Page 1

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Sweet Treats page 68

FOOD FLIGHT

TUPELO CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF COCA-COLA

LOCAL RICE GROWERS

+ Blue Canoe + Cicero’s + Brummi’s Yummies + Chunky Shoals Fish Camp + 200 North Beach eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1


tupelo.net

2 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Summer Visiting Exhibit

MAY 21-SEPT 11, 2016 mschildrensmuseum.org 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS

ALL ABOARD FOR FUN! Help Percy fix his wobbly wheel and get back on track. Climb aboard Thomas’ cab to explore the inside of his engine. Conduct the train and sell the tickets. This train is ready to roll!

HELD IN THE GERTRUDE C. FORD EXHIBITION HALL SPONSORED LOCALLY BY

© 2016 Gullane (Thomas) Limited. Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum, presented by Fisher-Price and sponsored by 3M. This project is partially funded by the Jackson Convention & Visitors Bureau.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 3


Transforming the essence of Mediterranean food and Southern classics

1200 N. STATE ST., JACKSON, MS | 601.398.4562 | THEMANSHIPJACKSON.COM 4 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


VOLUME 5 • NUMBER 5

2016

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER

26 42 “Rice is a beautiful food. It is beautiful when it grows, precision rows of sparkling green stalks shooting up to reach the hot summer sun. It is beautiful when harvested, autumn gold sheaves piled on diked, patchwork paddies. It is beautiful when, once threshed, it enters granary bins like a (flood) of tiny seed-pearls. It is beautiful when cooked by a practiced hand, pure white, and sweetly fragrant.” • Shizuo Tsuji • eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 5


Missing an issue? Back issues are available for order on our website!

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015

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3/7/13

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12:31 PM eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

+ AC’s Steakhouse • Pub + Five O’clock on Deer Creek + Lou’s Full Serv + The Twisted Burger Company + The Blind Tiger

Day in the

COUNTRY VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1

TURKEY

Transformation

COMMUNITY COOKBOOK PROJECT

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

October/November 2015

www.ettabpottery.com

Mississippi

+ The Auction Block Steakhouse + The Blue Biscuit + 10 South Rooftop Grill & Bar + Taste & See page 31 + Keg & Barrel

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Eudora Welty's White Fruitcake page 30

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2

December/January 2016

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Heritage Breed

PORK

PROGRESSIVE

Dinner Mississippi

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

FARM TABLES

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

Cooking With

HONEY

& FRIENDS

DELTA

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

NOT JUST A MIXER THE KITCHEN CENTER OF YOUR DREAMS

Supper Club Sensible Switches FOR HEALTHY

EATING

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 3

+ Orleans Bistro + Rust + The Palette Café + DeRego’s Bread + Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro

eat. drink.

MISSISSIPPI Bringing Mississippi Roots to theEATS Table

APRIL/MAY 2016

Best Gas Station

February/March 2016

page 68

Martha Foose’s

DREAM KITCHEN

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

Mother’s Day Brunch page 25

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 4

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI April/May 2016

JUNE/JULY 2016

THE ART OF FOOD

+ Ciao Chow + Crawdad’s + Restaurant 1818 + Thai by Thai + The Greenhouse on Porter

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

RANDOM RESTAURANT ROAD TRIPS BOUNTIFUL BERRIES eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

+ Oxford Canteen + Levon’s Bar and Grill + Culinary Cowboy + Longhorn’s Steakhouse + Ed’s Burger Joint

June/July 2016

Summer Salads page 34

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

3720 Hardy Street, Suite 3 | Hattiesburg, MS | 601-261-2224 www.KitchenTableNow.com 6 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI www.eatdrinkmississippi.com


CONTENTS 43

19 34 14 WHAT’S HOT S’mores Dip

18 CHEF'S CORNER

Chef Nick Wallace Takes the Kitchen to the Farm

22 WILL FLY FOR FOOD

Gulf Coast Pilot Takes to the Sky to Visit Food Destinations

26 CELEBRATING A CLASSIC

Tupelo Celebrates 100 Years of Coca-Cola

46 A PASSION FOR TOMATOES

Stories and Recipes Featuring One of Summer’s Favorite Fregetables

52 FROM THE BOOKSHELF Julia Reed’s South Julia Reed

54 RAISE YOUR GLASS

Almond-Pineapple Smoothie

56 THE HILLS

Blue Canoe in Tupelo

30 MISSISSIPPI MADE

60 THE DELTA

33 LIBATIONS ON LOCATION

64 THE PINES

Cloud 9 Marshmallows

Cousins Karey Evans and Leslie Carpenter Create Unique Mobile Bar That Adds Charm to Any Event

36 GROWING STRONG

Local Producers Impact Nation’s Rice Industry

45 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND Gaines Dobbins Provides Southern Comfort in San Francisco

59

Cicero’s in Stoneville

Chunky Shoals Fish Camp in Chunky

68 CAPITAL/RIVER

Brummi’s Yummies in Hazlehurst

IN EVERY ISSUE 8 From the Publisher 10 From Our Readers 16 Fabulous Foodie Finds 20 Deep South Dish 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 81 Coming to Terms 82 Till We Eat Again

72 COASTAL

200 North Beach in Bay St. Louis

76 FEATURED EVENT

Forks and Corks in Starkville

ON THE COVER: Gourmet Cheesecakes are among the selection of sweet treats at Brummi’s Yummies in Hazlehurst. See page 68. Photography by Christina Foto. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7


{ from the publisher }

S

ince the movie The Bucket List was released in 2007, young and old alike have taken to penning their own list of accomplishments they’d like to achieve in their lifetime. If you haven’t seen this movie,

I highly suggest you watch it. It stars Jack Nicholson and Mississippi’s own Morgan Freeman as two terminally ill men who go on the ultimate road trip with a list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.” While adventures like skydiving, rock climbing, and bungee jumping top many bucket lists, mine consists primarily of travel and dining experiences. Currently topping my list are visits to Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn.; The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.; and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. I hope I can cross these off my list soon after my kids graduate from college, if not before...wishful thinking. The dream of fulfilling my bucket list items involves a plane, but I won’t be jumping from it. Whenever I get a craving for a particular food or restaurant, I wish I could hop on a plane, fly to that location, eat, and then fly back home; or better yet, fly to the next destination on my list. My brother, Gregg, is a pilot, so I have that part taken care of. Now I just need a plane. A pilot on the Gulf Coast is actually living my dream. Brent Fontenot takes to the sky to visit some of his favorite culinary destinations and documents each adventure through video. You’ll want to check out his story beginning on page 22. September is National Rice Month. In case you’re not aware, Mississippi ranks fourth in the U.S. for rice production. Mike Wagner of Sumner has spent most of his life growing rice. Read more about him and his Mississippi Blue Rice on page 37.

We asked a few of our favorite food bloggers to share recipes that include rice as the star ingredient. These mouthwatering dishes are a great way to celebrate this nutrient-rich grain. Turn to page 40 and get cooking. Is it a fruit or is it a vegetable? That’s an often-asked question regarding tomatoes. The answer to that question is a newly coined term – it’s a fregetable. Biologically it’s a fruit, but due to it’s lack of sweetness it’s considered a vegetable. No matter how you classify it, there’s no doubt that it’s one of summer’s favorite fregetables. It’s hard to beat a fresh-from-the-vine Mississippi-grown tomato. And if you’ve grown it yourself, it tastes even better. Beginning on page 46, Janette Tibbetts shares her passion for tomatoes through stories and recipes featuring this summer jewel. As summer winds down, enjoy the last of the homegrown vegetables, stir up a delicious Mississippi rice dish, or cross off an item from your bucket list. Whichever you choose to do, grab a fork, savor the moment, and let's eat!

hospitality.” q "When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practiceRomans 12:13 r

EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI (USPS 17200) is published bi-monthly by Carney Publications LLC, 296 F.E. Sellers Hwy., Monticello, MS 39654-9555. Periodicals postage paid at Monticello, MS, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI, 4500 I 55 N Ste 253, Jackson, MS 39211.

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2016

Pumpkin Patch Open Saturday & Sunday September 24th - November 6th 650 Leaf River Church Rd., Collins • 601.765.8609 • www.mitchellfarms-ms.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 9


{ from our readers } Y’all do a great job. Thanks for your efforts. Craig Davis Monticello ••• A friend recently gave me the February/March 2016 issue of Eat Drink Mississippi. I found it very informative since I’m a rather newcomer to the state. On page 48, a word caught my eye quickly. The word is “rhubarb,” near to the bottom of the left-hand column. Where in the word can I buy some? Well, not in the world, but in Mississippi!

My family and I love the stuff, and I have a gazillion recipes for it. Here in the southern part of the state, it seems many people don’t know what it is, let alone where I can buy some. Help! Ruth Ann Smith Ellisville From the publisher: I checked with Kroger in Laurel and found that they do get rhubarb on occasion, but did not have any in stock as of press time. However, the produce manager will order it upon request. Other local grocers may do the same if you ask.

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 601-756-1584 or email info@eatdrinkmississippi.com for more information.

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{contributors} JULIAN BRUNT is a food and culture writer from the Gulf Coast whose roots run more than three hundred years deep in Southern soil. He is deeply concerned with culinary and cultural traditions and thinks no man worth his salt that cannot hold forth in tall tale and willingly endure the heat of the kitchen. LISA LAFONTAINE BYNUM is a freelance writer from Grenada. Her work has appeared in several publications in Mississippi. She is a graduate of Delta State University where she received a BA in Marketing and her MBA. In her free time, she enjoys food writing and photography. She currently resides in Brandon. Photo by Alisa Chapman Photography COOP COOPER is a journalist, film critic and filmmaker based in Clarksdale. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.F.A. in Cinema, and received his Masters in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Hollywood. You can read his past film-related articles at www. smalltowncritic.com. NIKKI GLADD was born and raised in the Mitten State. She has also tasted life in Tennessee, Chicago, and Southern California before feasting in Mississippi. She is passionate for community with friends, family, and even strangers at the table, as she shares through her writings on SeededAtTheTable. com. On her blog, you will find easy recipes using everyday ingredients, along with family stories, house projects, favorite products, and travel adventures. KIM HENDERSON is a freelance writer living in Copiah County. While at Mississippi College, she was named their most outstanding journalism student and has since been published by sources ranging from the Associated Press to LifeWay Christian Resources. She currently writes a weekly slice-of-life column for Brookhaven’s Daily Leader.

12 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and had a long career in advertising and marketing before stumbling into a freelance writing career in 2001. Hundreds of published articles later, Marquez still loves to tell the stories of the interesting people, places, and events throughout the South. KATHY K. MARTIN is an Ole Miss journalism graduate who currently lives in Collierville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. She works as a freelance writer and chairs her church’s Christian writers group. RICHELLE PUTNAM is a Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) Teaching Artist/Roster Artist (Literary), a Mississippi Humanities Speaker, and a 2014 MAC Literary Arts Fellow. Her YA biography, The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty (The History Press, April 2014), received the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal. She is also the author of Lauderdale County, Mississippi; a Brief History (The History Press, 2011) and co-author of Legendary Locals of Meridian, Mississippi (Arcadia Publishing 2013). Her mission as a writer and teaching artist is to help children see the beauty of words and to realize their power. LORIE ROACH lives in Buckatunna with her husband. She is a food blogger and owns her own photography business. She is also an avid cooking contest participant and has traveled the country to compete. In 2008, she competed on Food Network’s Ultimate Recipes Showdown: Cakes, where she won first place in the cupcake segment of the show. GENNIE TAYLOR, a native of Forest, is a technical writer for CACI, Inc. in Fayetteville, N.C. and a freelance writer, graphic designer, and photographer. She previously served as the publications coordinator at East Central Community College in Decatur. She is the former editor of The Demopolis Times in Demopolis, Ala. and former managing

editor of The Scott County Times in Forest. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism, she has received numerous awards from the Associated Press and the Mississippi and Alabama Press Associations. She and her husband, Steven, have one daughter, Mallory. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and cooking. JANETTE TIBBETTS is a ninth generation Mississippian. She grew up on a Jones County dairy farm, attended Millsaps, taught school, and was a merchant. She is the founder and curator of “The Sandbank,” a Beatrix Potter Collection, at USM. She is a freelance writer and photographer. Janette writes weekly garden and food columns for magazines and newspapers. She was awarded a writer’s grant from the Mississippi Art’s Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts. She lives with her husband, Jon, and writes in their home near Hattiesburg. A published author of short stories, she is presently completing a novel. KELSEY WELLS is a news writer at Lawrence County Press in Monticello. She is a graduate of Southwest Mississippi Community College where she served as editor of The Pine Burr. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications at William Carey University and served as a staff writer and life editor of The Cobbler student newspaper until she became managing editor her senior year. She currently resides in the Divide community where she is active in her church and community. KATIE HUTSON WEST is a freelance writer from Tupelo. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Marketing, Communications, and Business Psychology. An avid traveler, when home she resides in Starkville. MEGAN WOLFE is a freelance writer and photojournalist from San Francisco. Her work can regularly be found in the Collierville Herald, The South Reporter, and other mid-South publications. She is currently based in Holly Springs, where she spends her free time creating multimedia projects to promote community events and the local arts.


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+ The Auction Block Steakho + The Blue use Biscuit + 10 South Rooftop Grill + Taste & See & Bar + Keg & Barrel

Eudora Welty's White Fruitcake

eat. drink.

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI MISSISSIPPI

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page 30

Cooking With

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& FRIENDS

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Cooking and Selling Fresh Cane Syrup BLACKSMITHING DEMONSTRATIONS Antique Gristmill Grinding & Selling Cornmeal ARTS, CRAFTS, & FOOD VENDORS Live Entertainment KIBBIE COOK-OFF ~ FREE BISCUITS Pumpkin Painting and Games for Kids ANTIQUE TRACTOR SHOW & PARADE Hit & Miss Engine ~ Radio Flyer Wagon Rides For more information, call 662.590.5415. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13


{ what's hot }

Sweet Summer Treat

S’mores Dip Makes: 1 cup 3 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 ounces) 3 tablespoons heavy cream 1/2-3/4 cup miniature marshmallows Graham crackers, for serving Heat oven to 350 F. Remove wrappers from chocolate bars; break into pieces. Place chocolate pieces and heavy cream in microwavesafe and ovenproof ramekin or cassolette. Microwave

14 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

30 seconds on medium; stir. If necessary, microwave 10 seconds more and stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Cover surface of chocolate mixture with marshmallows. Heat in oven 10-12 minutes, or until marshmallows are puffed and just beginning to brown. Remove from oven; cool 5 minutes. Serve with graham cracker pieces. Note: Recipe amounts can be increased or decreased. Each chocolate bar used will require 1 tablespoon heavy cream.


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{ fabulous foodie finds }

Rice Rice

Lékué Silicone Makisu Sushi Roller, $12.00 The Kitchen Table, Hattiesburg

Inomata Japanese Rice Washing Bowl with Strainer, $5.99 Bed Bath & Beyond

Mississippi Blue Rice, several varieties, $5.00 - $49.95 Mississippi Blue Rice 16 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Baby! September is National Rice Month. We’ve gathered some useful and neat products to help you celebrate the nutrient-rich grain that has filled our stomachs for centuries.

Porcelain 4.25” Rice Bowls, set of four, $11.95 Crate & Barrel

Bamboo Rice Paddle, $6.00 Sur La Table

Aroma 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice Cooker, sugg. retail $19.99 Target and Walmart see page 80 for store information eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17


{ chef's corner }

From the Kitchen to the Farm

I

story by chef nick wallace | photos by julian rankin

t’s a great thing that we’re now familiar with the image of a farmer bringing fresh produce to a chef ’s doorstep, but we don’t talk as much about the chef leaving the kitchen and visiting the farmer on their own turf. In decades past, when I worked for corporate hotels, food was all about price point and quantity. And I lost some of the connection to the ingredient. That’s why I’m back with a vengeance, as Executive Chef and Culinary Curator at the Mississippi Museum of Art, to support Mississippi farmers and to put some amazing produce on the plate. Sometimes I’ll visit my favorite farmers, who have become extended family, not to purchase produce for the Museum’s Palette Café but to cook an open-air meal. Awesome Mississippi farmers are scattered around the state, but there are also ones in the city of Jackson where I live, like Cindy Ayers of Foot Print Farms. She’s a former Wall Street executive whose sixty acres within the city limits make her a true urban farmer. When I last visited her fields, I came to cook for her. I brought a bag of my own staples: Mississippi honey, protein from Reyer Farms, pesto made from local herbs. Then I walked the fields and picked garlic and tomatoes and broccoli. When a chef builds a dish based on what looks good growing right in front of his feet, he has more control. If I need a three-inch runt squash for a plating I’ve imagined, I can find that, where I might not be able to order it from a distributor whose vegetables have been sized and sorted for consistent appearance. Paradoxically, this control gives me more freedom to experiment with and explore the colors, tastes, and textures found on the farm. It gives me a larger appreciation for what a plated dish symbolizes – harmony and connectivity between ingredients and between people. To hear the farmer speak about their plants, the nutrient chemistry in the soil, and their vision for the future is a special thing. Cindy Ayers will tell you about how the produce she grows is destined for more than just a restaurant delivery. Her Farm-NA-Box program makes pre-seeded contained gardens

18 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Chef Nick Wallace available to city-dwellers and low-income households who don’t traditionally have access to their own organic produce. She delivers the boxes in an old pink school bus to the parking lot of Jackson Hinds Community Health Center through a partnership with the medical facility. “They couldn’t believe there’s a farm right in the city that it comes from,” Ayers said of her Farm-N-A-Box clients. “They see that they themselves can grow and have access to this fresh food. In the clinics the doctors don’t just tell patients they need to change their diets; they can provide solutions.” It’s one thing to talk about farm to table in the context of a restaurant dining room, but it’s by seeking out the source and getting to know the grower that I find more and different ways that Mississippi agriculture can help change communities. When I worked in hotels, we’d get two hundred pounds of zucchini in and we probably didn’t give that product much respect. But now, when a farmer brings me their crop, it’s more likely to be in a wicker basket than a refrigerated truck. My culinary wheels immediately start turning. I rub on the produce and, even before I’ve washed off all the soil, I taste it. And I know where it came from. Nick Wallace is the Executive Chef and Culinary Curator at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Dine with him at the Museum’s Palette Café Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 2 PM.


Reyer Farms Braised Pork Shoulder and Root vegetables Serves 6-8 1 (5-lb.) boneless pork shoulder Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tbsp. whole juniper berries 4 1⁄2 tsp. coriander seeds 8 cloves garlic, chopped 8 strips bacon 1⁄4 cup olive oil 3 medium golden beets, peeled and cut into 1” chunks 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1” chunks 1 stick celery, cut into 1” chunks 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1” chunks 1⁄2 cup chicory liqueur 1 1⁄2 cups chicken stock 6 sprigs thyme 3 bay leaves 2 tbsp. cornstarch 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season pork with salt and pepper, rub with juniper, coriander, and garlic, and lay 4 strips bacon across pork. Starting at one of the short edges, roll pork into a tight bundle, and place seam-side down; lay remaining bacon lengthwise across the top of the roast,

and tie securely with kitchen twine at 1” intervals. Season outside of pork with salt and pepper, and set aside. Heat oil in a large roasting pan. Set burner eye over medium-high heat. Place roast, bacon side down, in pan, and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Push roast to one side of the pan, and add beets, carrots, sweet potato, celery, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add liqueur, and cook, stirring to scrape the bottom of the pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock, thyme, and bay leaves, and using tongs, arrange roast on top of vegetables. Cover with foil, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 165°, about 2 hours. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves and thyme, and arrange vegetables on a large serving platter; slice pork, and arrange over vegetables, Nick’s way! Check out picture, become the chef in you! Bring roasting pan with pan juices to a boil over high heat. Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. When juices boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until gravy is thick, about 2 minutes more. Strain gravy through a fine-mesh strainer, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper; serve alongside roast.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19


DEEP SOUTH DISH Food. Family. Memories.

Say Farewell to Summer With Succotash BY MARY FOREMAN

O

Mary Foreman, a native of Biloxi, is the author of the popular website deepsouthdish.com, where she shares her favorite, homespun, mostly from scratch and, very often, heirloom and heritage, Southern recipes. She is also author of her first cookbook, Deep South Dish: Homestyle Southern Recipes.

20 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

nce the cookout holidays are winding down and we’re reeling in the tail end of summer vacation, I start craving summer vegetables. I don’t know if it’s a result of the heavy carb-laced side dishes and the meat feasts of burgers, brisket, hotdogs, and ribs, or if it’s just because I know they’re soon heading out the door with the arrival of fall. I am a huge fan of fresh corn. I love it stripped from the cob and combined with fresh baby butter beans. This combination is affectionately known as succotash. I don’t add much to it – a bit of onion and garlic, always some butter, and sometimes just a splash of cream. Though it’s unlikely that succotash started off with the sweet corn and tender baby butter beans we enjoy today, it is commonly held that it came to the colonists from Native Americans. The origins of the name are translated from the word msickquatash, the meaning being something akin to boiled corn. Succotash probably made its way to the first Thanksgiving table and has survived through times of economic upheaval, through wars and The Great Depression because of its simplicity and availability. It likely made its way from the New England area to the South, where we promptly included butter and cream, often some kind of pork, and claimed it as our own. One thing I know for sure is that it’s mighty delicious, even on its own, but in the summertime, succotash calls out for those fresh, abundant garden vegetables. It not only calls for fresh corn on the cob and garden butter beans, but also fresh, sliced okra, sweet Vidalia onion, garden fresh tomatoes, and sweet bell peppers – red, yellow, orange, green, or a combination of a few of them. Other garden vegetables you could include are zucchini and summer squash, purple hull peas, or whatever is fresh at the farmers market or from your own backyard garden. Be sure to include some fresh garden herbs. Whether it be parsley, chives, dill, basil, thyme, or tarragon, they all add their own unique flavor profile.  If you have time, use the cobs to make a broth base for your beans. Scrape kernels off the cobs and set the corn aside. Place the cobs into a saucepan along with about a 3-ounce nob of salt pork, add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, and then let the cobs simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans, bring back up to a boil, then reduce to simmer again, cooking for another 20 minutes before adding the corn. Cook until the corn is mostly tender, then proceed with the rest of the recipe. The fresh tastes of summer in a beloved succotash are so good, so fresh, and perfect for saying farewell to summer. This is one of those dishes where I could literally set the entire pot right in front of me and eat every bit of it by myself. edm


Southern Summer Succotash  ©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

Yield: About 4 to 6 servings 1/2 pound fresh baby butter (lima) beans 3 medium ears corn 3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped, reserve drippings 1/2 cup chopped andouille smoked sausage 1 cup sliced fresh okra 1 cup chopped Vidalia onion 1/2 cup chopped sweet bell pepper (green, red, yellow, orange, or combination) 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon Creole or Cajun seasoning, or to taste, optional 1 cup halved grape tomatoes 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped parsley 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or 1/8 cup heavy cream   Shell beans and rinse well. Add to a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, boil for 3 minutes, reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until mostly tender. Drain, setting aside 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Meanwhile, cook corn using your favorite method. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut corn off of the cob. Use dull edge of the knife to scrape down the milk from the cobs;

set aside.   Cook the bacon to crisp in a large skillet, remove and set aside to chop, but leave drippings in the skillet. Add sausage to drippings and cook over medium high until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to the beans. Add the okra to the drippings and cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper and cook another 4 minutes until softened; add the garlic and cook another minute.   Add the corn and its juices, sugar, butter beans, meat and seasonings to the skillet. Add some of the reserved cooking water, a little at a time, only if mixture is too dry. Reduce heat to medium low, cook and stir until everything is heated through, add tomatoes, bacon and parsley. Stir in butter or cream until warmed through; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve immediately.   Cook’s Notes: I like to precook the corn on the cob using the no-husk, microwave method. Place whole, unhusked corn in microwave and cook on high for 12 minutes (1000 watt); use oven mitt to remove and set aside to cool slightly. Cut off root end of corn and carefully shake corn out of the husk. May substitute thawed, frozen lima beans, corn and okra and drained stewed or diced canned tomatoes. If using refrigerated bacon drippings, you’ll need about 1-1/2 tablespoons. For basic succotash, use only cooked baby lima beans and corn, add butter, salt and pepper. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21


Will Fly For

22 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Food

Gulf Coast Pilot Takes to the Sky to Visit Food Destinations

H

Brent Fontenot sits in a Diamond DA-20 aircraft.

by julian brunt

ave you ever wished you could just get into your private airplane and whisk yourself away to some exotic food destination? If you are an adventuresome foodie and the idea appeals to you, then you might double your pleasure by turning the concept into your very reality TV show. Really? Well, that is exactly what Brent Fontenot did and after just four series, his show has been picked up by WKFK in Pascagoula, channel 7,and has been airing Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Food Flight Gulf Coast Edition is broken down into two basic parts. Pilot Fontenot spends the first part of the show discussing the aircraft, a few semi-technical questions, flight plan, and introducing a guest. Sometimes it is a first-time flyer who is pretty nervous about the experience, other times it is a seasoned pro. The second part is all about an interesting food destination, always near the airport, and always frequented by pilots and passengers. Most often a cooking demonstration follows an introduction to the restaurant and chef, and you can be sure a delicious meal will be the final scene. It must be admitted that the destination of these food flights isn’t exactly Monte Carlo or San Francisco, but the first four parts of the series did visit some pretty interesting chefs and kitchens. In the third series the flight was just a spin around Stennis Airport and a return landing to the Jet-a-way Café, which is adjacent to the terminal. It might not sound exotic, but Chef George Clements put on quite a show, making a delicious grilled catfish plate, pulled pork with potato salad, and a great andouille sausage gumbo. In another episode, Fontenot takes his guest to a New Orleans airport and visits Messina’s Runway Café. Chef Jimmy Wendell keeps things lively and shows the audience how to make a delicious seafood pasta, crab cakes with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, and ends the show with shrimp and grits. Don’t get the idea that Food Flight is nothing but a quick travel-log where only the highlights are reviewed. Fontenot must be commended for including step-by-step instructions. If you have any kitchen skills at all, you should be able to duplicate any of the dishes that are made. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23


Other episodes included a trip to Dauphin Island and Foley, Alabama, and both were filled with food that should get your attention, like blackened shrimp tacos and smoked pork loin with turkey gravy. You will also get a kick out of Lambert’s Café in Foley, home of the “thrown rolls.” Brent Fontenot describes the show as “Not your everyday food run,” and that is as adept a description as can be made. During my second visit with Fontenot, we met at the Ocean Springs Airport and he introduced me to his two seater, single engine aircraft, a Diamond DA-20. Pretty cool! He also told me about his plans for future episodes, and when I asked where he was going he said, “Just look at any general aviation map, there are hundreds to choose from, and there is always a near-by restaurant that caters to private flights and layovers.” Fontenot films the episodes, edits his work, and presents the video ready to go to WKFK (the videos can also be seen on YouTube at www.youtube. com/user/FoodFlightTV). In the future WKFK will lend a production hand, so keep an eye out for new episodes of Food Flight Gulf Coast Edition. Do you have an interesting take on this foodie inspired idea? Give Fontenot a shout, maybe you can get a fly along! edm

PICTURED, FROM TOP: Crabcakes Hollandaise from Messina’s Runway Cafe in New Orleans, Fried Shrimp from JT’s Sunset Grill in Dauphin Island, Ala., Shrimp Tacos from JT’s Sunset Grill, Shrimp and Grits from Messina’s Runway Cafe 24 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


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26 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Tupelo Celebrates 100 Years of

story and photography By Megan Wolfe

2016

marks a milestone anniversary for CocaCola in Tupelo. Incredibly, the classic beverage has been bottled in Tupelo for 100 years, further solidifying its heritage in the south, and in the state of Mississippi. To celebrate, the Tupelo Automobile Museum has curated an exclusive exhibition of Coca-Cola memorabilia, with items

from Coca-Cola Bottling Works’ private collection. “Coke” enthusiasts will be delighted to see some unique artifacts on display. Central to the exhibit is an original, restored, 1929 International Coca-Cola Route Truck, and a nearby showcase chronicles the cola bottle’s design from a rare, straightsided bottle made in 1916, to today’s “hobbleskirt,” aluminum bottle.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27


28 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


There’s also handful of vending machines scattered throughout the exhibit, dating from the 1930s to the 1950s. For added effect, some of these are part of the museum’s lifesize dioramas. One vending machine, in particular, feels like a step back in time, as it sits on the porch of a faux country storefront. Other miscellaneous items include a 1916 set of matching trays and a ladies’ pocket mirror featuring “Elaine”, the Coca-Cola calendar girl, assorted NASCAR and Christmas promotional items, and over a dozen metal signs. An interactive, touchscreen computer guides visitors through the history of Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola bottling, and the evolution of Coca-Cola’s delivery vehicles. This is just a sample of the exhibit and a fraction of collector, Sandy Williams’ inventory. More of his collection can be seen at the Crossroads Museum in Corinth, and a significant amount of his work remains in storage, awaiting other occasions for display. “In the beginning, it was more about what I didn’t throw away rather than what I collected,” says Williams. “I’m not sure how many pieces there are total. I believe I’ve been collecting for about 40 or 50 years now.” Williams is proud to be a member of the third generation in his family to work for Coca-Cola. He speaks enthusiastically about being “born into a Coca-Cola legacy”, started by his grandfather, A.K. Weaver. In 1906, Weaver cofounded a Coca-Cola bottling plant in New Albany with his business partner, C.C. Clark, and later opened plants in Corinth and Tupelo. At 13 years old, Sandy Williams began working for the company himself, and his brother, Kenneth Williams, followed suit. Today, Sandy Williams is Chairman over Coca-Cola Bottling Works, and his son and nephews continue the family legacy as the fourth generation to join Coca-Cola. Williams says the kids and grandkids aren’t collecting CocaCola memorabilia yet, per se. “They’re interested in it, but they’ve kind of let me take care of that part of the business,” he says. “My son has been designated to try and take care of the memorabilia when I exit.” When asked about his favorite items at the Automobile Museum, Williams notes several things, but he especially favors the “curbside service” popup. Made from the restored door of a Nash Rambler, the curbside service tray is an original heirloom of Williams’ family, and winks to fond memories of the man who owned it, his grandfather. “100 Years of Coca-Cola” opened at the Tupelo Automobile Museum in May, and will be on view through the month of October. Catch this rare exhibit while it lasts! edm Tupelo Automobile Museum 1 Otis Blvd., Tupelo 662.842.4242 www.tupeloautomobilemuseum.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29


Light As a Cloud

{ mississippi made }

Put Your Taste Buds on ‘Cloud 9’ With the Tantalizing Flavors of Gourmet Marshmallows by gennie taylor

D

escribed as a fine gourmet marshmallow manufacturer/wholesaler confectionary, Cloud 9 began as a unique holiday gift in the kitchen of Sharon Hatch Hodge’s Gulfport home. When gift recipients responded so enthusiastically to her holiday gifts of unique almond marshmallows, Cloud 9’s owner and founder, Hodge, said she thought she was on to something. “We only sell what we love,” Hodge said. “Fresh marshmallows are completely different from factory made versions (with preservatives and long shelf life). Ours are made with original recipes – and several varieties are marshmallows that resemble a candy bar (cut into nice bite size pieces).” Hodge said she took the basic marshmallow recipe in several directions and developed the Cloud 9 lines of flavors of fresh, made-from-scratch gourmet marshmallows. Cloud 9 began as a cottage industry in 2013, where Hodge tested the market’s reaction to numerous recipes at the Pass Christian Farmers Market. “When I taste-tested the Sea Turtle for the first time, I knew I had the foundation for a real business,” Hodge said. “One taste and customers were making special trips to the 30 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

farmers market for more Cloud 9 marshmallows,” Hodge said. “From that point it has been a process of slowly growing the business while keeping debt to a minimum,” said Hodge. “We held a successful Kickstarter campaign in early 2015 that afforded us to equip our commercial kitchen in Gulfport. We just attended our first trade show (Mississippi Market) and secured new accounts throughout the state of Mississippi. We’ve been told by regional sales reps that there is nothing else like Cloud 9 in the Southeastern U.S. – and we’ve not seen anything comparable.” Cloud 9 is inspired by the culinary history along with the natural and cultural features of Mississippi, with mostly Coastal influences, Hodge said. “Our Sea Turtles are number one,” said Hodge in regard to the company’s top-seller. The Sea Turtle is a freshly made caramel marshmallow with sea salt, roasted pecans, and topped with a layer of dark chocolate. Other flavors include Almond, Mississippi Muds, Birthday Time, Strawberry, Lemon Loves, Toasted Coconut, Topsails, and Margarita. In addition to special holiday flavors, Cloud 9 creates specialty flavors for special orders. “We also work with caterers and café owners to produce flavors for special events or to make a signature statement,”


Hodge said. For instance, the Bay Breeze Marshmallow is a summer combination of coconut rum, pineapple, and blue curacao - the color of beach glass, this lovely concoction reflected the coastal style living gift shop that was its namesake. Cloud 9 has developed several exclusive signature flavors, working with proprietors to reflect their shop or café and capture the unique offerings in a fresh marshmallow, Hodge said. “Cloud 9’s number one goal is to provide the customer the freshest high-quality small-batch flavorful marshmallow,” Hodge said. Cloud 9 delivers fresh marshmallows to more than two dozen locations in the Mississippi Coast region, including fine gift shops, specialty markets, and coffee cafes. In addition, Cloud 9 is now branching out into nearby New Orleans and select upstate Mississippi locations. “We just recently added 11 accounts, mostly in Mississippi, two more in Louisiana, and one in Texas,” Hodge said. “Some of the retailers carry Cloud 9 only during the Christmas Holiday shopping season.” “We also supply catered events and work with local chefs, incorporating Cloud 9 into dessert menu items.” In the future, Hodge said she has plans for Cloud 9 to increase its distribution network throughout the southeast, but retain the original and signature taste of Gulfport’s homegrown fresh marshmallows. “Marshmallows require special protection against melting during our long hot summers – we hope to approach higher end markets that can afford chilled shipping costs,” Hodge said. What is the best way to enjoy Cloud 9 Marshmallows?

Sharon Hutch Hodge

Hodge said she recommends simply eating your Cloud 9 Artisan Marshmallows. “Because Cloud 9 marshmallows are original and many customers have not tasted fresh marshmallows before, this question comes up not infrequently,” Hodge said. “Cloud 9 discourages rationing your marshmallows – they are enjoyed best when they are freshest. We will make more!”

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31


Cloud 9 Artisan Marshmallows’ best-selling flavor is Sea Turtles.

Other great ways to enjoy Cloud 9 Marshmallows: Contessa’ for most of our flavors – but the twists and • Vanilla, Almond or Peppermint Cloud 9 marshmallows top refinement of the production process has taken our product off your hot chocolate line to a whole other level,” Hodge said. “The few people I’ve • Mississippi Mud and Sea Turtles complement Oatmeal Stout met who have made marshmallows ‘take their hat off to me’ or Pinot Noir, if you are so inclined – as the multi-step process is quite an effort. Our commercial • Lemon marshmallows pair nicely with Bourbon, so we’ve kitchen is all marshmallows all the time, so we have gained been told some economies of scale and efficiencies of process.” edm • Honey Cubes finish off a cup of herbal tea most delicately • Raspberry with Dark Chocolate is a great way to celebrate a Cloud 9 Artisan Marshmallows bottle of Brut French champagne 4107 Franklin Ave., Gulfport All flavors of Cloud 9 Marshmallows make amazing simple 228.234.5952 desserts, Hodge said. www.cloud9marshmallows.us Not your grandma’s or scouts’ s’mores – these are absolutely heavenly. No campfire required. Our favorite flavors prepared this way are the Toasted Coconut and the Lemon. It’s easy as 1-2-3. 1. Cut one marshmallow in half or quarters. 2. Place on thin cookie, cracker or graham cracker. 3. Broil or microwave for 7 to 9 seconds and serve immediately. Since Cloud 9 fresh marshmallows are more delicate than commercial mallows, serve these desserts “open-faced” – you don’t want to lose any of the goodness by squeezing the mallow between two cookies. Substitute a freshly baked dark chocolate brownie for the cookie or graham cracker and you need go no further in your search of finest of fine desserts. “We use the basic recipe I saw Ina Cloud 9 Artisan Marshmallows assist in making s’mores easy and Garten make on her show ‘Barefoot delicious. 32 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Libations

on

Location

Cousins Karey Evans and Leslie Carpenter Create Unique Mobile Bar That Adds Charm to Any Event

Leslie Carpenter and Karey Evans serve drinks from The Karovan Bar to happy partygoers.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33


W

story by susan marquez | photos by pound photography

hen Karey Evans’ youngest son was getting married, the couple wanted a food truck at their wedding reception. When thinking about what to do for a bar, Evans had the idea of a “bar truck” to go along with the theme. She began doing some research and couldn’t find exactly what she wanted. Then one day she found something on Pinterest that piqued her interest. “Some folks in Australia had made a mobile bar from a small vintage camper and I thought that would be perfect!” Evans began researching campers and learned that the vintage ones often don’t hold up to being transformed into a bar. “The shell might collapse if there isn’t proper support inside,” she explained. So she found someone to fabricate a camper shell for her that would be ideally suited for the type of interior she envisioned. Sharing the idea with her cousin (who also happens to be her good friend), Leslie Carpenter, the two decided to invest 34 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

in the little karovan and begin a mobile bar business. “We both come from a crazy place. We love to entertain and we love being around people and meeting new people,” said Carpenter. “And we both like business endeavors that allow us to do all those things. The Karovan Bar seemed like the ideal business to cover all those bases!” It’s not unusual, Carpenter explained, for either of the cousins to do a pop-up party on the fly. “We call it ‘scruffy hospitality.’ It’s not the fancy dress or the perfectly cleaned home that people remember. It’s the feet under the table.” Evans said she likes to remember each event where friends are gathered by writing the date on the cork of the wine they drank, along with the people who were present. “We both have the same set of values when it comes to family and friends and entertaining,” Evans said. With a background in catering and writing a cookbook, Carpenter has a good understanding of the business end of


The Karovan Bar www.thekarovanbar.com Karey Evans 601.209.6754 Leslie Carpenter 601.624.8850

The Karovan Bar. Evans brings a strong marketing background through her business with corporate gift baskets. “We each have different strengths when it comes to running and promoting it,” said Evans. Carpenter credits Evans with being the brainchild of The Karovan Bar. “She did all the research and had it manufactured. “It’s all custom-made,” said Evans. “Frank Wells, a furniture maker and wood worker from Crystal Springs, built out the interior.” The shape of The Karovan Bar is the classic toaster shape. “We could have gone with the canned ham shape,” laughed Evans, “but there wouldn’t have been enough room for us inside.” With its sophisticated vintage look, The Karovan Bar turns heads, but it’s what’s inside that ensures it is functional. Solid oak countertops provide plenty of room for mixing and serving cocktails. There’s a small sink and a space specially designed for a large ice chest. Drinks can be served from three sides through windows that pop open to the outside on one side of The Karovan Bar, and windows that fold open on the other. “We kept it plain on purpose,” said Evans of the classic style.

“When I’m in here during a party, I’m in the zone,” laughed Evans. “I love being in here, because I’m in the middle of the party and I can see everyone. I’m in a place surrounded by people who are having fun, which makes this a very happy place for me.” Christened at Evans’ son’s reception behind The Cedars in Jackson, The Karovan Bar was very well received. It has been a hit at local weddings, sorority parties, birthday parties, and corporate events. It’s not limited to serving drinks. “We’ve sold herbs and topiaries out of it,” Carpenter said. At a recent Thursday evening farmers market at Livingston, the duo sold candy and specialty sodas. “We served pizza and cokes for a soccer team party, too.” “It’s definitely catching on,” Evans said. “There are so many options. We can decorate it with banners and party lights. We have a coffee machine and juicer for breakfast, and we have all sorts of props that can be rented along with The Karovan Bar, including several sets of vintage glasses and barware. Evans and Carpenter have a list of bartenders available, or those renting The Karovan Bar can use their own. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35


Growing Strong Local Producers Impact Nation’s Rice Industry story by susan marquez photography by lawrence and abbey wagner

36 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


S

eptember is National Rice Month, and rice producers and consumers around the state will celebrate, especially in Cleveland, where the annual Rice Luncheon has been held every third Friday of September since 1991. Each year, around 2000 people gather at the Walter Sillers Coliseum on the campus of Delta State University to celebrate all things rice. More than 300 dishes are provided by Delta residents and restaurants, with each contributor’s name placed by their dish. “It’s quite the social event for many senior citizens,” said Candy Davis, president of Delta Rice Promotions, Inc. “We even have tour buses that come to the event.” From appetizers to desserts, the rice dishes are laid out on a long buffet. “It’s amazing to see how creative people are with rice,” Davis said. “Many folks prepare recipes out of our cookbook, Between the Levees, but there are always some original dishes that are different and unique, and they’re all good! Of course, dessert is always the most popular, and the first to disappear.” In addition to enjoying the delicious rice meal, those attending the Rice Luncheon get goodies from sponsors and are treated to entertainment or a guest speaker. “One of the more popular programs was by Robert St. John, who did a cooking demonstration,” Davis said. There are also door prizes at the luncheon, including the beautiful mums that decorate the tables. “One of the things we do as well is to provide a little health fair, with nursing students from Delta State taking blood pressures. The dietary department of the Bolivar Medical Center features a table with information on the healthy benefits of rice.”

Mike Wagner of Mississippi Blue Rice in Sumner has been growing rice all his life. He has an impressive and vast knowledge of agricultural, environmental, and culinary science. “I don’t grow rice like everyone else. The way we grow rice uses less water and nutrients, and we try to grow rices that are healthier. Even our regular Delta Belle rice is high amylose, which means it has more dietary fibers than other rices.” The processing facility for Mississippi Blue Rice is located 20 feet from the rice field. “We are very low on ‘food miles,’” jokes Wagner. His is a certified Kosher plant, with nothing but rice processed there. “We pride ourselves on how clean and sanitary the plant is.” The rice is sold online at www.mississippibluerice.com, at farmers markets, and by some food distributors. “We are also working hard to get it into the hands of chefs so they can taste the difference for themselves. I believe more people are now conscious about what they eat. They want to know how it’s grown and they want it to taste good. And now, more and more people are wanting to know that companies are environmentally responsible.” “I always enjoy speaking with someone about the crops we grow, especially rice. Rice supplies slightly over 20 percent of the world’s human calories, on less land than that,” Wagner said. “I am happy that after years of work, thought, failures, and successes on our farm, I firmly believe that we grow the most amount of rice per given land unit on our ecologically farmed lands with the least total carbon footprint and water useage – a better track record than our conventionally or organically grown rice. If the planet

Mike Wagner, right, and his son, Lawrence

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38 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


necessarily reverses her trends of increased land, water, and chemical use, it will need to take steps that fit specific geographical, ecological, environmental, and demographic needs as we have done.” “One very interesting fact is the statistic that roughly half of the world’s rice is consumed within eight miles from where it is grown. That is local food.” Mississippi’s rice industry has room for small independent producers, including Mississippi Blue Rice and Delta Blues Rice, but there is also plenty of room for a global giant like Mars, Incorporated. Uncle Ben’s Rice is in their portfolio of businesses, and the largest facility in the Mars Global food segment network is the Uncle Ben’s production facility in Greenville. “We have been proudly part of the Mississippi rice producing landscape for over 30 years,” said Matt Hurst, Corporate Affairs Manager for Mars Food North America. Hurst said that the company is happy to be a part of American culture, and more specifically Mississippi culture. “We produce rice in the Greenville facility for the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and we export rice to the Middle East,” said Hurst. “But we are very much a part of the Greenville community. We created the first community garden for residents to plant and harvest fresh produce and we remodeled the Greenville High School cafeteria, which now serves breakfast and lunch to 1,500 students during the school year. We also have an internship program for high school students to get them interested in the rice industry.” While the majority of Uncle Ben’s rice is grown in the Delta area, they do have rice coming into the processing facility from other areas of the country. The main product produced at the plant is the original Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice brand, a staple that is parboiled to make sure all the nutrients are locked into each grain. There are also specialty rices, including brown rice, basmati rice, and jasmine rice. They’ve made cooking rice easy for everyone with boil-in-bag rice sachets which can be dropped into a pot of boiling water as well as the ready-toeat rice in a pouch which is ready in 90 seconds in the microwave. The Ben’s Beginners campaign encourages families to cook together through a cooking contest where contestants send in photographs of families cooking a rice dish together with their families. “We are giving away $15,000 to the winning family and $30,000 for a school makeover,” Hurst said. For more information on this campaign, visit www.unclebens.com/ben’s-beginners. edm

The majority of Uncle Ben’s rice is grown in the Mississippi Delta and processed at their Greenville facility. photos this page courtesy of mars food north america

graphic courtesy of mississippi state university

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39


Boudin Balls

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Pesto Rice Stuffed Pork Loin Chops

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Boudin Balls by Lisa Bynum

Serves: 1 dozen 1 pound homemade or store bought boudin sausage 1-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (or more, if needed) 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce Vegetable oil, for deep-frying If using store bought boudin, remove sausage from the casings. Spread bread crumbs evenly in a shallow bowl. In a

separate bowl, combine the eggs, salt, cayenne, and hot sauce. Form the boudin into 1-1/2 inch balls (a little smaller than a golf ball). Pour enough oil into a large skillet (I prefer cast iron for frying) deep enough to immerse the balls halfway. Heat oil over medium high heat until it begins to shimmer. Working in batches, roll balls in the egg mixture, followed by the bread crumbs. Make sure to coat them evenly. Place the balls in the hot oil, a few at a time, until they are light brown, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with a side of comeback sauce.

Comeback Sauce by Lisa Bynum

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup ketchup 1/4 cup oil 1 teaspoon mustard 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons water 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

Combine comeback ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix with a wire whisk until well incorporated. Store any remaining sauce in and airtight container in the refrigerator.

Pesto Rice Stuffed Pork Loin Chops by Lisa Bynum

Serves: 6 Pesto Rice Stuffing: 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves 1/2 cup pecans 3 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened 2 cups cooked long grain and wild rice Pork loin chops: 6 pork loin chops, cut about 2 inches thick 3 tablespoons barbeque spice rub

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Combine first six ingredients in a blender or food processor. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Process until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add pesto and cream cheese to the cooked rice. Mix until cream cheese and pesto are evenly incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Meanwhile, preheat a charcoal or gas grill. Cut a pocket in the center of each chop, making sure not to cut all the way through. Stuff each pocket with the pesto-rice mixture. Secure the open end with a toothpick. Season outside of each chop with barbeque rub. Grill the chops for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the juices run clear and the rice stuffing is heated through. Let the chops rest for ten minutes before serving.


Shrimp Fajita Fried Rice

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Cilantro Lime White Rice

Cilantro Lime White Rice by Nikki Gladd

Yield: 8-10 servings 4 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 bay leaves 2 cups dry white rice (basmati or jasmine) Juice from half a large lime Juice from half a large lemon 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, more to taste Combine water, salt and bay leaves in a medium to large pot. (4 qt. pot is perfect, no smaller than 2.5 qt.). Bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Watch carefully. Right when it reaches the rapid boil, stir in the rice. Keep on high heat until it just starts to low boil. Immediately cover and turn heat all the way down to low. Set your timer for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn off the heat, uncover and let set for 2 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Gently mix in the rest of the ingredients, serve immediately. To freeze leftovers: Allow the rice to cool completely, then portion out in quart size freezer bags. Freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, open zipper about 1 inch to allow ventilation and microwave on high for 90 seconds (turning halfway through). Microwave for an additional 30 seconds at a time if more time is needed.

Shrimp Fajita Fried Rice by Lorie Roach

Serves: 5 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided 3/4 pound medium size shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed Salt and pepper, to taste 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 3 cups cold cooked brown rice 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the bottom with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add the shrimp when the oil is hot in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cook just until done, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe skillet clean. Heat the skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the peppers and the onion, and cook just until crisptender, stirring often. Do not overcook. Add the rice and continue to cook until hot. Stir in the shrimp. Sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir to evenly coat.

For more delicious recipes by Lisa Bynum, visit www.cookingbride.com. For more delicious recipes by Nikki Gladd, visit www.seededatthetable.com. For more delicious recipes by Lorie Roach, visit www.loriesmississippikitchen.com. 44 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


{ from mississippi to beyond }

Southern Comfort in San Francisco By Kathy Martin

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elzoni native Gaines Dobbins took his Mississippi of the kitchen. It was fantastic training.” After that experience Delta roots and his heart for cooking to the City by the he worked in Massachusetts, Minnesota and then finally landed Bay and he hasn’t looked back. He now runs his own in San Francisco about 30 years ago. restaurant, Eureka Restaurant He put off owning a & Lounge, located in the restaurant as he enjoyed Castro area of San Francisco, California and its many where he serves classic Cajun water sports, especially and creole comfort food with a white water kayaking and Southern spin. surfing, until he was 45 From his signature fried years old and opened chicken, pot roast and smoked Eureka. Now he calls his chicken and sausage gumbo, business a labor of love the menu reflects Dobbins’ as he prepares comfortscope of Southern dishes, style dishes to appeal to served with his trademark everyone. Southern hospitality and Dobbins still tells many friendly, playful manner. Side tales of his time in the dishes include collard greens, South as a boy surrounded black-eyed peas, fried okra by interesting neighbors and and mashed potatoes, which experiences in the outdoors. he serves with gravy he makes He especially misses bream with the reserved chicken fat. fishing. He offers smoked pork ribs as Today Dobbins has a special every Friday evening. found his niche for cooking Deviled eggs, inspired by the up food memories from many church potlucks of his his past in his home in Gaines Dobbins growing-up years, are a staple California. edm on the appetizer menu, as well as a best-seller. “I sell hundreds of them, probably 25 to 30 orders a night.” He says he prefers to serve them chilled and topped with bacon crumbles. His path toward culinary arts began as a young boy living in the Delta with his grandmother. He made her breakfast every morning, which consisted of two eggs, two slices of bacon and two pieces of toast. “In the Delta, everyone in your family cooks,” he says of his early years, recalling that the first recipe he cooked himself was a stuffed rolled steak and his first dessert was a Boston cream pie. “The steak turned out dry and tough and I curdled the custard for the pie,” he remarks sarcastically about his first lessons in cooking. He also remembers sampling many delicious dishes at church potlucks, where he enjoyed Miss Alice’s homemade mayonnaise at the Episcopal Church and pickled shrimp made by a lady they called G. Love at the Presbyterian Church. He went to college while working for a pizza place until his girlfriend at the time, Sharon Stratton, now his wife, told him to apply to work for the late Paul Prudhomme in New Orleans. He landed that job in 1979, and says, “I went to work at Commander’s Palace, moving up as I worked every station eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45


A Passion forTOMATOES by janette tibbetts

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ho needs another reason to eat tomatoes? Taste is enough! However, the Arthritis Foundation has added relief from arthritics to the list of already well know benefits from the lycopene found in tomatoes. Lycopene is the carotenoid pigment derived from and associated with the deep red pigment of most tomatoes. However, research reveals that lycopene from the lighter shade of tomatoes – orange, pink and yellow – is better absorbed than lycopene from red tomatoes. Rheumatologists often advise arthritic suffers to limit the acid from tomatoes in their diet because it may intensify their pain and aid in further progressing their condition. The natural occurring lower acid in orange, pink, and yellow tomatoes remains a tasty but less acidic choice with a higher rate of lycopene absorption than the bright red varieties. A popular Mississippi heirloom tomato, Beef Steak, is a delicious low acid selection; however, because they are larger and more difficult to pack and deliver to supermarkets undamaged than standard sized tomatoes, these and other smaller in size, but lighter shades of tomatoes are more commonly found at farmers markets. Recently I noticed a few orange and yellow tomatoes at my local supermarket. Interestingly, scientists also hold that traditionally grown tomatoes’ antioxidant properties are just as high as those grown organically. Most importantly, researchers conclude that cooking increases a tomato’s antioxidant properties.

The Hubbard Farm Although I’m not among those who “...get allergic smelling hay,” my recent visit to the Hubbard’s numerous well-managed farm enterprises did leave me breathless! Lyle Hubbard is the owner and manger of the farm on land 46 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

that has been in his family for four generations. Presently he is actively involved with six chicken houses, caring for a large herd of cattle, 25 acres of watermelons, and the large Amelia tomato field he graciously allowed me to interrupt his busy morning to photograph and discuss. The Amelia tomato is a disease-resistant hybrid requiring limited chemicals and valued for its outstanding taste. The green Amelia tomatoes Lyle gathered that morning are the ones I fried and served at a recent party. After seasoning, sautéing and baking, the Amelia’s marvelous distinctive taste was still evident. Hubbard, a Mississippi State University educated farmer, planted the 80 days to maternity selection late enough to help supply the market’s current demand for green tomatoes. His plants are on schedule to ripen during the next few weeks and continue to produce into the fall. Lyle and his wife, Sue Ann Hubbard, D.V.M., are the parents of Mark Jeffery, 17, and Sabra, 14. The Hopewell Presbyterian Church is where I met the Hubbards and learned of their farm located a couple of miles from the church. Lyle is a third-generation elder at Hopewell where they still enjoy worshipping with his parents, Hugh and Jo Hubbard, as did his parents with Lyle’s grandparents, Hugh B.(who was also an elder at Hopewell) and Sabra Hubbard. Sue Ann, a busy poultry science veterinarian,and their children recently returned from mission work in Honduras. Because this family is a common sight seated on the same pew every Sunday, I was not surprised that in addition to rearing their children in church and on their family farm,they are teaching them and their friends much about life, work, and service. The morning I was there, Lyle’s employees who were busy helping his son, Mark Jeffery, clean out the chicken houses,


Hopewell Presbyterian Church

Lyle Hubbard were his baseball teammates at Simpson Academy. Lyle is also their 4-H leader and proudly shared a photo of the young men after taking first place in a recent 4-H shooting competition. In addition to working with his father, Mark Jeffery is employed by their neighbor and relative, Scott Ramsay, to work in his blueberry orchard. Fourteen-year-old Sabra, a beauty and chef of note who has been cooking under the tutelage of her grandmother, Jo Hubbard, since she was 8-years old, is just as at home driving the tractor through the watermelon field while the trailer is being loaded and on to the Hubbard’s front yard where it is unloaded in the shade and the family enterprise continues. The delicious Summer Flavors, a Sabra Hubbard enjoys driving variety of oval oblong the tractor on her family’s melons that have dark farm. green stripes and bright red flesh with a great taste, are sold from beneath the Hubbard’s pecan trees. (See below for availability and contact information.) Lyle and Sue Ann served on the committee for the state Federation of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Lyle has chaired the state committee. The Hubbards were married in 1995 and their choice of a lifestyle was never a question.

Before I found the tomato patch, I had already been making regular pilgrimages to Hopewell community on Jaynesville Road. (Jaynesville road is West from Highway 49 opposite Mount Olive.) The first time I sped down the fertile hillsides and through its luscious hollers before quickly breaking in the sharp curves, I knew I was in rich-farm land. However, I had not come in search of tomatoes, watermelons, or squash and beans. I had heard of Hopewell Presbyterian Church formed in 1830, but had never attended. They still worship in the 1858 constructed pine-frame building set at the edge of the woods. Because it is located off Highway 49, a route I often took between a chain of children’s shops, its doorsteps became my pew and the sky the cathedral’s ceiling. Stopping by this historical structure, with its balcony built as seating for slaves, never failed to give me pause as it provided a peaceful place to meditate; and I never drove away without rejoicing in my refreshed hope. This year I have been driving Jaynesville Road early on Sunday mornings when the church doors are open and its members are worshiping. I find its nurturing services pure spiritual manna. While the building’s architecture reflects a bygone era, its

Lyle Hubbard 101 Highway 541, Mount Olive 601.668.5921

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membership is “cutting-edge” in their commitment to minister in today’s world, whether it is through drug-free counseling, to a Nigerian couple in the community, or to the spiritually and economically depressed in Central America. With only a little over 50 members between the combined Hopewell and Mount Olive congregations pastored by Joe Gardner, they recently sent 10 short term missionaries to Honduras.

Although this well-maintained long stretch from Hwy. 49 to the church is shaded in many places by overlapping limbs which seem as if they form a canopy, it is more than a lovely drive through the country-side, it has become the route of my spiritual journey sandwiched between Hopewell Church and the Hubbard’s tomato fields. edm

Tomato Sauce After all these years, I still recall my mother and Hazie bringing buckets of juicy-ripe tomatoes from the garden. Usually this occurred after days of rain or perhaps an early hurricane had interrupted their daily gatherings. Some of the vines, heavy with fruit, would bend and break as they slipped from stakes leaving limbs only supported by the tomatoes that were resting directly on the pine straw placed beneath the plants. These tomatoes were carefully set on the back porch work table where Mother deemed most of them too ripe for serving sliced, but just right for cooking. The tomatoes were washed in cool water, drained, and cored. Mother used a sharp paring knife to slightly indent the stem end with an X before setting each tomato, stem end down, in a large, blue enamel cooker. A kettle of boiling water was gently poured over the tomatoes and they were left to bathe until their skins began to curl and roll away from the fruit (the blanching process took

approximately 2-3 minutes and was followed immediate by submerging the tomatoes in ice water). After removing the peel, Mother painstakingly seeded the tomatoes before they were chopped. However, with the advent of the food processor, I’m humbled by how much easier it is to make tomato sauce. I just rinse, remove stem, and place whole unpeeled tomatoes in the food processor, purée, and cook. The seed and skin increases the lycopene and vitamins, while cooking renders tomatoes a more significant antioxidant that helps fight cancer causing cell damage, heart disease, and some of the painful affects of arthritis. To prepare sauce, cook tomatoes on low heat until sauce reaches desired consistency. Add 1 cup of red wine vinegar per gallon of sauce to preserve. Seal jars and bathe in hot water until lids seal according to instructions.

TOMATO DRINK Serves 4 12 ounces fresh tomato juice 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Dash celery salt Mix all ingredients. Divide between 4 glasses. Garnish with celery stalk.

BLOODY MARY Serves 4 12 ounces fresh tomato juice 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice 4 ounces vodka 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Dash celery salt Mix all ingredients. Divide between 4 glasses. Garnish with celery stalk. 48 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Janette Tibbetts created a tomato feast with one of summer’s favorite fregetables.


Fried Green Tomatoes Nearly a half-century before Fannie Flagg wrote Fried Green Tomatoes, the novel on which the drama that was nominated for two Academy Awards was based, my sister, Temple, and I sat among our cousins in our place on a long bench at our grandmother’s kitchen table while devouring hot, crispy fried green tomato chips. One spring morning I asked Grandmother, “Why do we eat our tomatoes while they are still green?” She answered with a smile, “Because we just can’t wait for them to get ripe.” Perhaps Grandmother’s reason was correct in the 1940s; however, with the year-around availability of ripe tomatoes and fried green ones still increasing in popularity, I contend chefs

continue to fry green tomatoes because they are a delicious gourmet treat. Green tomato recipes were also popular during late fall when tomatoes kept producing after there was not enough sun-light to ripen them. My fried green tomatoes recipe has evolved through the years until Grandmother most likely would not recognize it as being derived from her long ago version which was thinly sliced, coated with cornmeal and deep-fried in bacon drippings. Being more aware of health issues today and confessing I tend to enjoy a sedate lifestyle, I cut slices too thick to be consumed as chips and divide cooking between sautéeing on the stovetop and finishing on a rack in the oven.

fried green tomatoes Serves 2 2 medium green tomatoes 1 tablespoon sea salt 2 eggs Sprinkle of pepper Garlic powder 1/4 cup Sunflower self-rising flour 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed 8 ounces canola oil Horseradish Rinse and dry large green tomatoes. Do not peel. Slice away and discard stems and bloom ends. Cut one-half inch thick slices. Separate and spread slices on paper towel. Lightly sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Cover with paper towel. Allow a 15-minute rest. (This is very important procedure draws out the water.) Blot. Beat eggs with pepper and garlic powder. Dredge slices

in egg mixture. Dust with flour and allow to rest until they become sticky (approximately 10 minutes). Dredge in buttermilk. Tap against container to eliminate excess. Coat with crushed Ritz crackers. Over medium heat, sauté each side in canola oil for 2 minutes or until brown. Bake 7 minutes on middle rack in preheated 350-degree oven. Drain on paper towel and dot with horseradish. May be served on party buffet or on vegetable plate with pink-eyed purple hull peas, steamed squash, corn bread, and sweet tea. Cook’s Note: Invariably when we serve Fried Green Tomatoes at parties, it is the most popular dish on the line. While I’m serving the table, my husband, Jon, is magically manning the stovetop and oven procedure to ‘keep ‘em coming.’ Variation: Cut green tomatoes in one-half-inch squares. Employ the above recipe and procedure. Serve on toothpicks as hors d’oeuvres with horseradish dip.

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Tomato Sandwiches spread (I use Basil Pesto Aioli from Stonewall Kitchen) on multi-grain sweet rolls to serve a dainty BLT. Garnish with basil leaves and whole seedless black olives. 2. Red acid tomatoes (drained) on multi-grain bread with the crust removed, halved, and laden with fresh avocado spread. Garnish with tomato roses and flat leaf parsley.

AVOCADO SPREAD In spite of all the bad press avocados receive for being a source of fat, unlike many other spreads, avocados contain the good fat that makes them a healthier choice than mayonnaise. Because fresh avocado meat eventually turns brown, spreads are at their best when made day of use. With just three ingredients – white bread, mayonnaise, and tomatoes – no one needs a recipe for the classic tomato sandwich. It is delicious and it is the sandwich that even wellmannered folks admit to eating over their kitchen sinks. Lifting tomatoes to their exalted place in our diet includes bringing the tomato sandwich from the sink to the party table. If tomatoes are properly drained, they retain their flavor and health benefits without soaking the bread. Ingredients and methods for building tomato sandwiches may be as varried as the tomatoes and herbs grown in our gardens and as creative as our Mississippi roots. The following are the two sandwiches I chose to serve at a recent party: 1. Bacon (Wright’s apple-smoked thick cut), lettuce, and well-drained low-acid orange tomatoes with avocado and basil

Tomato Garnish The scolloped circular-cut peeled from tomatoes are easily rolled into eatable rose buds and blossoms. Store and refrigerate in glass container.

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1 avocado 1 medium garlic bud, peeled Juice of 1 lime 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste Peel avocado and remove seed. Place in food processor with peeled garlic, lime juice, and red wine vinegar. Process until well combined. Slowly add olive oil through machine’s feeding tube and continue to process until spread is smooth. Add in salt and pepper, to taste. This recipe may also be used to create a salad dressing by doubling red wine vinegar and olive oil.


CREAMED TOMATO SOUP Serves 2 Mother’s tomato soup is quickly and easily made by just adding cream to fresh tomato sauce and seasoning with a pinch of herbs. I’m guilty of making several attempts to improve her tomato soup recipe; however, I have never been able to create a soup as delicious as Mothers. Because of todays’ more sedate life-style,I tried to substitute milk for the cream, but limiting the cream changes the soup taste and smooth-texture.

1 pint tomato sauce 8 ounces half and half cream 1 teaspoon of olive oil 1 teaspoon celery powder Pinch of garlic powder 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley Blend tomato sauce with celery and garlic powder. Add cream and olive oil. Heat on low. DO NOT BOIL. Divide between 2 bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

TOMATO SALSA 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped and drained 1 sweet medium red onion, chopped 1/2 cup green onions, chopped 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped Juice of 1 lime 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish with basil tassel and serve with tortillas,tacos, or pinto beans. Refrigerated leftovers retain texture as flavor improves for three days.

Taste of pepper before including as some peppers are too hot to incorporate the whole pepper. Placed chopped ingredients, lime juice, oregano, and cumin in food processor. Pulse just enough to finely dice. Do not purée. Add olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Salsa is best when allowed to rest 30 minutes at room temperature. This allows flavors to mingle.

Tabletop Tips When setting a buffet on an oval table, serving from circular dishes placed on round lifts at various levels calms the scene. Top with an over-flowing bowl of mixed yellow, orange, and red tomatoes.

Using similar material (as seen in the display of crystal and clear glass on page 46) when mixing family heirlooms with recent flea-market finds and department store purchases helps declutter a busy tablescape. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51


{ from the bookshelf }

Julia Reed’s South

Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long Authored by Julia Reed | Photography by Paul Costello | Published by Rizzoli New York

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by kelsey wells

product of the Mississippi Delta, Julia Reed is now known far and wide for her contributions to the culinary and entertaining worlds. Cooking meals at home and throwing dinner parties to bring families and friends together were regular occurrences throughout much of Reed’s childhood in her rural home. She carried her passion for proper Southern entertaining to college, where she took childhood recipes and practices and began making a name for herself. She is now a columnist for several magazines, contributes to the Wall Street Journal, and has authored five books. For Reed, entertaining others at a Southern-style party is nothing short of pure pleasure. She encourages others to enjoy the planning, cooking, arranging, and hosting duties that are all key elements of these celebrations. In her new book, Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long, she gives new party planners a perfect guide to getting started in the entertaining world. Julia Reed’s South contains complete instructions for 11 seasonal events, each with Reed’s explanation of the inspiration behind the party, a complete menu with recipes for each component of the meal, and detailed notes on table settings. When you add in the brilliant photography of Paul Costello, Julia Reed’s South becomes a feast for the eyes. What better way to spend a beautiful early spring day than with friends at an outdoor spring lunch? Reed encourages the host or hostess to take advantage of the newly-bloomed daffodils for décor and to cook up Creole Crab Soup and Roast Boneless Leg of Lamb with herbs, ending the meal with Almond Polenta Cake with Coconut Ice Cream and Candied Citrus. Her next entertaining idea is a “Cold Creole Supper” featuring Fried Oysters in Romaine Canoes and Shrimp Remoulade. As temperatures rise, why not host a “Summer Celebration on the Lawn?” Go back to simple, down-home style foods like Fried Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Mary Mack’s Blackberry Cobbler for a meal guests won’t soon forget. Summertime means an abundance of fresh seafood and produce. Reed features a “Dinner on the Half Shell” event with Oysters Rockefeller and Shrimp Malacca with Rice, along with a “Tomatopalooza” that uses its namesake fruit in Bruschetta and Sliced Chicken Breast with Tomato Vinaigrette. Cool off on a hot summer day with a “Mississippi Sandbar Picnic,” complete with Barbecued Pork Shoulder. With the 52 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

arrival of fall comes hunting season in Mississippi, and a “Fall Hunt Breakfast” with Brown Sugar Bacon and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes will send hunters to the woods and fields satisfied. In the South, we show the same respect if a local dignitary or a President comes to our home for a meal. “The Visiting Dignitary Dinner” features Rib-Eye Roast and Consommé Rice Pilaf and would please either guest. “A Jeffersonian Evening” pays homage to the U.S. minister and President Thomas Jefferson with Lamb Bourguignon and Profiteroles. Christmas celebrations and duck season come with winter. Host “A Christmas Cocktail Supper” with Cheese Dreams, Deviled Ham Gougeres, and Crabmeat Mornay, or celebrate the success of duck hunters in your family with Hoover Duck and Duck Confit Étouffée. Whatever the season, Julia Reed’s South offers the perfect menu and setting for a Southern-style event sure to please your guests. Get your copy today and get busy entertaining! edm


Field Pea & Rice Salad Serves 8 to 10 2 pounds fresh field peas 1 smoked ham hock 2 white onions, halved 3 bay leaves 3 thyme sprigs 3 dried red chile peppers 2 teaspoons salt 6 bacon slices 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 green pepper, chopped 1 sweet onion, such as Vidalia, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1/4-inch dice 2 cups Uncle Ben’s Original Converted rice 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, including about 1-inch green stems 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

bacon brown bits. Sauté over medium-low heat for about 4 minutes, until the vegetables are just barely soft, and set aside. In another skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the andouille and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and slightly caramelized, 5 or 6 minutes. Add the sausage to the vegetable mixture. Place the rice and 4-1/2 cups of the strained broth in a large pot, bring to a boil over high heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is done, about 20 minutes. To make the vinaigrette: Combine the salt, pepper to taste, mustard, and vinegar in a small bowl and mix together with a small whisk. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside. To assemble the dish: Fluff the rice when it is done and allow it to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the strained peas with the rice and the vegetable/andouille mixture and toss with the vinaigrette. Add the scallions and parsley, toss again, and taste for seasonings. Serve with hot sauce on the side.

For the vinaigrette: 1/4 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard 1-1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Hot sauce for serving Place the peas in a colander and pick through, discarding any debris or beans that are shriveled or broken. Rinse in cold water. Place the peas, ham hock, onion halves, bay leaves, thyme, chile peppers, and salt in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that collects on the surface. Reduce the heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the peas are tender but not too soft, stirring and skimming occasionally. The cooking time will vary - I’d start checking at 30 minutes. Strain the peas over another pot, reserving the broth and discarding the ham hock and seasonings. While the peas are cooking, fry the bacon in a large skillet until at least 2 tablespoons of grease have been rendered. Remove the bacon from the skillet (and discard or eat!). Add the celery, green pepper, sweet onion, and garlic and stir, scraping up any leftover eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53


{ raise your glass }

Tropically DELICIOUS Almond-Pineapple Smoothie Servings: 1 1/2 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt 2-1/2 ounces fresh pineapple 20 whole blanched and slivered almonds 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk In blender, combine yogurt, pineapple, almonds and almond milk and puree until smooth and creamy. Note: Other low-carb fruits or nuts can be substituted for pineapple and/or almonds.

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Cicero’s Stonewall

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BluTupelo e Canoe The Hills

The Delta -

Chunky Shoal s Fish Camp Chunky The Pines

- Brummi’s Yummies Hazlehurst

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Capital/River

Our wonderful state is divided into five travel regions - The Hills, The Delta, The Pines, Capital/River, and Coastal. It is our goal to give equal coverage to all regions of the state in every issue. The following sections are color coded by region for your convenience. We hope you will take the time and travel to all regions to take advantage of the diverse culinary styles present throughout our state. We do suggest that you call to verify operating hours before visiting any of these wonderful establishments.

200BayNortSt.hLouis Beach -

Coastal

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The Hills

BC Burger

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The Hills

Blue Canoe 2006 N Gloster St., Tupelo • 662.269.2642 • www.bluecanoebar.com

story and photography by megan wolfe

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n the neon sign of the Blue Canoe in Tupelo, a sportsman holds up a paddle in triumph. Beneath, the motto “Good Mood Food” glows a chill blue. Duck through a side door past the stickers advertising brews, businesses, and bands, and enter into the low light of the Canoe’s belly. Tons more of these slaps dot the interior walls, intermingled with hand-written scrawls of “Chris loves Haley” and “Roxy Roca”. At the bar, there’s a comfortable 35 beers on tap, including Mississippi brews like Lazy Magnolia and Crooked Letter. The “Cathead Stage” spotlights live music three nights a week. More felt-tipped marker scrawlings pepper the back wall of the stage. These detail the bands and musicians that have come through, like a Blue Canoe yearbook. Notable mentions include, but are not limited to, the Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson, and Ryan Bingham. It’s a cool, kaleidoscopic mix of dive-meets-dining. On the menu, southern fair thrives by way of Pork & Greens with Cornbread, the BC Cheeseburger, and Fried Black Eyed Peas. But there are plenty of must-try, original dishes, too. The Canoe shines in variety and creativity. New specials are concocted in the back kitchen and teased on Facebook. Specials like the Flaming Hot Cheetos & Arugula Grilled Cheese sell out almost instantly. Others, like the Connie’s Blueberry Donut Bread Pudding, go on to win awards and become permanent fixtures on the menu. Connie’s Blueberry Donut Bread Pudding is a must. Served up in a hot mug and topped with cream, the dessert is made with blueberry donuts from the Tupelo staple, Connie’s

Donuts. The Honey Jalapeno Shrimp Tacos and Smash Burger are similarly wonderful and inventive. For these, the Blue Canoe partners with the Neon Pig’s butcher shop for meat and shrimp to ensure high quality, and support the local economy. They’re also quite tasty. “It’s hands-on bar food, but we try not to serve the usual stuff you find somewhere else,” says Blue Canoe owner,

Adam Morgan. “We just try to be super creative. I get inspiration from all over the place. Looking through magazines and watching cooking shows, I’ll pick up little pieces of information or ideas.” For the Tupelo native, the Blue Canoe started as a dream and a gamble. “I was in real estate for ten years and wasn’t happy with it. I wanted to do something new, and at the time Tupelo was eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57


The Hills lacking interesting eateries,” he says. “No one was going after the beer angle, and I felt like it was a niche that was ready to be filled.” Initially, Morgan considered leaving Tupelo to build his dream, but a few friends encouraged him to stay. Why couldn’t it be done here? A year and a half later, the Blue Canoe opened as the first Tupelo restaurant and bar to offer a wide variety of craft beer, launching with a stout number of 19 brews on tap. An additional 18 were added later, when the state increased the beer alcohol limit from 6% to 10.2%. Morgan credits his past management experience at Ajax restaurant in Oxford for gaining the necessary experience to

open a restaurant. He also stresses the importance of having good people in your corner. “The learning curve was pretty steep; I had no front of the house experience,” says Morgan. “I was really fortunate to hire some really good people right from the get-go. I still have four people who have been here from the beginning, and we’ve been open for five years now.” He adds, “The atmosphere, nightlife, and culinary arts have really come a long way in Tupelo in the last five years. There’s a lot going on here. I like to think that we helped spur some people on to do their own thing.” edm

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: Fried Black Eyed Peas, Cathead Stage, Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Corn Salsa & Honey Jalapeño Glaze, Pork N’ Greens 58 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


The Hills

Connie’s Blueberry Doughnut Bread Pudding

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The Delta

Grilled Pork Chops

Catfish

60 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


The Delta

Cicero’s 4857 Old Leland Rd., Stoneville • 662.686.7000 • www.cicerosrestaurant.com story and photography by coop cooper

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n the small Delta town of Stoneville, right across the creek from Mississippi State University’s Delta Research and Extension Center, you might notice a lone building on the edge of a planted field. This is the home of Cicero’s, a local institution which has been around for thirty-four years. The last seventeen years of Cicero’s success belong to Carl Moore, his son Ryan, and their family who own and operate the establishment. Originally owned by area native Jimmy Walker, the venerable restaurant burned down in 1998. The Moores took over the mantle in 1999 and rebuilt. Dubbed from Walker’s middle handle, Cicero’s was such a recognizable brand name in the area, the Moores kept the name and re-opened in a renovated seed warehouse which is its current location. “The original location sat about 50 people, but we can seat about 130,” says Ryan Moore who manages the business. “My mom and dad retired and he was bored... I was in Memphis at the time and he called me up and said, ‘Do you want to be my business partner?’ and I said, ‘Sure!’ I was tired of sales and wearing a suit and tie. I left here after graduating from Delta State and said I was never coming back, but here I am.” Cicero’s busiest times of the year are from planting to harvest. The restaurant gets most of their business from the Research and Extension Center during the lunch hours. People come from Leland, Greenville, and all over the Delta for the dinner hours. “People around the Delta like to get in their cars and drive to go eat,” says Moore. That’s fine with us. We are really glad because we are in the middle of a cotton field, but being just two minutes from Leland really helps. We get just as many from Cleveland, Indianola, and Rolling Fork on the south end of it, but you never know what town or even what country the customers are coming from.” From the entryway to the short order counter to the bar and all four of the dining rooms, the restaurant is sectioned off by compartments that give it an intimate, home-like feel. Natural

light filters through in the daytime, casting long shadows in the outer rooms, while the warm, overhead lighting gives the surroundings a relaxed glow at night. One of the more interesting rooms is ‘Carl’s Room,’ the second-largest dining area which features an assortment of clever signs and knick-knacks on the walls. “That’s my daddy’s room,” says Moore. “He put the first sign up twelve years ago and now it’s full. He buys them and people bring them to him. It’s probably once a month a customer comes in and brings him a sign for this room. He’d have these all over everywhere if I’d let him,” laughs Moore. “But everyone loves this room. They all seem to find a sign that fits them.” As for the type of food they serve, Moore says there are two different options depending on the time of day. “We have our lunch which is very fast-paced. We have sandwiches and plate lunches. You place your order at the counter, pay, and we give you a drink and bring it to you when it gets ready to get you in and out as quick as possible.” Cicero’s soul foodinspired, streamlined lunch menu includes pork, beef, ribs, fish, and combos with all four. The sandwiches encompass everything from pork and beef to hamburgers, chicken salad, Reubens, po boys made from fried green tomatoes, oysters, fried catfish, or fried chicken. They also serve clubs, Philly steak/chicken, crawfish, ham on rye, and turkey sandwiches. The lunch specialties keep to the Southern side with hot tamales, beans, potato salad, slaw, salads, fries, onion rings, and fried dill pickles. At dinner time, the atmosphere becomes more relaxed as customers sit in one of the many dining rooms and converse as the waiting staff serve them fresh bread and drinks before the entrees arrive. “Our dinner menu we do steak, barbecue, catfish about nine different ways, seafood... I would describe it as ‘Southern food at its best’. Our barbecue is cooked on a real pit with real eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61


The Delta

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: Carl’s Dining Room Carl’s Chicken Main Dining Room Fresh Bread Cicero’s Co-owners - Ryan Moore and wife Susan

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The Delta

wood. Just about everything we do, we do by hand. We make our own salad dressings. We don’t cut too many corners,” says Moore. On the dinner menu, from the Gulf, shrimp is prepared fried, skewered, stuffed, broiled, or scampi-style. There is also Soft Shell Crab, Broiled Flounder, Red Snapper, Fried Oysters, Fried Crawfish Tails, Stuffed Flounder, and Salmon. Catfish is served four ways: broiled, grilled, blackened, or fried. Specialty catfish items include Stuffed Catfish baked with crab meat dressing, Catfish Modena with pan fried with tomato, capers, and parsley and the signature dish, Catfish Cicero which is baked with pecans and Parmesan cheese. Barbecue dinners feature pork, beef, ribs, or a combo of the three. A Filet Mignon (8 or 16 oz.) and a Rib Eye (10 or 16 oz.) rounds out the steak menu, but Cicero offers combo plates such as the “Cat and Cow” which is a two-entree choice between shrimp, catfish, and a small filet. There is also a Seafood Platter for one or two that includes nearly every item on the seafood menu. Salads choices include House, Grilled Chicken, Portabella, Chef, Fried Chicken, and Crawfish. The “Lagniappe” portion of the menu contains favorites such as Grilled Pork Chops, Blackened or Grilled Chicken Breast, Hamburger Steak, Carl’s Chicken (with grilled onions,

mushrooms, and Swiss Cheese), and Veal Cicero which is pan-fried and stuffed with Parmesan and Swiss Cheese. There are also Fried Chicken Tenders for the youngsters and Fettuccini Alfredo with a choice of chicken, shrimp, or crawfish tails. The appetizers are too numerous to list but they include Southern favorites such as Fried Okra, Fried Dill Pickles, and Hot Wings, as well as seafood apps such as crab claws and scampi-style shrimp. Moore explains that they have avoided the rowdy roadhouse label by focusing on what is important to them. “We cater towards a family business. When we opened we tried to decide whether to get a liquor license or not and we decided not to. We have beer and you can still bring your own bottle of booze, wine and we have setups for that, but we really wanted to gear it towards the family atmosphere,” says Moore. Ryan Moore’s mother, Trula, and wife, Susan, work as partners in the business as well. Kitchen manager Irene Moore (no relation) has been with Cicero’s since it first opened 34 years ago. Irene has helped to keep the old traditions and tastes of Cicero’s alive after all these years. “When we bought Cicero’s, we bought the menu,” says Moore. “Irene and the staff that came with her taught me all the classics. If there’s something new on the menu or a special, it’s usually coming from me.” Cicero’s also takes advantage of the seasonal foods in the Delta when available. “In the summer we will get local fresh tomatoes and squash. We will have fresh fried green tomatoes for the next couple of months. We’ll have a lot of fresh salads and ‘cool foods’ which everyone seems to want right now. We also do crawfish when it’s crawfish season for about twelve weeks starting around Valentine’s Day,” says Moore. Moore says Cicero’s catering makes up about 35% of their business. “I catered every day this week but today. Monday through Thursday I have seven different events to cater for this upcoming week. That’s one thing we never saw coming out of this, which is good because it takes up for those slow times,” says Moore. “Catering is a lot of fun. You get to get out of here, go somewhere, feed a lot of people and they tell you how good it is. It makes for a very rewarding day.” Moore also stresses how important regulars are to Cicero’s because his parents were regulars at the original Cicero’s before buying it: “It was their favorite place to go eat. That’s how the whole idea started. It’s good food at a good value, bang for your buck. You can come here and get just about anything you want and there’s a whole lot of people here who put their heart and soul into every plate that goes out of here. A super good team that really loves what they do, so it makes it all worth it.” edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63


The Pines

Chunky Shoals Fish Camp 13221 Highway 80 W, Chunky • 601.655.8311 • www.chunkyshoalsfishcamp.com story and photography by richelle putnam

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obody cares that the Chunky Shoals Fish Camp is an isolated restaurant in Lauderdale County on Highway 80 and the Chunky River. In fact, the scenic drive surrounded by lush foliage, wildflowers and towering hardwoods prepares them for what’s to come —a “dining” room with a view. George Lewis built the first restaurant overlooking the Chunky shoals, explained Rick Lewis, co-owner of the restaurant along with his brother Jim. “George would pass the hat to collect money because he didn’t charge anyone. He had a boys and girls dressing room and whether you had clothes to change or not, you had to rent a basket for 25 cents.” In the 1970s, Rick got his first job paying taxes at the restaurant when it was Ezell’s Fish Camp. Then, a career in telecommunications took Rick all over the world while Jim worked around the country as project/quality manager for a construction company that concentrated on military jobs. “We both got tired of working and traveling, so we came home.” The brothers bought the restaurant in 2011 and went back to the original name: Chunky Shoals. Neither had ever run a restaurant. “We told our employees that we may not know a lot about restaurants, but we traveled for years and ate in more restaurants than most,” said Rick.

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The Pines They added grilled seafood and blackened catfish to the traditional menus, as well as a hand cut, 10-ounce choice ribeye seasoned with a special rub recipe. Other specialty recipes create their unique hushpuppy and fish fry batter and coleslaw dressing. Menu favorites remain the seafood combo plate with stuffed crab and golden fried shrimp, oysters, and catfish, but grilled seafood and blackened fish are fast becoming favorites. All catfish is U. S. farm raised and the fresh, plump shrimp come out of the Gulf. German delicacies are served during the two-week Oktoberfest on the River, celebrating the German heritage of Inge, Rick and Jim’s mother. All dishes are homemade, including the noodles and apple strudel, said Rick, who

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The Pines

prepares the Spaetzla. To give back to the community, the restaurant hosts the Chunky River Raft Race & Festival in June with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Association and the Wounded Warrior Project. “There is no return on investment for serving the community,” said Rick, “but some things are bigger than that.” At Chunky Shoals, large groups are accommodated on the fly, so there’s no need for a reservation. Within its 8,400 square feet, the restaurant comfortably seats about 300 people, making the space perfect for family reunions, church groups, wedding rehearsals and other special events. “When we bought the place you couldn’t see the river or the road because of the trees. We cleared under the oak trees and off the beach to bring it back to the way we remembered.” 66 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Rick added that the Chunky River is one of Mississippi’s last natural rivers not obstructed by dams. “We want future generations to make memories here. Every dining room has a view of the river.” Some restaurants turn over the table three times a night, but at Chunky Shoals, “We’re lucky if we turn over a table twice because people sit down and talk with their families.” Memorabilia covers the walls, with one showcasing the coloring pages of children who dined with family and friends and another displaying the longtime resident moose. Rick kept the moose because so many customers remembered measuring their height as children by how close they came to touching the moose’s nose. Now, their children and grandchildren are doing the same thing at Chunky Shoals Fish Camp…reaching up and making memories. edm


The Pines

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67


Capital/River

Brummi’s Yummies 133 N Ragsdale Ave., Hazlehurst • 601.894.2253 • www.brummiyummies.com story by kim henderson | photography by christina foto

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any businesses are launched as the result of inventive make-do – the kind that comes after a realization that some particular something just isn’t available. For Evette Brumfield, the make-do moment arose because of a $210 Sponge Bob birthday cake. “I was up all night long on Google and Pinterest trying to figure out how to bake a lookalike for my son Jordan,” she recalls. The fruit of her labors was a big hit not only with Jordan, but with guests at his party. “People started asking me to make cakes for them,” she says. “Within six months, I’d outgrown my kitchen.” Her treats proved so popular that both Evette and her husband Derrick eventually left their jobs to pursue baking full time. The couple met with some questioning glances initially – she was an educator with a master’s degree, he was a soughtafter mechanic – but they never looked back. “A sweet shop in Mississippi? That’s never a bad idea. I wasn’t worried at all,” says Evette. Neither was Derrick. “Eve had a vision, and I was behind her 100 percent,” he maintains. Thus Brummi’s Yummies was born in 2014, providing Hazlehurst with its first bakery in decades. Randall Day, Executive Director of the Hazlehurst Chamber of Commerce, says the local sweet spot has helped to revive Ragsdale Avenue and the surrounding historic district. “And besides that, they make the best cupcakes around,” he notes, adding that the venture garnered that city’s “Business of the Year” award in 2015. “I love being in this part of town,” Evette says of their location on brick streets across from a celebrated depot-turned blues museum. It’s also just a corner away from the spot where her parents operated the full-scale restaurant Tutty’s (named for Evette) in the ‘90s. “From our experience, the notion that it’s hard to make it in a small town has been blown out of the window,” the Hazlehurst High School alum adds. While birthday and wedding cakes provide the bulk of the Brumfields’ business, their brownies, pecan bars, and cheesecakes receive rave reviews as well. I can personally vouch for the red velvet cheesecake – a sumptuous novelty definitely worth a detour from I-55. It was Derrick’s strawberry cake, however, that originally sealed the deal for this set of enterprising sweethearts. “He made one for me on our first date 14 years ago,” Evette shares. “It had fresh fruit and strawberry buttercream frosting. I was sold.” These days Derrick, who credits his uncle, Chester Curtis, for his culinary interests, is at work before sun up baking those strawberry cakes and whatever else his wife will spend the day decorating. On the morning of my visit, they’ve got everything from chocolate-covered berries to gourmet cheesecakes for sale, all frosted to perfection and sitting pretty on display. Brummi’s Yummies doubles as a sandwich shop, too, so you can fuel up for lunch, as well as pick up treats for later. And there’s something Evette wants would-be customers to know. “We don’t focus on gourmet-sized portions. We do grandma-sized portions, the kind you’d get at your grandmother’s house on a Sunday afternoon.” Need further enticement? “We don’t skimp on the good stuff, either,” she adds. “We

Capital/River

Derrick and Evette Brumfield

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Capital/River

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Capital/River

use pure vanilla extract, fresh fruit zest and juices, fresh eggs, top-of-the-line cake flours, the finest baking chocolates, and, of course, lots and lots of butter.” The success of Brummi’s Yummies is documented by their expansion to Crystal Springs, where goods baked in Hazlehurst are transported to a storefront inside City Drug Store for distribution. Regulars at both locations can get their sugar fix from specialty cupcakes that must live up to names like Caramel Candy Crush, Oh My Oreo and Monkeying Around. There are fun frostings to try, too, like Mint-To-Be, Johnny Gone Nuts, Coconut Bliss, and Perk Up. The success of this upstart bakery is also documented by Instagram, where Brummi’s Yummies has acquired nearly 10,000 followers. “I work the social media end,” Evette says, explaining their advertising strategy. “I try to post photos at least five times a day.” According to the Brumfields, the growth their business has seen is due in large part to wise advice and help they’ve received from Evette’s restauranteur parents, Johnny and Evon Clark. Observers also notice Derrick and Evette themselves seem to have found the perfect recipe for work and marriage. “We tell everyone Brummi’s Yummies isn’t our business,” Evette shares. “It’s our sweet story.” And judging by their smiles and those of their customers, I believe it to be true. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71


Coastal

Crab Claws

200 North Beach 200 N Beach Blvd., Bay St. Louis • 228.467.9388 • www.200northbeach.com

story and photography by julian brunt

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alk into 200 North Beach and no one would blame you if you thought you were in New Orleans. The building has one hundred and eleven years old charm, although owner Ann Tidwell made extensive renovations, but the changes she made were just right. High ceiling, long and comfortable bar, local art work, winding stairs that will take you to up-stairs seating and a very cool balcony, all combine to create one of the best-designed and comfortable restaurants on the Coast. The swinging door that opens into the kitchen seems to be in perceptual motion, and although the restaurant maintains its sedate decorum, the kitchen is jumping. There are three line cooks, and a chef that expedites orders, shouts out incoming 72 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

orders, and makes sure that order in general is maintained. Nobody wants to get in the weeds (kitchen lexicon for being in deep trouble). The time stamp on the dupes, the kitchen’s copy of an order, is watched over, and special instructions, like hold the softshell crab on the seafood platter and replace with grilled grouper, have to be monitored. This is just everyday stuff in a professional kitchen, and Miss Ann’s kitchen at 200 North Beach is as professional as it comes. The proof that this places does it right can be seen, and tasted, in the delicious and well plated food that comes off the line with amazing speed. Whether it is an overstuffed po-boy, the special of the day, fried green tomatoes, or the rather spectacular Pasta Ann, the


Coastal

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73


Coastal

Seared Tuna

Caesar Salad with Fried Oysters 74 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016


Coastal food this place puts out is right on. Let’s take a quick look! Any place worth its salt these days is going to have a pretty stout line up of starters. 200 North Beach scores well with its sesame seared yellow fin tuna and fried calamari. Both are standards in Coast cuisine, but they are executed with such precision that they become standouts. If you want to start out on the lighter side, go for the Caesar’s salad topped with fried oysters or a bowl of Bay seafood gumbo. All are excellent. If you are in for fresh seafood, dive into the fried seafood platter, served with catfish, shrimp, oysters, and a soft shell crab, or the bucket full of ice and peel and eat shrimp. The fresh fish selection is pretty over the top here, as the grilled mahi garnished with mango chutney, the tuna served with mushroom risotto and lobster sauce, and blackened redfish

plated over andouille hash and crawfish etoufee stand in testament. If you are getting the feeling that North Beach always seems to add an extra touch, then you would be right, but you do not have to be getting an entrée to get something special. Miss Ann has done a magnificent job in turning this restaurant into a hot spot whether you are looking for a cold hurricane at the bar, a po-boy, killer good cheeseburger, or just a drink with friends with a view of the Bay of St. Louis. A visit to Bay St. Louis is always a great outing, especially as it now seems to have found its economic footing and is thriving again. Next time you make it to Mississippi’s West Coast, make sure to give 200 North Beach a try. edm

Pasta Ann eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75


{ featured event }

Mingle, Taste, and Sip at Starkville’s

Forks & Corks

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story by katie hutson west | photos by jennifer brignac

tarkville is full of talented residents who share the same spirit of competitiveness as their hometown Bulldogs. It has played host to a fair share of contests and festivals created to honor its cuisine, art, and people. A dazzling showcase of the area’s talent, the biggest culinary competition of all is Forks and Corks. Put on yearly by the Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC), Forks and Corks brings together the Golden Triangle’s leading chefs for a one-night cook-off showdown. Around nearly a decade, Forks and Corks has been called by numerous names and set in multiple places. Once titled Star Shine and Celebrity Dinner, the affair was held in several sites around town. Starting out at MSU’s Flight Center, it passed through downtown and the Stage Theater before finally finding its groove and settling into The Mill. This year will be its 2nd in the ballroom of the new conference center, located at Mississippi State University. “We love The Mill,” says chairman of the event, Jay Reed. “I think we’ve found our niche.” And with the perfect backdrop in place, the contending chefs have plenty of room to show off their incredible works of art. “Food is definitely art,” Reed explains of the SAAC’s role in a food competition. “We wanted an event that would showcase the skill, talent, and imagination these artists have.” The SAAC has a mission to promote the value of the arts for the cultural, educational, social, ethnic, and economic vitality of the Starkville area; therefore, they use all proceeds from the event on philanthropic contributions like art scholarships for students, music camp, local art culture, and grants for art teachers. Referred to as the Golden Triangle’s Master Chef Competition, Forks and Corks promises a night that delivers unforgettable samples of Mississippi’s cuisine, craft brews, and music. Tickets to the event get the attendee a plate from each chef, a couple of drink vouchers, and an all access pass to the dance floor. Expect to taste dishes full of local and seasonal ingredients, which go down perfectly with one of Mississippi’s craft ales. After having it all, it’s time to vote on the favorite. A contest for the best in the Golden Triangle, the participating chefs put forth their all as they compete for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Previous winners include the chef at Bin 612, Paul Brasfield. He veered from the savory and prepared a sweet treat that wowed the voters. Chef Brasfield served up pistachio dusted avocado ice cream covered in local blueberry coulis and candied lemon lime zest all atop a juicy slice of watermelon. Another that caught the crowd’s attention was Chef John Fitzgerald of Restaurant Tyler. He was prized for his smoked catfish tamale cakes and Vardaman sweet potato chips. Awards are given for Best Taste, Most Original, and Best Presentation, all of which are chosen by a panel of judges. “We love to see innovation and creativity,” Reed says of what the judges are looking for. This fight for bragging rights attracts chefs from all over the Golden Triangle. Local “celebrities,” like Chef Ty Thames and Chef Beth Broussard Rogers, are always crowd favorites

and continue to surprise. National celebrities have been involved, too. The 2014 event included the winner of MasterChef season 1, Whitney Miller. Miller gave a copy of her cookbook, Modern Hospitality, to guests and signed them as she mingled throughout the night. Who knows what surprises the planners of Forks and Corks have in store this year? One fun, new option: groups of up to eight can purchase a reserved table. With a fun atmosphere that’s chock full of great food, Forks and Corks is the perfect event to attend with friends. “It’s just a great place for people who enjoy food,” Reed says. A night of mingling, tasting, and sipping, Forks and Corks will take place at The Mill on August 13, 2016. More information about the event and a link for purchasing tickets can be found at www.starkvillearts.org. Tickets can also be picked up at the SAAC’s Starkville office. “It’s just a really fun event,” says John Peeples, owner of Starkville Café and The Camphouse. Having competed numerous times and taken home multiple prizes, this Forks and Corks competitor says, “If you’re there, you’re winning.” edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 77


{ calendar }

Fill Your Plate

August/September 2016

Food Festivals & Events

August 13 Starkville - Forks and Corks

August 5-6 Water Valley - Watermelon Carnival The Watermelon Carnival is Water Valley’s most prized annual celebration. An estimated 20,000 people attend the various events, always set the first weekend in August. The carnival is named among the top 20 festivals in the southeastern United States by the Southeastern Tourism Society. The Watermelon Carnival is a full-fledged weekend celebration. For many people, it’s a time for coming home to be with family and to enjoy reunions with school classmates. Each year’s carnival is kicked off by a Thursday evening music festival at the Civic Auditorium sponsored by the Town & Country Garden Club. On Friday, a street dance with a fireworks display draws crowds to City Park. Saturday is full of continuous entertainment, food vendors, arts and crafts booths, contests, parades, an antique car show, a 3-K run and much more. For more information, visit www.watervalleychamber.info.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at info@eatdrinkmississippi. com. All submissions are subject to editor's approval. 78 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

A dozen of the Golden Triangle’s top chefs compete for prizes and bragging rights during this year’s Forks and Corks Chef’s Competition. Each chef prepares their best dish for competition, while attendees have the opportunity to try each one and vote for their favorite. The winning chef will take home the Best of Forks & Corks award as well as bragging rights for the next year. A panel of judges will be judging the dishes on taste, originality, and presentation. Each ticket includes wine and tastings from Mississippi’s craft breweries. The event will be held at the The Mill Conference Center on Saturday, August 13. •••

September 8 Biloxi - Chefs of the Coast Celebrate culinary excellence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with the Coast’s best restaurants serving food amid wine and beer, live music, fabulous entertainment and silent auction. Visit www.chefsofthecoast.org or call 228-236-1420 for more information.


September 10 & 11 Biloxi Seafood Festival The Biloxi Seafood Festival offers seafood and food vendors, arts and craft vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, gumbo contest, and much more. Crowds at the Biloxi Seafood Festival feast on a vast spectrum of seafood ranging from the common to the exotic, along with many other types of food. Visit www. biloxi.org or call 228-6040014 for more information. •••

September 16 Cleveland - 26th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon The Mississippi Delta Rice Industry celebrates National Rice Month with its 26th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon on September 16th from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Delta State University’s Walter Sillers Coliseum in Cleveland. The event features over 300 rice dishes prepared by local rice growing families and Delta restaurants. Delta Rice Promotions, Inc. is the host. For additional information, call 662-843-8362.

September 22 Taste of Long Beach An outstanding culinary event will be held in Long Beach highlighting local food from over 30 restaurants, surprises from other vendors, live music, wine tasting, and a silent auction. Visit www.mscoastchamber.com or call 228-604-0014 for more information. •••

September 23-24 The Great Ruleville Roast The Great Ruleville Roast & Run offer live entertainment, BBQ competition, Friday night fireworks, a 5K walk/run, Saturday pancake breakfast, arts/crafts, children’s activities, classic car show, and more. For more information, call 601.756.2529 or visit www.facebook.com/ thegreatrulevilleroast.

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Recipe Index

Advertisers Index

Almond-Pineapple Smoothie, 54

Antique Days, 13

Avocado Spread, 50

Christina Foto, 4

Bloody Mary, 48

Etta B Pottery, 6

Boudin Balls, 42 Braised Pork Shoulder and Root Vegetables, 19

Hello Fresh, 13

Cilantro Lime White Rice, 44

Home Chef, 25

Comeback Sauce, 42

Mississippi Children’s Museum, 3

Creamed Tomato Soup, 51

Mississippi Food Network, 25

Field Pea & Rice Salad, 53

Mitchell Farms, 9

Fried Green Tomatoes, 49 Pesto Rice Stuffed Pork Loin Chops, 42

Mississippi Museum of Art, 9

S’mores Dip, 14

Riverwalk Casino and Hotel, 11

Shrimp Fajita Fried Rice, 44

Sanderson Farms, Back Cover

Southern Summer Succotash, 21

The Kitchen Table, 6

Tomato Drink, 48

The Manship, 4

Tomato Salsa, 51

Thurman’s Landscaping, 81

Tomato Sandwich, 50

Tupelo, 2

Tomato Sauce, 48

STORE INFORMATION from page 16-17

Bed Bath and Beyond www.bedbathandbeyond.com Mississippi locations - Flowood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Meridian, Southaven, Tupelo Crate & Barrel 800.967.6696 www.crateandbarrel.com

Sur la Table 800.243.0852 www.surlatable.com Target www.target.com The Kitchen Table www.kitchentablenow.com 3720 Hardy St. Ste. 3 Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601.261.2224

Mississippi Blue Rice 404 E. Court St. Sumner, MS 38957 662.375.8100 www.mississippibluerice.com

Walmart www.walmart.com

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coming to terms

Of THEKitchen IN

E

TH

with julian brunt

Casserole You may think that a casserole is the quintessential Southern dish, but you would be wrong on several counts. Gastronomique, the go-to French encyclopedia of French cooking calls a casserole first a cooking utensil, then goes on with brief description of a no longer in favor cooking method, most often involving rice and other good things like sweetbreads and foie gras. Perhaps this is the genesis of what we think of as a casserole. You might also be surprised to learn that the casserole is big in the Mid-West, although there it goes by another name. There it is a hotdish, and Google tells us that’s it most often contains a starch, meat, canned or frozen vegetables and is mixed with a canned soup. Sound familiar? In fact, the old-style Southern casserole is making a Potato casserole from Chef Kelly English’s resurgence, but in a different guise. That asparagus casserole Magnolia House in Biloxi. that is made with canned mushroom soup and processed cheese has been taken on by Southern foodies and has been made glorious with fresh asparagus and mushrooms, real cream and the best melting cheese, like Gruyere or fresh buffalo mozzarella.

Landscaping • Irrigation Waterfalls • Lighting Outdoor Kitchens & Patios Iron & Brick Work

601.270.8512 Thurman’s Landscaping eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81


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.

82 82• •AUGUST/SEPTEMBER AUGUST/SEPTEMBER2016 2016

PB&J and What?

I

BY JAY REED

found a website recently that poked fun at a very real situation. If you have a special file in your home office for restaurant menus, as I do, or you like to go online and scour menus before visiting a restaurant - especially ones that change daily and cater to true locavores - you will appreciate this site. It’s called the Brooklyn Bar Food Menu Generator, and it works like this: click the button and it generates a menu, piecing together all kinds of ingredients and techniques that you might not combine in real life, or even use at all. Or would you? I propose that real menus aren’t that different. Here are a few selections from the menu generator: • Rye Waffle with Rubbed Acorn • Free-Range Orecchiette Tartare • Lifted Gravlax Sound strange? Now consider a few genuine items I came across while perusing menus from two of America’s most celebrated food cities: • Rum Drunk Watermelon, Smashed Avocado, Lunchbox Chilies and Crisp Garlic • Wreckfish with Eggplant, Merlot Potato, Charred Peppers, Popcorn Miso • Shishito Peppers with Roasted Lemon, Bottarga These are all real! And no doubt delicious. But I don’t even know what shishito peppers are, and I’m pretty sure my mother wouldn’t like me saying that out loud. I certainly don’t claim that I was born to be a chef, but I do think I was born with a proclivity for testing unorthodox combinations. These days that talent shines when I am trying to empty the pantry prior to a vacation. In younger days, I expressed my gift in more day to day opportunities. For example, in our house we kept Cheerios around a lot. To my knowledge, my mother did not toss them in the toilet bowl to potty train my brother and me, though I think that’s a fantastic idea. We actually ate them, in a bowl for eating, with milk. Except for my little brother, that is, who was determined to eat his cereal dry. Our family was also quick to jump into the Cran-Fill-In-The-Blank Juice craze when Ocean Spray became popular, and Cran-Apple was our favorite. One afternoon when I had too much time to think, I asked myself, “Who decided it was proper to pour milk on dry cereal? What if that person had chosen orange juice instead? Would we all be doing it today?” I wasn’t a huge fan of orange juice - that was something I drank when I slept over at a friend’s. But I drank Cran-Apple like it might go extinct, so I decided to pour myself a cupful of Cheerios and top it off with the tart, red juice. (Who decided it had to be served in a bowl with a spoon, as a matter of fact?) I’m not going to pretend that I ate them that way from that day forward, but I did enjoy a cup of Cran-ios many times after the initial trial. It never really caught on like milk, but I’m sure it will now, just like peanut butter and baloney sandwiches. I’m not sure what got into me when I first requested that sandwich. I may have heard a friend talk about it, or I may have just been feeling like I wasn’t getting enough attention. But I ended up eating it, and didn’t leave a crumb. Peanut butter sandwiches offered even more chances for creativity. We ate lots of PB&J like most kids - maybe just as many with peanut butter and banana. (Mama does love Elvis.) And do you know what makes both of those sandwiches better to the nth degree? A healthy slather of Miracle Whip salad dressing. I was ridiculed about this as a child. I thought it was normal, and I brought it up at school one day. I vividly remember a particular friend giving me a lot of grief about it. That friend now owns two restaurants, so I can’t say he didn’t know what he was talking about. He didn’t change my mind - I just quit telling people about it in the fourth grade lunchroom. Present tense: my daughter has begun putting chips on her turkey sandwiches. Potato chips. Doritos. Hot Fries. Whatever we have around. I have an urge to mock her, but I get it. PB&J&MW is also good with Cheerios. edm


Missing an issue? eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2016

EATS

RANDOM RESTAURANT ROAD TRIPS

DREAM KITCHEN

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PORK

December/January 2016

page 68

Mississippi FARM TABLES

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PICNICS

FRENCH BISTRO IN OXFORD HOME

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+ Bishop’s BBQ + Yazoo Pass + J. Broussard's + Miss D’s Diner + Deli Diner

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

page 34

COUNTRY

TURKEY

Transformation

Farm-to-Table

DINNER

+ Vicari Italian Grill + Rose’s Downtown Bakery & Tearoom + Sway’s Bistro + Stromboli’s Italian Eatery + Cast Iron Cafe

Mississippi COMMUNITY COOKBOOK PROJECT

page 44

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI JUNE/JULY 2014

page 74

3

at the

page 36

GREAT RECIPES FOR ADDING CHIA SEEDS TO YOUR DIET

FIGHTING FOR THE FAMILY FARM Ben Burkett Receives James Beard Foundation Award for Contributions to Agriculture

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5 UNIQUE HOLIDAY COCKTAILS

REAL COOKING WITH CHEF DAVID CREWS

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FEBRUARY/MARCH 2014

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2014

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Spring Luncheon

West Coast Meets

Gulf Coast

page 22

Gathering

December/January 2015

ANGEL FOOD CAKE WAFFLES

DRINKING YOUR FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

CHICKEN & WAFFLES

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI WING DANG DOODLE FESTIVAL

page 20

FESTIVAL

- The Not So Odd Couple -

February/March 2015

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014

Give Me

Watermelon

page 41

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2014

S'more(s)

Culinary

BUCKET LIST

Summer Treats

Fire & Feast

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VOLUME 3, NUMBER 5

VOLUME 3, NUMBER 6

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Shrimping Trip

BBQ COMPETITION

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CHIA-licious!

BILOXI

SODA-LIGHTFUL

April/May 2015

page 31

August/September 2015

October/November 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

TAILGATING

Recipes

G overnor's Mansion OVER 25 DELICIOUS RECIPES

NYC • DC • ATL

Peachy

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MEET THE MACARON MAVEN

FESTIVALS

Mississippi

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Crawfish

BLOGGER TESTED

Kitchen Tools

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 1

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 2

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JUNE/JULY 2015

+ Ravine + 1933 + Henri's + Coffee Pot Cafe + The Sicilian II

PERFECTLY

Heritage Breed

PROGRESSIVE

Dinner

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VOLUME 4, NUMBER 3

VOLUME 4, NUMBER 5

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Day in the

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015

Eudora Welty's White Fruitcake page 30

Bringing Mississippi Roots to the Table

February/March 2016

April/May 2016

June/July 2016

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FLAVORS of Fall + AC’s Steakhouse • Pub + Five O’clock on Deer Creek + Lou’s Full Serv + The Twisted Burger Company + The Blind Tiger

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VOLUME 4, NUMBER 6

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015

Supper Club Sensible Switches FOR HEALTHY

EATING

+ Ciao Chow + Crawdad’s + Restaurant 1818 + Thai by Thai + The Greenhouse on Porter eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

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+ The Auction Block Steakhouse + The Blue Biscuit + 10 South Rooftop Grill & Bar + Taste & See + Keg & Barrel

DELTA

Mother’s Day Brunch

+ Orleans Bistro + Rust + The Palette Café + DeRego’s Bread + Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro

page 34

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2016

HONEY

& FRIENDS

page 25

Summer Salads

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Cooking With

Martha Foose’s

BOUNTIFUL BERRIES

+ Oxford Canteen + Levon’s Bar and Grill + Culinary Cowboy + Longhorn’s Steakhouse + Ed’s Burger Joint

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016

Best Gas Station

THE ART OF FOOD

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 1

JUNE/JULY 2016

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 2

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 3

VOLUME 5, NUMBER 4

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SWEET & SAVORY JAMS CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD PUDDING

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2014

Easy Holiday Appetizers

DUTCH OVEN COOKING

page 44

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Lovefor theof Chocolate

page 26

page 34

the delicious legacy of

Heirloom Tomatoes page 32

August/September 2014

October/November 2014

FARM TO SCHOOL MONTH GREENVILLE'S DELTA HOT TAMALE FESTIVAL HUNGER GAINS: THE REVOLUTIONARY ACT OF EATING LOCAL

PIG PICKIN' CAKE FOODIE FORAY ON 49

Small Touches, Big Flavor

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2013

S hrimp & Grits

Fall Fare

Linkie Marais

Collins Tuohy

JUNE/JULY 2013

Picnic Prime Time for a

Comeback Sauce

The Crawfish Boil

James Beard Dinner

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

75 Years of Edam Cheese

Caf CLIMB

Canada's Mississippi Queen

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Cooking with Venison

CLINTON LUNCHROOM LADIES GO HEAD TO HEAD IN RACHAEL RAY'S CAFETERIA COOK-OFF GRANDMA’S POUND CAKE eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

Peanuts

Southern Foodways Alliance

Lauren Farms

Mrs. Annie's Famous Strawberry Cake page 22

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DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013

APRIL/MAY 2013

Slugburger 101

Katelyn's Lemonade

Fit to Eat

Hunter's Harvest

page 62

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013

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Josh Marks

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Giardina's Keeping Tradition Fresh & Elegant

page 28

June/July 2013

Olympian Chefs

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Award-Winning Barbecue

WORLD’S ONLY APRON MUSEUM IN IUKA August/September 2013

DELTA HOT TAMALES

Dairy Farms

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page 18

BAKED AND FRIED PUMPKIN CAKE ROBERT ST. JOHN AND WYATT WATERS TEAM TO CREATE AN ITALIAN PALATE

PASS CHRISTIAN OYSTER FESTIVAL MORE THAN 30 GREAT RECIPES FOR THE HOLIDAYS SUPER GAME DAY GRUB

A Southern Favorite

page 46

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 4

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2013

CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO PIZZA FARM OFFERS UNIQUE LEARNING EXPERIENCE

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VOLUME 2, NUMBER 5

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DELICIOUSLY SEXY EGGPLANTS

SOUTHERN-STYLE CRAWFISH BOIL

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Extra Table

Patrick House

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

Swapping Memories & Cookies page 28

Bread Pudding Throwdown

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Minny's Chocolate Pie from the movie The Help PAGE 12

• PAGE 18

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

$4.95

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

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Eat fresh at your local farmers market

Tailgating tidbits

Mississippi Mud  page 26

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2012

PAGE 20

JUNE/JULY 2012

APRIL/MAY 2012

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Back issues are available on our website at

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 83


We’d like to talk to you about chicken. Don’t be fooled by other chicken companies who use labels like “raised without antibiotics.” That’s just a marketing gimmick to get you to pay more money. Fact is, by federal law, all chickens must be clear of antibiotics before they leave the farm. At Sanderson Farms, we don’t go for gimmicks like that. We just raise fresh, delicious chicken.

SandersonFarms.com

No artificial ingredients and minimally processed.

84 • AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

August September 2016  

Our August/September 2016 issue features Chef Nick Wallace, Tupelo’s 100-year celebration of Coca Cola, tomato recipes, restaurants across t...

August September 2016  

Our August/September 2016 issue features Chef Nick Wallace, Tupelo’s 100-year celebration of Coca Cola, tomato recipes, restaurants across t...

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