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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Ole Country Bakery | Big River Bagels | De Beukelaer Piroulines

VOLUME 9, NUMBER 6 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

y a d i l o H A ast Fe

Bourbon Glazed Ham ---------------------December/January 2021 $

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December/January 2021

Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon and Caramelized Onions ----------------------

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Jackson Bakeries for Holiday Goods BY JULIAN BRUNT

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uch of our holiday experience is centered around the dining room table. Big meals or multi-course dinners can be challenging, and a big part of that is finding those special ingredients that can make the holidays something to remember. The big box stores and chains have all the basics that you might need, but when it comes specialty items, like locally baked bread and pastries, the privately owned bakery is the place to go. For Heaven’s Cakes and Catering - 4950 Old Canton Rd Another one of Jackson’s bestknown bakeries, For Heaven’s Cakes offers dozens of different cupcakes, including turtle, that old Southern favorite, red velvet, chocolate kiss and more. Vanilla cheesecake and double chocolate caramel brownies are also on their menu, two classically indulgent desserts for your holiday feast. They also specialize in custom cakes, so you can order whatever it is you are looking for during the holidays. Broad Street Bakery and Café - 4465 I-55 N Suite #101 Banner Hall This bakery uses traditional European recipes, promising a perfect baked good each time. Pastries and bread are made from scratch every day, using all-natural ingredients, and everything is made by hand. These old-world recipes will take you back in time, but satisfy modern appetites. With everything from artisan breads made fresh daily, to homemade cookies and breakfast pastries , to special order cakes and cheesecakes, this is worth a visit if you’re looking to cater your dessert or breakfast course this holiday. Campbell’s Bakery – 3013 N State Street Campbell’s Bakery may be known for petit fours and teacakes, but this “pretty in pink” bakery knows how to do the holiday season properly. Campbell’s is widely known for serving traditional teacakes, a light and buttery sweet to have before or after a hearty meal. It’s all about good fun, of course, but if you want a custom decorated cake, cookies or petit fours for the holidays, no place is as creative as Campbell’s.

2 • December/January 2021

It was not too long ago that we saw a big decline in bakeries, but it seems that those locally owned shops are making a comeback. Jackson does have a bevy of bakeries and pastry shops to choose from. Not only are you going to find one-ofa-kind ingredients, made locally, you are going to be able to talk to the baker that made what you need. It is much more of a personal shopping experience compared to the hustle and bustle of a chain grocery. La Brioche Patisserie - 1200 Eastover Drive at The District at Eastover Another Jackson bakery that has European roots, owners Alejandra Mamud and Cristina Lazzari are from Argentina. However, Alejandra studied at the French Pastry School in Chicago, and Cristina had experience working in coffee and pastry shops all over Europe. They combined their experiences and talents and for more than six years have been baking and cooking for a loyal following. Now at The District at Eastover, the bakery serves breakfast with a variety of filled croissants, including a chocolate, turkey and cheese, and jalapeno and ham. A treat like the Kitina, a chocolate layered cake with milk caramel, butter cream and vanilla meringue is the perfect accessory to top off your holiday meal. Also look for a variety of cookies from around the world, an assortment of which would make a beautiful holiday tray for your guests. Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop 1220 East Northside Drive With the Jackson location owned by the folks of Logan Farms, pie fits right into their area of expertise in catering. You can get them in sizes from nineinch, four-inch, two-inch to pie stacks, which are double or triple stacked pie plates. You can choose from delicious offerings, like Southern Custard, made with a buttermilk filling that is described as being, “a cross between a chess pie and a custard, Granny’s Apple or a pumpkin pie just right for the holidays.” Check out their website, buttermilkskypie.com, for the flavors of the day.


visitjackson.com

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 3


CONTENTS December/January 2021 Volume 9 Number 6

46

13 in this issue 37 in every issue 6 From the Editor 7

What’s Happening

14 FRESH FROM THE FARM:

37 MONTHLY RECIPE:

16 HOLIDAYS AT HOME:

38 MISSISSIPPI AND BEYOND: Luis Bruno

Remington-Lott

Make a delicious 3-course meal this holiday

24 OLE COUNTRY BAKERY: Learn about this historic Mississippi classic

28 BIG RIVER BAGELS: A

10 Fabulous Foodie Finds

look at two friends and their bagel business

12 A Taste of Magnolia

32 RESTAURANT SPOTLIGHT:

50 Recipe/Ad Index 52 Till We Eat Again 4 • December/January 2021

Weidmann’s

36 MISSISSIPPI MADE: De Beukelaer Piroulines

Cheesy Onion Rolls

40 CITY HALL CHEESECAKE 44 FROM THE BOOKSHELF: “Christmas with Southern Living 2020”

46 RAISE YOUR GLASS:

Crittenden’s Pumpkin Spice White Shine

48 HOLIDAY SERVING: Your Guide to Hosting with Cheeses

ON THE COVER: Bourbon Glazed Ham by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum, page 20.


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{ from the editor }

Bring on the Holidays and New Year BY REBECCA FENDING

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ith the fall colors well past gone from the Mississippi landscape, the bare, spidery branches of the trees wave in the breeze to signal the start of the holiday season. This time of year is both full of comfort, festivities and fun with friends and family, and quite stressful with planning meals and giftgiving. However, eat.drink.MISSISSIPPI has you covered as far as a holiday menu, gifts for your loved ones and decorations for your home for hosting company. Not to mention we make great reading material for guests. But, this time of year doesn’t just mean Christmas, Hannukah or even Yuletide, it also brings forth the birth of a new year. For nearly every person, 2020 has been one for the books, and not necessarily in a good way. From the pandemic that’s still ongoing to the intense political climate, most folks are ready to leave this year behind without reflection. In hopes of blessing 2021 and encouraging good luck, here’s my favorite cabbage-centered New Year’s recipe that

my mom always made variations of growing up. May you have a wonderful and safe holiday season and new year! Southern Fried Cabbage Ingredients: 12 oz. Bacon 1 head cabbage 1 medium sweet onion 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider) 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon brown sugar Salt and pepper to taste Optional: freshly grated sharp cheddar To prepare: 1. Chop and add bacon to a large pot over medium heat. Cook until your desired crispiness. Remove bacon from pot and set aside. 2. In the remaining bacon fat, add chopped cabbage and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 3. Chop and add onion to the pot, continue cooking until onions are translucent. 4. Add Worcestershire, vinegar, garlic and brown sugar. Combine all ingredients and let cook for 25 minutes or until cabbage is soft. Stir frequently. 5. Once cabbage is cooked, add bacon to the cabbage mixture, reserving some to sprinkle on top of each serving. Top with cheddar, if desired, and enjoy!

Image from Aunt Bee’s Recipes. EAT DRINK MISSISSIPPI (USPS 17200) is published bi-monthly by Connected Community Media Group, 10971 Four Seasons Pl. Ste. 211, Crown Point, IN 46307. Periodicals postage paid at Madison, MS, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please mail changes of address to P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.

6 • December/January 2021


{ what’s happening }

Melissa Cookston Makes Netflix Debut in American Barbecue Showdown Series

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reenville, Miss., native and seven-time world barbecue champion Melissa Cookston made her Netflix debut in their original series American Barbecue Showdown. Cookston, owner of Memphis Barbecue Company in Horn Lake, Miss., and Dunwoody, Ga., judged the show alongside Kevin Bludso, founder of Bludso’s BBQ in Los Angeles. The show, which premiered on the streaming platform in September, spans across eight episodes and follows a crew of competitive barbecuers as they go head to head for the title of “American Barbecue Champion.” Each episode, competitors were given

new challenges to put their cooking skills to the test. Challenges included cooking for 50 firefighters, creating stand-out sandwiches and cooking unusual proteins like iguana and beaver. Check out American Barbecue Showdown on Netflix next time you’re looking for a binge-worthy series. edm

FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS

T

Ridgeland Cafe Will Employ and Train Young Adults With Disabilities

he Lily Pad Cafe, set to open next summer in the Olde Towne neighborhood, will employ young adults with disabilities and train them in the areas of service and hospitality. The cafe will run as a 501c3 non-profit restaurant and is focused on employing and training individuals with disabilities to give them the work skills and confidence necessary to obtain employment with other businesses. This concept came to be when two families, who both have children with down syndrome, realized that there were no work opportunities after high school for people with disabilities. For more information on how you can help their building campaign or to donate, visit thelilypadms.com, and be on the lookout for the cafe to open next summer. edm

Half Shell Oyster House Madison Location Recently Opened

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dding another location to their collection, Half Shell Oyster House recently opened in Madison. It is the first building at the up-and-coming Village at Madison, and upscale commercial and residential development in historic Madison. With locations across Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, Half Shell is serving up delicious, New Orleans-inspired dishes with Southern hospitality. Choose from all sorts of oysters like oysters on the half shell, charbroiled, barbecue, Rockefeller, Bienville or Oysters Orleans, their award-winning oyster that comes charbroiled with a smoky Cajun sauce. Other menu items range anywhere from shrimp and grits to steaks, po’boys, seafood, burgers and even pastas. Half Shell is located at 100 Merchant Street in Madison and is open daily for lunch and dinner. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7


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HAPPY HOLIDAYS may you eat, drink and be merry

8 • December/January 2021

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{ fabulous foodie finds }

An Old-Fashioned Holiday...

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s this unpredictable year comes to a close, one thing is certain: folks are gravitating towards an old-fashioned, family-centered holiday. It’s easy to assume why between the chaos of the pandemic and the stress of politics that have added to heightened negativity. And with the way home décor

style has seemingly been focused on minimalism through monochrome color schemes and scarce decorations within the past few years, many of us are looking for that homey comfort that the cluttering of stockings and ceramic Christmas villages brings to the home this time of year.

Nordic Holiday Décor Okay, so maybe you aren’t quite ready to succumb to the influence of a classic, kitschy holiday. Or, maybe you want seasonal decorations that can live well past the holidays. Either way, Nordic-themed winter décor might be your best bet. With the warmth of natural wood and smaller pops of color against a cream white, Nordic is a great way to decorate without being overpowering or clashing with any other colors you may have in your home. One great way to bring this Nordic and natural décor into your home is by integrating lots of green foliage. From natural pine swag wreaths to adorn the exterior of your house, to garnishing your dinner table or mantel with artificial pine branches. These natural green accents paired with a cream-colored table cloth or runner are a simplistic and relatively inexpensive way to beautify your home for the holidays and remainder of the winter season—the greenery may just need a refresh once we enter the new year. The swag pictured here is from Home Depot and costs $49.98.

Ceramic Christmas Village If you grew up in a house like mine, you know the centerpiece role that a ceramic Christmas village plays during the holidays. It was always the day after Thanksgiving when we would resurrect and rescue the ceramic villagers and town buildings from their hibernation places and place them with strategic care on the fireplace mantel and under the Christmas tree. Each year, we were able to build a small town in half an hour that would watch over our holiday festivities. These ceramic decorations are one-of-akind in how they look and the role they play in the season. Whether you opt for ones that illuminate by switch, or simply light up the room with their character, these decorations are ones that are able to be handed down for generations when handled and packed away with care. A classic Christmas village is just what this year needs to reset before the new one. Christmas village pieces can be found anywhere online, from Macy’s to even Michael’s craft stores. The set pictured here is from Amazon and retails for $289.99.

10 • December/January 2021


Classic Christmas Stockings “The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...” This classically remembered line from “Twas the Night Before Christmas” is one that conjures images of red and white knit stockings, emblazoned with touching cartoon images of snowflakes, reindeer and other Christmas-y images. For others, they think of sweater patterns knit into the stocking. This may be the option most people will reach for in modern times, as it holds a touch of the minimalist preference mixed with traditional patterns. You can find these traditional-style stockings online or in stores that carry Christmas décor. This pair is from Amazon, priced at $8.99.

Lenox Holiday Dishes If you’re looking to set your holiday table with something just as time-honored as your village or stockings, Lenox holiday themed dishes are just what you need. When most people think of “traditional” holiday kitchen décor, the first thing that comes to mind are these cozy and elegant dishes. Rimmed in gold and adorned with delicate holly leaves and berries, these ivory bone china dishes are durable and timeless. You certainly don’t need them in order to have a holiday dinner party, but they are the perfect way to celebrate and impress friends and family. The best place to find Lenox dishes is online directly through Lenox.com, or department stores. This five-piece set can be found on Amazon and is priced at $108.99.

Vintage Trucks A décor trend that bases itself from vintage comforts is the rise of the “vintage red truck” holiday decorations. From throw pillows to a wooden cut out of said red truck, this image has been on the rise for “classically modern” decorators. This 1950s-inspired seasonal symbol is one that is both cozy, homey and down-right cute. Placing it either inside or outside of your home makes for the perfect touch of the holiday season to set the mood for you and your guests. You can find a variety of décor items with this iconic red truck on them anywhere online or in stores among the seasonal goods. This decorative pillow from mud-pie.com is $28.50.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 11


Cranberry Plum a Taste of Hand Pies to Ring in Magnolia the New Year BY DIVIAN CONNER

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

12 • December/January 2021

his year, the holidays may feel a bit different, but that does not mean the true meaning that it conveys has to be lost. Now is the perfect time to reflect on what really matters, what we hold most dear and to hold intimate personal family dinners that showcase the true meaning of the holidays. We may not be dashing off to large holiday parties and gatherings, but that does not mean the party spirit has to be lost. Instead of the office party, we can plan a special shindig for our spouse, our children or why not just for ourselves? No one said you need to have a huge gathering to have a party! Put out the good cutlery and china and treat yourself to a party complete with a wide array of party foods and turn on the playlist. This year has taught me that I truly value my time alone and with my family. It has taught me that there is no reason needed to simply do something that you have wanted to do or planned to do. It may look and feel different, but that just gives room to being more creative and more meaningful. While the neighborhood holiday party and New Year’s Eve countdown may not be like it was last year, send out invites to your children and those in your house, require formal attire for everyone to attend. Make it an event for just your household. Put up the special party decorations, curate a special playlist of music and come up with an enviable menu that will dazzle everyone. It has definitely been a time of reflection for us. I even put up my Christmas tree the day after Halloween. It just felt right. 2020 has been a whirlwind and one thing I know for sure now more than ever is if it feels right for me, then by golly, I am going to just go with the flow. This year I have thrown so many ‘just because’ themed dinners and parties because it felt right. I ordered that projector and screen that I have said for years I wanted and watched movies with my kids for that theatre experience. I even ordered salt and vinegar crickets online because we watch a ton of Bizarre Foods on television and we wanted the experience at home. We subscribed to an international candy box club I have been eyeing for months. So many things I said I wanted but yet put off time and time again, this year stopped me from that. No matter what is happening in this world, we have a chance each day to show those closest to us our love, and that begins with simply doing. So, instead of putting off something or feeling as if we are unable to do what we would normally, let’s change it a bit—let’s party anyway. Let’s countdown any way and let’s ring in 2021 with our family and friends, and some cranberry plum mini pies! edm


CRANBERRY PLUM HAND PIES Filling: 1 cup fresh cranberries 1 can of plums chopped (remove the pits) 1 cup sugar 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla ½-1 cup water Syrup from canned plums Refrigerated pie dough Egg for the wash Glaze: ½ cup powdered sugar 1 tbsp cranberry juice To make: In pan, add all ingredients except the water and add only half of the sugar. Heat up the pan until it begins to boil. As it boils, the cranberries will begin to pop. Stir constantly and if it becomes too thick, add ½ cup of water at a time. Turn off the heat and it will thicken on its own. Break up whole cranberries with a spatula and let cool. Taste and add more sugar if it is too tart to your taste.

Roll out pie dough to desired thickness and cut into circles using a cookie cutter or a glass cup. Fill 8 disks with ½ tbsp of the cranberry plum filling and place the other 8 on top of them. Use a spoon to crimp the edges in place. You can place a lollipop stick on top of each disk before filling to make pie pops, or you can fold over the disks to make mini hand pies. You can use small cookie cutters to cut out crust decorations. In a bowl, whisk the egg. Coat each pie with the egg wash and place the cut-out decorations on top to stick in place. Coat with egg again. Bake in oven at 400 degrees until bubbling and golden brown; about 15-20 minutes. In another bowl, mix cranberry juice with powdered sugar. While pies are hot, drizzle with glaze. Allow glaze to dry and serve! Place any leftover filling in a jar and place in the fridge. Use within 7 days. It goes perfect over bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, or used instead of mayo on a turkey sandwich! eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13


{ fresh from the farm }

Remington-Lott: Canton’s Family Farm BY SUSAN MARQUEZ

W

hen you think of a special meal, steak usually comes to mind. Steak is the food of celebrations. Other cuts of beef are used in the menu staples we eat every day: hamburgers, spaghetti, beef stew, tacos and more. Most folks are used to picking up their beef and pork from the grocery store, however Greg Lott is hoping to change that with Remington-Lott Farms. Folks in the metro-Jackson area now have a different way to buy meat, thanks to a chance meeting between Jim Rowell and Greg Lott. “I’ve been in the cattle business for years,” says Greg. “Jim and his family moved their farm to the Canton area,

14 • December/January 2021

near my family’s farm. We started talking and decided to form a partnership.” Remington-Lott Farms began selling meat at the Mississippi Farmers’ Market on High Street in Jackson in February 2015, just in time for the Dixie National Rodeo. “We had lots of beautiful beef for sale, and our very first customer came up and asked us if we had any bones for sale,” recalls Greg. “She bought a whole bag of bones to make beef broth. That was our first sale!” As people learned that the beef sold by Remington-Lott Farms was superior to the beef they were used to buying at the grocery store, the sales at the farmers’ market soared. “We dry age our beef for 18 to 21 days,” says Greg. “That makes for a better tasting cut of beef. Our beef is also raised with no hormones and we package it with no preservatives. Plus, people like to know where their food comes from. This beef is one hundred percent born and raised in Canton.” As their customer base grew, the company decided to open a retail location in Gluckstadt. That was followed by three other locations in Flowood, Clinton and Ridgeland. The meat can be sold in smaller portions, but the CSA (commercially supported agriculture) model has been the most popular. “We sell either a half or


a whole share of beef,” explains Chelsie Eaves, who is the granddaughter of Jim Rowell. “Unlike a lot of other farmers who have crops that only grow a certain time of year, we can raise, and sell, beef all year. Our CSA is for three-month increments.” The half share sells for $60 a month, or $180 total. Each month customers get six to seven pounds of premium grass-fed beef, including ground beef, and a variety of sirloin strips, stew meat and if they would like, pork raised in Carroll County. The whole share sells for $110/month, or $330. That is twelve to thirteen pounds of beef a month, or a mix of beef and pork. Premium cuts, such as filets, ribeye, porterhouse or T-bone steaks can be added to the order for an extra charge. Other products sold in the retail stores include ground brisket, smoked beef sausage and beef bacon. “The bacon is so good, I sometimes eat it on crackers,” says Chelsie. The company’s newest product is an all-beef tamale. “We have them made at Tony’s Tamales in Bentonia,” says Greg. Chelsie says her grandfather is 95 years old and still working in the cattle business. “He was so excited that we got into this business,” she says. “And he’s excited that we can share this delicious beef with others. What we are doing is taking beef back to the way it was in the good ol’ days! To me, there is simply no taste comparison. The flavor and quality are incredible. Our

customers tell us that once they taste the difference, they can’t go back to grocery store meat!” Greg says the company offers gift cards for sale at the retail locations and online. “It’s hard to find the right gift for someone who seems to have everything. But anyone would enjoy some nice steaks!” edm

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 15


holidays at home

16 • December/January 2021


BY LISA LAFONTAINE BYNUM

H

ave your holiday plans changed this year? Instead of traveling, you may find yourself hosting the holidays at home, possibly for the first time. Regardless of if you are a new host or hostess, or a seasoned pro, one or more of these easy dishes will make a great addition to the menu. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17


Bourbon Glazed Ham

18 • December/January 2021


Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19


BOURBON GLAZED HAM - SERVES 6-8 • 1 (10 pound) smoked ham shank • 2 tablespoons ham juice from the bottom of the roasting pan • ½ cup orange juice • ¾ cup packed brown sugar • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard • ¼ cup bourbon • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place the ham in a roasting pan or baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake the ham for 15-20 minutes per pound. For a 10-pound ham, cooking time is approximately two hours. 2. Thirty minutes before baking is complete, remove the ham from the oven. Strain two tablespoons of the juice from the bottom of the pan. 3. Combine the ham juice with the orange juice, brown sugar, mustard and bourbon in a small saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Bring the glaze to a boil and cook until glaze has thickened, about 1-2 minutes. For a thicker glaze, let the sauce sit off the heat for about 10 minutes. 4. Apply the glaze liberally all over the outside of the ham. Return the ham to the oven, uncovered. Baste ham with the glaze every ten minutes for 30 minutes. Remove the ham from oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. 5. Makes approximately 2 cups of glaze.

SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH BACON AND CARAMELIZED ONIONS - SERVES 6 • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped • 1 onion, thinly sliced • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, divided • 1 teaspoon dried thyme • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper • 2 cups beef broth • 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes sliced to about 1/8 - ¼-inch thick. • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes • 4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded Pepper Jack cheese • 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish. 2. Cook bacon in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until crisp, about 10-13 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and onto a paper towel. Reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet. 3. Turn the temperature up to medium heat. Add the onions to the bacon drippings along with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring frequently until onions start to become soft and 20 • December/January 2021

caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large bowl. Return the saucepan to the hot burner. 4. Pour the broth into the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, remaining salt and pepper to the broth. Bring broth to a simmer. 5. Add the bacon and potatoes to the mixing bowl with the onions. Stir until mixture is well-combined. 6. Spread the potatoes into the casserole dish. 7. Carefully pour the hot broth over top. 8. Dot the surface of the casserole with the butter. 9. Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the edges are golden brown. 10. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the casserole. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about five minutes. 11. Remove from oven and allow the potatoes to sit for 15 minutes before serving.

CHOCOLATE CHIP PECAN PIE - SERVES 8 • 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar • 1/2 cup light corn syrup • 3 eggs, lightly beaten • 2 tablespoons molasses • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon salt • ½ cup chocolate chips • 2 cups pecan halves, divided • Dough for a single 9-inch pie crust 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, molasses, vanilla and salt. 3. Add chocolate chips to the mixing bowl. 4. Set aside 1 ¼ cups (about 57 pieces) of pecan halves for the top of the pie. Finely chop the remaining pecan halves. 5. Add the chopped pecans to the mixing bowl and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour mixture into the pie crust. 6. Gently arrange the reserved pecan halves in a circle over the filling. 7. Bake the pie for 55-65 minutes or until the center is no longer wobbly. Check halfway through baking time to ensure the pie crust is not browning too quickly. If it is, cover the edges with aluminum foil for the duration. 8. Cool the pie completely on a wire rack before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.


Chocolate

Pecan Pie eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21


22 • December/January 2021


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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23


Ole Country Bakery: A Historic Look at a Sweet and Savory Past BY BRANDI PERRY

B

rooksville, Mississippi, a small farming town of a little more than 1,000, is located on Highway 45 just half an hour from Starkville. But, for nearly forty years,

24 • December/January 2021

this blink-of-an-eye town has been home to one of the most popular bakeries in the entire Magnolia State.


The Ole Country Bakery started making its mark on the world in 1981, creating a reputation that preceded them throughout the Southeast. During the fall, football fans throughout the south embark on game day road trips to both Mississippi State, Ole Miss and even Tuscaloosa just an hour away. Many of those road trips are timed just right so that a stop in Brooksville is possible. Coffee, baked goods and sweet southern hospitality were just a few of things visitors expected when they entered the doors. The cool winds of fall seem to blow a little colder across the open fields in Brooksville but once you enter the bakery, warmth quickly follows. Shelia Decker and her family called western Kansas home but had relatives in the Macon area. “Every trip we made to Mississippi; my husband would say if that bakery ever came up for sale, he wanted a chance to own it,” she stated. “But I wasn’t sure that would ever actually happen.” But, in November 2011, the couple opened the doors of the bakery as the new owners and in turn, made a seemingly impossible dream a reality. As excited as they were about their new adventure, the Decker’s were still a little hesitant as to what their first move would be. “We were told very early on that people in the south don’t like change,” Decker answered with a smile. But change is inevitable even if it is small doses. The Decker’s added new things to the menu and also extended their bakery line but there was no argument from the regulars or the visitors. One major change that occurred in the kitchen was simply to ensure perfectly followed recipes. All the measurements in the kitchen were in cups, but the Decker’s decided it would be easier to transition to measuring in weight.

“You can send any girl to the kitchen and tell them to measure five pounds of flour and it’ll be exactly five pounds. But, if you were to tell them to measure a cup of flour, you’re going to get a variety of loose cups and packed cups. This way, there’s no discrepancies in our recipes, ever,” explained Decker. Today, the Decker’s have a well-oiled system that works perfectly. Each item is made fresh daily, with some workers arriving at four in the morning to make sure the daily dough making is done. It’s no secret that the Ole Country Bakery is a special place but one reason all their items taste so good may be because they do not use any preservatives. Because of this, the shelf life of the homemade items may not have the shelf life of what you find in your local grocery, but the taste and quality alone will make up for those extra couple of days. In addition, they try to locally source as much as they can. The pecans for their specialty items come from a Brooksville local, the ham from West Point and the milk from Beason Family Farm in Philadelphia, where all their dairy products are pasteurized, not homogenized. The fall and winter seasons bring special items to the menu at the bakery. Fruit cakes and orange slice cakes are already on the shelves, as well as pumpkin bread and pumpkin cream cheese rolls. You will always find plenty of pies and decorated cookies closer to the holidays. Today, their Amish bread is hands down their best-seller, but their pies and caramel cakes run a close second. Before moving to Mississippi, Decker had never even heard of a caramel cake, but she quickly learned how to make the southern favorite. Now, she can barely keep it on her shelves. Breakfast is not the only time you can enjoy visiting the Ole

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25


26 • December/January 2021


Country Bakery. Lunch is served every day, and Sunday and includes deli sandwiches, salads and soups. These items were also very popular in the middle of the COVID-19 statewide lockdown because the bakery stepped in and acted somewhat as grocery store where the locals could get lunch, milk, bread and other necessary staples. Several varieties of frozen casseroles that are large enough to feed the whole family are also available in the frozen section, giving families an opportunity for a delicious yet easy meal. For nearly 40 years, the community has supported the bakery and helped establish its special reputation. During the lockdown, the bakery was able to return the favor and help the community through a difficult time. Open six days a week, there’s a good chance you may meet Shelia Decker on one of your visits. But, she’s the first to admit

that she’s much more comfortable in the kitchen with her hands in the dough. “Owning this bakery has made me get more involved out front and more comfortable with dealing with the public but I am definitely more comfortable in the back making dough,” she remarked about her somewhat shy personality. When asked what legacy she hopes the bakery can leave behind, Decker said she hopes it will always be a family-owned bakery but she also hopes things are kept the way they are. “There’s something special and rare about a bakery that still does everything by hand. I hope when it’s our turn to pass the torch, that part of the business will always remain. We definitely feel like we took over someone else’s hard work but we want to keep it like the previous owner had it, too,” she remarked. In a world where everyone is looking forward to the next great advancement in technology, Decker and her family continue to push forward and put the goodness of hard work, love and a taste of the past in everything they make. If you find yourself within 100 miles of the Ole Country Bakery in Brooksville, take a detour! From the moment you step through the doors, you will be greeted with smiles, hellos and smells that will take you back to your grandmother’s kitchen. Even though they are opened from 6am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, they are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s. Make sure to call ahead to find out all about their holiday hours and specials. You can reach Shelia and her staff at (662) 738-5795. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27


28 • December/January 2021


Big River Bagels: Two Friends Create a Booming Bagel Business BY SUSAN MARQUEZ

I

n the Mississippi Delta town of Cleveland, an unlikely duo met and formed a business based on their desire to benefit their community. Marisol Doyle is originally from Mexico and came to the Delta with her husband, a photographer named Rory. The couple moved to Cleveland from Phoenix, Arizona in 2009 when Rory received a graduate assistantship at Delta State University. Kate Gluckman also moved to Cleveland with her husband, Mike, who accepted a position as a professor at Delta State in 2013. “We became friends instantly when we met,” says Marisol. “We eventually worked together at Mosquito Burrito in Cleveland.” As their friendship grew, the two women dreamed of having a business together that would benefit the community. In 2016, the friends began making bagels and selling them at the Cleveland Farmers’ Market. The bagels were a hit, and Big River Bagels was born. “Kate was the one who inspired our bagel journey,” says Marisol, “She is a great baker and had been doing bagels for months. She’s a foodie, like me, and thought it would be a great idea to sell them at the farmers’ market in Cleveland. We tested eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29


recipes for months before we found one we both liked.” Big River Bagels offers many different flavors, but the best sellers are always the plain bagels and the everything bagels, which have poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, garlic and onion. “People buy them by the dozen,” says Marisol. The farmers’ market was only open in the summer, but after selling their bagels for a couple of summers, people wanted to place orders for bagels during the rest of the year. “That’s when we decided to make this a year-round business,” says Kate. The bagel-makers used a restaurant kitchen in Cleveland, 30 • December/January 2021

but they soon outgrew that. Needing to find a more permanent place, Kate learned about Griot Arts in Clarksdale through her community outreach. The organization’s mission is to empower young people in Clarksdale to create positive change in their lives and in the community by providing access to opportunities in the arts, education and workforce development. “We started serving our bagels in the coffee shop they run, Meraki Roasting Company,” Kate says. That has now expanded to offering breakfast sandwiches at Meraki on the


weekends. “We are also selling our bagels at farmers’ markets in Clarksdale, Cleveland and Lyon. We are continuing to grow as we celebrate the wonderful Delta communities we love!” Big River Bagels can be special ordered. “We encourage people to follow us on Facebook or Instagram,” says Marisol. “They can see our menu and private message us, or send us an email at bigriverbagels@gmail.com.” All accompanying article photographs courtesy of Rory Doyle. More of his work can be found at rorydoylephoto.com. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31


{ restaurant spotlight }

Weidmann’s: Mississippi’s Oldest Restaurant BY BRANDI PERRY

F

elix Weidmann, a Swiss immigrant, made his way to America aboard a steamship, whether to New Orleans or Mobile. Probably a chef aboard the vessel, Weidmann knew only one way to make a living, and the newly flourishing city of Meridian was about to give him a once in a lifetime opportunity. Meridian was established in 1860, at the junction of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad and Southern Railway of Mississippi. It didn’t take long for the new Mississippi town to build an economy based on the railways. Due to this, the Lauderdale County seat quickly became a strategic trading center. Weidmann saw how successful a restaurant could be, so he opened a lunch counter with just four seats directly across from the train station in the Union Hotel in 1870. The individuals traveling by train flocked to his spot and it quickly garnered the nickname of “The Restaurant”. Felix experienced great success for 15 years until his death in 1885. His son, Phillip, took over and moved the restaurant to 24th Avenue and 5th Street and changed the name to Taft and Weidmann’s. Many believe that Weidmann’s has always been in Downtown Meridian, but that is only partially true. During World War I, Weidmann’s actually moved to Hattiesburg for two years to better serve the soldiers stationed at Camp Shelby. Upon its return to the Queen City, the restaurant made its final move and found its permanent and current location at 22nd Avenue in 1923. Aviation history made its way to Meridian in 1935 when Fred and Al Key broke the endurance flight record with a time of 653 hours and 34 minutes. This record stood until 1973 when it was broken by NASA astronauts. The national attention was not only turned onto the spectacular event, but the restaurant too, as a party held in the Key brothers’ honor was hosted there. The famous peanut butter crocks came into existence in the 1940s when there was a shortage in butter. A guest suggested serving peanut butter and crackers instead and the tradition stuck. Henry Weidmann loved the practice so much that he found a potter in Louisville, Mississippi, to make them. Today, guests can take a crock home with them and they are now made by a local potter.

32 • December/January 2021

Even with a storied past and a world-wide reputation, time has not always been good to Weidmann’s. The recession in 2010 forced the heavy wooden doors of the historic restaurant to close, hinting at a bleak future. Later that year, Charles Frazier took over the restaurant and just 6 weeks later the doors were opened. “I had a goal of returning this place to its historic roots, but we had to do it in six weeks. I think we did a good job maintaining the culinary history of the dishes that have been on the menu for a hundred years while also introducing a few classic southern dishes,” Frazier said. Even though 150 years have passed since Weidmann’s opened their doors, the clientele is still relatively the same. Interstate 59 brings visitors in from all over the world, just like the railroad did and Weidmann’s is still serving up the best of the state’s Southern cuisine. Any visitor to Downtown Meridian has seen the revitalization going on and the new businesses and restaurants


popping up throughout the city. “The Riley Center was definitely the genesis for the revitalization in town. But when we came in, revised the menu and increased the foot traffic here, a lot of other people realized that there was something to downtown Meridian. I would like to think that our growth and the growth of the city goes hand in hand,” Frazier remarked, “I hope this is a trend that continues for many years.” When asked what legacy he hopes Weidmann’s leaves in the community, Frazier didn’t hesitate to say, “It’s important to understand that I’m just the steward of this incredible piece of history. This community owns this restaurant.” Today, regardless if you order a seafood or fish plate, shrimp and grits or any other dish, there is a good chance that the ingredients were sourced just a few miles from the restaurant. “We truly believe in all the wonderful things that Mississippi has to offer and we do our best to utilize Mississippi products every chance we get,” Frazier remarked while discussing where their milk, grits and honey for the restaurant come from. A huge part of Weidmann’s success has been because they embrace every part of the state and the produce and goods found in each region. The restaurant also prides itself on carrying only Mississippi draft beers and being as much of a farm-to-table restaurant as they can, regardless of the season. Weidmann’s longevity is just a small part of what makes the restaurant so special. Through the years, the restaurant has been featured in more books, magazines, cookbooks and television shows than one could actively count. Each piece continued to solidify Weidmann’s place in not only Mississippi’s restaurant history, but in the rich culinary history of the south. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33


34 • December/January 2021


Weidmann’s should be on every Mississippian’s culinary bucket list. There’s definitely a sense of stepping back in time when you enter the restaurant and the wall of celebrities that have eaten here is further proof of Weidmann’s world-wide reputation. Frazier and his staff practice a hands-on approach and because of that, guests not only feel honored to have enjoyed a meal in the historic space, but they also feel as though they were the most important guest in the building at the time. Such characteristics are why Weidmann’s will be around another 150 years. There are several things you need to look for when you make the trek to Meridian. One such thing is the possible event taking place within the restaurant if you visit on a Friday. The Lacy Bottom Chowder and Marching Club has been meeting every Friday for lunch for more than 40 years. Even though several of the famed story tellers have passed on, there are still a few that keep the tradition alive. One likes to share the story of the late Mississippi State Senator and U.S. Congressman Sonny Montgomery. Even during the busiest part of his life as a politician, he still made time to meet his friends for lunch

on Friday’s. The story goes that on more than one occasion, Montgomery was interrupted during lunch at Weidmann’s by a phone call from President Lyndon B. Johnson. When it comes to the menu, there are so many long-lasting recipes that still amass a lot of attention. The steak, pasta and seafood dishes are freshly prepared and the shrimp and grits may be the best you will find in the entire state. But, if you have room left for dessert at the end of your meal, there are so many choices of homemade delicacies that you simply cannot go wrong. However, their world-famous black bottom pie is an absolute must. Tracing its history back to the 1940s, the recipe hasn’t changed and still offers visitors a sweet surprise with a classic chocolate bottom and a heavy dose of homemade meringue. The historic sweet is topped off with chocolate shavings to bring the dessert together and deliver a spectacular flavor and texture. A trip to Weidmann’s and Downtown Meridian should be on everyone’s list. You may come in as guests, but you will leave as part of Weidmann’s family. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35


{ mississippi made }

Piroulines: A Madison Treasure

W

BY SUSAN MARQUEZ

hen Peter De Beukelaer wanted to develop a crisp, rolled, hollow wafer cookie, his family’s bakery operation was not interested. They thought the manufacturing of the cookie would be too much trouble. The De Beukelaer family of Antwerp, Belgium, have been prominent bakers since 1860. With over 21 bakery plants all over Europe and over 12,000 employees, the family business was a large operation to say the least. Peter did “easy jobs” around the family’s factory before going to school to study electrical engineering. With his trained palate, manufacturing sensibility and engineering training, he had an idea he wanted to develop. With a passion for travel, Peter fell in love with the United States and wanted to start his own company here. “I traveled to the United States each year for three years, going to various states in search of a place to live and start a company.” He and his wife, Mireille, had certain criteria about the place they wanted to settle. “We wanted a place where we could bring our family, a quiet and safe place where we could raise our children.” Consistently, Mississippi offered all they wanted. In 1984, Peter moved his family to Madison with the four youngest of their seven children in tow. The couple built their company, Pirouline, with their bare hands, from pouring the bakery’s foundation to raising the walls and designing the equipment. Not only did they build a company, the De Beukelaer’s created hundreds of local jobs over the years. The Pirouline internal brand book states that, “... we exist to create a successful entrepreneurial environment, where our people can produce the finest products of their kind and enjoy the fruits of the American dream. We envision a

Peter and Mireilla De Beukelaer. 36 • December/January 2021

world where the Pirouline name is recognized as the baker of the finest premium cookies and a testament to the strength of the American worker.” In addition to building a strong brand and providing jobs for hundreds of people, the company has contributed to a wide array of local community causes. Piroulines are crispy crème-filled wafers with a distinctive swirl that twirls around the cookie from top to bottom. The cookies are packaged in a metal cylinder which customers are encouraged to repurpose into useful items such as vases, windchimes and pencil cups (check out the craft ideas on the company’s website, pirouline.com). Piroulines are filled with a delectable crème filling. The classic Pirouline flavor is chocolate hazelnut, but vanilla is also a crowd favorite. The dark chocolate filling has a deep, rich flavor. Seasonal flavors include strawberry and pumpkin spice. The cookies are a delicious treat straight out of the can, but are also well-suited to various recipes ranging from Pirouline napoleons and hazelnut cream puffs to caramel hot cocoa dunkers and a Pirouline cookie cake. Recipes for these treats and more can also be found on the Pirouline website. The factory Peter started in Madison is still producing Piroulines—two to three million cookies are rolled out daily in their 115,000 square foot facility, supporting more than 200 local Mississippi team members. The iconic cookies are sold in 33 countries worldwide. Peter always told his children that they would never have to work in the factory. “They were all good students, and I wanted them to find their own jobs.” That changed when son Hewig De Beukelaer joined the company ten years ago. “Hewig was working with FedEx in the financial analysis area,” says Peter. “I told him I needed help and I asked if he’d like to join me at the company. He said he’d love to, and he’s been a great asset to our team.” After being in business almost forty years, Peter has been named to the Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame’s mission is to, “... honor individuals whose accomplishments, impact contributions, innovations and successes within the specialty food industry deserve praise and recognition.” Unfortunately, the ceremony has been postponed due to the pandemic. While Peter is the one who was inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame, he gives credit to Mireille’s involvement and leadership from the company’s beginning. edm


{ monthly recipe }

Cheesy Onion Rolls

BY REBECCA FENDING INSPIRED BY CHEESE AND ONION SWIRL ROLLS FROM KING ARTHUR BAKING

A

t the end of each year, we gear up to prepare large, festive meals for our friends and family. There’s nothing better than catching up with loved ones at such a cozy time of year while serving them a large meal. It gets even better if they ask for the recipe for one of the dishes you prepared. However, holiday cooking can be stressful—am I making enough? Will my guests like what I’m making? Are people sick of traditional? The questions start rolling in as we plan the menu. One easy way to jazz up your holiday spread while playing it safe with your guests’ tastebuds is by trying these homemade cheese and onion rolls. Having regular biscuits, rolls or white

bread can pale in comparison to the rest of your holiday spread, and they are often overlooked and go to waste. Something no one wants to see happen. These savory rolls are perfect in complementing nearly any dish, from oven-baked ham, to turkey, to seafood. The sharp flavors of the freshly grated cheddar and Parmesan, and the caramelized onions will make you a believer in pairing rolls with every meal thereafter. Though admittedly a labor of love, putting the effort into these homemade rolls will be well worth the time when your guests keep reaching for the bread basket. Not to mention, you can double this recipe and freeze the second batch of rolls for a later date, up to 3 months! edm

Ingredients for bread: • One large egg • ¾ cup warm water • 2 teaspoons instant yeast • 3 cup all-purpose flour • Salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons) • 3-4 tablespoons of softened butter • ¼ cup powdered milk • 3 cups all-purpose flour • Greased 9x9 pan • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese Ingredients for filling: • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 cup finely diced sweet onion • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 1 cup fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese • Salt and pepper to taste

Image from King Arthur Baking. Making the filling: 1. In a pan over medium-heat high, melt Cover with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise for two about one tablespoon of butter and place diced onion. hours. Keep stirring and cook until caramelized, about 20-30 4. Once the dough has doubled in size, dump onto floured minutes. Or, cook until just golden brown if you don’t surface and roll it out into a large rectangle. want caramelized onions. Remove from heat and place in a 5. Spread filling mixture onto the dough, leave an inch border separate bowl to cool down. around the rectangle. Then, roll the dough away from you 2. Once onions are cool, add the remaining filling ingredients into a log shape. to the bowl and stir until easily spreadable on the dough. 6. Cut into even pieces and place in a greased 9x9 baking dish/ Making the bread: 1. Whisk together the egg and warm water in a large bowl. Then, add yeast, flour, salt, butter and powdered milk. 2. Stir ingredients together, then knead until stretchy and completely smooth. Shape into a ball and grease. 3. Place greased dough ball in a large clean, greased bowl.

pan. Place close together, but not squished. Cover with tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise one hour. 7. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle Parmesan (or leftover grated cheddar) over top of the rolls. 8. Bake until golden brown, about 24 minutes. Let cool and serve. Enjoy!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37


{ mississippi and beyond }

Luis Bruno: Living & Cooking the Beach Life BY KATHY K. MARTIN

L

uis Bruno may be living and cooking the beach life now, but he jokes that he’s still a Southern Puerto Rican at heart. When he moved to the South in 1995, fell in love with a Mississippi girl, and tasted cornbread for the first time, he says he was forever smitten with the South. Although he now works at The Pointe restaurant and bar in Galveston, Texas, the flavors of Mississippi and his time there still resonant in his dishes. Bruno lived in Mississippi for over 20 years while working in Jackson as executive chef at the Governor’s Mansion under Governors Kirk Fordice and Haley Barbour. “What can I say about meeting former presidents, queens, kings and famous actors? Those memories are some of the most unforgettable moments of my life and just priceless to me,” says Bruno. Each governor had their most treasured dishes, but he says that some of their favorites included barbecue, crispy onions, New York strip steak, chicken salad, Blue Bell ice cream and a good, old Southern plate. During his time in Mississippi, he also used his own success story of significant weight loss to travel across the South as a motivational speaker. At one time weighing over 485 pounds and suffering from sleep apnea and diabetes, he chose a combination of diet, exercise and healthier cooking to lose the weight and change his life. He admitted that keeping off the weight continues to be a challenge for him because of his love of food. “My quest is to be strong and to make great, healthy choices when I’m preparing food.” He shared his personal story and helped others with weight issues as he supported charities such as the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, the Mississippi Children’s Museum and the American Red Cross. One of his favorite memories was helping with the Enchanted Evening, a fundraising event for Children’s of Mississippi. He was involved for 10 years and helped create food for the event, which featured catfish, fried pimento cheese, Thai beef salad, seafood paella and ceviche. Bruno’s latest venture is as chef and co-owner of The Pointe. Located inside the Pointe West Beach Club, the restaurant and bar opened in 2015, and is situated between the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay. He serves alongside co-owner and manager Aimee Dickerson. His eclectic menu features shrimp and crab ceviche, Mexican grilled corn, chargrilled oysters, adobo shrimp and fish tacos, bánh mì lobster and crab rolls, as well as many healthy salads and his signature Crabby Louis salad, which features lump crab meat mixed in his homemade salad dressing and topped with his crispy, adobo flour tortilla chips. While the restaurant keeps him busy, he hopes to write another cookbook someday as a follow-up to his Don’t Feel Guilty, Eat It!, which was published in 2008. In the meantime,

38 • December/January 2021

he’s staying healthy living and cooking the beach life in Galveston. From Chef Bruno’s Don’t Feel Guilty, Eat It! edm SHRIMP WITH SPICY CHILI SAUCE SERVES 6 • ¾ cup Asian chili garlic sauce (in most Asian grocery stores) • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger • ¼ cup ketchup • 1 tablespoon soy sauce • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar • 1 ½ cups low sodium, non-fat chicken broth • Juice of two limes • ¼ cup water • 2 tablespoons cornstarch • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp (16-20 count), peeled and deveined, tails off • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped • 3 to 4 green onions, green tops only, thinly sliced at a diagonal • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine the Asian chili garlic sauce, ginger, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, broth and lime juice in a large sauté pan over medium heat; simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Bring the chili sauce mixture to a boil, then whisk in the cornstarch mixture; boil for 1 minute. 3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the shrimp; cook until pink and just cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes. The sauce should be thick and glossy. 4. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cilantro and green onions. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

CHRISTMAS COSMOS WITH POACHED CRANBERRIES SERVES 4 Cranberries: • 1 cup water • 2 cups granulated sugar • 2 strips orange zest • 1 bay leaf • 6 ounces fresh cranberries • 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves Cosmos: • 8 ounces vodka • 8 ounces cranberry juice • 4 ounces orange liqueur • Juice of 2 limes • Lime wheels for garnish For the Cranberries: 1. Combine the water, sugar, zest and bay leaf in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes; add the cranberries and continue simmering until the cranberries are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not overcook, or the cranberries will burst. 2. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the basil leaves. Allow the cranberries to cool completely in the liquid; strain before using. (You may want to save the flavorful poaching liquid to sweeten other dishes!) Thread several poached cranberries onto each of 4 cocktail picks, and place in 4 martini glasses. For the Cosmos: 1. Fill a metal martini shaker halfway with ice; shake for about 30 seconds. 2. Add the vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur and lime juice, and shake for another 10 to 15 seconds. Strain the cosmos into the glasses, and garnish with lime wheels; serve immediately.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 39


City Hall Cheesecake: Sweets and Community BY PAIGE MCKAY

W

hat started as a small cheesecake shop nearly 10 years ago in Hernando, Mississippi, has since grown to three locations in North Mississippi and beyond with cheesecakes in coffee shops and restaurants around the state. City Hall Cheesecake is not just a local cheesecake shop, though, as owners Kim and Vance Daly aim to serve more than just cheesecake - they aim to serve their community and the Lord by way of cheesecake. City Hall Cheesecake opened in 2010 in Hernando, and it quickly outgrew its first building. The then-owners moved the shop into their current Hernando location, a little, blue house on Commerce Street, and that’s where Kim Daly and her husband, Vance, came into the picture. The Dalys have a homeless ministry in DeSoto County called Love Works 2540. For nearly nine years, they have taken in those who are homeless, or on the verge of homelessness, and walk through life with them to get them back on their feet. “Once we get these people off the streets, our next step is to get

40 • December/January 2021

them employed,” Kim explained. “Then we help with finances and, eventually, into a home.” Through working the ministry, Kim realized that the most difficult part of the process is getting people employed. “Vance and I prayed for a while, because we just needed a place where these people could find a job,” she said. Around that time, City Hall Cheesecake went up for sale. “City Hall Cheesecake was our favorite date night spot,” Kim said. “When it went up for sale a few years ago, we joked about buying it.” Kim and Vance sat down with the owner at the time to see about buying it, but ultimately, they decided against it. But, that decision didn’t stick for long. “We decided against buying it, but we sat on it and thought about it for about six months,” she said. “We even had a second meeting because we could not get it off our minds that we were supposed to buy this place.” When Kim and Vance went in for that second meeting, they met a man named Larry. “God used Larry to change my


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41


42 • December/January 2021


difficult season of her life, but credits City Hall Cheesecake for helping find herself again. “Through Anne, I saw that there is another side to everything, how to find myself, and how to grow,” Lorey said. “I learned to love myself and how to love others.” Shelby, lead baker and organization queen, entered the world of City Hall Cheesecake whenever she moved to Hernando from Oxford and was searching for a job. She handles ordering ingredients, baking, wholesale accounts and custom orders. “Shelby wandered in the shop on a day that I was overwhelmed and was praying that the Lord would send me somebody,” Kim laughed. “And in walked Shelby.” These three, plus Kim and the 25 team members at all three City Hall Cheesecake locations, have cultivated a sense of community within their workplace, and by serving cheesecake, they are serving others. “This place is about more than just cheesecake,” Kim said. “Cheesecake is a vehicle that we use to love people.” City Hall Cheesecake serves cheesecake by the slice, whole cakes and in cupcake form. They also offer keto and gluten free options, mini cheesecake bites, as well as ice cream, cookies and “Doozies” - buttercream icing sandwiched between two homemade cookies. Flavors differ depending on the day you visit, but expect to find flavors like Butterfinger, Oreo, KitKat, Strawberry, Turtle, White Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Chip and other seasonal flavors. For hours at each shop, visit City Hall Cheesecake on Facebook or visit cityhallcheesecake.com. edm heart about everything,” Kim said. “We took into our home and that was the first ‘yes’ we put out for the Lord.” With no restaurant experience or baking experience, Kim and Vance bought City Hall Cheesecake in 2018 with the mission to employ those who come through their ministry, as well as other members of the community. Almost immediately, it began to grow into more than Kim could have ever imagined. Within the first year, City Hall Cheesecake opened a second location in Oxford, and they recently just opened a third location in the new Silo Square development in Southaven. Kim credits this growth to her leadership team: Anne-Marie, Lorey and Shelby. “These three pump life into everything and everyone,” Kim said. These women all stepped into the shop during different seasons of their lives, and City Hall Cheesecake ultimately became their home away from home. Anne is the leader of the Silo Square location, and City Hall Cheesecake found her when she needed it most. After struggling with drug addiction for several years, Anne went through a treatment program. “The whole time I was in treatment, I prayed I would get a job that wasn’t a server or a bartender position,” Anne said. “The day I moved back home, my mom told me about a lady who had a cheesecake shop, and she asked if I needed a job.” Anne went in for an interview the very next day, and she has been a part of the community ever since. “The Lord used City Hall Cheesecake to save my life,” she said. “He gave me prayer warriors, support, accountability, and a family.” Lorey, leader of the Hernando shop, also came in during a

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43


{ from the bookshelf }

Christmas with Southern Living 2020 By Paige McKay

T

he holiday season is upon us, and with it comes holiday dinner parties, baking and sweet treats, and decorating for the season. For over three decades, Christmas with Southern Living has been the most dependable and up-todate guide to the holidays. The 2020 installation of Christmas with Southern Living brings a festive new lineup to decorate, entertain and make gifts for the holiday season. With over 100 new recipes and inspired menu and decor ideas, this year’s Christmas with Southern Living ensures entertaining success for parties small and large. Christmas with Southern Living opens up with tips on how to perfectly decorate your home for the holidays. From greenery to lighting to picking a color palette, tricks for decorating the tree, how to decorate your table and how to creatively wrap presents, this guide has everything you’ll need to get your home in the holiday spirit. After you pick out your holiday decor, it’s time to get started on one of the best parts of the holiday season—the food. The “Entertainment” section of this holiday guide includes menus for any occasion or holiday party. It kicks off with a Sweet Home Luncheon menu that includes tasty, Southern classics and libations like Hibiscus Tea Punch, Bourbon Sweet Tea, Green Chile Cheese Dip, Mini BBQ Pork Melts and Peanut Butter Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars. Brunch is a Southern favorite, especially on Christmas day, so of course a Bluegrass Brunch menu is included in this edition of Christmas with Southern Living. This menu is inspired by traditional dishes from the rolling hills of Kentucky, and this Christmas morning brunch menu is packed with sweet and savory dishes. Start off with Bluegrass Mimosas, and then munch on bites like Grits Fritters with Beer Cheese Dip, Breakfast Hot Browns, Winter Fruit Salad and Derby Monkey Bread to end your brunch on a sweet note. For those who love a sit-down dinner, this Southern SitDown menu is for you. This menu includes all the craveable classics to make for an unforgettable meal. The menu starts off with a Pecan Vodka Old Fashioned (best with Cathead Pecan, of course). Other dishes included are Parmesan Chive Spoon Rolls, Oyster Stew, Raw Cranberry Pecan Salad, Asparagus

44 • December/January 2021

Casserole, Dry-Brined Rosemary and Wild Mushroom Turkey, and Rustic Pear-Sweet Potato Tart for dessert. Cocktail parties are also popular during the holiday season, and the Gulf Coast Toast menu in this guide has the perfect dishes for a successful holiday cocktail party. Sip on Spirited Port of Call Sparklers while you munch on Old Bay Cheese Straws, Marinated Olives and Mushrooms, Pork Wontons, Shrimp Toast, and Green Tea Shortbread. These are the perfect small bite dishes that will complete any Christmas or New Year’s Eve cocktail party spread. After the Entertainment section, the Savor & Share chapter of Christmas with Southern Living includes even more recipes throughout the pages of their Holiday Cookbook. Whether you’re looking for something “Rubbed & Roasted,” “Simple Sides,” or “Bake & Take” dishes, Christmas with Southern Living has you covered. Find dishes like Coffee-Rubbed RibEye Roast, Cauliflower Potato Casserole, Smoked Salmon Buddha Bowls, Muffin-Tin Meatloaf, Glazed Chocolate Sugar Cookies and literally anything in between. Whether you’re staying at home this year or still planning a larger gathering with friends and family this holiday season, Christmas with Southern Living is full of recipes that will complete any and all gatherings and events that you might be hosting or attending. You can find this holiday guide at any of your local bookstores and retailers or on Amazon. edm


Chestnut Praline Bread Pudding Say “hello” to your new favorite holiday dessert or Christmas morning breakfast sweet. This recipe hits on all cylinders: the pitch-perfect flavor of nutty pralines, hints of warm holiday spice, and a comforting “chestnuts roasting on the open fire” custard made with canned creme de marrons, which easily can be ordered online if you cannot find it in your local grocery store. • 6 large eggs • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream • 2-1/2 cups whole milk • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1/4 cup chestnut cream (creme de marrons) • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1/4 teaspoon table salt • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice • 1 (16-ounce) day-old French bread loaf, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 14 cups) • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans, plus more for garnish, if desired • Cooking spray • Praline sauce (recipe follows) 1. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, brown sugar, granulated

sugar, chestnut cream, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, and allspice in a large bowl. Add bread cubes, stirring to coat thoroughly. Let stand one hour, stirring occasionally to ensure an even coating. Stir in pecans. 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease (with cooking spray) a 13-x 9-inch baking dish. Pour bread mixture into dish. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly around edges and firm in center, about 40-45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. 3. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, if desired. Serve with Praline Sauce. Praline Sauce • 3 tablespoons salted butter • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour • 1 cup heavy cream • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) spiced rum • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg • 1/8 teaspoon table salt 1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until foamy and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. 2. Whisk in cream and brown sugar, cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in rum, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until bubbly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use immediately.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45


{ raise your glass }

Crittenden’s Pumpkin Spice White Shine BY BRANDI PERRY spices along with the smoothness of the white shine reminds you of everything that is right about the holiday season. The white shine is smooth and not overpowering, lending its flavor to those oak barrels and the cold water of Kiln. This drink will not only be a hit at any party or family gathering, but will also be a go-to cocktail for those cold winter nights as well. There is no doubt, Crittenden Shine needs to be in your cabinets and when you get a chance, make the trip down to Kiln and Highway 43 and watch the magic of this product unfold in front of you.

H

ancock County on the Mississippi Gulf Coast has always been known for their whiskey production. So, it was not too much of a stretch when Matt Crittenden and his father James, started Crittenden Distillery in Kiln in 2017. Their first product, Kiln Shine, hit the shelf in 2018 and Cut Above Straight Rye followed it up in 2020. Kiln Shine was quickly awarded the American Craft Spirits Association Award. Next year promises to be a big year for Crittenden as they will unveil the Cut Above 4-Year Bourbon. There are so many distilleries that dot the landscape of the South, but there are very few that still make whiskey the old-fashioned way, where they let mother nature do the work. Crittenden Distillery completes every step on site, from the making the mash to bottling it. Whenever possible, they use Mississippi products to complete the process. The charred American white oak barrels allow the whiskey to age slowly and leave behind a taste that is simply unmatched. Nothing says holiday season in the South like a pumpkin spice cocktail complete with the Crittenden Distillery’s award-winning white shine. The first sip will bring your home for the holidays, whether that is around the Christmas tree with family or bringing in the New Year with friends. The warmth of the pumpkin and

46 • December/January 2021

PUMPKIN SPICE WHITE SHINE RECIPE YIELD: 1 DRINK For the Rim: • 1 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice • 3 tbsp crushed graham crackers For the Drink: • 2 oz. Kiln Shine Pure Shine • 1 oz Kahlua • 1 ½ oz pumpkin spice creamer • 1 cinnamon stick for garnish Prepare your rocks glass by freezing for 30 minutes. Rim in the glass with a lemon slice and dip into the mixture of graham crackers and pumpkin spice. Next, put all of the liquid drink components in your glass and add ice. Stir several times to chill, then place the cinnamon stick in the glass for garnish. Enjoy! edm


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{ holiday serving }

A Guide to Hosting with Cheeses

J

BY JULIAN BRUNT

ust a few generations ago, cheese, to anyone living in the South, was a hoop cheese that you could find at the general store and buy by the pound. In 1918, Velveeta was invented in New York, and slowly made its way South, just like mac and cheese did. Velveeta was the Southern standard for years and is still popular. Over the years, with the advent of the internet, people became better informed about cheese, and demand began to grow. Grocery stores in the South began to offer more options, with cheeses both from Europe and the USA. While the majority of best-known cheeses come from Europe, times do change and cheese production in the USA has skyrocketed. Although it is unlikely that the USA will ever have the number of cheeses that Europe does, it is getting much better. France has more than three hundred recognized cheeses, and Germany and Italy are not far behind. Some of the better American cheeses include Brier Run Farm in West Virginia, Maytag Dairy Farm, Iowa, Shelburne Farms, Vermont and Vella Cheese Company in California, but that is just a small sampling. If your grocery store does not have much of a selection, a great option is the internet. Sites like I Gourmet, Fromges. com and GourmetFoodStore.com have a wide selection. I often order a glorious English farmhouse cheese called Coastal Rugged Mature Cheddar Cheese from Amazone.com. Yes, it is a bit expensive, but a pound or so goes a long way. A few of my favorite cheeses are Parmigiano Reggiano, the cheese that most experts call the king of all cheeses; Taleggio, Italy’s second most popular cheese; Gorgonzola, a lovely blue cheese; Gruyere, the best of the melting cheeses; English Stilton, another blue; Roquefort, a French blue; Explorateur, a French triple-crème cheese (75% or more butter fat); a good French Brie, which is a double crème (60-74% butterfat), Comte and Camembert from France. All of these cheeses are world renowned. If you are thinking about serving a cheese course over the holidays, here are a few suggestions. First and most importantly, always let cheese come to room temperature before serving. Putting cold cheese on the table is perhaps the worse cheese faux pas you can make. Do not buy cheeses that has been pre-sliced, it may dry out. Select three or four cheeses that you would like to serve—don’t offer cheese that is too similar to each other, such as Brie and Camembert. Go for textural contrast. A better idea is to select one of the soft ripened cheeses, a wash rind cheese that is firmer and a goat’s milk cheese. Another good idea is to select cheeses from the same country. Maybe Parmigiano with a beautiful Taleggio, and a piece of Gorgonzola.

48 • December/January 2021


Always serve a good crusty loaf of bread with cheese. Ideally, it would be locally baked and fresh, but crusty, never soft, white bread. Different wines pair better with different cheeses, but serving a wine from the same region as the cheese is a good idea. If you go for the Italian combination above, a big Italian red would be grand. Fruit always goes well with cheese. The best pairing I have ever had was the Coastal Rugged Mature Cheddar I mentioned above, with a just ripe pear. It really does make a difference. Go to the grocery store and buy the fruit that is in season and ripe. Its hard to go too wrong. I also like to serve homemade jam with a good soft cheese.

Be thoughtful when preparing a cheese course for the holidays. If you have a prickly friend coming, maybe a big, pungent blue cheese would not be such a good idea. Spend a little bit more than normal when you pair a big red wine with a cheese, or a nice white, perhaps a Bordeaux. My first choice when looking for a red to go with cheese is a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Arrange your selections on a nice serving tray. One last suggestion, the cheese course is normally served after the entrĂŠe, but before dessert. The cheese tray just might be the highlight of one of your holiday meals! edm

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Recipe Index Southern Fried Cabbage, 8

Shrimp with Spicy Chili Sauce, 38

Cranberry Plum Hand Pies, 15

Christmas Cosmos with Poached Cranberries, 39

Bourbon Glazed Ham, 22

Chestnut Praline Bread Pudding, 45

Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon and Caramelized Onions, 22

Pumpkin Spice White Shine, 46 Quick and Easy Holiday Brie, 51

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie, 22 Cheesy Onion Rolls, 37

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

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www.instagram.com/eatdrinkmississippi 50 • December/January 2021


Quick and Easy Holiday Brie

Share your recipes!

Are you looking for a simple appetizer that company will love? This melty, indulgent brie is just the starter to prep your guests’ taste buds for the main meal. Sweet, savory and rich, this dippable cheese is perfect to satisfy even the worst case of the Christmas Eve or Day snackies! Ingredients: • 1 whole brie (typically 8 oz. circle) • ¼ cup blackberries, lightly crushed/muddled • ¼ cup chopped walnuts • A pinch of fresh rosemary, chopped; whole sprig for garnish

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

Unwrap and place brie on a microwave safe serving plate. Warm it up for about one minute, longer if not soft enough in center. Don’t allow cheese to puff up! Top with crushed fruit, nuts and rosemary. Place rosemary sprig wherever you feel it looks most appealing. Serve with sturdy crackers and enjoy!

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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 blogs at www.eatsoneate.com.

December/January 2021 52 • Dec/Jan 2021

Winter Flavors BY JAY REED As Mississippi tumbles headlong from summer into winter (and maybe briefly back to summer with a day or two of fall slipping in just to make it interesting), there are questions. Will it snow this year, or will I be wearing shorts on Christmas Eve? If I make it to the Egg Bowl, will I be able to extend my summer tan? Is it okay to eat vanilla ice cream after Labor Day? And most of all—because you never know how much winter we’ll get, and we have to be prepared—what are those winter flavors I should be looking forward to? A meme I recently received suggested that the seasonal shift from hot to cold was really just a transition from a Reese’s pumpkin to a Reese’s Christmas tree. If that’s the case, I’m not against it. The great minds at Reese’s are always coming up with new ways to put their peanut butter into my chocolate—or are they putting chocolate into my peanut butter? (Truth: I don’t care which way it is, as long as it is.) This year, so far, I have discovered Reese’s Nutcrackers, which by shape promise to have a slightly higher chocolate to peanut butter ratio than some of the other holiday iterations. And they’re smaller than the trees, so I can eat more of them. Win! But that’s only part of the winter equation. What about the spice-combo-that-shall-not-be-named? Are all things pumpkin spice so last season? Although I’ve been accused of being anti-pumpkin spice (perhaps my diatribe in a previous issue contributed to that sentiment), it’s probably more accurate nomenclature to call me a “shy” fan of the oft-maligned, yet perennial flavor-of-the-fall contender In fact, I showed up to a famous donut shop one fine October afternoon expecting to buy four different varieties of advertised pumpkin-related donuts (for research, of course), only to learn that I should have come in September. Thankfully, the cake version was still around, and cake donuts are my fave, anyway. Though it may be considered more of a fall flavor, this is actually the time of year I eat/drink/sniff it the most, thanks to the clearance section. All those weird new items that are added to the “let’s-see-if-we-can-pumpkin-spice-it” menagerie every year? They show up when the Christmas foods come in and bully all the other holiday treats into a 75% off basket. And I am there for it. Here’s one thing I can tell you for sure: the flavor of winter is not fruitcake. I have a commercially available fruitcake in my refrigerator door. (The name has been withheld to protect my innocence.) It’s been there about five years at least. It may have actually made the journey from our last house. It’s the traditional kind that nobody eats—they just regift. I don’t think they ever spoil. Of course, I’ll never know that for sure, because it’s so full of nuts I’ll never eat it. (Nuts in bread, not my thing.) It’s shaped like a small brick, and could possibly serve as the same in a pinch. It looks just like it did when I put it in the door, and there is no expiration date. I kid you not. But that doesn’t mean I’m averse to other recipes in the fruitcake family—I have clipped my share from food magazines, and I just bought a bundtlette pan, so maybe this will be the year of the fruitcake. Lest you think I only eat sweets, it’s also fair to say that cold weather brings an appetite for soup and chili. I lean towards soups with greens and sausage, a good way to use kale without the massage. And rich, meaty chili with touches of cinnamon and cocoa. Oh, and Brunswick stew. Maybe even chicken and dumplings, which may not fit squarely in the soup category, but surely, it’s at least a cousin. If it’s hot, in a liquid base and served in a bowl, it’s a candidate. (remove if article does not fit on page) Ultimately, I look forward to all things chocolate and peppermint. In one bite, that is. And much like the pumpkin spice phenomenon, it seems like every year there are legions of new ways to combine those flavors. I have a habit (I won’t call it good or bad) of helping Santa fill my stocking, and I am almost always not surprised with multiple packages of candy, cookies and all manner of sweets involving peppermint and chocolate (white, dark and milk all welcome). Some turn out better than others, but rarely do any get left behind. I leave that to the fruitcake. edm


Fifth Annual

Moonlight Market Enjoy a fun-filled evening with good food, drink, friends, music, and shopping with local farmers. Cooking demonstrations will be presented by Chef Nick Wallace. All proceeds benefit Mississippi Food Network.

March 18, 21, 2021 2019 For tickets, visit www.msfoodnet.org. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53


54 • December/January 2021

Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

Eat Drink Mississippi December/January 2021  

Our December/January 2021 issue features recipes that are perfect for the holidays, City Hall Cheesecake in Southaven, Your Guide to Hosting...

Eat Drink Mississippi December/January 2021  

Our December/January 2021 issue features recipes that are perfect for the holidays, City Hall Cheesecake in Southaven, Your Guide to Hosting...

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