16 A Taste of Magnolia 56 Recipe/Ad Index

32 FRESH FROM THE FARM Local Chefs Rave About French Hermit Oyster Company

36 GREAT CATCH Melissa Cookston’s Salmon Series Switches Up Traditional Method of Grilling

40 FOR YOUR HEALTH Now’s the Time to Teach At-Home Nutrition

42 SPRING CELEBRATIONS Tasty Sandwiches Perfect for Special Occasion Brunches

44 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND Alexandra Minton Earns National Honor as Level-Two Sommelier

48 FROM THE BOOKSHELF Cake Decorating for Beginners Rose Atwater

50 RAISE YOUR GLASS Fiber-Filled Banana Colada Smoothie

52 WHERE TO EAT Johnnie’s Drive-In Bar-B-Q in Tupelo

54 DINNER INSPIRATION Melissa Cookston’s Smoke-Grilled Rack of Lamb Is Impressive Springtime Dish

58 Till We Eat Again ON THE COVER: Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum, page 20

6 • APRIL/MAY 2020


SUBSCRIBE NOW for a taste of Mississippi all year long!

Only 24 for six issues! $

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com | Coo

king

As a

First

Langua

ge |

Oktoc

ty Gin

gerbre

ad Tre

Country

ats |

Bill’s

Creole

and

Old

Waver

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

ly Far

m Ham

’s | Joh

nnie’s

R2

ches

R1

Sandwi

E 9, NUMBE

cken

VOLUM

d Chi

E 9, NUMBE

R6

E 8, NUMBE

Frie

VOLUM

VOLUM

9 Tas

eat. eat. MISS rin k. MISSdISSrIPiPnI k. MISSdISSrIPiPnI k. ISSIP PI

ie-For

Stea

Drive-I

n | Fre

k Dep ot | Sal

vation

nch

Arm

Stor

Hermit

y Sou

per Bow

Oyster

Com

pany

l

e

eat.

eat.

Terri fic Prali Holid ne P ay an South Tec errinfles Sw

eat.

drink.

drink.

drink.

MISSISS

MISSISS

MISSISS

IPPI

IPPI

eet Pota to P ie

IPPI

Hoor

ay fo

Herb

s

Ginge with rbread Lem Sauce on

Subscribe online at www.eatdrinkmississippi.com or cut out this form and mail to us at P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130

r

Ch Streeticken Tacos

Butte Squarnut Mac sh Chees& e

April/M

2020

2019

Smok Gri eRack lled of Lam

ay 2020

nuary

ember

ber/Ja

er/Nov

Decem

Octob

Makes a great gift!

12 To-D

eat. d

Miss

issipp annu i Food al tu Ne rkey twork’s drive eat. drink

. MISS

ISSIPPI

eat. drink

. MISS

•1

ISSIPPI

•1

Thyme Lem and Loaf on Cake Water eat. drink melon Aru . MISS gu ISSI laPPISa •lad 1

b

FROM: __________________________________________ NAME __________________________________________ ADDRESS __________________________________________ CITY __________________________________________ STATE ZIP __________________________________________ PHONE __________________________________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS

MY SUBSCRIPTION

GIFT SUBSCRIPTION

1-year $24 2-years $36

1-year $24 2-years $36

PAYMENT ENCLOSED BILL ME LATER TO: __________________________________________ NAME __________________________________________ ADDRESS __________________________________________ CITY __________________________________________ STATE ZIP

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7


{ from the editor }

Embracing and Re-centering with Family

C

hange is in the air this spring. With the switching of seasons and unprecedented pandemic we are currently facing, the previous and coming months have been and will be a whirlwind. The months of April and May always seem to be the most tumultuous of the year, and 2020 couldn’t agree more. However, the tumble from winter into a fresh, new spring is not the only change you may notice—it might be the change in Editor for eat.drink.MISSISSIPPI. I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to be involved with this fantastic publication. I have always had a love for cooking and writing recipes, with a partiality to baking (because who can ever say “no” to the smell of baking bread, brownies, or cookies?). There is no doubt in my mind that this comes from both my mother and grandmother putting me to work in the kitchen from a young age instead of shooing me out to “go play” with my brother. I look forward to working with our writers and readers as we continue to move forward with this magazine. All this being said, let us not neglect to find the smaller joys to look forward to this May. Whether you’re looking forward to finally having the time to plant the garden you have always dreamed of having or you are excited to celebrate Mother’s Day, May holds many opportunities for growth (please observe the play on gardening words here), both in a personal and familial sense. During these uncertain and trying times, finding our roots with family is often the best option for peace. Whenever we find ourselves stretched thin or struggling to adapt, family, be it blood or otherwise, is always within digital or physical reach. I have always found that at my worst and my best, my mother has always been there to re-center me. Regardless of if it was through words or actions, she always made sure that I walked

away better than I was before I started. As I am sure that many of us feel the same way towards the people who raised us, Mother’s Day is a timely opportunity to demonstrate our appreciation. There are countless ways you can honor mom depending on what her preferences are—does she enjoy plants? If so, a hanging basket of any type of flower is always a perfect gift, especially if she didn’t

come equipped with a “green thumb.” Or what about cooking, could she use a break? Ask her what dish she’s craving but doesn’t necessarily want to make herself. Be warned: with this Mother’s Day gift comes dish duty. Never leave Mom a sink full of dishes. So, as our ability to adjust to a “new normal” will be tested, we’re reminded that the immediate ties that hold us together are our relationships and our willingness to elevate them in a time like this. Be sure to celebrate, but from a distance, and always be sure to let your family, whether chosen or born into, know how much they mean to you.

Rebecca Fending, Editor

EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI (USPS 17200) is published bi-monthly with periodicals postage paid at Madison, MS, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please mail changes of address to P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

8 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Get the Cinco De Mayo Party Started

C

inco de Mayo marks the Mexican army’s victory over the French army at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. While that victory was a relatively minor one, modern celebrations of Cinco de Mayo have become incredibly popular across North America. Cinco de Mayo provides an opportunity to celebrate Mexican culture and enjoy some tasty food along the way. No Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without a spicy, tangy salsa dip. In fact, May is also National Salsa Month, making it an ideal time to whip up some homemade

salsa. When planning Cinco de Mayo parties, consider this recipe for “Salsa” from “Vegan Cooking for Beginners” (Publications International) from the PI Kitchens. Why not pair it with the equally delicious “Guacamole” for plenty of menu options? edm

Guacamole Makes 2 cups 2 large ripe avocados 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt Cut avocados in half lengthwise around pits. Remove pits. Scoop avocados into large bowl; sprinkle with lime juice and toss to coat. Mash to desired consistency with fork or potato masher. Add onion, cilantro, jalapeño and salt; stir gently until well blended. Taste and add additional salt, if desired.

From Our Farm to Your Table • 100% grass-fed beef and lamb • No added hormones • 100% all-natural, humane handling

Salsa Makes 4-1/2 cups 1 can (28 ounces) whole Italian plum tomatoes, undrained 2 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles 1 tablespoon canned diced jalapeño peppers (optional) 1 tablespoon white vinegar 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon salt Combine tomatoes with juice, fresh tomatoes, green chiles, jalapeños, if desired, vinegar, garlic, onion powder, sugar, cumin, garlic powder and salt in food processor; process until finely chopped.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TO SHOP OUR SELECTION OF PASTURE-RAISED PRODUCTS

662-889-6628 2817 Douglass Rd. Macon, MS 39341 www.newgrassfarms.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 9


VENDORS WANTED We are currently seeking magazine vendors in all areas of the state. If you would like to sell this magazine at your business, call 601-427-5694 or email info@eatdrinkmississippi.com for more information.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Debbie Hansen Publisher/Editor

Debbie.Hansen@eatdrinkmississippi.com

Rebecca Fending Editor

Rebecca.Fending@eatdrinkmississippi.com

FOLLOW US! www.facebook.com/eatdrinkmississippi www.pinterest.com/eatdrinkms www.twitter.com/eatdrinkms www.linkedin.com/company/eat-drink-mississippi www.instagram.com/eatdrinkmississippi

Vanessa Case Account Executive

vanessa@eatdrinkmississippi.com

Julian Brunt Lisa LaFontaine Bynum Divian Conner Melissa Cookston Susan Marquez Jay Reed Contributors

b

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

b

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI is published six times a year by Carney Publications LLC

DROP US A LINE! Thank you for your interest in this magazine. We would love to hear from you. Please understand that letters submitted become the property of eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI and may be edited for length and clarity. E-mail us at info@eatdrinkmississippi.com, leave a comment on our Facebook page, or write to P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

NEW ADDRESS? If you’re a subscriber and your address has changed, please let us know. The post office doesn’t provide forwarding service for the magazine and we don’t want you to miss an issue. Send your change of address to us at P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130 or e-mail us at info@eatdrinkmississippi.com. 10 • APRIL/MAY 2020

b P.O. Box 1663 Madison, MS 39130

b 601.427.5694

b © eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without written consent from the Publisher. Advertising rates available upon request. Subscriptions are $24 for one year. Subscribe online or make checks payable to: eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI P.O. Box 1663 Madison, MS 39130


{ what’s happening }

Palate to Palette with Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters Returns to MPB

C

hef Robert St. John and artist Wyatt Waters continue to follow their passion for cooking and painting in season five of Palate to Palette. This time, their creative journey takes them to the Eternal City: Rome. New episodes air at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) Television. If you happen to miss the show—or enjoy the episode so much you want to watch it again—encore presentations air at 10 p.m. Wednesdays. For on demand viewing, visit the free MPB Public Media app or the MPB website. Palate to Palette showcases best friends St. John and Waters traveling together and taking viewers along for a fun road trip. While touring Rome and surrounding areas, St. John focuses on the culinary aspect by dining in extraordinary restaurants and showcasing exquisite Italian dishes. Waters complements these experiences by creating beautiful watercolor paintings that capture iconic Italian landscapes.

Highlights of the road trip are visits to Capri, Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and discovering amazing cuisine in the most unlikely places. For more information on MPB visit, www.mpbonline.org. edm

Chef Vivian Howard Visits Miss. Delta and Jackson in Episode of 'Somewhere South'

C

back home — chicken pastry. The dumpling, in all its folded elebrity chef, author, and restaurateur Vivian Howard, and filled or doughy glory, resists easy definition and invites a who previously hosted the award-winning series “A revealing look at communities that further broaden common Chef ’s Life,” has returned to PBS in a new six-part perceptions of what it means to be–and eat–Southern. series. Somewhere South is a culinary tour exploring the dishes The episode has already aired but can be viewed online at that are uniting cultures and creating new traditions across the www.pbs.org/food/shows/somewhere-south/. edm American South. In the episode “Dumpling Dilemma,” while cooking a charity dinner with Southern Korean chefs, Howard spins out her version of French gnocchi to be served alongside Asian dumplings descended from the Chinese royal court tradition. During a discussion, the chefs realize that while they all understand what a dumpling is, they can’t actually define it. On a quest to solve that conundrum, Howard visits long-standing Chinese communities in the Mississippi Delta and gets a complicated history lesson over dim sum. She learns more about dumplings in Jackson, Miss., from generations of Jewish women who make matzoh ball soup. Further exploration leads Vivian to her favorite Italian-style dumplings Vivian Howard learns how to make red dot dumplings from Carol in Durham, N.C., where she gets a lesson in Chinn (center) and Sally Chow at Chow’s home in Clarksdale. dough-rolling and forming. She also revisits Photo Courtesy of Somewhere South. one of her classic comfort food memories eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 11


{ fabulous foodie finds }

Embosses Highball Glasses, set of 2, $18 www.belk.com Cook with Color 7-piece Kitchen Gadget Set, $29.99 www.amazon.com Kate Aspen Mercury Glass Tea Light Holder, set of 4, $14.79 www.amazon.com Silicone Carved Trivets, set of 3, $12.99 www.amazon.com

12 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Pottery by Woods Brothers of Mound Bayou Coffee mug, $32 Mississippi dish, $30 Medium syrup pitcher, $46 Batter bowl, $100 www.themississippigiftcompany.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13


www.bcbsms.com Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, A Mutual Insurance Company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® Registered 2020 Marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. 14 • APRIL/MAY


Let's Re-do Lunch It’s a new year! If you made resolutions, hopefully you are actively working toward your goals, whatever they may be. If your resolution includes taking your lunch more often to work or eating healthier to improve health numbers such as blood sugar, cholesterol, or blood pressure, chances are you may be experiencing lunch boredom with your leftovers or meal prep. Your lunch doesn’t have to get you down, though. It just involves thinking outside of the box when it comes to meeting your daily goals. Chef Labron Alexander, Executive Chef at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, has some ideas to take your lunch to the next level. “We have found that our best sellers in the Blues Café aren’t the traditional entrée, veggie, and starch,” said Chef Labron. “Our employees are more interested in a variety of deconstructed salads, bento boxes featuring 4 – 5 portion-controlled items, and our health elixirs, which are herbal drinks with specific health benefits and include spices, veggies, and fruits.” Deconstructed Salads “In the Blues Café we serve a deconstructed Greek salad which showcases a turmeric rice, cucumber, and tomato salad; hummus; grilled chicken; and wheat pita bread,” said Chef Labron. “When we first offered it, we weren’t sure how it would be received, but our employees rave about it.” Deconstructed salads are eaten from a sectioned bento box, meal prep container, or even mason jars. Instead of mixing everything together at the beginning, each item has its own spot so you can choose to eat more or less of a particular item. Bento Boxes Bento boxes originated in Japan and have a main ingredient or protein with a variety of sides such as rice, veggies, or other proteins. The bento box is the latest culinary craze here and often includes small servings of fruit, veggies, pasta, salads, dips, or sandwiches. Bento boxes help control portion sizes. “If you are making your bento box at home, it’s up to you what you include in it,” said Chef Labron. “Maybe a meatless box is your go-to or you prefer protein packed ones instead of veggies and fruits. That’s the great thing about the bento box, it’s customizable and can fit whatever your nutrition goals may be.” Some ideas for your very own bento can include: • Meal # 1 tofu, edamame, and a veggie sushi roll-up • Meal # 2 pickled onions, naan bites, hummus, and olives • Meal # 3 couscous, orzo, fruit salad, chicken salad, and wheat crackers • Meal # 4 wasa wheat crackers, cheese, deli meat, cucumber, and everything bagel seasoning “Our new Southern Bento Box is served in a fourcompartment container. It includes a lima bean hummus, black eyed pea tabbouleh, watermelon arugula salad, and energy balls,” said Chef Labron. “We have to put the Mississippi spin on it!” Elixirs “In 2020, I plan to include more elixir offerings,” said Chef Labron. “Elixirs are the perfect way to include different herbs and spices into your daily routine. They are served cold or hot and can even replace teas or coffees with your breakfast. My latest elixir has kale and ginger in it because of the health benefits.” Kale is a superfood that is low in calories and packed with Vitamins A, K and C, fiber, and antioxidants. Kale can even help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Ginger can help reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and help with nausea. Give deconstructed salads, bento boxes, or Chef Labron’s kale ginger elixir a try to stave off lunch time boredom and keep you on track with your health goals. Tag Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi in your creations on Facebook!

lIMa BeaN huMMuS 1-1/2 cups cooked seasoned lima beans 1/4 cup tahini 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 cloves of garlic 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup water 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon adobo seasoning add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend to desired consistency. add dry seasonings. Serve with pita chips.

BlaCK eyed Pea TaBBouleh 1-1/2 cups cooked bulgur 1 cup cooked black eyed peas 1/2 cup diced cucumber 1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1/2 cup chopped mint 1/2 cup Kalamata olives 2 tablespoons feta Sprinkle of salt and pepper 1/4 cup lemon vinaigrette add all of the ingredients (except feta and lemon vinaigrette) to a bowl and toss. Next, add the lemon vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and top with crumbled feta.

waTeRMeloN aRuGula Salad 1/2 cup arugula 10 ounces cubed watermelon 1/8 julienned red onion 2 tablespoons lime vinaigrette 1 tablespoon mint 1 tablespoon ginger 2 tablespoons feta Sprinkle of tajin seasoning Toss diced watermelon, julienned red onion, feta, chiffonade of mint and ginger in a bowl. Next, toss with lime vinaigrette and season with tajin seasoning.

RECIPES CONTINUED ON PAGE ??

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 15


Taste of Magnolia a

Make Tonight

Pho-nomenal

E

DIVIAN CONNER is a Mississippi mama of four ‘not so little’ little ones. Coming up with recipes, trying new ones, and feeding her crew of tweens and teens is her passion. Southern recipes, easy recipes, sorta hard recipes, but always delicious recipes is what you will find on her food blog, www.divianlconner.com. Now venturing into outdoor cooking over an open fire, Divian is fascinated with camp cooking and entertaining.

16 • APRIL/MAY 2020

by divian conner

ver since my now-taller-than-me teens were wee children, I have always tried to introduce them to a diverse range of food. At our dinner table, we travel the world without actually leaving by trying foods from different cultures, places, and regions. It is fun, and they enjoy helping out with the preparations. My children have eaten jellyfish, squid, and (ewwwww, but so delicious)snails. They have tried snacks from around the world, super hot and spicy sauces, and let me tell you, not everything was a hit with them, but gosh darn it, they tried it. Even though it is just food, it made me a proud mama. I love when a person is open to try new and different things-not only food, but it carries over into experiences as well. Having that level of diversity can foster a diverse and open person. My children love not only trying different foods, but they have now ventured into the territory of creating and making different foods themselves. We often head to the grocer, load up the cart with fresh foods, and then they have a hay day making their own meals together as a family. One of their absolute favorite foods to make at home are Asian-inspired. They love noodles, dumplings, rice bowls, and loads of fresh herbs and veggies. We make Thai-inspired, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese foods with our own twist and flair. The freshness of making your own can’t be beat and watching them as teens creating these types of dishes makes me beam with pride knowing that they will grow up to be able to hold their own in the kitchen. They have come a long way from making black-eyed pea tacos, and that makes me smile. In our home, noodle bowls are a huge hit. I mean, seriously, they’re one of the easiest meals to prepare and, like a Hot Pot, you basically lay all the ingredients out and everyone can add what they like. We start with a great soup base and Pho is always a winner. Pho has such a distinct flavor and when you add all those goodies to it, woo, child! Talk about some good eating! And, it is so fun. Imagine the look on faces when they walk to the kitchen table to bowls of rice, noodles, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, chilies, limes, fresh piles of herbs; thinly-sliced pork, beef, shrimp; and whatever else your heart desires to include in your spread. There is just something about being able to eat in common but customize it to your liking that is always a hit. So, why not make one night this week Pho night? I know you are going to love it! edm


Pho Base Soup Base: 2 cinnamon sticks 3 whole cloves 4 star of anise 2 cardamom pods 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 2 (one-inch) pieces of fresh ginger root, diced Cheesecloth 2 teaspoons brown sugar 2 beef bouillon cubes 1 whole onion, halved Noodles (if unable to find Pho noodles, any flat thin noodle will work) Toppings: Thinly sliced beef, pork Shrimp Basil Bok choy or Napa cabbage (even kale will work beautifully) Fresh sliced chilis (optional) Sliced jalapeño (optional) Sliced carrots

Lime Fresh cilantro Bean sprouts Sriracha (optional) Hot Chili Oil (optional) Sesame Oil (Optional) Add all ingredients for the base except for the brown sugar, bouillon, and onion to a cheesecloth and tie tightly. Pour 6 cups of water into a large pot, add the cheesecloth to it, and bring to boil. Once boiling, lower the heat, add in brown sugar bouillon and onion. Cook on low-medium heat for an hour, giving the base time to release all the flavors inside the cheesecloth. Remove the cheesecloth, squeezing to release excess soup, and remove the onion. Add in your noodles and cook until noodles are done. In pan, cook thinly-sliced meats with salt, to taste. Serve hot. Add meat and toppings when served. Note: I love sesame oil, so I always drizzle a drop or two to my pho. I used bok choy that had blooms for the bowl you see pictured eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17


Hooray for

18 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Herbs By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum

F

resh fruits and vegetables may be one of the best things about warmer weather, but don’t forget about fresh herbs! You don’t need a lot of room to grow them; a small flower pot and a sunny windowsill will do. But the flavor they add to sweet and savory dishes alike are huge. Try are few of these recipes and see for yourself. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19


Tomato, Basil,

and Mozzarella Salad

20 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Cheese Tortellini with

Asparagus, Peas, and Mint

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21


Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad 2 cups day old bread cubed 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 teaspoons salt, divided 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 pound cherry tomatoes 1 pound ciliegine (small fresh mozzarella balls) 1-1/2 cups basil leaves, torn To make the croutons: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread bread cubes out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt and the Italian seasoning. Toss to coat. Bake for 5-10 minutes until croutons are slightly golden and crispy. Allow the croutons to cool. Assemble the Salad: Meanwhile, combine the remaining olive oil, salt, vinegar, and black pepper to make the dressing. In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, ciliegine, and basil. Pour dressing over salad. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with toasted croutons. Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas, and Mint Kosher salt 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced 1/8 teaspoon cayenne 1 pound fresh cheese tortellini 1 pound asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole) 1 cup shelled fresh peas or thawed frozen peas 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and diced Freshly ground black pepper Fill a large stock pot with about three quarts of salted water. Bring water to a boil over high heat. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Set aside. Once your water starts boiling, add tortellini, asparagus, and peas; and cook until the tortellini is al dente – about 2-3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining the 22 • APRIL/MAY 2020

pasta and vegetables. Toss pasta and vegetables with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, goat cheese, and diced chicken; and stir until the cheese melts. Add cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season pasta to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake For the cake: 1/2 cup butter, softened 3/4 cup sugar 1 egg 1/2 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup sour cream 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt For the glaze: 1/3 cup unsalted butter 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest 2 cups powdered sugar 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2-4 tablespoons hot water For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and continue to mix until combined. In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and sour cream. In another bowl, whisk together flour, thyme, lemon peel, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add half of the flour mixture. Follow with half of the buttermilk mixture, and continue to beat until combined. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Pour batter into a greased 8-inch x 4-inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling. For the glaze: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in lemon zest, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is the consistency of thick syrup. Pour over the top of the lemon loaf cake once cooled.


Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23


Fresh &

24 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Flavorful The main thing with herb gardening is to have fun. The plants are beautiful, they smell good, and they taste great.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25


Growing Herbs at Home Is Fun by Susan Marquez

H

ow many times have you needed fresh herbs and your only option was in the little plastic containers in the produce section? For less than you’d pay for a couple of stems of fresh sage or basil, you can buy a live plant and start your own herb garden! Instead of buying a sprig of rosemary at the supermarket, you can provide a supply of fresh rosemary year ‘round to your neighbors. While not all herbs can be grown in our deep South climate, many can be grown with great success. Although many herbs are perennials, don’t be surprised if they die off after three or four years. The key to success in planting a flourishing herb garden is to choose the right plants and prepare your site properly. The Mississippi State Extension Service (MSES) provides plenty of free herb-planting tips on their website, extension. msstate.edu. The number one reason cited in their publications for the failure of herbs in the South (other than climate) is poor drainage of the soil. “Planting your herbs in a welldrained bed area, a container, or raised bed will more likely result in success. This is of particular importance for the following herbs that cannot tolerate wet feet: sage, oregano, thyme, lavender, rosemary, French tarragon, and scented geraniums.” Most herbs should be grown in full sun, but a few can tolerate light shade. Many popular herbs can be grown from seeds, but garden centers and even grocery stores carry a wide selection of live herbs in pots each spring. Some are annuals and need to be replanted each year. Others are biennials that are planted in the fall and flower the following year, while the hardier perennials come back year after year. An herb garden doesn’t need to be very big. Because herbs are used in small amounts, you may not need large quantities of a particular herb. However, in the case of sweet basil, you’ll surely want to plant more for making pesto. Many choose to plant oregano in a vegetable garden for that reason. Having a kitchen garden is a great way to add fresh herbs to your dishes as you cook. Keep a pair of snippers handy to clip what you need. Herbs are good any time, but the very best time to harvest them, according to MSES, is just before they flower. “The flavors and scents of herbs are caused by oils in the plant tissue. High fertilization, excess moisture, and shade result in low oil content and weak flavor. The oil content in many herbs is at its highest just before the plants begin to flower,” says MSES. If you don’t have a yard or would rather not create a garden for your herbs, they do grow well in pots, but the same drainage rules apply. Choosing a well-draining soil medium is important. MSES suggests a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0. An organic mulch in the summer also benefits the plants. The main thing with herb gardening is to have fun. The

26 • APRIL/MAY 2020

plants are beautiful, they smell good, and they taste great. You can use fresh herbs to go in a dish, dry them, freeze them, or use them in herbed butters. Herbs are versatile, delicious, and worth the effort of growing your own. edm


Fresh herbs can transform the flavor of favorite recipes and add a fresh spark to one’s palate when used during cooking or as a garnish. People who may not have the space or the inclination to create an outdoor garden should know that many herbs can be grown successfully indoors. Small in size compared to outdoor gardens, indoor herb gardens can be grown on a windowsill. Indoor herb gardens also can be housed in decorative containers, serving double-duty as living centerpieces on kitchen or dining room tables. Start by finding a container that fits your decor. Punch holes in

the bottom, if necessary, to allow for proper drainage. Line the bottom of the container with gravel or perlite to help with drainage, then top with potting soil. Position small herb plants and fill in with extra potting soil. Sage, thyme, dill, and rosemary are good starters, but any herbs will do. Add a top-dressing of peat moss to assist with water retention and help the plants thrive. Place the container in your desired location and enjoy the welcoming aromas and fresh herbs at your fingertips.

IMAGE: FREEPIK.COM

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27


{ community }

Old Waverly Farm Hams are Delicious Year-Round

O

by Susan Marquez

ld Waverly Farm does one thing, and they do it well. “We make hams and we sell them one ham at a time,” says Dee Berry. And many in the Golden Triangle area of Mississippi, and now around the country, will agree it’s the best ham they’ve ever had. Dee and her husband, Ted, both worked for Bryan Foods in West Point, a processed meat company that is no longer in operation. “When they closed, everybody really missed their bone-in ham that was wrapped in yellow paper. It was one of their best-selling hams.” In 2013, George Bryan contacted Ted with the idea of producing a ham that would be like the Bryan Traditional Ham. “To make the original bone-in ham would be cost-prohibitive today,” says Berry. “It would cost nearly $100, and no one is going to pay that much money for a ham.” Ted, George, and other former Bryan Foods employees worked to formulate a ham that could have the flavor and texture of the original ham, and a company was born. The decision was made to make the boneless Old Waverly Farm Ham. The recipe that Ted and George came up with is very close to the old Bryan Foods ham. Old Waverly Farm was established in 2013, although Berry says there is no Old Waverly Farm. “We’ve lived on a farm for over 30 years, but it has a different name.” Berry says the name is most likely a nod to the Old Waverly Golf Course in West Point. The Old

28 • APRIL/MAY 2020

Waverly Farm ham is boneless. “It’s lean, with no water added,” Dee says. “It has the taste and texture of a bone-in ham when prepared properly.” The ham is slow cooked with real hickory wood chips. Each ham averages five to six pounds and comes fully-cooked, enough to serve 12 to 15 people or more, depending on how they are sliced. Berry says the hams are made at the Polk’s plant in Magee. “We are proud that our ham is made in Mississippi.” While the company sells hams yearround, holidays are the peak time for ham consumption in the United States. “We do about 3,000 hams at Christmas, and we believe we’ll do a large number for Easter. It’s the ideal entrée for a crowd, and everyone loves it.” Berry says she has a friend in Aberdeen who orders “funeral ham” whenever anyone dies. “She buys ham instead of flowers and says it’s the best $30 she could spend for a grieving family.” The hams are also used for fundraisers for churches, schools, and other organizations. “They’ve become really popular as a way for organizations to raise money. People don’t mind spending money on something they’ll enjoy eating.” Each Old Waverly Farm ham comes with a glaze mix. While the ham can be served as is, the suggested way to prepare the ham is to remove the ham from the wrapper and place in a large cooking bag with one can of cola. Seal the bag and place on a roasting pan in a 350-degree oven for two hours. The glaze mix


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29


Old Waverly Farm hams are a delicious ingredient in appetizers like these roll ups. can be combined with two tablespoons of cola, orange juice, or barbeque sauce. Stir well and put glaze in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. Remove the ham and carefully open the top of the cooking bag. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and brush the ham with 1/3 of the glaze, baking for ten minutes. Brush the ham with the remaining glaze twice more in ten-minute intervals. Remove from the oven, slice, serve, and enjoy. Old Waverly Farm hams are sold locally at Jubilation’s Coffee Shop in West Point and Vowell’s Marketplace in Starkville. The ham is also used by the Old Country Bakery in Brooksville and Proof Bakery in Starkville. The hams are delivered by appointment in the Golden Triangle area. With very little marketing, the word got out about Old Waverly Farm’s delicious hams and people started ordering them from around the state, then from other states. The company now ships hams across the United States. “Our customers spread the word for us,” says Berry. Once they have experienced an Old Waverly Farm ham, they become family. “We hear time and time again that Old Waverly Farm ham is one of the best

30 • APRIL/MAY 2020

hams people have ever tasted. Just today, we had a customer comment saying, ‘after having your ham, no other comes close!’” For more information go to www.oldwaverlyfarm.net, or contact Berry at 662.275.1170 edm


Dee Berry adds recipes to the company’s website from time to time and plans on adding many more. “There are many uses for our ham all year long, and I like to share my recipes with others.” One of her favorite recipes for parties and family gatherings is Asparagus and Ham Mini-Quiche.

Asparagus and Ham Mini-Quiche

Old Waverly Farm hams get packed for a fundraiser delivery.

8 eggs 1 cup half & half 1 teaspoon white pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon nutmeg 2 cups finely chopped Old Waverly Farm Ham 1 cup finely chopped green onion 1 cup chopped steamed asparagus 1 box of Dutch Ann frozen mini pie shells (8 in a box) 1 cup Swiss cheese Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat eggs. Add half & half, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine ham, onion, and asparagus. In each shell, add approximately 1/4 cup of ham mixture, then add enough egg mixture to cover ham. Sprinkle cheese over the ham and egg mixture. Bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Old Waverly Farm hams are loaded onto a delivery truck for shipment.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31


Anita Arguelles watches Chef Austin Sumrall, of White Pillars Biloxi, shuck an oyster. 32 • APRIL/MAY 2020


{ fresh from the farm }

Local Chefs Rave About French Hermit Oyster Company

A

by julian brunt

nita and Mike Arguelles own what is arguably Mississippi’s most successful off-bottom oyster farm, French Hermit Oyster Company. Situated just a few hundred feet south of Deer Island, near Biloxi, the nutrientrich waters that flow by the floating cages are producing some of the most sought-after oysters in the South. French Hermit has only been in production less than two full years, but in that short time, their oysters have been embraced by Mississippi chefs, as well as chefs in six other states, and have been served in 28 restaurants around the country. Vestige in Ocean Springs, White Pillars and Thirty

Two in Biloxi, as well as The Manship in Jackson and Snackbar in Oxford, to name just a few, have all wowed their guests with these uniquely delicious oysters. The amazingly-rich environment, the floating cages that allow the oysters to feed near the surface where the food they consume is most abundant, and the technique and skills French Hermit has developed have resulted in oysters that are so fat and delicious, chefs are raving about them. Beau Rivage Executive Chef Kristian Wade said of the first one he tried, “This is Biloxi butter.” In the beginning, there were many skeptics, and many

Seed oyster

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33


ABOVE - Oyster tumbler at the small craft harbor in Biloxi; OPPOSITE, TOP - Mike Arguelles (left) and a fellow farmer sail into Biloxi’s small craft harbor;

OPPOSITE, BOTTOM - Oyster farm and floating cages.

a supplier and restaurant owner said they would never pay the prices off-bottom oysters demand. It is a labor intensive process, with the oysters being divided as they grow larger, cleaned and tumbled in a machine that separates them by size, and knocks off the thin outside edge of the shell, forcing the oyster to grow deep and round. But attitudes soon changed, and many fine dining chefs declared that they didn’t care what the price was, that had to have them. Once customers tried them, they agreed. In fact, the best oyster I have ever had, was a French Hermit served to me by Chef Austin Sumrall at his White Pillars restaurant. The Arguelles got started in the summer of 2018, and had market size oysters by February. But it has not been an easy road, not by a long shot. The great Mississippi River flood of that year, and the ensuing opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway, meant the end of the fourteen thousand acres of on-bottom oysters off of Pass Christian, and the death of at least 90% of the Deer Island Oysters. Mike and Anita had just set 20,000 new seed oysters when fresh water began filling the Mississippi Sound, but were able to pick them up and move them to Bayou Batre, Alabama. They were able to bring them back, when water quality allowed, and soon had oysters 2 ¾ to 3 inches in size, ready for the half shell market. But it was a close call, to be sure.

The demise of the traditional on-bottom oyster reefs and the success of the off-bottom farms has many people thinking that the future is in aqua farming. And that is exactly what Mike and Anita are betting on. If fact, they see the day when Mississippi will be famous for their oysters around the country. But Mike and Anita have not kept their success to themselves. They formed a co-op with the other four farmers on the state run reef to jointly market the crop, and hope to have a million oysters in the water later this year. The state of Mississippi and the Department of Marin Resources are responsible for the training of new farmers, and they must attend training classes and successfully grow oysters on a test plot, before they can start farming their two acre farms the state leases to them. At first, farmers each tried to market their oysters individually, but it proved a daunting task. Mike and Anita’s idea to form the co-op was absolutely brilliant and helped all the farmers find success. There is a new group of farmers completing their training now, and soon there should be ten Deer Island farms. The French Hermit logo aptly says “We grow delicious Gulf Oysters, off the Coast of Mississippi, in the rich waters surrounding Deer Island. We would love to share them with you.” I think you can count on it. edm

34 • APRIL/MAY 2020


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35


36 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Melissa Cookston's Salmon Series Switches Up Traditional Method of Grilling Fish

C

elebrity Chef Melissa Cookston’s share her salmon series for a great catch any time you want to enjoy delicious fish. Her recipes for seared salmon, miso glazed salmon on a cedar plank, smoked salmon, and Asian and whiskey grilled salmon are great ways to switch up traditional methods of grilling fish. Cookston said, “I am writing this series for a couple of reasons. First, I want you to get out there and grill! Secondly, I want to give you some easy recipes to show you that grilling great food doesn’t have to be hard.” edm

Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Melissa Cookston is a trailblazing female food entrepreneur smoking the competition. Cookston is a seven-time world barbecue champion; owner of Memphis BBQ Company, a barbecue restaurant with locations in Horn Lake, Miss., and Dunwoody, Ga.; an author of two cookbooks, “Smokin in the Boy’s Room” and “Smokin’ Hot in the South;” and a celebrated southern Delta chef. Recognized nationally from many appearances on national news and talks shows as well as cooking shows and Food Network, Cookston served as a judge on season four of Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters,” and was named one of America’s most influential BBQ Pitmasters and personalities by Fox News.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37


SEARED SESAME SALMON by Melissa Cookston

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cornstarch 1 tablespoon granulated garlic 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1/2 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper 4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon filets Sesame oil In a small mixing bowl, add all breading ingredients and thoroughly mix. Remove salmon filets from packaging and lightly pat dry. Lightly sprinkle filets on all sides with breading, and lightly pat to get it to adhere to filet. You want them breaded, but not a thick coating. Heat griddle up on grill. Pour sesame oil on grill and spread with spatula. Lay each filet on griddle and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Gently turn filet over, and allow to cook another 2 minutes or until breading is set. Hold filet up on each side so all sides can get cooked. Temp salmon–if it is not at 145 degrees F yet, move it to a cooler part of the griddle until it gets to that temperature. Remove and serve with your favorite sauce and side items.

38 • APRIL/MAY 2020

MISO-GLAZED SALMON ON A CEDAR PLANK by Melissa Cookston

Cedar planks for grilling 2 tablespoons white miso 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon grated ginger 1 tablespoon sesame oil, plus more for brushing on boards 4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon filets Soak cedar planks in water for a minimum of 1 hour before grilling. For miso glaze, mix all ingredients except salmon and set aside. Fire up grill with a two-zone fire. 30 minutes before grilling, pull salmon filets out of fridge, place on plate, and lightly brush with miso glaze. Lightly cover and leave at room temperature until ready to grill. Place cedar planks on hot grill until they are smoking. Flip over, brush with miso glaze, then place filets on planks. Close lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. GENTLY flip filets over, then brush more miso glaze over them. Move to cooler side and continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, occasionally brushing with more miso glaze. Remove from grill, using a spatula remove from planks, and serve.


SMOKED SALMON by Melissa Cookston

1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon dill 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon lemon pepper 1 teaspoon course ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder 1 (4 to 5-pound) salmon filet Mix all dry ingredients and rub on salmon before smoking.

HOW DO I SMOKE SALMON?

Smoking salmon uses one of two methods: cold smoking or hot smoking. Cold smoking basically involves “piping” in the smoke to a smoking chamber to reduce the heat. The salmon is basically smoke-cured, much like a ham. This process takes a long time, and while it is a great means of preservation, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m hot smoking salmon for dinner for an appetizer!

ALRIGHT, WHAT DO I DO?

It’s super simple, as I said. Set up a smoker and run to 275 degrees F. For this recipe, I used a drum smoker with a diffuser over the coals. It really doesn’t matter what type of smoker you’re using though. Pick your favorite smoking wood. For fish, I love woods such as apple or maple. Alder wood is a traditional pick for salmon, but I’m not a traditional person, and I don’t live near any alder wood. Load the smoker up with your favorite wood so you’re getting a heavy but clean smoke (exhaust should have white smoke, not dark or grey smoke.) When I smoke salmon, I like to use a four to five-pound piece of salmon. A larger piece helps prevent the fish from drying out and gives you plenty of leftovers for eating it cold. If you don’t want to cook a piece that big, no sweat, pick whatever size you want. The timing may change but not the process. Season the salmon filet, and place on smoker. Using a meat thermometer, smoke for 45 minutes or until the internal temp on the thickest part reaches 145 degrees F. Remove and serve. Delicious!

ASIAN AND WHISKEY GRILLED SALMON by Melissa Cookston

1/2 cup peanut oil 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1-inch knob fresh ginger root, cut into thin strips 1/4 cup good whiskey 4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon filets For marinade, mix all ingredients except salmon together. Place salmon filets in a resealable bag, and pour marinade over them. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal. Place in fridge and allow to marinate for 2 hours up to 12 hours. Heat grill to medium-high, and lightly oil grates. Grill salmon for 2 minutes, then give a quarter turn to develop diamond grill marks. Cook additional 2 minutes then turn filets over. Cook for approximately 3-4 more minutes, or until the desired internal temperature is reached.

For more delicious recipes, visit www.melissacookston.com. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39


{ for your health }

Now's the Time to Teach At-Home Nutrition

W

ith a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right. Consider these simple suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company.

40 • APRIL/MAY 2020

• Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests – Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips, or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious. • Purposeful Playtime – Many households have a play kitchen or some kind of play food. Use this as an


opportunity to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas, and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent, learn what to expect and grow into little helpers at family mealtime. • Sensory Activity – One idea that can work for school and at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it. • Recipes for Fun – If you’re preparing a meal, it could be a good time to teach children of reading age how to review a recipe. Evaluating ingredients to learn how food transforms from raw to cooked or how a dish is created can help kids learn kitchen skills. For example, try this fun, fruity recipe for Kids with Almond Toast. • Food Groups Focus – Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented.

Give them a warm-up activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna, or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used in these dishes and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance. • Reading Time – From food labels to children’s books to cookbooks, there are plenty of reading materials to choose from that reinforce healthy eating habits. Exposing children to fruits and vegetables outside the kitchen is a subtle way to show that nutritious ingredients are part of everyday life. • Explain the Bathroom Routine – Make sure to wash hands and explain that this is a way of washing away germs to stay healthy. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities. edm

“Kids” with Almond Toast Servings: 4 4 slices whole-grain bread 6 tablespoons unsalted almond butter 2 teaspoons honey (optional) 1 DOLE® banana, peeled 2 Dole strawberries, trimmed and halved 4 chunks (1-1/2 inches) fresh Dole Tropical Gold pineapple 2 Dole blackberries 2 teaspoons toasted flaxseed (optional) Toast bread slices. Spread with almond butter and drizzle with honey, if desired. To make “kids”: Cut eight slices and 32 matchsticks from banana. Arrange one strawberry half and one pineapple chunk on two slices toast; arrange remaining strawberry halves and blackberries on remaining slices. Place one banana slice “head” at top of each piece of fruit and arrange four banana matchsticks around each “kid” for arms and legs. Sprinkle flaxseed along bottom edges of toast under kids’ feet, if desired.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41


Spring Celebrations Tasty Sandwiches Perfect for Special Occasion Brunches Spring is synonymous with special events worthy of celebration. From Mother’s Day to graduations to communions and confirmations, spring provides a host of opportunities for families and friends to come together and show their love for one another. The right food can make any party that much more spectacular. Lunch and brunch parties, whether they’re at home or in a restaurant, provide great opportunities to enjoy fun,

budget-friendly food with loved ones. For those who will be celebrating at home or attending a potluck-style gathering, this Brandied Baked Ham with Mustard Butter, courtesy of Denise Gee’s Southern Appetizers (Chronicle Books) can make for the perfect dish to serve or bring along. The decadent ham can be served as fashionable tea sandwiches, either in soft biscuits or rolls. edm

Brandied Baked Ham with Mustard Butter Serves 16 to 20; makes about 2 cups mustard butter For the ham: 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar 1/4 cup brandy 2 tablespoons grainy mustard 1 (5-pound) bone-in, half ham, fully cooked 1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves In a small saucepan, stir to combine the brown sugar, brandy, and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the glaze is thick and syrupy, about 3 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or use immediately. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a shallow roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Score the fat on top of the ham by making diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern. Insert the cloves into the

Denise Gee, a native of Natchez, has written for “Southern Living” and “Better Homes and Gardens.” She and her husband, Robert M. Peacock, live in Dallas and have authored together the cookbooks

42 • APRIL/MAY 2020

intersections of each diamond. Place the ham on the rack. Insert a meat thermometer, making sure it doesn’t touch the bone. Bake the ham for about 1 hour, or until the thermometer registers 125 degrees F. Remove the ham and brush on the brandy glaze. Return the ham to the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more, or until the thermometer registers 135 degrees F. Let it stand for 15 minutes. (The meat temperature will rise to 140 degrees F). For the mustard butter: 2 cups butter, softened 1/4 cup grated sweet onion 1/4 cup Dijon or Creole mustard In a medium bowl, stir to combine the butter, sweet onion, and mustard. Scrape it into a serving bowl. Cut the ham into thin slices and build your sandwiches (or serve slices on their own on a platter). Offer with accompanied bowl of mustard butter.

“Southern Cocktails,” “Porch Parties,” “Southern Appetizers,” and “Southern Casseroles.”


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43


{ from mississippi to beyond }

Alexandra Minton Earns National Honor as Level-Two Sommelier by Susan Marquez

W

hile growing up in Ocean Springs, Alexandra Minton had a passion for music. Yet, she was named one of Wine Enthusiast’s “40 Under 40” for 2019. According to Wine Enthusiast’s editors, the 40 trendsetters under the age of 40 are the most influential in the nation in determining what we drink. So how did a young woman from Mississippi end up on such a prestigious list? Minton’s parents, B.B. and Cindi Minton, have run their mom-and-pop po-boy shop on Bienville Boulevard in Ocean Springs for as long as she can remember. “When you grow up around the restaurant business, I suppose it gets in your blood,” she says. But when the time came for Minton to go to college, she chose the University of Southern Mississippi for its outstanding music department. She originally studied music for orchestral percussion. “I love playing, but I never liked the spotlight,” says Minton. “I like behind-the-scenes work. That’s why I wanted to be a grant writer for orchestras.” She did just that while at Southern Miss for the University’s orchestra. “Near the end of college, I was in an internship where I had a nine-to-five job sitting in an office. It was dreadful! I knew then that was not what I wanted to do,” she says. Throughout college, Minton worked part-time for New South Restaurant Group, owned by Robert St. John. “I started out working at Crescent City Grill then moved my way over to the Purple Parrot Café, which is the fine dining restaurant in the group. At the time, Dusty Frierson was the general manager at the Purple Parrot, and he became my mentor. He did wine tastings for the staff, and he cultivated my interest in food and wine pairings. I realized that music and arts were not what I wanted for a career. Instead, I turned my focus to wine.” Minton’s interest in wine led her to learn more about how to become a sommelier. “While working at the Purple Parrot, I took my first and second level tests in New Orleans without telling anyone,” she recalls. “I didn’t want anyone to know I was doing it, in case I failed!” After she passed the second level, she drove back to Hattiesburg and went to the bar. “Someone asked what I had been up to that day, and I pulled out my certificate. Everyone was

44 • APRIL/MAY 2020

shocked! It was a cool moment to know I did something on my own.” Minton worked her way into managerial positions with New South Restaurant Group and during her five years there, she began organizing wine classes for the staff, planned an annual Wine Expo, and expanded the group’s 1,500+ label list. After leaving the Purple Parrot in 2012, Alexandra became the sommelier and general manager of Stella! restaurant in New Orleans. “I commuted from Hattiesburg every day for two years,” she says. “I had a house I loved in Hattiesburg, but I realized that I was spending four hours a day on the road and often driving home very late at night.” She made the move to New Orleans around the time she changed restaurants. She went to work as the sommelier and front-of-house manager for Square Root, where she was responsible for the ever-evolving wine list and working closely with the chefs to craft unique and creative pairings for tasting menus, in addition to her managerial duties. Since 2018, Alexandra joined QED Hospitality where she has been the sommelier of Jack Rose, in New Orleans’ historic Pontchartrain Hotel, where she oversees all aspects of the wine program. In her current role, she is challenged with highlighting unique wines and makers from underthe-radar regions, with a large focus on domestic sourcing. She takes a great deal of pride in surprising her guests with purposeful, eco-friendly selections that are readily accessible to help further their personal educations and palates. The recognition by Wine Enthusiast is just confirmation for Minton that she is doing the right thing. “It was such a big honor for me.” Today, Minton is responsible for the entire beverage program at the Pontchartrain, which includes Jack Rose, Hot Tin, Bayou Bar, and the Silver Whistle Café. When she’s not working, she enjoys riding her bike and exploring in New Orleans. “I really love it here.” Minton knows more than just wine. She is also a Certified Beer Server through the Certified Cicerone Program. One of her passions is her Instagram page, where she enjoys featuring wines she loves in ways that can appeal to even non-wine drinkers. The Instagram page can be found at www.instagram.com/winewithalex/. edm


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45


photo credit: ashton worthington 46 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Alexandra’s Spring Wine Picks by alexandra minton

A

hh, the spring–the time when we hang our winter coats, praise the sunshine, and vow to spend more time outdoors. It’s a time for renewal and rebirth, a time to reset and refresh, almost as if a second New Year. It’s the opportunity for spring cleaning and yes, spring drinking. Although the days have not grown as long as they will, you are still going to need some session wines to carry you through your late afternoon picnics into your outdoor concert series. While spring may be the official kick-off of “rosé season” (can we all finally agree that rosé is acceptable all season long?), there are some great alternatives to be explored. Skin-contact whites: White wines made in the style of red wines (i.e. the juice is coming into contact with its skins) can be that perfect transition from your heavy winter wines into your barely-there summer wines. Also known as “orange wines,” this style of winemaking is nothing new but has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Graduate-level, intense versions of orange wine certainly exist. So, if this is your first foray into the category, look for wines with a small amount of skin contact (and thus a lighter “orange” tint). These wines will give you just enough umph when those chilly spring nights appear and just enough brightness when the sun is blazing.

perfect wine to drink in the early days of the transition from winter to spring. The wine is bottled in liter bottles and has a low A.B.V., which allows you to session this wine all day long. •

Forlorn Hope, “Queen of the Sierra,” California, 2018: You can’t have spring without rosé! This rosé, made from the very fun mix of Barbera and Zinfandel, is rich and juicy! It tastes like sour watermelon candy and will have you embracing every bit of sunshine before the summer months approach.

Recommendations •

Tiberi ‘Il Tribulato, “Bianco Frizzante,” Umbria, Italy: Not only does this wine drink like spring, it looks like spring. While you should never judge a wine by its label, the wine-chugging grasshopper on this label just beckons you to drink up! Bright, slightly salty, and unmistakably Trebbiano, this pèt-nat is the perfect way to welcome warmer weather and greener landscapes.

Gönc Winery, “Grape Abduction,” Slovenia, 2018 (Orange Wine): Grape Abduction is a new collaboration between the Slovenian winery Gönc and import company J.P. Bourgeois. I like to think of this as a “gateway” orange wine, being that the grapes only see a small amount of skin-contact, translating to a

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47


{ from the bookshelf }

Cake Decorating for Beginners By Rose Atwater - Published by Rockridge Press Photography by Sarah Atwater and Rose Atwater by J.J. Carney

H

ave you ever dreamed of decorating cakes like a pro? From advice on the tools you’ll need to putting the crowning touches on an iced masterpiece, Cake Decorating for Beginners by Rose Atwater will show you how to achieve Instagram-worthy results. Atwater’s love of baking and decorating cakes began when she was just 12 years old. A cake decorating kit she received as a Christmas gift was the catalyst that set her on the path for becoming the talented cake artist she is today. She began decorating cakes and dreamed of growing up to own her own bakery. The Meadville resident continued decorating cakes for occasional church events and family members into her teens and twenties, although she felt she wasn’t very good at it. After marrying, having kids, and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she still had the desire to decorate cakes. In 2009, her brother became engaged and, for reasons she doesn’t understand, asked her to make his wedding cake. At first, she said no, but he persisted, and she gave in. She had no idea how to decorate a professional cake and little experience. With seven months to learn, she began researching and practicing by voluntarily baking cakes for family, friends, and anyone else who would allow. Before the wedding date arrived, she began sharing her creations on social media, which prompted people to begin ordering cakes from her. In the book’s introduction, Atwater said, “With every cake I made, I learned something new and got even more excited about seeing my dreams come true. I truly felt like I was finally doing what I was meant to do and using a gift God had given me.” As she was researching and learning decorating techniques, Atwater became frustrated because there was no single resource to provide the information she needed. Because of this, she began her blog, “Rose Bakes,” so she could help others avoid the frustrations she faced. As the blog grew, she found that there were many new cake decorators who encountered the same challenges. “That’s when I knew I’d found my sweet spot–doing something I was passionate about and helping others do the same,” Atwater said. You can visit

48 • APRIL/MAY 2020

her blog at www.rosebakes.com. Cake Decorating for Beginners begins with a comprehensive list of required equipment and products that make decorating easier. Atwater explains the different types of food color, how to choose and mix colors, and shares insight on pre-made decorations that can take a pretty cake to a pretty fabulous cake. The book features recipes, including Basic Vanilla Cake and Double Chocolate Cake, that can be used for layered cakes, sheet cakes, cupcakes, or carving. The step-by-step photos illustrate how to level, stack, fill, and frost cakes with ease. For the icing on the cake, literally, Atwater shares her go-to recipes and shows how to add color to them. When frosting a cake, every decorator desires a perfectly smooth coat. This is achievable with her easy-to-follow directions. She also includes techniques for adding texture to frosting to create visuallyinteresting cakes. There are many facets to piping frosting onto cakes. One has to know how to achieve the proper consistency of frosting, choose the appropriate tip, hold the piping bag at the perfect angle, and use the correct pressure to apply to the bag. Atwater covers all of this and more in the “Piping Basics” chapter. She even includes tips on how to write on cakes, which can be quite difficult. Also included is a chapter on fondant, which covers the types of fondant and how to handle it. Fondant can elevate a cake to a higher level, and Atwater provides the instructions for mastering the art of decorating with it. The final chapter of Cake Decorating for Beginners just might be the sweetest. It tackles the subject of chocolate–as decoration or a complement to other ingredients. According to Atwater, “There’s nothing more decadent than a chocolate cake with chocolate filling and chocolate frosting.” The photos, both colorful and stunning, are by Atwater’s 16-year-old daughter, Sarah. They’re quite impressive provide the visuals needed to master the techniques described. With this book and the proper tools, you will have everything you need to create your own cakes that will wow your family and friends. edm


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49


{ raise your glass }

Enjoy a Taste of the Tropics for Breakfast

D

iet and exercise are integral parts of the formula for a healthy life. Though few people may look forward to giving up certain foods in favor of more nutritious diets, healthy, low-calorie foods don’t have to be boring and bland. Breakfast smoothies are a great way to maximize nutrient profiles and flavors to achieve a filling and fast meal. Smoothies that capitalize on tropical tastes rife with fiber can tame hunger and offer a jolt of energy to get you through the day. Such is the case with this recipe for FiberFilled Banana Colada Smoothie from Ellen Brown’s Super Smoothies (Crestline). This recipe offers fruits with wonderfully complementary flavors that are both high in fiber and rich in supercharged nutrients like potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. edm

Fiber-Filled Banana Colada Smoothie Yield: Four, 1-cup servings 1 cup light coconut milk 1 cup diced pineapple 1/3 cup lightly packed shredded unsweetened coconut 1/4 cup whey protein powder 2 tablespoons bee pollen 1/2 teaspoon pure rum extract 2 cups banana slices, frozen 2 tablespoons grated coconut for garnish Combine coconut milk, pineapple, coconut, whey protein powder, bee pollen, and rum extract in a blender or smoothie maker. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds, or until mixture is puréed and smooth. Add banana slices, and blend on high speed again until mixture is smooth. Serve immediately, garnished with grated coconut, if desired.

50 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Give a gift that lasts all year, a gift subscription to...

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI y

r Compan

VOLUME ER 2

9, NUMB

Only 24

. k n i r d . t eaMISSISSIPPI verly Old Wa

it Oyste

nch Herm

ve-In | Fre

nnie’s Dri

m’s | Joh

Farm Ha

$

or Hooray f

Herbs

eat. drink.

for six issues!

MISSISSIPPI

SmokeGrilled Lamb Rack of d Thyme an Lemon ke Loaf Ca

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

lon Waterme lad I •1 ula IPPSa ugSISS Ar k. MIS

April/May

eat. drin

2020 | Coo

king

As a

First

Langua

ge |

Oktoc

ty Gin

gerbre

ad Tre

Country

ats |

Bill’s

Creole

and

Old

Waver

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

ly Far

m Ham

’s | Joh

nnie’s

R2

ches

R1

Sandwi

E 9, NUMBE

cken

VOLUM

d Chi

E 9, NUMBE

R6

E 8, NUMBE

VOLUM

Frie

Stea

Drive-I

n | Fre

k Dep ot | Sal

vation

nch

Arm

Stor

Hermit

y Sou

per Bow

Oyster

Com

pany

l

e

MISSISS

MISSISS

MISSISS

IPPI

IPPI

eet Pota to P ie

IPPI

ay fo

Herb

drink.

drink.

drink.

Hoor

eat.

eat.

Terri fic Prali Holid ne P ay an South Tec errinfles Sw

eat.

s

Ginge with rbread Lem Sauce on

Subscribe online at www.eatdrinkmississippi.com or cut out this form and mail to us at P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130

r

Ch Streeticken Tacos

Butte Squarnut Mac sh Chees& e

April/M

2020

2019

Smok Gri eRack lled of Lam

ay 2020

nuary

ember

ber/Ja

er/Nov

Decem

Octob

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

9 Tas

eat. d eat. d MISS rin k ISSIP . MISSISSrIPiPnI k. MISSISSrIPiPnI k. PI

ie-For

VOLUM

12 To-D

eat. d

Miss

issipp annu i Food al tu Ne rkey twork’s drive eat. drink

. MISS

ISSIPPI

eat. drink

•1

Thyme Lem and Loaf on Cake Water melon Aru . MISS gu ISSI laPPISa •lad 1

b

eat. drink

. MISS

ISSIPPI

•1

MY SUBSCRIPTION

GIFT SUBSCRIPTION

1-year $24

1-year $24

FROM: __________________________________________ NAME __________________________________________ ADDRESS __________________________________________ CITY __________________________________________ STATE ZIP __________________________________________ PHONE __________________________________________ E-MAIL ADDRESS

PAYMENT ENCLOSED BILL ME LATER TO: __________________________________________ NAME __________________________________________ ADDRESS __________________________________________ CITY __________________________________________ STATE ZIP

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51


{ where to eat }

Johnnie's Drive-In Bar-B-Q 908 E. Main St., Tupelo • 662.842.6748

J

by julian brunt

ohnnie’s Drive-In in Tupelo is one of the coolest places in north Mississippi, especially if you are an Elvis fan. Many businesses in town have an Elvis connection, but you just feel closer to The King here. This is one of the oldest restaurants in the city (opened in 1945), and Elvis used to stop by here, with his friend, James Ausborn, and eat cheeseburgers and drink RC Colas. There is a ton of Elvis memorabilia on the walls that go a long way towards jacking up the Elvis vibe. There is even an Elvis booth, where he and his friends sat. How many people can claim to have sat in the same booth Elvis did, and eat the same burgers he loved? It is a great pity that RC Colas are no longer around, that would round out the experience, wouldn’t it? This place is old and a bit run down, but that just adds to the charm. People from all over the world visit here, and it still gets rave reviews. Its the classic all American diner, and has astonishingly low prices too. What about a slice of apple pie for $1.35, a cheese burger for $1.29, or a BBQ plate for $6.05? Often, when a place is this famous, staff and owners get jaded. You have been to those places, where the service and food slide away, and they stay open just because of a past reputation. No so here. People rave about the service and food, and the online reviews are great. Johnnie’s is a step into the past, when every small town had a hamburger shop or a soda fountain. In those days, people didn’t go to a restaurant expecting to see TVs everywhere, or food that was a mishmash of cultures and pairings were exotic (to be kind). A burger was a burger, and when you ordered a hot dog, you could put ketchup or mustard on it and that was enough. Thats is exactly what you will find here. The menu at Johnnie’s is on plastic menu wall sign, as you might expect, the kind with little white stick on letters. There is also a larger version outside, that you just can’t miss. The menu is simple, to be sure, and in total there are only a few dozen offerings. Burgers are a big part of the business, and you can get a burger or cheese burger in three sizes: small hamburger, American hamburger, extra large American hamburger. There is also barbecue that is one of the top choices, but I have to love the more traditional Southern choices, like pimento and cheese, chicken salad or a grilled cheese sandwich. On a visit some years ago, I had turkey, dressing and mac and cheese, don’t think it is on the menu any more, but it sure was good. Many people will come here just to be able to say they had lunch at a place where Elvis used to hang out, and there is nothing wrong with that. Others will just love the retro feel, but for me, I will go just for a good old fashioned cheeseburger, coleslaw and a Dr Pepper. edm 52 • APRIL/MAY 2020


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53


54 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Melissa Cookston's Smoke-Grilled Rack of Lamb Is Impressive Springtime Dish

T

aken from Melissa Cookston’s cookbook, Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room, the award-winning recipe for smokegrilled rack of lamb is a great Easter and springtime recipe that will impress friends and family. Cookston won the Exotic category at Memphis in May with this dish one year.

When cooking, keep a meat thermometer nearby, she says, as the thin rack can go from beautiful to overcooked very quickly. For more of Cookston’s delicious recipes, visit www. melissacookston.com. edm

SMOKE-GRILLED RACK OF LAMB by Melissa Cookston

Marinade: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, coarsely chopped 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped 1 tablespoon orange juice Rack of Lamb: 2 racks of lamb, frenched 2 tablespoons Memphis Barbecue Company Ultimate BBQ Rub 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1/2 cup Memphis Barbecue Company Original BBQ Sauce In a small bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Place racks of lamb in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal tightly, pressing out as much air as possible, and marinate for 4-6 hours, turning the bags every 2 hours. Prepare a grill for a 2-zone fire (see note below). As grill is heating, remove racks from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat racks dry, taking time to clean the frenched bones. Brush meat with mustard, then sprinkle with BBQ Rub. Cover bones with a piece of foil to ensure they don’t

char, then allow racks to sit out of fridge for 30 minutes before placing on grill. Place lamb on cooler part of the grill, using 1-2 chunks of cherry or pecan wood in the grill if possible. Allow to cook for 30 minutes to 1 hour (will depend on type of grill and temperature) or until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F. Place racks on hotter part of grill and sear, brushing with BBQ sauce. Remove racks when temperature reaches 135-140 degrees F. This will give you a rack of lamb with medium doneness. Remove from grill, allow to rest, and slice between the bones to cut into chops. Note from Melissa: I believe the best flavors can be achieved by setting up a 2-zone grill and giving the lamb just a little bit of smoke flavor before finishing it off with a quick sear. If you have a gas grill, a 2-zone fire is as simple as turning one side to low (or off, depending upon the size of the grill) and one side to medium high or high. With a charcoal grill, it’s almost as easy. Simply use 80% of your coals on one side of the grill, placing approximately 20% on the other just to provide some heat.”

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55


Recipe Index Almond Toast, 41

Mustard Butter, 42

Asian and Whiskey Grilled Salmon, 39

Peanut Butter & Oats Energy Bites, 57

Asparagus and Ham Mini-Quiche, 31

Pho Base Soup, 17

Banana Colada Smoothie, 50

Salsa, 9

Black Eyed Pea Tabbouleh, 15

Seared Sesame Salmon, 38

Brandied Baked Ham, 42

Smoked Salmon, 39

Cheese Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas, and Mint, 22

Smoke-Grilled Rack of Lamb, 55

Guacamole, 9

Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake, 22

Kale Ginger Elixir, 57

Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Salad, 22

Lima Bean Hummus, 15

Watermelon Arugula Salad, 15

Miso-Glazed Salmon on a Cedar Plank, 38

Follow us on Instagram to see some of the tasty, local bites we’ve discovered!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

www.instagram.com/eatdrinkmississippi 56 • APRIL/MAY 2020


continued from page 15

Share your recipes!

Peanut Butter & Oats Energy Bites 1 cup oats 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/4 cup honey In a mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients. Using your hands, form bite sized pieces. For best results, place energy bites in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Kale Ginger Elixir 1 cup kale 1/3 cup cucumber 2/3 cup frozen banana 1 cup apple juice 2 tablespoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon ginger

Do you have a family-favorite dinner recipe? Or a favorite dish that never lasts long at gettogethers? Eat Drink Mississippi wants to feature your recipes in future issues. Please send recipes to info@eatdrinkmississippi.com, or mail them to PO Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

Chop the cucumber and peel/chop the banana spread both onto a casserole dish and place in freezer overnight. Store in freezer until ready to use. Place the other ingredients in a high-powered blender (Vitamix or Vita-Prep) and blend on high for 25 seconds. Pour into resealable pouch and serve.

Old Waverly Farm Ham’s | Johnnie’s Drive-In | French Hermit Oyster Company

VOLUME 9, NUMBER 2

Digital Subscriptions Available!

Herbs

SmokeGrilled Rack of Lamb

April/May 2020

Getting a taste of Mississippi has never been easier!

Hooray for eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Access issues on all your devices.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Thyme and Lemon Loaf Cake Watermelon

Arugula Salad eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI •1

Visit www.eatdrinkmississippi.com to subscribe. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57


Till We Eat Again

BILL DABNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

Jay Reed, a graduate of Ole Miss, lives in Starkville where he is a pharmacist by day and a freelance food writer by day off. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and writes "Eats One Ate," a weekly column in the Starkville Daily News.

APRIL/MAY 2020 2020 58 • APRIL/MAY

Grocery Shopping Can Be Fun BY JAY REED Which grocery aisle is your favorite? If you listen to certain experts, they’ll tell you to focus on the outer rim of the store-that’s usually where the “raw” food lives. Fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and seafood, dairy, eggs, fresh bread, etc. And at my grocery store, the ice cream freezer. (The system isn’t perfect.) Some of us fill our organic, cage-free, non-genetically-modified, CBD-infused shopping bags with foods from the health food section, if your store is hip enough to have one. Others focus on the freezer aisles, having formerly purchased produce that spoiled before they could cook it. Guilty. I’d guess a majority hovers in the middle, where the canned, boxed, and otherwise packaged products make their homes. Sometimes life requires simplicity. And truth be told, some shoppers are just sipping lattes at the coffee shop or picking up their prescriptions at the pharmacy. I wonder if one day they’ll build a cave to hold all the Paleo products. Due to an earnest search for new flavors, my most consistent visit is wherever the Oreos are. Another place I tend to wander is the international foods aisle. Perhaps the biggest section there is what most would call Mexican foods, with its 17 kinds of tortillas and 22 varieties of salsa. The Italian food runs a close second, especially if all the pasta is included-and soars ahead if you count all the pasta sauces. They are legion. That’s where I look for pesto. Most grocery stores of any size will have those two, but nowadays in bigger stores there is much, much more. British, Jewish, Asian, even Jamaican. As I wandered this aisle recently, looking for roasted red peppers (which turned out to be in the pickle department, by the way), I began to wonder what it would be like to exclusively shop this aisle for a week or so. And next week, move on to the next country. I’ll bet there are many adventures to be had. Take the English food, for example. We give the Brits a hard time for their lack of an interesting cuisine, but there must be something expatriates miss if a section of the American food store is devoted to that genre. I was particularly intrigued by the Branston pickle. It’s a very dark jar that reveals nothing about what’s inside until you read the ingredient list, which begins like this: “Vegetables in variable proportions.” Said vegetables in variable proportions include carrots, rutabagas, cauliflower, onion, marrow, and gherkin. Not only is the pickle as a whole intriguing, I also learned a new word, or at least a new meaning for it. The marrow spoken of here is not the inside of a bone, it’s what Mississippians would call a zucchini. How about that? I’ll definitely be trying a jar of this chutney-like relish, perhaps smeared on a Cream Cracker (just two shelves up). And to provide taste variety, maybe I’ll grab a jar of Marmite, too-a savory spread made from brewer’s yeast extract. Yes, it’s an acquired taste. I don’t think it would disappear from my cabinet as quickly as jars of Nutella do, but it would certainly make for some interesting bites on occasion. Meanwhile, on the other end of the shelf…Mexican for a week? Pan comido! If you’re good with tortillas, rice, and beans, that is. Cheese options are limited in the center aisles, aside from jarred queso. But for variety, there are sauces a’plenty, and Jarritos sodas to drink. Italian? Nessun problema. When I was single, I once ate nothing but pizza three meals a day for a couple of days. That’s doable. And pasta with sauce goes a long way. But again, there’s the problem of the cheese. Parmesan might be around, but for pizza, I’m not sure that’s amore’. Living in the freezer section might solve some of these issues. There you’ve got prepared meals that fit all diets, not to mention meats in large quantities, veggies in ready-to-steam bags, fruits that sing medleys, and two dozen varieties of biscuits. You’ll find appetizers, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Even the variety of the ice cream bin has expanded exponentially; from Halo Top to Haagen Daaz, every need (and want) is fulfilled. The pizzas and burritos even have cheese. This could be fun. edm


DID YOU KNOW? • Almost 1 in 4 Mississippians — about 690,000 people — don’t have enough to eat. • More than 1 in 4 children (28.7%) go to bed hungry most every night. Stomachs are growling all over the state. Hunger is a problem all across America, but in Mississippi, it’s practically an epidemic.

DONATE NOW!

Every $1.00 donated provides seven meals to hungry Mississippians.

www.msfoodnet.org eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59


Our mission is to create unparalleled experiences to inspire excellence and a lifelong joy of learning.

MCM is turning 10 years old in 2020! For a special glimpse into the impact that we continue to make across the state, scan this code with your smartphone camera to view a video that showcases the museum!

mschildrensmuseum.org • 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS

60 • APRIL/MAY 2020


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.