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Mediterranean Diet | Mississippi Vegan | SFA’s Guide to Cocktails

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops Brunswick Stew

Romantic Dinner at Home

+ V. Taco + Bentonia Bugs Crawfish + Crazy Cat Eat Up + Gitano Grill + White Pillars

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07 2018



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Come explore Mississippi’s premier wholesale show to find authentic Mississippi products. From homemade soaps to delicious toffee, we prove there is no need to look further than the great state of Mississippi to find the latest fashions, unique decor, gourmet treats, and more. Mississippi Trade Mart

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CONTENTS February/March 2018 • Volume 7 Number 2


in this issue 13 WHAT’S HOT A New Take on “Spaghetti”

16 CHEF’S CORNER Q&A with Chef Leon Jefferson of Central Station Grill in Starkville

20 SHROVE TUESDAY Pancake Suppers Mark Start of Lent

22 FOR YOUR HEALTH The Mediterranean Diet Is Good for the Heart

25 MEMORY LANE A Match Made in Hog Heaven

26 MISSISSIPPI MADE Southern Sisters Gourmet

36 PLATED First Lady Deborah Bryant Unveils New State China

40 FRESH FROM THE FARM Kin Growers Is a Family Affair

17 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 5


CONTENTS February/March 2018




Mississippi Vegan


Crazy Cat Eat Up - Jackson


Chef Dan Spices Up Indy

52 FROM THE BOOKSHELF The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails Sara Camp Milam and Jerry Slater


56 THE HILLS V. Taco - Corinth

60 THE DELTA Bentonia Bugs Crawfish - Bentonia ON THE COVER: Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake, page 34. Recipe and photography by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum

64 THE PINES Gitano Grill - Taylorsville

White Pillars - Biloxi


FEATURED EVENT Tea in the Gardens - Magee

in every issue 8 From the Publisher 10 From Our Readers 14 Fabulous Foodie Finds 18 A Taste of Magnolia 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 82 Till We Eat Again

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{ from the publisher }


ating out is one of my favorite things to do. Since I don’t have time for much else besides family activities and work, you might even say it’s a hobby of mine. I love trying out new restaurants as well as returning to long-established ones for a bite of my favorite dishes.

Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like getting out, especially if I’m going to have to wait a long time for a table. I would venture to say that the busiest night of the year in the restaurant business is probably Valentine’s Day. In years past, when our children were small, John and I would join a group of friends and caravan to a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day dinner. One year, I remember ten of us going to Nick’s in Jackson. The restaurant didn’t take reservations and since we had a large group we knew we’d be in for a long wait. We arrived when the doors opened and quickly put our name on the list. Three hours later, we were finally seated at a table. We did whatever we had to in order to have a kid-free night out.

for my support, through this magazine, of their mission to end hunger in Mississippi. I was truly flattered by the award and it’s my joy to support MFN in this way. As a volunteer in the food pantry ministry at my church, I get to see first-hand the positive impact MFN is making in our state. I can’t bear the thought of anyone going to bed hungry each and every night. You, too, can help make a difference. In addition to monetary donations, you can help in a fun way by purchasing a ticket and attending their annual Moonlight Market. You will enjoy delicious food prepared by well-known local chefs as well as browsing the many vendors at the Mississippi Farmers Market in Jackson. This year’s event is on March 22nd and I hope to see you there. Whether you choose to dine in or out on Valentine’s Day this year, enjoy the evening with your sweetheart by sharing delicious food and making memories to last a lifetime.

Now that we’re older, we wouldn’t consider waiting that long for a table. We’ve gotten smarter in our “old” age. Just the two (sometimes four) of us go out the night before and only to a restaurant that will accept a reservation. If you’d rather avoid the crowds and stay in this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered. Beginning on page 30, Lisa Bynum has put together a perfect menu for a romantic dinner at home. I was honored recently to receive the Spirit of Service Award from the Mississippi Food Network


Mississippi Food Network CEO Dr. Charles H. Beady, Jr., right, presented me with the Spirit of Service Award at their annual banquet recently.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:3


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, P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130.


Do you have a family-favorite dinner recipe? Or a favorite dish that never lasts long at get-togethers? 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.

Daily Blue Plates | Happy Hour | Lakeside Patio 361 TOWNSHIP AVE. RIDGELAND, MS 39157 | 601.707.0587  |  ANJOURESTAURANT.NET

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{ from our readers } Love this magazine. Can’t wait for the next issue. I absolutely love this magazine. Their generosity towards helping us to make agritourism across Mississippi is above and beyond. Leilani Rosenbaum Poplarville

Debbie Griffis Poole Facebook Love my magazine I got this month! I tried the recipe for the Gingerbread Steamer (October/November 2017) and it was delicious. darla_rob63 Instagram

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 for more information.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI J.J. Carney Publisher/Editor John Carney Executive Editor Paige McKay Associate Editor Anne Morgan Carney Executive Assistant Joe Luca Newsstand Sales Consultant




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

NEW ADDRESS? If you’re a subscriber and your address has changed, please let us know. The post office doesn’t provide forwarding service for the magazine and we don’t want you to miss an issue. Send your change of address to us at P.O. Box 1663, Madison, MS 39130 or e-mail us at 10 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018



b © eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or reprinted without written consent from the Publisher. Advertising rates and more information are available upon request. Subscriptions are $24 for one year and $36 for two years. Subscribe online or make checks payable to: eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI P.O. Box 1663 Madison, MS 39130

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

Red is for

every season.


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2017

- The Debutante Farmer -


It’s Time for a

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fiesta VOLUME 6, NUMBER 4

Walthall County


3720 Hardy Street, Suite 3 Hattiesburg, MS

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April/May 2017


+ McEwen’s + Ground Zero Blues Club + Betty’s Eat Shop + Phillip M’s TheMISSISSIPPI Wayward Kraken eat.+drink. •1


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Eat.Drink. FebMar 2018 MCM 4.625x4.75.pdf



2:04 PM

Fresh-From-the-Garden Recipes

BEST BURGER in Mississippi

Mississippi Seafood Trail | Berry Picking | The Great Ruleville Roast


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Gourmet Ice Pop Shops

June/July 2017


Feast Like The King in Tupelo

+ Steak by Melissa + Bellazar’s + Drago’s + Bin 612 + Jack’s by the Tracks

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Elvis-Inspired Recipes

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Palate to Palette | Gucci to Goats | The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race


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August/September 2017

+ Forklift + Downtown Grille + 303 Jefferson + 1884 Cafe + Sully’s

Crunchy Grilled Snapper Burritos

Pumpkin Palooza

Classic Southern Tomato Pie

Quickie Pie

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

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Old Biloxi French Gumbo Baked Ricotta Pasta Jambalaya

Mississippi’s Bicentennial | Backroads and Burgers | A Taste of Home Town

October/November 2017

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Short Rib Crostini Orange Slice Candy Cake Christmas Breakfast Casserole


+ On a Roll Gourmet Egg Rolls + Dino’s Grocery + Saltine Restaurant + Commodore Bob’s Yacht Club + Charred

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1


+ The Rainey + Mai Little Chinese + The Anthony + Sonny’s Smokehouse + Dempsey’s Seafood & Steak eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 11

{contributors} MARK BOEHLER is editor of the Daily Corinthian, Crossroads Magazine, Exploring Pickwick Magazine, and Pickwick Profiles weekly newspaper, which covers the Pickwick, Counce, and Shiloh, Tenn. areas. 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 SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Southern 12 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

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. PAIGE MCKAY is Associate Editor of Eat Drink Mississippi. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in communication from Mississippi State University and currently lives in Madison. She spent five months in Washington, D.C., as a Legislative and Press Intern for Representative Steven Palazzo. She returned to Mississippi to work for the magazine. In her free time, she enjoys visiting Starkville and trying out new restaurants with friends. 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 book, Mississippi and The Great Depression, was released November 13, 2017 by The History Press. Her mission as a writer and teaching artist is to help children see the beauty of words and to realize their power. 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.

{ what’s hot }

A New Take on “Spaghetti”


paghetti is a staple of many family dinner tables. But home cooks who want to veer away from traditional pasta without giving up their love of marinara can try the following, zucchini-inspired alternative to traditional spaghetti, “Z’paghetti Marinara with Shrimp.” edm

Z’paghetti Marinara with Shrimp Courtesy of Lisa Lillien’s Hungry Girl Clean & Hungry (St. Martin’s Press)

Makes 2 servings 28 ounces (about 4 medium) zucchini 8 ounces (about 16) raw large shrimp, peeled, tails removed and deveined 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1 cup Clean & Hungry Marinara Sauce (recipe follows) 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray. Using a spiral vegetable slicer, cut zucchini into spaghetti-like noodles. (If you don’t have a spiral veggie slicer, peel zucchini into super-thin strips, rotating the zucchini after each strip.) Roughly chop for shorter noodles. Place zucchini noodles in the center of the foil and top

with shrimp. Sprinkle with seasonings. Top with marinara sauce and Parmesan. Cover with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Bake for 25 minutes, or until zucchini noodles have softened and shrimp are fully cooked. Cut packet to release hot steam before opening entirely. Transfer packet contents to a large bowl, and toss to mix.

Clean & Hungry Marinara Sauce Makes 6 servings 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 188 teaspoon black pepper Combine ingredients in a large sealable container. Mix until uniform. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13

{ fabulous foodie finds }

Zeal Handy Spoon Rest, $49.95 Sur La Table


urple is often a fun color, and that stands true for this year’s Pantone Color of the Year. Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. This dramatic shade of purple adds the perfect pop of color to your home décor and kitchen accessories. edm

Crackle Collection Stemware - Stemless Wine Glass, $5.95 each; Stemmed Wine Glasses, $6.95 each Pier 1 Imports

Microplane Premium Series Zester/Grater, $14.99 Bed Bath and Beyond


Assorted Patterned Mugs, $15.00 each Redbubble

17-ounce Stainless Steel Water Bottle, Spectrum Collection, $42.00 S’well

LA Sweet Home Silicone Oven Mitts, $10.99 pair Amazon

see page 80 for store information

Farberware Colorvive 4-Piece Nonstick Copper Bakeware Set, $22.50 Walmart eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 15

{ chef’s corner }

Q&A with Chef Leon Jefferson of Central Station Grill in Starkville


hef Leon Jefferson is a graduate of Starkville High School and Gibson’s Barber and Beauty College. He was introduced to cooking at an early age while in Boy Scouts. He has a long history of working with experienced chefs: Chef Curt Chrissy, Chef Jay Yates, and Former Eat With Us Chef Carnell McGee, to name a few. He credits McGee with being a most talented chef and teaching him the importance of perfecting his cooking skills. Jefferson is constantly teaching food safety, quality, taste, temperature, and presentation. He has continued to learn more about the art of food every day since he joined the Eat With Us company in 2001. Having a very strong passion for food, he really enjoys cooking, creating, and balancing the flavors of food. While an assistant of Chef Carnell, Jefferson was introduced to cooking competitions. He participated in the United Way Souper Bowl for five years and placed second two years in a row, first two years in a row, and then second again over a five-year period. After being promoted to Executive Chef, representing the Central Station Grill in the Taste of Starkville Competition, Chef Leon won Best Festival Friendly Food in 2012, Best Taste of Starkville in 2013, Most Original in 2014, Best Taste of Starkville 2016, and Best Presentation 2017. While participating in the Starkville area Arts Council’s Forks and Corks, Chef Leon won the awards for Best Taste and Most Original in 2013, First Place in Taste in 2014, First Place in the Best of Forks & Corks in 2015, and First Place in Taste, Presentation, Originality, and Second Place in The Best of Forks & Corks in 2017. The most unique part of being a chef for Jefferson is finding the simplicity and balance of flavors. “Simplicity is often the key to perfection,” he says. His favorite dishes to prepare are seafood, seasonal produce, and steaks. Jefferson’s favorite part of being a chef is the ability to reinforce his personal and professional life. “It also gives immeasurable happiness when a delicious outcome comes out of the food you’ve prepared. A balance in everything creates great memories and future experiences,” he says. Jefferson’s skill set has earned him the title of Culinary Director of Grill Concepts, while still performing day-to-day duties as the Executive Chef of the Central Station Grill. Jefferson is married to “the beautiful and caring” Latonya. They have two kids, Jay and Kiara.


Who or what influenced you to become a chef? Boy Scouts, a host of chefs, and especially my mom! I grew up in a single parent home and everyday, no matter what kind of day she had, she would make sure dinner was served, and I had to help her! By us living on a very low budget, she became quite creative with fairly inexpensive foods. I’d memorize a few easy recipes that she’d previously prepared, and when she arrived home, I would ask her to let me help cook. And she allowed me to. This rest is history in the making! What is your favorite food memory? Winter time at my grandfather’s house when I was a kid. He would make a dish that he called “Do-Lolly,” and that dish was amazing! So comforting. The dish was his version of chili, but more savory with a hint of sweetness. Of course, I duplicated this recipe and shared it with my family. How would you describe your cooking style? I really can’t put one label on it. When your creative juices start flowing, you adapt other styles and methods to achieve a finished product that one could be proud of. But If I had to, American-Creole with a

Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chop with Butternut Squash PurÉe Serves 4 For pork chops: 1 quart water 1 yellow onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon Kosher salt 1 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons black peppercorn 2 bay leaves 2 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 tablespoon molasses 2 Luzianne tea bags 2 cups ice 4 (10-ounce) bone-in pork chops Place water in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, honey, peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, molasses, and tea bags. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Pour liquid mixture into a container with a lid. Add the ice and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cool, remove the tea bags. Add the pork chops, place the lid on the container, and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Cook the pork chops on any charcoal, gas, or wood-burning grill of choice. Cook until it reaches 145 degrees F, approximately 6 minutes on each side. Allow the pork chop to rest for five minutes before serving.

For purée: 1 butternut squash, cubed 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 ounce unsalted butter 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt 1 quart water

Southern Flare What are your signature dishes? There are a few. Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops, escorted by pureed butternut squash, arugula leaves, creamy goat cheese drizzle, dried cranberries, candied pecans and a honey-chipotle glaze; Low Country Shrimp and Grits – sautéed jumbo shrimp, bacon fat, onions, garlic, andouille sausage, and fresh spinach deglazed with a fresh tomato broth. Served over creamy smoked gouda and jalapeño grits. What’s your favorite ingredient? It’s a combination of three ingredients – bacon fat, onions, and garlic. What’s your favorite dish to prepare? All things brunch.

Place butternut squash in boiling water. Cover and cook until tender, about 16-20 minutes. Drain. Mash together with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Reserve for later use or use immediately.

What’s your favorite dish to eat? It’s a tie between bacon wrapped shrimp (smoked of course) with ginger-honey barbecue sauce and maple-glazed spare ribs. What do you enjoy doing on your days off? Spending time with my wife and kids! And getting caught up on my “Honey-Do” list. What do you enjoy cooking at home? A variety of smoked meats and seafood. When you’re not at work, where do you like to eat out? To be fair, I randomly select several “local” restaurants to dine with. It keeps it interesting. edm eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17

Taste of Magnolia a

LAURIE TRIPLETTE is a freelance food writer, curator, and accredited fine art appraiser dedicated to preserving Southern culture. The native Memphian spent almost 40 years in North Carolina before moving to Oxford in 2007, returning to her roots and summoning the ghosts of Mississippi Delta family not so past and always present. In 2015 her column, On Cooking Southern, was named one of the three top food columns across all media in the Association of Food Journalists national foodwriting competition. Her family cookbook, Gimme Some Sugar, Darlin’, received a 2012 silver Benjamin Franklin Award in the category of Regional Books, and was a QVC selection in 2013. 18 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

Beat the Ghost Season Blues With Brunswick Stew


BY laurie triplette

e’re in the home stretch of what I call the ghost season – February and March, the time often book-ended between Mardi Gras and Holy Week. It’s when the last of the oak leaves have finally fallen into a sodden mass, the most stubborn sweet gum balls have peppered the driveway, and barren tree branches begin to glow red in the late afternoon sun. That arboreal glow inspires my own corporeal sap to run as I recall childhood ghost seasons spent with family in Memphis and the Delta, and young adult ghost seasons making new memories in North Carolina. Food plays a huge role in my ghost-season recollections. Every whiff of damp wind, laden with undertones of earth and rotting leaves, sparks vivid memories of Dad’s late-winter Chicken Fricassee simmering in a cavernous Dutch oven; chicken stew or seafood gumbo bubbling on the stove beside a glowing fireplace; Aunt Sheila’s cream puffs; and Aunt Rosie’s Chinese Grocery Store Pork Roast. I’m also reminded of delicate cheese straws and tea cakes carried up like precious gold by Cousins Helen and Rose during their Holy Week pilgrimage from Vicksburg and Natchez. Those two cities remain forever linked in my mind by so much more than a river – by a season, two wonderful women, and two culinary delicacies. Uncle Wibby and Auntie Vie always joined the crowd during Easter week, inevitably bearing live gifts of ducklings, chicks, or baby rabbits for us children. Mom dreaded their generosity; Dad became friends with the Overton Park groundskeepers. After departing for school and adulthood in Piedmont, North Carolina, I accumulated new ghost-season memories. I learned how to make proper Hoppin’ John and Shrimp and Grits. Kind ladies taught me how to make Hot Cross Buns and Moravian Sugar Cake to welcome the Easter sunrise. I also journeyed frequently with friends across western North Carolina and into southern Virginia to attend community fish muddles, pig roasts, and chicken-and-dumpling dinners. Those events seemed to occur spontaneously each February and March for every fundraising need, or when neighbors just wanted to have fun after being housebound. And then, there was my first community Brunswick Stew. It was in Madison-Mayodan, a two-town mountain community near the Virginia border. It’s where I first heard the debate about where Brunswick Stew originated. Was it really first concocted in Virginia in 1828, or was it in Georgia in 1898? Both states claim it. Variations of the stew – similar to Old World hunting stews – occur throughout the Southern states, wherever white settlers, indigenous peoples, and African slaves learned to make the most of the local bounty. The stew is based on chicken, usually contains ground or pulled pork, and in some areas, beef. The traditional stew also contained wild game such as squirrels, opossums, and rabbits. Smoky flavoring and tangy cider are preferred in some areas. Depending on locale, okra or potatoes are added as thickeners. Thick is the operative word for this dish. If too thin, it’s soup, not stew. Nothing beats end-of-winter ghost-season blues better than a good Brunswick Stew. edm

BRUNSWICK STEW 48-ounce package boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 carrot 2 ribs celery 2 bay leaves, divided 1 pound package thick-sliced bacon, cubed 3 cups diced white onion (about 2 medium) 2 large cloves garlic, minced 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice 1 (22-ounce) package frozen shoepeg corn 1 (24-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans 3/4 cup ketchup 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3 tablespoons light brown sugar 3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes Tabasco or Texas Pete Hot Sauce, to taste Place chicken in large stock pot; cover with water plus about 2 inches. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, carrot, celery, and one bay leaf. Simmer about 1 hour, until chicken becomes fork tender. Remove from heat and remove carrot, celery, and bay leaf. Chop chicken, add back to stock, and bring back to a simmer on medium heat. SautĂŠ cubed bacon in large skillet until juices release. Add onion and garlic, stirring to prevent sticking until translucent. Drain surface grease and scrape skillet contents into chicken pot, stirring to mix. Add second bay leaf, Worcestershire, and tomatoes. When boiling, add corn, lima beans, ketchup,

vinegar, and brown sugar. Simmer about an hour, then stir in potatoes. Simmer another 30 minutes until liquid reduces and mixture becomes thick. Season with hot sauce to taste. Serve while hot with buttered cornbread. Yield: About 23 cups. Variation: Add 2 cups smoked pulled pork and 1 cup Lexington-style barbecue sauce.

SLOW COOKER BRUNSWICK STEW 3 tablespoons salted butter or bacon drippings 2 cups chopped onion 2 cloves garlic 1 pound ground pork 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 4 cups cooked chicken (I use light and dark meat from 2 rotisserie chickens) 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 2-1/2 cups chicken stock 1 cup frozen baby lima beans 1 cup frozen shoepeg corn 1-1/2 cups sliced okra 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 1 bay leaf 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons light brown sugar Sweat the onions and garlic in melted butter or drippings. Add pork, stirring to crumble until browned. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape into 6-quart slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and slow cook for 6 to 10 hours. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers Mark Start of Lent


by susan marquez


n the Christian faith, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. Shrove is an old English word meaning to confess one’s sins. A person is said to be “shrove,” or “shriven” once they have confessed. During Lent, which is the 40 days preceding Easter, the devout are expected to practice complete abstinence, including not eating meat, butter, eggs, or milk. The same day is often called Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday,” or Carnivale, which means “farewell to meat.” Regardless of what it’s called, that same Tuesday each year marks a time when many Christians use up what food stores they have before the solemn time of Lent. In England, frugal housewives cleaned their pantries of flour, eggs, milk, sugar, and other fattening foods, as they would spoil before the end of Lent. Since those are the very ingredients used in making pancakes, the tradition of Shrove Tuesday pancake dinners was born. In some places, the tradition of pancakes has evolved into full-blown events, with competitions involving racing with a frying pan while tossing pancakes without dropping them. In the United States, it’s common to see Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers, particularly in Episcopal churches. At Calvary Episcopal Church in Cleveland, Mississippi, the Episcopal Men’s Group hosts the annual Pancake Dinner as their annual fundraiser. The men do the cooking and between 500 and 600 tickets are sold to the event, with both dine-in and takeout options. “The community loves this event, and many of the tickets are sold at the door,” said Marcia Houser, parish administrator. “The menu includes pancakes, of course, as well as sausage, bacon, and drinks, all for just $7.00!” The syrup is flowing when the youth group hosts the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Columbus, Mississippi. Becky Brett, parish administrator, says that the church has been doing the supper as long as she can remember. “I’ve been here fourteen years, and they’ve had it each year I’ve been here.” The event draws from the church and the community as well, with an added twist of a silent auction and Bingo for prizes. “It’s their biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Brett. “And the most delicious!” Evie Vidrine, the church’s youth coordinator says that the supper is prepared by the men of the church, and the youth group decorates the table with a Mardi Gras theme, then work as servers and they clean up afterwards. “All the proceeds go to the youth fund which we use on mission trips.” The menu is simple: pancakes, bacon, breakfast sausage, and orange juice. “It’s a meal that everyone loves,” says Vidrine.

While many Episcopal parishes and churches of other denominations present pancake suppers on Shrove Tuesday, the parishioners at St. James Episcopal Church in Jackson, Mississippi have a different take on the day. “We celebrate more in the New Orleans style,” says Rector Jamie McElroy. “We serve gumbo and king cake, both very rich foods, since there will be none of that during the Lenten season. But the king cake does have a religious significance. With its brightly colored sugar or icing in purple, green, and gold, it represents the three kings who came to see the Christ child on the twelfth night, or Epiphany. Each king came bearing gifts for the child, which is where the practice of giving gifts at Christmas began. Of course, the same ingredients used to make pancakes, flour, sugar, milk, and eggs, are used in the making of king cake. So while we don’t eat pancakes at our Shrove Tuesday supper, we are basically doing the same thing of using up fatting foods before Lent.” In places like Amsterdam, pancakes are not necessarily sweet. Made as more of a crepe, the pancakes take on a more savory flavor with the addition of cheese and ham and they are traditionally served with beer. edm

Cheese, Corn, and Bacon Pancakes from Robin Hood© Flour

1/3 cup cornmeal 1/3 cup boiling water 1-1/4 cups pancake mix 1 cup water 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese 1/2 cup corn kernels 1/2 cup diced cooked bacon (8 slices) 2 tablespoons chopped green onion Preheat skillet or griddle to medium-high heat. Pour boiling water over cornmeal. Set aside. Combine pancake mix and water, mixing until smooth. Add cornmeal mixture, mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook pancakes as directed on package using about 1/4 cup batter for each. Can substitute cooked sausage or ham instead of bacon. Serve with salsa for a real treat. Add a green salad, green beans, or coleslaw to make the meal complete.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21

{ for your health }

The Mediterranean Diet Is Good for the Heart by janette tibbetts


s anything better than bacon? When our cardiologist, Dr. Lovejoy, said, “I want you on the Mediterranean diet,” my first thought was “Does he really expect us to give up bacon?” I was aware of the Mediterranean people’s heart-healthy lifestyle, longevity, and high level of energy, even into their ninth and tenth decades. Although it has recently been rated the number one diet by U.S. News & World Report, I was quick to defend our bulkier builds and slower paces with, “We come from generations of Southerners with an acquired taste for fried chicken and catfish, field peas with ham hocks, and French fries.” However, the more we listened, read, and cooked, we discovered that olive oil-infused fresh Mississippi produce seasoned with garlic and herbs creates a delicious healthy cuisine without adding salt. We have adjusted to only baking


cakes and cookies for special occasions, and to choose fresh fruit with poppy seeds for desserts. We start our day with steel cut oats cooked with an apple. Lunch is seldom more than a fresh green salad dressed with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, fresh herbs, and celery seed, or orange and grapefruit sections on lettuces. Dinner is usually chicken soup or grilled salmon with broccoli. Adjusting to the Mediterranean diet often includes serving breakfast on my best china and further adverting my husband, Jon’s, attention away from the absence of hot biscuits with butter, bacon, eggs, and grits by setting one of his prize orchids on the table. Yes, bacon is delicious, but feeling great and processing robust energy is even better. edm

Steel Cut Oats Although I’ve heard all the debates about how to cook steel cut oats, from overnight in a slow cooker to stand over the pot and stir for 15-minutes, I have found the following directions to be the best and easiest method. 3 cups water 1/4 teaspoon olive oil 2 cups cored and chopped Winesap apples 1 cup steel cut oats 1/4 cup blueberries Organic no sugar added apple juice Bring water to rolling boil over high heat in heavy boiler with lid. Add olive oil, apples, and oats . Return to boiling point. Place lid on container. Remove from heat and allow oats to rest 10 minutes before serving with blueberries and a glass of apple juice.

What is the Mediterranean Diet? The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and lean sources of animal protein. It’s low in red meat and other saturated fats, and it contains few processed foods or refined sugars. It also includes alcohol in moderation – traditionally, wine with meals – and encourages sitting down to meals as a family

or a group, as opposed to rushing them on-the-go. It’s based on the traditional diet of those in Mediterranean countries, such as Italy in Spain. Fruits and vegetables are front and center, rather than a typical American meal of meat and potatoes or meat and pasta.

Why is it good for you? This diet has been linked to several health benefits over the years. Studies have found that people who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to develop cardiovascular

disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and breast cancer. Research also shows that this diet may help treat acid reflux and improve cholesterol levels.

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Start the Year Off on a Mediterranean Foot P

eppers play a significant role in the Mediterranean diet, providing nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium, while also giving meals a fresh boost of flavor. Long touted for its health benefits, the Mediterranean diet has piqued the interest of men and women looking to get healthy. Those who want a meal with a little Mediterranean flare should try this “Mediterranean Beef Ragoût”.

Mediterranean Beef Ragoût from Judith Finlayson’s The Healthy Slow Cooker (Second Edition) (Robert Rose)

Makes 8 servings 2 pounds trimmed stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 onions, chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns 1 cup beef stock 1/2 cup dry red wine 1 (14-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, including juice 2 bay leaves 2 roasted red bell peppers, thinly sliced, then cut into 1-inch pieces 1/2 cup sliced pitted green olives 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and cook, stirring, adding more oil as necessary, until browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware as completed. Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook, stirring, until onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add cumin, thyme, lemon zest, if using, salt, and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add beef stock, wine, tomatoes with juice, and bay leaves and bring 24 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

to a boil. Add to slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until mixture is bubbly and beef is tender. Stir in roasted peppers, olives, and parsley. Cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, until peppers are heated through. Discard bay leaves. Note: This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Heat oil and complete step 2. Refrigerate overnight for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete steps 1 and 3.

{ memory lane }

A Match Made in Hog Heaven by janette tibbetts


hile physicians and dietitians disdain the thought, it is easy for me to understand how cured bacon and ham, as well as greens seasoned with ham hocks and chicken fried in lard, became mainstays of many Southerners’ daily fare. During the early 1940s, harvesting pork on a cold winter day was still a normal event to provide nourishment for families as well as an occasion to celebrate our culture. These uniquely rural days were usually held on Saturdays when school was out and the children and young people were free to participate. Before daylight, neighboring farmers and their sons riding in trucks and wagons loaded with squealing hogs and firewood started arriving at the spring behind my grandparents’ farm. Their wives and daughters came later in the morning. My mother and grandmother welcomed the women and girls inside their spacious log home. The women brought bowls of potato salad and baskets of hot baked sweet potatoes oozing with butter. They lined their heavy pots of vegetables along the edges of the wrought-iron wood-burning stove and stacked platters of cornbread on top of them to keep warm. Grandmother opened the door to her cooler dining room and her guests placed their coconut, chocolate, and applesauce cakes, as well as a variety of pies, beside the ones she and my mother had baked. The women sat around the kitchen table and visited until it was time to fix the men’s dinner plates. The girls gathered near the warm hearth in the big room. Because I didn’t have a boyfriend, I had nothing to add to the other girls’ conversations and wandered back into the kitchen where I soon tired of the women’s gossip on impending marriages and new babies. My favorite time was when the young men came to the back door of the kitchen to pick up plates and carry them to their fathers who were busy

with the butchering. William, a neighbor’s son, always smiled and winked at me when he came to the door. After the men just standing by the fire or sitting on stumps had eaten their lunch, the boys returned the empty plates and were handed their own meal. William and two other boys sat in the sun on the back doorsteps to eat while the women and girls served our own plates and ate at the dining room table. I would have much preferred eating with the boys on the back door steps, but didn't ask after the year I started out the kitchen door with my plate and Mother frowned and shook her head at me. As the women were washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen, the girls went outside and played, “Hello, Hello, I’m Sending the Ball Over.” We divided into two teams. Each team stood out of sight on either side of the smokehouse and a point was scored by the opposing team if they managed to catch the ball. Our team was ahead until the rubber ball that must have been coming toward me actually hit the tip of the tin roof and bounced off of the back end of the smokehouse and rolled down the hill. I ran to find it! There was William! He had been chipping green hickory to spread over the red coals and create the amorous smoke. William chased the ball down the hill and was running it back toward me. It was early February and I had just turned 12. He held onto the ball as he reached out to hand it to me. While we stood in the holler behind the smokehouse with our fingers touching, he asked if I would be his Valentine. I said, “Sure,” and he kissed me on my cheek and released the ball. I was so weak I could barely run back up the hill. I did not tell Mother, but the spot of my first kiss zinged for days and I feared she could see what I was still feeling. edm

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{ mississippi made }

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP: Red Jalapeño Pepper Jelly Gourmet Gumbo Egg Custard Pie Chicken Salad


Pictured from left are Kay Keith Allison, Claire Keith Easley, co-owners of Southern Sisters Gourmet; and Nancy Reeves, of Fayette, Alabama, who was their first wholesale customer.

Southern Sisters Make Cooking Effortless A

story by paige mckay | photography courtesy of kay keith allison

lways close as sisters, Kay Keith Allison and Claire Keith Easley decided to become business partners following their retirement from the field of education. The sisters realized the need for time-saving, nutritious, and delicious foods that could be served as a weeknight meal for families, or for easy and elegant entertaining. To make meal preparation easier, all products require completion by the final consumer, who will add one or two final wet ingredients to

finish, thus making them the real gourmet chef in their own homes. When it comes to the creation of Southern Sisters Gourmet, the sisters combined their two passions into one. Claire has always loved cooking, baking, and creating food since she was a child. Kay has a talent for photography, design, and all things computer related. Claire’s husband, Bill, suggested the name “Southern Sisters” and Kay added eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27

the “Gourmet.” So, Claire is the Product Developer for the company while Kay is in charge of all aspects of marketing. The product line-up includes Main Dishes, Sweets and Confections, Sweet and Savory Dips/ Cheese Balls/ Salads/ Spreads, BBQ Rubs, Snacking Crackers, Pickling Mixes, Jams/ Jellies/Preserves/ Fruit Butters, and Breakfast and Brunch. All products are all natural and contain no preservatives, and the shelf life on most products is three years, except for those containing pecans, and the shelf life on those is approximately six to nine months. Many of the recipes used are adapted from the kitchens of Kay and Claire’s parents, grandmother, and aunt, and some are even named in honor of family members. Their dad loved spices and he was fond of pickling everything, so they named ‘Daddy’s Hot & Spicy Pickling Mix’ after him. Their grandmother was an excellent cook and they have adapted both her Chocolate Cobbler and Egg Custard Pie recipes for use with Southern Sisters Gourmet. Their mother and aunt pickled and canned often, so two of the pickling mixes are named after them, too. The Keith family also served Pineapple Garlic Onion Cheese Ball and Spread, and that is now one of the best sellers for the sisters. They will eventually add Sweet Pineapple Garlic Onion Cheese Ball and Spread


Potato Loaf to the product line-up in honor of Vardaman, Mississippi, being the sweet potato capital of the world. When Kay and Claire are thinking about what new products to release, they try to make it a multi-use product. For instance, the Pineapple Garlic Onion can be served as a scrumptious cheese ball or as a spread on turkey or deli roast beef sandwiches. The Lemon-Dill can be served as a dip, a butter sauce for grilled chicken, or even a dressing. The best seller, Southern Chicken Salad, can be served as a cheese ball, a main dish, or as an hors d’oeuvre. As for the future for these sisters, they plan to continue to create and market delicious and easily-prepared food products. The two have several things in the planning stages, such as a section of regional spices and a gourmet meal box. They recently introduced Pecan Crusted Catfish, Mississippi Hush Puppies with Bell Peppers, Dill Tartar Sauce, Sweet Potato Loaf, and Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread Biscuits. Southern Sisters Gourmet products can be found in approximately 300 stores across the southeast, and even in New Mexico, South Dakota, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. To see where you can find Southern Sisters Gourmet products near you, visit edm

Bin 612 boasts a cafe-like atmosphere popular with college students and locals alike. The Bin’s menu offers an eclectic blend of pizzas, panini, burgers and more made with fresh local ingredients.


Showcase your restaurant here!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Contact Paige McKay to reserve your space! 601.427.5694

Serving Jackson for Over 10 Years

• •

Lunch served Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Dinner served Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. 1491 Canton Mart Rd. Ste. 12, Jackson 601.957.1441


Southern-Inspired. Seasonally-Crafted. Devilishly Good.

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Romantic Dinner ~  at Home  ~ By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum


reating your special someone to a romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day is a nice gesture. However, it can also be a hassle. Reservations, crowds, not to mention the


bill. Why not dine in this Valentine’s Day? Impress your date with a homecooked meal that’s every bit as delicious as your favorite fine dining restaurant. edm

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Ribeye Steaks with Horseradish Mustard Sauce


Ribeye Steaks with Horseradish Mustard Sauce Serves 2 For the Steak Marinade: 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 2 (14-ounces each) boneless rib eye steaks Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste For the Horseradish Mustard Sauce: 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 cup buttermilk 1 tablespoon sour cream 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper plus more to taste 1/2 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

Combine the first five ingredients in a glass dish or large resealable plastic bag. Add the steaks and turn to coat on both sides. Marinate steaks in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but no more than eight hours. Bring steaks to room temperature just before cooking. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Place steaks on a hot grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side for rare (110 degrees F). For medium-rare steaks, slide the steaks to one side of the grill away from direct heat and grill for an additional 7-8 minutes until the steak’s internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F. Let steaks rest for 10 minutes on a cutting board, loosely covered with foil. Just before serving, drizzle with horseradish mustard sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Store any left sauce in an airtight container. Sauce will keep up to a week.

Creamed Spinach Au Gratin Serves 6 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 small clove garlic, minced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1-3/4 cups heavy cream or whole milk 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese Preheat broiler. Heat butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Gradually add the flour one tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium low. Slow add the heavy cream or whole milk. Whisk constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until milk mixture has thickened. Stir in spinach, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Transfer creamed spinach to an oven safe casserole dish. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top. Broil a few minutes from the element until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

Creamed Spinach au Gratin eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 33

Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake Serves 8 For the cheesecake: 1 cup Champagne or sparkling wine 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 14 whole crackers) 2 cups sugar, divided 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk 2 tablespoons cornstarch 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 egg yolks For topping: 1-1/2 pints fresh strawberries, washed and hulled 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips 1 teaspoon shortening, divided 1/3 cup white baking chips Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bring Champagne or sparkling wine to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup, approximately 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. In a separate bowl, combine cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Spread sliced strawberries over the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Add condensed milk, cornstarch, and Champagne. Add eggs and egg yolks. Beat on low until combined. Pour mixture over strawberries. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in aluminum foil. Place pan on a baking sheet with sides or in a roasting pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven. Fill the outer pan with about 1/2-inch of hot water. Close the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hours and 20 minutes, or until the center is set. Turn off the oven, but do not remove the cheesecake. Crack the oven door and allow the cheese cake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour. Afterwards, remove the cheesecake, carefully run a knife account the edge of the pan, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove sides of springform pan. Slice remaining strawberries arrange them over top of the cheesecake. In a microwave or double boiler, melt white chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon shortening. Stir until smooth then drizzle over strawberries. Repeat melting and drizzling with milk chocolate chips and remaining shortening.


Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 35

PLATED: First Lady Deborah


Bryant Unveils New State China STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum


inner guests at the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion will have the privilege of being among the first to dine on a new set of china recently acquired by First Lady Deborah Bryant. The pattern features the new Mississippi state seal, which was modified in 2014 to include the words, “In God We Trust.” Governor Phil Bryant petitioned state legislature to amend the state seal shortly after taking office in 2012. “One of Phil’s and the legislature’s greatest accomplishments since he has been governor was adding ‘In God We Trust’ to the state seal. Since that day, I have wanted to update the china at the Governor’s Mansion so that it had a pattern with the new state seal,” Mrs. Bryant said. “This state’s bicentennial anniversary, coinciding with the 175th anniversary of the Mansion being occupied seems like the perfect timing to make that happen.” Bryant raised the money through various fundraising endeavors so that the 75-place settings could be purchased without using taxpayer money. “I found that people were very excited to be a part of something that would be a part of the Mansion’s history,” Bryant added. Selecting the new pattern was a process that took years to finalize. The Governor’s Mansion currently has two other china

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37

Mississippi's First Lady Deborah Bryant 38 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

patterns on hand – a gold and cream pattern purchased during the Fordice administration and a red and gold pattern acquired during the Barbour administration. However, both patterns feature the old state seal. Bryant wanted the new pattern to coordinate with these pieces. She worked closely with the Mansion staff, the Governor’s Mansion Foundation Board, and Ben Rogers of Persnickety in Madison. Bryant chose to purchase china made by Pickard, not only for its affordability, but its durability. “I chose to purchase china made by Pickard because that is the company that made the cream and gold china purchased during the Fordice administration. I know how well it has withstood the test of time and that the Governor’s Mansion continues to have a good relationship with the company,” said Bryant. Ultimately, Bryant ended up choosing settings in different

coordinating patterns. The dinner plate, salad plate, and butter plate are comprised of Pickard’s Washington pattern, while the charger, dessert plate, cup and saucer, creamer and saucer are Palace Royale. The salad bowl is Gold Bracelet Tulip. Both the Washington and Palace Royale patterns feature a cobalt band accented by gold trim. A large, full-color version of the new state seal is prominently displayed in the center of the chargers. A smaller, gold seal accents the rest of the pieces. The settings coordinate beautifully with Mansion’s silver, which has been in use since the 1980s. The Governor’s Mansion hosts a wide array of events ranging from State dinners, receptions, and luncheons. Guests include state, national and international officials and business leaders, authors, artists, musicians, and various local and worldrenowned celebrities. edm

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{ fresh from the farm }

Kin Growers

Is a Family Affair



story by paige mckay photography by paige mckay and courtesy of kin growers

From left, Mary Patton Murphy, Sally Rutherford, Clara the Cow, Lila Murphy, and Emma Grace Rutherford. Need a little more info here.

olling Fork: many have heard of it, but not many have ventured out to the small, Delta community. For the Rutherford family, it’s home to their family and their farm, Kin Growers. Owned by Mindy and Bill Rutherford, along with their son and business partner, Will, Kin Growers is spread out over nearly 3,700 acres of farm land and is home to beef cows, dairy cows, chickens, goats, and several different row crops. Kin Growers came to be whenever Bill’s father bought the land many years ago, and Bill and Mindy eventually took over. Now, Kin Growers has been serving their community and surrounding areas since 1971, and there is no end in sight. Their children and grandchildren also play key roles in the success of Kin Growers as they lend a helping hand in every aspect, whether it’s in the dairy or with the crops. Upon arrival to Kin Growers, several cows and Lucky the farm dog greet each visitor, and at the end of the driveway is the dairy and Farm Store, along with the herd of Jersey cows and several chickens. Though it looks small from the outside, the tasks that are taken on at Kin Growers are far from small. A typical day on the farm starts with milking the dairy cows bright and early around 6 a.m. Libby Durst, a long-time family friend of the Rutherfords and employee at Kin Growrs, oversees all aspects of the dairy. She milks in the morning and Mindy typically milks in the afternoon. Libby is also in charge of the pasteurization process of the milk. Kin Growers is only one of seven farms in the state that does what the Rutherfords do; they are what’s called a producer-processor, and they pasteurize the milk right there on the farm. The milk from Kin Growers is a bit different from milk you may get at your local grocery, and that’s because the eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 41

Rutherfords use Jersey cows for milking. The milk from Jersey cows has a higher butterfat content than milk that comes from the black and white Holstein cows, so the milk is a little bit richer and of better quality. The dairy has only been open at Kin Growers for around two years now, but they have been successful in getting their milk into several restaurants and businesses throughout Rolling Fork, Jackson, and Vicksburg. Jackson metro area restaurants that use Kin Growers milk in their kitchens include Sal & Mookie’s, Babalu, Table 100, and The Strawberry Café. It’s even served in the cafeteria at local schools, such as MadisonRidgeland Academy, Jackson Prep, and Sharkey-Issaquena Academy. With the help of their daughter, Jenny, and employee, Cameron, the Rutherfords are able to distribute milk throughout the area about three times a week. Along with milk, the Rutherfords also produce beef and pork products, such as hamburger meat, roasts, steaks, pork chops, sausage, and bacon. They feed steers from their herd, Mississippi State Meat Lab processes the meat, and the meat is then sold at the Farm Store at Kin Growers. None of the meat products are sold in stores, so people are encouraged to take a trip to Rolling Fork and purchase it right off the farm. Customers will be greeted at the gate by the several cows roaming the land, and they are encouraged to drive up to the Farm Store, take what they need, and leave their payment in a 42 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43

basket. While it might seem out of the way for some people to take a trip to Rolling Fork to get meat and milk, Mindy guarantees that once you try it that first time, you’ll become a return customer. Even though it’s cold and dreary now, the Rutherfords will soon start gearing up for spring, which is when they will begin planting row crops, such as soybeans, corn, and the usual summer vegetables. Springtime is also a fun time at the farm because several schools take field trips to Kin Growers. When summertime comes, Libby will take meat and vegetables to the Greenwood Flea Market to sell, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables will be available at the Farm Store, too. There’s no doubt that it’s a family affair at Kin Growers, and no task could be complete without the help of all members of the family. As for the future for Kin Growers, Mindy said that they are looking into making cheese and heavy cream at some point, and, of course, keep the meat and dairy production up. The Rutherfords encourage everyone to take a trip to Kin Growers and experience the farm life, and maybe even leave with a couple gallons of milk and a few pounds of beef. edm Kin Growers 281 Council Bend Rd., Rolling Fork 662.873.7627 44 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

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{ in the bloglight }


story by paige mckay photography by timothy pakron

o some, going vegan may seem a little scary and almost impossible, especially living in the South, but for Timothy Pakron, being a now 10-year vegan is his passion, along with being a chef, food stylist, and food photographer. Having spent the last six years in New York City, he discovered that his love for visual art is what led him down the path to becoming a chef and food stylist/photographer, and he is also working on a cookbook that is set to release later this fall. Pakron, a self-proclaimed cook, artist, and storyteller, grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and has also lived in South Carolina and Georgia. So, even though his recipes are vegan-friendly, they certainly are not lacking in flavor and Southern flare. His common goal when it comes to cooking is to incorporate Cajun, Creole, and Southern-inspired ideas into his recipes since that’s what he grew up eating. He also focuses on using local and seasonal produce that he forages or grows. Pakron has been cooking since his teenage years, and later started adding his artistic flare into his food preparation, which is what led him to food styling and photography. “My mama taught me how to make gumbo when I was 15,” Pakron said. “That really showed me the foundation of how to cook: layering flavors, using loads of seasoning, and creating something with love and care. Once I started applying my artistic flare into preparing food, it all fell into place.” Pakron said that once people became interested in what he was creating, that fueled him to keep producing more content and strengthening his style. All of his work is featured on his website,, along with his Instagram account, @mississippivegan. Pakron is responsible for all recipes and photography on his website, and even shares his travel adventures. You can even search his playlists on the website. Pakron says he enjoys displaying his work in all forms for all to see. “I love sharing my creativity in different forms,” Pakron said. “My cookbook will be a culmination of all forms. My Instagram account serves the same function, while also being more of a live journal, and my gallery is the more curated photographic portfolio.” While Pakron’s website and blog give a glimpse into his life and what he’s up to in the kitchen, his cookbook will offer even more insight into veganism, while also shedding a positive light on what Mississippi has to offer, he says. Even though he spent the last few years in New York, Pakron has since relocated back to Mississippi to work on this cookbook. It’s been his most recent endeavor and main focus. He handled every aspect from food styling, prop styling, photography, and recipe development. “My cookbook will have over 125 recipes and will explore the undercurrent of veganism that already exists within 46 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

Southern food,” Pakron said. “It also brings awareness to the fact that vegan food is food, too, and it can be just as delicious and awesome as traditional food. I mean, watermelon, okra, sweet potatoes, pecans, and black-eyed peas are vegan, aren’t they?” While all the recipes are, of course, vegan, Pakron said that the most important ingredient is creativity. “I love arranging and organizing thoughts, ideas, compositions, and bringing beauty to the surface,” he said. “It’s my natural instinct.” Not only does Pakron have a jam-packed year ahead with his cookbook release and other activities in between, but he will also host several private workshops throughout the year. He offers food styling workshops in San Francisco, a photography adventure in Hilo, Hawaii, and even several private workshops in his Jackson studio between March and May of this year. The Jackson workshop is designed to show students how Pakron works behind the scenes when it comes to cooking, styling, shooting, and editing when it comes to his cookbook and website and Instagram content. He will also be filming his online cooking school that will be available on his website. Be on the lookout for Pakron’s cookbook later this year, available where all books are sold this fall. For more information and delicious, vegan recipes, be sure to visit Pakron’s website at Registration for workshops can also be found online. edm

bruschetta Make 2 servings 2 slices sourdough bread, 1/2-inch or slightly thinner if desired 2 large or 3 small garlic cloves 3 tablespoons olive oil plus a drizzle 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 1/2 teaspoon mellow white or chickpea miso 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, not packed 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, not packed 1 cup fresh basil, not packed Splash of lemon juice, about 1/2 teaspoon Fresh pepper and sea salt, to taste In a mortar and pestle*, add the garlic, olive, oil, nutritional yeast, and a just a pinch of salt and pepper and mash until you are left with a smooth paste. Spread the mash evenly over both sides of bread slices, coating

every square inch of each side. Bring a skillet to medium heat and grill the bread on each side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown, checking often to make sure not to burn. Once removed from the skillet, spread a paper thin amount of the miso on only the top of each piece of toast. For the topping, finely chop all of the fresh herbs and add them to a mixing bowl along with the tomatoes, splash of olive oil and lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and spoon onto toast. Serve immediately. *If you do not have a mortar and pestle, just finely mince the garlic, smash it with the side of your knife, mince some more, and add that to the oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and mix well. Tip: Place the loaf of bread in the fridge for a few hours before slicing. This makes the bread hard and much easier to cut.

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{ from mississippi to beyond }


Chef Dan Spices Up Indy By Kathy K. Martin


aniel Carter wasn’t a typical 10-year-old boy growing up in Greenville, Mississippi. Instead of spending most of his time playing outside or hanging out with friends, he was hanging out in the kitchen with his grandma, Dorothy Brady. “My grandmother was my mentor, pastor, best friend, and one of the greatest chefs I’ve ever known.” This heartfelt connection to his family and food led Carter to pursue a culinary path 30 years ago that has taken him to New Orleans, Tunica, and Memphis, with traveling chef work in Toronto and cities in California and Michigan before opening his own restaurant and catering business in Indianapolis, Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort, about nine years ago. Today, he is known throughout the Indianapolis area for his Southern-style food. Customers flood his restaurant for his spicy Cajun pasta and homemade banana pudding. “People say I have the most authentic Southern food they’ve ever tasted,” says Carter of the response to his Mississippi Delta and Louisiana bayou cuisine. His food exemplifies his Southern heritage and pays tribute to his now deceased grandmother and the many cooking lessons he learned from her. She grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana, so Carter says that he learned a perfect blending of pure Southern and traditional

Cajun cooking from her. “For me,” he says, “it was about learning and paying attention.” While he used to create paintings and other art as a child, he saw his time in the kitchen with his grandmother as a creative endeavor that challenged him and satisfied his desire to create and express himself through food. His grandma picked figs from the fig trees in her yard and then baked fresh fig pies. She also made preserves with ingredients from her extensive garden that yielded a bounty of squash, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. “Everything she made was earth-grown and fresh from the garden.” Carter’s first job was as a dishwasher at age 13. He worked his way up to kitchen manager by age 17. By the time he was a senior in high school, he managed the kitchen of Prime Steer Steakhouse in Greenville. He says that he learned so much from that job. With support from the restaurant’s owner, Janis Smith, Carter was encouraged to pursue his culinary degree through Paul Prudhomme’s school in New Orleans. “Attending school showed me that I knew the recipes and cooking, but just needed to learn the culinary terms and techniques and become certified.” After school, he opened restaurants in three different casinos in Greenville and then spent four years at the Grand

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49

Casino in Tunica. He returned home to Greenville for about a year and then visited Indianapolis, where a childhood friend was stationed in the Army. It was during this visit that he became enamored by all of the restaurants there and fell in love with the city. He was able to land a job right away as a kitchen manager at O’Charley’s, followed by a management job at a bakery before he began working at the downtown Marriott. While cooking for the Indianapolis Colts as the executive sous chef at the Indianapolis Convention and RCA Dome, he also managed meal preparation for the inauguration dinner for George W. Bush in Washington, D.C. This job enabled him to travel and cook for a variety of special events. A facility with a cafeteria became available in 2009, and he won the bid as caterer and began his company, AlliCarte Catering, and two years later, he

added a food truck to the business. Some of his favorite dishes to prepare are the classics from his youth, such as chicken and sausage jambalaya, gumbo, and red beans and rice. He also enjoys creating classic Southern desserts such as bread pudding and beignets for his featured desserts. While he misses family members who still live in Greenville, especially his mother, he sees Indianapolis as his home now. He hopes to continue his restaurant and catering business there and then branch out with other locations in Ohio and Illinois. Of course, Greenville is also on his list of places for another restaurant. If that becomes a reality, his dream will come full circle. edm

Chef Dan's Red Beans & Rice 2 cups of dry red kidney beans 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup of onions, diced 1 cup of celery, diced 1-1/2 cups diced tomatoes 1-1/2 pounds andouille sausage 2 tablespoons thyme 2 tablespoons sage 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning Salt and pepper, to taste 1 gallon veggie stock


1 cup tomato paste 1 pound cooked rice Soak beans according to directions on package. In sauté pot, heat vegetable oil. Add onions, celery, tomatoes, sausage, and seasonings. Sauté until vegetables are soft. Add veggie stock and beans. Bring to a boil; then simmer until beans are done, about 20-30 minutes. Add tomato paste for thickening. Serve over rice.



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

DONATE NOW! Every $1.00 donated provides seven meals to hungry Mississippians.





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{ from the bookshelf }

The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails By Sara Camp Milam and Jerry Slater Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee Published by University of Georgia Press


by paige mckay

hen it comes to making cocktails at home, it’s easy to get stuck on making the same thing over and over because you either don’t have ingredients for anything else, or you don’t know where to start when it comes to making a new concoction. With the help of The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails, you can become the best new mixologist in town and impress your friends with your cocktail-making skills. Authors Sara Camp Milam, Jerry Slater, and their slew of contributors know a thing or two about cocktails. Milam is a former associate editor of the Oxford American and currently serves as the Southern Foodways Alliance’s managing editor. Slater is renowned for his hospitality and spirits expertise. A longtime Southern Foodways Alliance member, he has experience in hospitality and management, and has gained accolades for his beverage programs at such venues as The Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, One Flew South, and H. Harper Station. Their hope for this cocktail guide is to bridge the gaps between culture, history, and the practice of drinking in the South. Guide to Cocktails is 178 pages full of drinks, ranging anywhere from Brandy Milk Punch to Lowcountry Juleps and Watermelon Sangria. No matter what kind of liquor you prefer, you’re guaranteed to find a drink or two that will become your new go-to cocktail. The guide starts with chapter one, “Day Drinking.” This section is loaded with drinks that are perfect for sipping on during the day and that aren’t too heavy. Harry’s Bloody Mary, Pimm’s Cup, and a Ruby Slipper, to name a few, are some of the choices you can find in this section. All of the recipes are very specific and guide the creator step-by-step to ensure the best 52 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

outcome and a delicious drink. If you love Champagne or sparkling wine, chapter three is for you: “Top with Bubbles.” All of the drinks in this section involve Champagne or sparkling wine or cider as an ingredient. Once the cold weather moves out and things start to warm up, the “Have Fun with Your Drink” section is perfect for warm days, with drinks ranging from a Hurricane to a Classic Daiquiri. Guide to Cocktails has a wide variety of drinks to choose from, all using different liquors and ingredients. Some drinks are simple, while others have several ingredients that you might not have even heard of, but they’re all sure to be equally delicious. Whether it’s a fancy dinner party or relaxed night at home, you will absolutely find the perfect drink for any occasion. Of course, no cocktail party is complete without a snack. Guide to Cocktails also offers recipes for a variety of Cocktail Bites, courtesy of Chef Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford. Bhatt shares some of his favorite bites to go along with tasty cocktails, such as Catfish Rillettes, Deviled Pickled Eggs, Spicy Crunchy BlackEyed Peas, and Snackbar Pimento Cheese. Along with food and drinks, there’s even a section set aside that highlights different tools that will come in handy for mixing different drinks. The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails offers everything you need to become your own bartender. It can be intimidating going to restaurants and watching bartenders make drinks with such ease, but it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Just take a few tips from The Southern Foodways Alliance and you could be the next best mixologist among your friends and family. edm

Chef Bhatt’s Sweet Potato, Ham, and Cheese Biscuits are delicious served with his Pear Jam, as pictured. The recipe for the jam is included in the book.

sweet potato, ham, and cheese biscuits by Chef Vishwesh Bhatt of Snackbar in Oxford

Bhatt and his Mississippi in-laws share a love of sweet-salty flavor combinations. Every year at Thanksgiving, his father-inlaw makes a casserole of baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon, brown sugar, and chopped bacon. That dish inspired these biscuits. So did the high-holy appetizer of the Southern hostess: biscuits with country ham. For this recipe, Bhatt put the ham in the biscuit dough. You can thank him next time you see him. Makes approximately 28 biscuits 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed 1/2 cup finely diced country ham 1 jalapeño, seeded if desired, minced 1 tablespoon orange zest 3/4 cup mashed sweet potato, chilled 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 1 whole egg 1/3 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in the ham, jalapeño, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweet potato, cheese, egg, and buttermilk. Fold into the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and fold it over on itself 6 to 8 times. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out 2-1/2-inch rounds. Reroll and cut until all dough is used. Place biscuits on a sheet pan just touching each other Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden. Remove to a rack to cool. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53

{ raise your glass }

French 75 from The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails

Makes 1 (5-1/2-ounce) cocktail 1-1/2 ounces gin 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 ounce simple syrup 3 ounces chilled Champagne Place gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake. Strain into cracked-ice-filled Collins glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with lemon spiral. (Alternatively, lose the ice and serve in a Champagne flute or coupe.)


Bentonia Bugs

V. Taco



The Hills The Delta Gitano Grill Taylorsville

The Pines Crazy Cat Eat Up Jackson

White Pillars


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.



eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55

The Hills

V. Taco 512 Cruise St., Corinth • 662.872.3313 •


story and photography by Mark Boehler

ohn Mabry is a good listener. Customers kept asking the executive chef of the popular Vicari Italian Grill in downtown Corinth to bring a Mexican-style “build your own taco bar” to town. Mabry traveled the country and learned what was working in other cities. V. Taco was born on December 1, 2016 – right next door to Vicari. “This is out of guest requests,” said Mabry, who earned a hospitality management degree from the University of Tennessee. “People kept asking us to do something of this

Burrito bowls, quesadillas, or nachos – you can build whatever you want at V. Taco. There are also three dips from which to choose. 56 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

nature.” Mabry’s V. Taco plan at 512 Cruise Street is very simple. “We have to do everything fresh every day,” said the chef, who was culinary trained at LaMirande in the Provence region of France. “And everything is built by the customer.” A huge menu board guides patrons in the V. Taco experience. First, pick a taco (flour or corn tortilla), burrito (wheat or white tortilla), burrito bowl, quesadilla, salad, or nachos. Second, pick a meat. Offerings include marinated chicken, fajita steak, BBQ brisket, shredded pork, fried shrimp, fried

The Hills

John Mabry, executive chef at Vicari Italian Grill and Cruise Street Market in downtown Corinth, opened V. Taco on Dec. 1, 2016.

chicken, grilled tilapia, or chorizo. Now comes the tough decision — the toppings, of which there are 30 choices. “You just tell us what you want and we build it,” said Mabry. Toppings include what one would expect in Mexican cuisine — Mexican rice, black or pinto beans, three salsas, pico de gallo, shredded jack cheese, fresh jalapeños, cilantro, onions, and guacamole. But the list goes on — fresh romaine lettuce, fresh spinach, sour cream, black olives, bacon, fresh corn, green bell peppers, and diced tomatoes. Not enough meat? For a small fee, customers can ask for

more. Can’t decide what to do? “We also have a taco menu,” noted the chef. “It is some we recommend.” Of the seven tacos on the menu, by far the best sellers are the Texas Brisket Taco and Bang Bang Shrimp Taco, said the chef. V. Taco also has chips and dips in various sizes with salsa, queso, and guacamole. Many diners get the trio for a sample of all three. Once hungry V. Taco fans get their custom-made culinary work of art, they can wash them down with frozen margaritas, margarita on the rocks, plus domestic, imported, or draft beers. V. Taco has a margarita bar upstairs offering three different eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57

The Hills

kinds of margaritas and bucket drinks, plus an outdoor patio which overlooks downtown Corinth. People are welcome – and many do – to take their food creations to the upstairs bar or outdoor patio to capture the entire V. Taco experience. Mabry is pleased with V. Taco. It is his third Corinth business where he serves as executive chef, along with Vicari and Cruise Street Market, which custom makes to-go dishes and sells fresh steaks and seafood. “We have done really well,” said Mabry. “It continues to grow.” edm


ABOVE: Customers at V. Taco are welcome to take their food to the upstairs margarita bar. OPPOSITE, TOP: People custom make tacos at V. Taco, among other creations. Can't decide what to do? The chef has put seven recommended tacos on the menu, including top sellers Texas beef brisket and Bang Bang Shrimp. OPPOSITE, BOTTOM: The upstairs margarita bar at V. Taco features an outdoor patio overlooking downtown Corinth.

The Hills

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59

The Delta


Bentonia Bugs Crawfish

The Delta

203 Pritchard Ave., Bentonia • 662.571.4342 •

story and photography by paige mckay


t’s often said that “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants are some of the best ones, and that stands true for Bentonia Bugs Crawfish, located in the small town of Bentonia, Mississippi. Owners Adam and Emily Brooks have been serving up fresh crawfish, steaks, oysters, shrimp, and other tasty dishes at Bentonia Bugs for eight years now, and diners from all over the area make the trip to Bentonia, sometimes just for the crawfish and steak. Whether you’re picking up a few pounds of mudbugs to take home or want to hang out and enjoy some oysters and live music, Bentonia Bugs is your goto place for a lowkey and fun weekend dinner. Upon arrival to Bentonia Bugs, the establishment doesn’t look like much, but inside, it’s a casual, fun atmosphere that’s ideal for hanging out on Friday and Saturday nights, which are the only days of the week they’re open. It’s nothing fancy, by any means, but it’s the perfect set-up for peeling those messy crawfish and having a beer or two. The main dining area is covered in dollar bills for decoration that guests are encouraged to add on to, and the back-porch area is spacious and provides just enough room for live bands to set up shop on most Saturday nights. Crawfish season is now upon us, and Bentonia Bugs is prepared to serve up the flavorful mudbugs all season long. Adam makes the seasoning himself, and he says that’s what sets

their crawfish apart from other places. The crawfish are juicy and seasoned perfectly, and are, of course, served with corn and sausage. Since Bentonia Bugs is only open on weekends, the atmosphere makes for the perfect place to sit and unwind after a long week. If you’re on the go and would rather take your crawfish home, guests are more than welcome to order a few pounds to-go and pick them up from a convenient to-go window. Along with crawfish, Bentonia Bugs also offers fried, raw, and chargrilled oysters, as well as boiled and fried shrimp, filet and ribeye steaks, and fried catfish and chicken baskets. Start off your meal with an appetizer of Fried Pickles or Fried Onion Wedges, complete with a side of Comeback Sauce, made in-house by Emily. The Onion Wedges are a great appetizer if you’re looking for something to munch on before a meal. The half-pound of Boiled Shrimp also makes for a tasty appetizer if you want a smaller portion to go along with your crawfish. The shrimp come in halfpound and one-pound portions, and are perfectly seasoned with just enough spiciness that’ll keep you coming back for more. It’s no secret why it’s one of the most popular menu items. If you’re a fan of oysters, the Chargrilled Oysters at Bentonia Bugs are also a top menu item. The Chargrilled Oysters are served in a garlic butter sauce with Parmesan cheese and are absolutely delicious. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61

The Delta


The Delta If Raw Oysters are more your style, they’re also available by the half-shell. The steaks at Bentonia Bugs are also what draw people in from all over the Jackson, Vicksburg, and surrounding areas. Between a filet and ribeye, you can’t go wrong with either of these steaks. Cooked to your preference, the steaks at Bentonia Bugs have a unique flavor that differs from your typical steakhouse steaks, and they come with a side of House Fries or Boiled Red Potatoes. The Filet was juicy and flavorful and served with some of the biggest fries I’ve ever had. If you’re not a fan or filet or ribeye, sometimes a bone-in steak is offered as a special, so there’s something on the menu for everyone. Not only is the food awesome, but the atmosphere is what makes Bentonia Bugs the ideal place to enjoy crawfish and fellowship. Family-friendly, laid back, and all around fun, Adam and Emily’s goal is to make everyone feel welcome and enjoy

their Friday and Saturday nights. The bar at Bentonia Bugs only serves beer, but guests are welcome to bring their own outside drinks, if they wish, free of charge. Live bands are in house every Saturday night during crawfish season, and most Saturdays during the rest of the year. Though it may seem to be in the middle-of-nowhere Mississippi, Bentonia Bugs isn’t too far off the beaten path of Highway 49, right outside of Flora. Load up the family or a group of friends and head out to Bentonia during the weekend to curve that crawfish craving you’ve had since the end of the last season. Adam, Emily, and the rest of the staff are welcoming and always love meeting new customers, and want nothing more than for their customers to have a good meal with good company. After one trip to Bentonia Bugs, you might just become a regular. edm

OPPOSITE: Filet Steak, Boiled Shrimp, and Chargrilled Oysters RIGHT: Fried Onion Petals

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63

The Pines

5-Napkin Burger


The Pines

Gitano Grill 1889 Highway 28 W, Taylorsville • 601.729.2559 • story and photography by richelle putnam


itano Grill Restaurant and Bakery on Highway 28 in Jones County has been feeding people for decades, but the history of both the town and the original country store goes back more than a century. “It was named by gypsies who came through at that time,” said Pam Odom, former owner of the Gitano Grill. The town of Gitano had a bank, feed mill, and stores, all built along the railroad track. “A tornado came through about that time and wiped it off the map and they built this little store up the road, about a quarter of a mile from here.” The first Gitano store burned around 1968, according to Odom, and “they moved into this building after it was finished.” In 1996, Odom and her sister, Paula Davis, bought the country store they had frequented since childhood and they started a deli. “I cut meats and we still had gas, but we faded out the groceries because people were going to the bigger grocery stores.” After 16 years, Odom and Davis were simply tired, so they closed in 2012. One year later, Odom's daughter, Shannon, who had also grown up in and around the Gitano store, bought it. “She cleaned everything out and made it strictly a restaurant and bakery.” Hamburger Steak Plate “I’ve always come to this place, even when I was a little kid,” said Shannon, who has worked in the food business since the age of 16. “There was really nothing out here and when Mama and Aunt Paula had it. It was good for the community.” With that need in mind and Shannon needing a job, she got rid of the gas station and grocery part, and concentrated on the restaurant.” Since then, Gitano Grill Restaurant and Bakery has earned

the five-star reputation restaurants envy. Known for its burgers, Gitano Grill offers po-boys, salads, sandwiches, blue-plate lunches, and full breakfasts that include omelets and freshly baked biscuits. “On the plate lunches, we peel, cook, and mash our potatoes,” said Shannon. Ninety percent of the Gitano menu is made from scratch. The fried jalapeños are battered and

fried to order, as are the onion rings, fried pickles, and the Mississippi-raised catfish dishes. Fresh hamburger meat is rolled every day and patties are made by hand. No meat is frozen, and Shannon slices her ribeyes every week. “I like to do everything by hand, to batter everything myself.” Personally, however, Shannon is a burger person. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 65

The Pines “And we call them the Gitano burgers,” said Pam. “My sister and I started this. We had a little grill that we cooked burgers on. This guy would come in and say, ‘I want a Gitano burger,’ so we started calling it that.” What makes the Gitano burger so different, besides the fresh meat patties, is Shannon’s secret seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. “I’m not stingy with none of it. I mix up a seasoning for my patties and my French fries,” said Shannon. “All of our desserts are made from scratch,” said Pam, the bakery queen. “A lot of the cakes I make are from old recipes, my mother’s recipes, my grandmother’s, all the recipes that I hung on to.” Imagine three-layer cakes of caramel, Italian cream cheese, red velvet, and strawberry. “She uses real strawberries. She makes pecan pies and coconut pies, chocolate pies, egg custard pies,” said Shannon. “Mama’s got some tea cakes she makes old-fashioned and she also makes brownies, cookies, and chess squares. A lot depends on the time of year and the holiday season,” a time when the restaurant also prepares fruitcakes.

“Coconut, pecan and potato pies are the most popular pies,” said Pam. “We have a red velvet brownie that’s really good.” One of Pam’s bakery secrets lies in the sifting of the flour. “The Hummingbird Cake,” Pam’s personal favorite, “tastes a lot like banana nut bread, because it has bananas, nuts, and pineapples. I use cream cheese icing and then I cover it in nuts.” People can order a whole cake or pie, or buy it by the slice. Catering is especially busy during the holidays, and specialties include cornbread dressing, casseroles, smoked turkeys, hams, and homemade candies, such as divinity and Martha Washington candy. Still, catering is year-round and is popular among church groups, family gatherings, and office parties, which, if the customer prefers, can be held at the restaurant during the week, after the restaurant closes. “We’re a family-owned, kid-friendly business,” said Shannon, “with a good atmosphere, and fresh food, cooked to order.” edm

How to pronounce Gitano’s – Some say Guy’ tay nu, others Je’ tay no, and still others say Get’ a no. Either way, the store/restaurant has worn the same name throughout its history.

Don’t forget to tour the tables at Gitano’s Grill, Restaurant, and Bakery, where tabletop paintings by Katie Murphy tell the story of the town.

Fried Catfish 66 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

The Pines

Italian Cream Cheese Cake

Red Velvet Cake

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67


Gulf Crab Cake with Grilled Corn Relish

Sauteed Speckled Trout over Sweet Potato Carrot Purée



Crazy Cat Eat Up 1491 Canton Mart Rd., Ste 12, Jackson • 601.957.1441 •

story and photography by paige mckay


t’s obvious that being in Mississippi, Southern food is a staple in everyone’s diet. For the past 11 years, Jon Lansdale, Gary Hawkins, and the rest of their crew have been serving the Jackson metro area with Southern-inspired dishes with a goal in mind: be the quintessential neighborhood restaurant that serves up fresh, quality, Southern food. That goal has been accomplished at Crazy Cat Eat Up, located in Canton Mart Square in Jackson. Using the freshest and highest quality ingredients that they can get their hands on, Lansdale and Hawkins are always finding ways to do things a little differently, all while finding inspiration from the past to make their dishes unlike anything else. “We want to connect with memories,” Lansdale, owner and

chef, said. “We pull from the history of southern food and reinterpret it.” After peeking at the lunch and dinner menus, it’s no doubt that the dishes at Crazy Cat are Southern-inspired American classics that will take diners down memory lane. From Skillet Cornbread and Pimento Cheese Nabs as starters, to Quiche and Classic Chicken Pot Pie with Buttermilk Biscuits as main dishes, Crazy Cat covers all the bases when it comes to true Southern foods with a twist. Crazy Cat also boasts a selection of seafood dishes, such as Gulf Crab Cakes and Sautéed Speckled Trout over Sweet Potato Carrot Puree. You can also find a variety of red meats on the dinner menu, such as Venison Loin and Filet Mignon.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Classic Southern Chicken Pot Pie topped with Buttermilk Biscuits


Capital/River The lunch menu at Crazy Cat has a wide range of options to choose from, and the Quiche is, without a doubt, the “bread and butter” of their menu and is what put Crazy Cat on the map, Lansdale said. The menu is filled with Southern classics that will satisfy any lunchtime craving. The dinner menu at Crazy Cat is a bit smaller and changes every few weeks so that each seasons’ offerings are highlighted, and it gives the chefs a chance to experiment with different ingredients. Lansdale and Hawkins base their dinner menu off what’s being delivered and what’s coming in, so you’re guaranteed a fresh and high-quality meal each time. Lunch is served Monday through Saturday, and dinner is available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. On the dessert menu at Crazy Cat, you can find Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry and Raspberry Coulis. This dessert is a true Southern staple, which, once again, connects customers to the past. The pie is heavenly and light after a filling lunch or dinner. Another stand-out dessert is the Bread Pudding with Brandy Butter Sauce. Decadent and full of flavor, this is an awesome take on the standard bread pudding. The front counter is also lined with dessert displays that are full of sweet treats, such as Snicker Bar Bars and Reese’s Cup Brownies. The decorations of Crazy Cat will also take you back in time, as the walls are donned by original recipes and paintby-number paintings, and some diners might be placed in the antique church pews that are in the place of booth seats. The giant recipes that hang on the wall were photocopied from Lansdale’s grandmother and great grandmother’s cookbooks. The cake recipe that’s in one of the frames, he says, is still used to this day. Diners will also notice a large shelf against a corner wall that is filled with several ingredients and baking needs. Every item on that shelf, from the flour to the spices, go into the food served at Crazy Cat, so you know you’re truly getting a homemade meal. If you’re on the hunt for a new spot for a hearty weekday lunch, weekend date night, or a gathering place for friends, Crazy Cat can accommodate everyone and every group. If having a glass of wine with dinner is on the agenda, Crazy Cat doesn’t sell any alcohol at the moment, but guests are encouraged to brown-bag if they wish. If you are in the Jackson area, Crazy Cat needs to be at the top of your list when it comes to your down-home, neighborhood spot for real Southern cuisine. Take a trip to Canton Mart Square on your next lunch break and treat yourself to some Chicken Pot Pie or a piece of Quiche. But if you’re looking for cats, sadly, there isn’t actually one. Bummer. edm

TOP RIGHT: Bread Pudding with Brandy Butter Sauce and Southern Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry and Raspberry Coulis

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71



White Pillars


1696 Beach Blvd., Biloxi • 228.207.0885 •


story and photography by julian brunt

hite Pillars was once one of the most iconic restaurants on the Gulf Coast. Hard times closed it almost thirty years ago, but Chef Austin Sumrall has recently reopened it after extensive renovations. This was always a classy place, but the re-model, from kitchen to dining room, and bar, is nothing less than spectacular. Let’s start with Chef Sumrall’s take on modern American dining. Sure, you’ve heard of farm or Gulf-to-table dining, right? Chef Sumrall takes this great idea to new levels. Almost everything on the menu is locally procured and seasonal. Do you want red tomatoes on that salad? Sorry, they are out of season; and, due to local sourcing, the menu changes day by day. The odds of you having what I had while researching this story, a month before publication, are about nil. But don’t let that worry you. In fact, it is cause for celebration. Buying local and seasonal means only the best ingredients are used. I tried the seasonal flatbread and can honestly say I’ve never had one better. It was made with

oyster mushrooms from Shroomdom Farm (just outside of Poplarville), and they were hands down the best mushrooms I have ever had. The flatbread also included house-made burrata cheese (like ricotta), Benton’s Country Ham (many chefs believe this is the best in the world), and a lemon vinaigrette. The amazing mushrooms, smooth, slightly tangy burrata, and salty ham, made for contrast and harmony all in one bite. It was simply amazing. I don’t think you will find a menu like this anywhere else. It is an enchanting combination of food cultures, all somehow relating to the Coast. On the evening I dined, the menu had classic French coq au vin (chicken stewed in red wine), a Southern take on Vietnamese pho (a traditional rice noodle soup), a wood-fire-grilled beef Wellington, and grilled pork chops (Sandridge Farms, Lucedale) with grits (milled in Oxford by The Original Grit Girl) and locally grown collard greens. Putting the menu aside for a moment, this restaurant is simply beautiful. The wooden tables and chairs were all made


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73



Coastal in Mississippi, as was the table ware. The chandeliers are gorgeous, and the old wooden bar (they say the oldest on the Gulf Coast) is nothing short of classy. Service is as sharp and professional as can be found. I hate to over use the word, but classy comes to mind again. A nice touch are the glass windows that look into the kitchen. It was fascinating to watch this large kitchen at work. A peek into one of the windows revealed a twelve-top gas stove, a wood-fired oven, and a wood-fired grill. See the butcher block counter top the cooks are working on? See the storage place underneath where the plates and saucers are stored? It's heated, so your plates come to you toasty warm. Sorry, but I’ve got to say it. That’s a classy touch. Next time you are on the Coast, make a reservation at White Pillars, and tell Chef Sumrall I sent you. edm

Coq au Vin Pastry held by Chef Sumrall Famous gumbo Carpetbagger Steak with fried oysters, bacon, and blue cheese

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75

{ featured event }

Springtime Brings Tea Time to the McAlpin House in Magee story by paige mckay photos courtesy of doris adcox, magee chamber of commerce


long with Easter egg hunts and azalea blooms, one of the rites of spring in Magee is the annual Tea in the Gardens, hosted at the historic McAlpin House on Second Avenue. What began as a local event seven years ago has blossomed into a regional attraction that draws tour buses and visitors from counties all over central Mississippi. The event was the brainchild of the Board of Directors of the Magee Chamber of Commerce. The perfect venue was the McAlpin House, built in the early 1900s and set in a beautiful garden landscape. With the help of the home’s owner, Gloria Lucas, the Chamber staged the first Tea in 2012 with the purpose of promoting more shopping in Magee. They chose Good Friday for the date with a focus on springtime and


Easter, and it makes for a great start to Easter weekend. From the beginning, one of the features of the event has been the shopping. Vendors set up their wares on the home’s sweeping front porch and on the lawn offering unique jewelry and accessories, children’s items, arts and crafts, home décor, soaps and lotions, Easter treats, and fresh spring plants ready for the garden. A delicious buffet lunch is served from beautifully appointed tables in the home’s dining room and garden room. Guests can dine inside or outside in the gardens after filling their plates with a variety of salads, dips and cheeses, tea sandwiches, hot dishes, and desserts prepared by local restaurants and by Lucas herself, who also decorates the home

with her own gorgeous floral arrangements. From authors to floral designers to political cartoonist Marshall Ramsey, the event has featured a guest speaker each year. Artists Wyatt Waters and Wade Stephenson have also attended the event. Local authors also bring their books to sign for purchase, and the Easter Bunny himself makes a special appearance. Tea in the Gardens provides a day of great food, inspiring ideas for spring, pleasant socializing and an opportunity to wear that lovely spring hat to an old-fashioned Southern garden party. This year’s Tea will be held on Good Friday, March 30th, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the Magee Chamber of Commerce at 601-849-2517. edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 77

Food Festivals & Events February 4th

February 22nd

SOUPer Bowl

St. Jude Taste of Oxford

The Salvation Army's annual SOUPer Bowl will be held on February 4th, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. This familyfriendly event will include unlimited soups provided by local restaurants, as well as desserts and other goodies. Adult tickets include a bowl provided by Mustard Seed, but supply is limited. For more information, call 601-982-4881. To purchase tickets, visit

The 11th annual St. Jude Taste of Oxford is set for February 22nd at The Jefferson, 365 Highway 6 E, Oxford. This event will feature culinary specialties by renowned chefs from the greater Oxford area, live and silent auctions, and dancing and live entertainment. To purchase tickets or to sponsor the event, visit st-jude-taste-of-oxford.html.

- Jackson -


February 8th

Taste of Jackson County Gala - Moss Point -

The 10th Annual Taste of Jackson County will be held on Thursday, February 8th, at Pelican Landing Conference Center in Moss Point. The event will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with a Sponsorship Reception from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person (21 and older). This event is sponsored by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, area restaurants, and corporate sponsors of the Taste. The proceeds of this gala will support the 2017-2018 Chamber Program of Work—addressing the Education, Membership, Community Relations, Regional Strategy, and Small Business Issue Manager Groups of the Chamber. For more information, call 228-762-3391 or visit

- Oxford -


February 24th

BBQ Throwdown & Festival - D’Iberville -

In D’Iberville’s annual BBQ Throwdown and Festival on February 24th, teams will compete for $8,000 in cash plus prizes. Held at 10004 Central Ave., D'Iberville, the event features masters and backyard division teams, a youth competition, and a pulled pork cook-off. Live entertainment is provided all day along with arts and crafts, face painting, children’s activities and games, clowns, and, of course, barbecue. This event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society. For more information, call 228-257-9734.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at All submissions are subject to editor’s approval. 78 • FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018

March 4th

Palate to Palette: An Evening With Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters - Biloxi -

Join the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum at the Mississippi Sound Welcome Center on March 8th for an evening with Robert St. John and Wyatt Waters. St. John and Waters will be promoting their fourth cookbook together, A Mississippi Palate: Heritage Cuisine and Watercolors of Home. St. John will lead a cooking demonstration, pulling recipes from his cookbook, while Waters will paint an inspired piece to be auctioned off later in the evening. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at palate-to-palette. •••

March 17th

Grillin’ on the Green - Biloxi -

Go green and celebrate at Grillin’ on the Green at Biloxi Town Green, 710 Beach Blvd., on March 17th, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. This fun family event features a BBQ cookoff, arts & crafts vendors, live entertainment all day, children’s play area, and more. There will be a variety of barbecue for event patrons to choose from. With everything from ribs and brisket to grilled oysters, there will be something for every palate. For more information, call 228-435-6339 or visit www.mainstreetbiloxi. com/grillin-on-the-green. •••

March 22nd

Moonlight Market - Jackson -


Enjoy a night of food and fun at Moonlight Market on March 22nd. Enjoy gourmet food by local chefs at this ticketed event held at the Mississippi Farmers Market on High Street in Jackson. Moonlight Market benefits the Mississippi Food Network. For more information, call 601-353-7286 or visit

April 7th

Sante South Wine Festival - Ridgeland -

Santé South Wine Festival will be held on April 7th at Renaissance at Colony Park in Ridgeland. Benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association Mississippi Chapter, Santé South is a destination event and international showcase of the world’s premier wines and some of Mississippi’s most succulent culinary delights. Santé South offers enthusiasts the opportunity of speaking with winemakers while sampling exceptional wines and food pairings from top regional restaurants. In addition to the Grand Tasting where guests enjoy sampling exquisite wines and delectable foods, this event offers a VIP Tasting. This tasting is limited to 200 guests who want an exclusive chance to sample the wines at the top of their lists before the larger crowd arrives. For more information and to purchase tickets visit


April 7th

Catfish in the Alley - Columbus -

The air in Columbus will be filled with the smell of fried catfish on April 7th at the annual Catfish in the Alley festival. This family-oriented event will feature a catfish cook-off, arts and crafts, and the sounds of some of the South’s top blues musicians. For more information, visit www. or call 662-329-1191.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79

Advertisers Index

Recipe Index Brunswick Stew, 19

Anjou, 9

Bruschetta, 47

Bin 612, 29

Butternut Squash Purée, 17 Cheese, Corn, and Bacon Pancakes, 21 Chef Dan’s Red Beans & Rice, 50

Crazy Cat Eat Up, 29 McEwen’s, 29

Clean & Hungry Marinara Sauce, 13

Mississippi Children’s Museum, 11

Creamed Spinach au Gratin, 33

Mississippi Food Network, 51 & 83

French 75, 54

Ridgeland Tourism, 9

Mediterranean Beef Ragoût, 24

Sanderson Farms, Back Cover

Ribeye Steaks with Horseradish Mustard Sauce, 33 Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew, 19 Steel Cut Oats, 23

Sante South Wine Festival, 2 Taste of Mississippi, 6

Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake, 34

The Kitchen Table, 11

Sweet Potato, Ham, and Cheese Biscuits, 53

The Mississippi Market, 4

Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chop, 17

Thurman’s Landscaping, 81

Z’paghetti Marinara with Shrimp, 13

Tupelo, 3

STORE INFORMATION from pages 14-15


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Digital Subscriptions Available! Access issues on all your devices - iOS, Android, and desktop computer. Download the free Eat Drink Mississippi app to purchase and view in app.

Mediterranean Diet | Mississippi Vegan | SFA’s Guide to Cocktails

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI Strawberries and Champagne Cheesecake Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops Brunswick Stew

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Romantic Dinner at Home

+ V. Taco + Bentonia Bugs Crawfish + Crazy Cat Eat Up + Gitano Grill + White Pillars

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Getting a taste of Mississippi has never been easier! Landscaping • Irrigation Waterfalls • Lighting Outdoor Kitchens & Patios Iron & Brick Work

Thurman’s Landscaping

Hattiesburg, Miss.

601.270.8512 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81

Till We Eat Again


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.


Forget About Carbs and Eat a Sandwich



couple of years ago in these pages, I waxed on a bit about what Mississippi’s “official” state food should be, based on what we actually eat; not necessarily the foods that have Mississippi in the name. (Mud Pie, I’m talking to you.) At that time I suggested we might legitimately adopt catfish, sweet potatoes, or Koolickles. Since then I’ve been taking notice, not just in our great state, but around the country and internationally, and my observations have given me pause. If the little green men from Mars dropped down to see us tomorrow (we are the hospitality state, after all), I wonder if  they might come up with a different answer.  Perhaps they would conclude, as I have, that the world revolves around … the sandwich.   Consider this. I’m willing to bet that wherever in the state you may live, or in whatever state outside the borders of Mississippi you may have landed (bless your heart), there is at least one Subway. Maybe more. Probably more. Subways multiply like rabbits and Dollar Generals. They are in malls, shopping centers, old tire stores, truck stops, and student unions. You can even find them with your eyes closed; I’m sure you know what I mean.   Beyond that, if your town is large enough, you might also find Jimmy John’s, Lenny’s, Firehouse, Jason’s Deli, Einstein Bros., Quizno’s, or Panera – and those are just the chains. Whew. See what I mean? And I didn’t even mention some of the best, which originated in Mississippi, of course. McAlisters? Newk’s? Oby’s, anyone? If sandwiches are your thing, you are blessed.   As a young man, fresh out of school with a job that only allowed a token lunch break, I had to grab a bite close to work if I actually wanted to sit down for more than a few minutes. Naturally, there was a Subway within walking distance, so that was a go-to for many moons. But later on, just down the hill, we got a Schlotzky’s. Something about that sourdough bun still has me hooked. The ones I’ve mentioned so far are just the shops that specialize in sandwiches. There are other restaurants around the corner, and chances are, they serve sandwiches as well. In fact, how many restaurants have you been to lately that don’t have a sandwich of some sort on the menu?   I’m not the best sandwich customer, if you want to get down to it...all those carbs and such; but I do have a history. One of my favorite childhood sandwiches was broiled bologna with American cheese, melted under the broiler. The broiler also figured significantly in the development of the “Jenny Burger,” named after my mother, the inventor. It isn’t a burger at all – not even close – unless the use of a hamburger bun puts it in that category. The primary ingredient in this sandwich is tuna fish salad, topped with bacon and a slice of cheese, all of which are put under the broiler until the cheese melts a little. Bonus: the broiler also toasts the bread. Lesser mortals might call this a tuna melt, but I know better.   On my first trip to Yemen, my host told me one morning that he would order a bean sandwich for my breakfast the next day. I was a bit taken aback, as you might imagine. I didn’t eat sandwiches for breakfast that often to begin with, and I had certainly never seen one made of beans. What I wouldn’t give to have one now, on bread baked the same morning, washed down with tea so hot I could hardly hold the glass. Later we discovered egg sandwiches: same fresh bread, but filled with boiled egg slices and grated feta cheese. We still make those fairly often. On a trip to Six Flags a few years back, we found ourselves at a Mexican restaurant near the park, and I had my first torta, a Mexican sandwich. At last fall’s Southern Foodways Symposium, we had tortas from three different Latin countries, plus an arepa (Venezuelan sandwich) stuffed with fried Simmons catfish. Of course we’ve all had a Cuban, but have you ever heard of a British Chip Butty? German Doner Kebab? How ‘bout a Bao? Back on American soil, what about the Philly Cheesesteak? New Orleans Muffaletta? Kentucky Hot Brown? Lobster Rolls from Maine?   The Martians are right: the sandwich is the thing. Carbs be darned. edm


Fourth Annual

Moonlight Market Benefiting Mississippi Food Network

March 22, 2018 For more information, visit eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 83

Lots of people resolve to eat healthier, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on great taste. Find all the healthy recipes you need to keep your resolution a reality at

ts Thigh Fil e Skinless , s s e l e n o rms B yogurt derson Fa - 6 San nce) carton Greek - 1 (6-ou poon olive oil juice - 1 tables poon fresh lemon garlic s d e l g blend e b p p ta -1 ns cho awarma seasonin o o p s a te h - 1 1/2 poon chicken s - 1 tables spoon salt - 1/2 tea spoon al spice - 1/4 tea spoon paprika - 1/4 tea kewers - metal s 30 . .......... 2 Calories . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9g Fat . . . . . . . Fat . . . 2.5g Saturated . . . . . . . . . . . . 340mg Sodium . rate . . . 2g Carbohyd . . . . . . . . . . . . 1g Sugars . . . . . . . . . . 33g Protein . . ®


Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

February/March 2018  

Our February/March 2018 issue features Southern Sisters Gourmet, recipes for a delicious steak dinner at home, Kin Growers in Rolling Fork,...

February/March 2018  

Our February/March 2018 issue features Southern Sisters Gourmet, recipes for a delicious steak dinner at home, Kin Growers in Rolling Fork,...