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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI JUNE/JULY 2017

Summer’s BOUNTY Fresh-From-the-Garden Recipes

BEST BURGER in Mississippi

Gourmet Ice Pop Shops TAYLOR HICKS GETS A TASTE OF THE MAGNOLIA STATE

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

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1


tupelo.net

2 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Summer 2017 Exhibit

(now through September 10th)

locally sponsored by

Curious George television series merchandise © Universal Studios. Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H.A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Company and used under license. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All rights reserved. The PBS KIDS logo is a registered mark of PBS and is used with permission.

Use wind power to move yard art like windmills and wind chimes.

Climb into the construction trailer and design a building.

Experiment with physics and engineering as you putt through mini golf.

mschildrensmuseum.org • 601.981.5469 • Jackson, MS Eat.Drink. June/July 2017 MCM FullPage.indd 1

5/5/17 3:11 PM

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4 • JUNE/JULY 2017


CONTENTS June/July 2017 • Volume 6 Number 4

32

in this issue 14 WHAT’S HOT Simple, Healthy Summer Snacks

18 STATE PLATE Taylor Hicks Gets a Taste of the Magnolia State for Upcoming Episode

24 A POP-ULAR TREAT Gourmet Ice Pop Shops Are Popping Up Across the State

32 BEST BURGER IN MISSISSIPPI B&B Meat Market and Deli in Mendenhall Earns Best Burger Title from Mississippi Beef Council

36 MISSISSIPPI MADE Kingfisher Designs

38 SUMMER’S BOUNTY Fresh-From-the-Garden Recipes

42 COMMUNITY Hattiesburg Teen Helps Feed Hungry with Sweet Treats

24 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 5


Now Offered at The Kitchen Table

Missing an issue?

FREE Engraving through June 30, 2017

Back issues are available for order on our website! VOLUME 5, NUMBER 5

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2016

Sweet Treats page 68

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3720 Hardy Street, Suite 3 Hattiesburg, MS

601-261-2224 www.KitchenTableNow.com

FOOD FLIGHT

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TUPELO CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF COCA-COLA

LOCAL RICE GROWERS

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

Soups

August/September 2016

+ Blue Canoe + Cicero’s + Brummi’s Yummies + Chunky Shoals Fish Camp + 200 North Beach

for the Season page 22

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

VOLUME 6, NUMBER 1

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI FOOD REVOLUTION

HOMEMADE CHICKEN PIE

+ Southern Eatery + CRAVE Bistro + Livingston + Skidmore’s Grill

LOCAL CHEF CROWNED KING OF SEAFOOD

DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017

Yuletide Yummies

+ Tasty Tails eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI •1

page 22

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI VOLUME 6, NUMBER 2

UP IN FARMS FOOD HUB

GINGERBREAD VILLAGE

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017

December/January 2017

Chocolate + GRIT + Crystal Grill + Moo’s Barn & Grill + Nightingale’s Pantry + Hook Gulf Coast Cuisine eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1

Share the Love

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Belzoni’s

WORLD CATFISH FESTIVAL

VOLUME 6, NUMBER 3

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI TIPS FOR AN ORGANIZED KITCHEN

February/March 2017

APRIL/MAY 2017

DELTA COUPLE RECOGNIZED NATIONALLY FOR CULINARY WORK

+ Catfish Blues + Lillo's Family Restaurant + Taste Bistro & Desserts + Phillips Drive-In + Second Street Bean

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 1 - The Debutante Farmer -

ELIZABETH HEISKELL

It’s Time for a

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

fiesta Walthall County

DAIRY FESTIVAL

April/May 2017

EXPLORING STARKVILLE’S CULINARY SCENE

+ McEwen’s + Ground Zero Blues Club + Betty’s Eat Shop + Phillip M’s

TheMISSISSIPPI Wayward Kraken eat.+drink. •1

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI www.eatdrinkmississippi.com 6 • JUNE/JULY 2017


CONTENTS June/July 2017

59

51 44 MEMORY LANE

68 CAPITAL/RIVER

How My Best Friend, Rose, Inspired Decadent Ice Cream Recipe

48 FROM MISSISSIPPI TO BEYOND

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant Jackson

72 COASTAL

Storyteller of the South

52 FROM THE BOOKSHELF Food, Health, and Happiness Oprah Winfrey

54 RAISE YOUR GLASS Fruit Tea Punch

56 THE HILLS Steak by Melissa - Southaven

60 THE DELTA Bellazar’s - Boyle ON THE COVER: Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad, page 40. Photography by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum

64 THE PINES Bin 612 - Starkville

Jack’s by the Tracks - Pascagoula

76

FEATURED EVENT Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Fest

in every issue 8 From the Publisher 10 From Our Readers 16 Fabulous Foodie Finds 22 Deep South Dish 78 Events 80 Recipe/Ad Index 82 Till We Eat Again

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 7


{ from the publisher }

ike mother, like daughter.” “L That’s a phrase I hear quite often in my house. It’s usually my

husband comparing our daughter to me. While we’re actually quite different, there are two things she and I both love immensely ― food and travel. We especially love to plan our travels around food, checking restaurants and experiences off our culinary bucket list along the way. During her high school years, Anne Morgan and I had the opportunity to travel abroad to London and Paris. Those experiences left us both with a greater desire to travel abroad to explore the unique cultures and cuisine this world offers. She then began dreaming about spending a semester abroad during college. Anne Morgan’s dream became a reality this past January when she moved to Florence, Italy for the spring semester through the study abroad program at Ole Miss. I must admit that I was a tad bit jealous of her. Mainly because of the food, Italy has been at the top of my vacation list for quite some time. John and I seized the opportunity to enjoy a dream vacation and visited her for two weeks in April.

a second helping. On the day we ventured into the Tuscan countryside for a scenic drive, we paused for lunch at Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello. We dined on a terrace overlooking the hills of Tuscany. My dish of pork filet in pistachio crust paired with a breathtaking view gave me a dining experience I will never forget. On the Amalfi Coast, we spent a night in the picturesque town of Positano. Perched on the side of a cliff, it offers panoramic views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A cool thing about Positano is that there’s a one lane, one way street winding through the heart of the town. People hang out and walk in the middle of the street, moving out of the way when a car or bus comes through. The restaurants are divided by the street, with the main dining room on one side and terrace seating on the other. Waiters often have to dodge traffic to serve their guests. We meandered through the town, shopping and checking out restaurant menus along the way, and settled in on the terrace at Bruno for dinner. We arrived as the sun was setting and the view was absolutely breathtaking. Positano is stunning at night, so we got the best of both worlds. My risotto with lemon and shrimp was delicious, but not quite as memorable as the setting.

The slow food movement is prevalent in Italy. The Italians pride themselves in using fresh, Our Italian adventure began in Venice and local ingredients to make authentic totallyended in Rome, with stops in Cinque Terre, from-scratch dishes. They also slow down Florence, and the Amalfi Coast in between. for meals, savoring every bite and enjoying We had a glorious time exploring central the company they’re with without rushing Italy, savoring the local flavors of every FROM TOP: Chicken Breast in Butter Sauce on to the next item on the day’s agenda. region as we went. What I enjoyed most at Trattoria Sostanza in Florence. Pork Filet In America, we should learn from them and was experiencing foods in the areas where in Pistachio Crust at Osteria La Porta in take life at a slower pace so we can enjoy they originated. We devoured tiramisu in Monticchiello. My family enjoying dinner it more. Venice; bussola cookies in Burano; trofie at Bruno in Positano - John, me, Anne pasta, pesto, and focaccia bread in Cinque Morgan, and John Taylor. When traveling, I urge you to adopt my rule Terre; bruschetta and bistecca alla fiorentina for eating out ― local restaurants only, no (Florentine steak) in Florence; pasta with chains, no tourist traps. Research dining options before you leave home shrimp and lemon, redfish with lemon sauce, lemon cake, and limoncello so you can get a true taste of the region you’re visiting. on the Amalfi Coast; Caprese salad in Capri; pizza near Naples; and bucatini pasta with tomatoes, pancetta, and cheese in Rome. You don’t have to travel the world to have a memorable vacation. Other memorable eats included arancini, cannoli, panna cotta, panini, We have unique attractions and delicious cuisine right here in lemon granita, and gelato...lots of gelato. All the travel guides I read Mississippi. Slow down and enjoy life in the Hospitality State. recommended eating gelato twice a day. So, we did. As they say, “When in Rome...” When thinking upon our favorite Italian meal, it’s impossible to pick just one. We have three that stand out. Our favorite dish in Florence was the chicken breast with butter at Trattoria Sostanza. The chicken arrived to the table in the pan it was sauteed in, still sizzling in the browned butter sauce. This was hands-down the best chicken I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was so good that we actually considered ordering

q

P.S. If you’d like to see more photos of our Italian eats, visit our Facebook page and look for the Italy album.

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

r

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eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI APRIL/MAY 2017

- The Debutante Farmer -

ELIZABETH HEISKELL

It’s Time for a

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

fiesta Walthall County

DAIRY FESTIVAL

April/May 2017

EXPLORING STARKVILLE’S CULINARY SCENE

+ McEwen’s + Ground Zero Blues Club + Betty’s Eat Shop + Phillip M’s

TheMISSISSIPPI Wayward Kraken eat.+drink. •1

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{ from our readers } Love this magazine! Jessie Frye Facebook Fan I wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed the article in the latest edition of Eat Drink Mississippi (April/May 2017) featuring the Walthall County Dairy Festival. Thank you for the nice coverage and outstanding photo

selection. Over 50 volunteers work to make each festival a success and next to Christmas in the Park, it’s one of our largest attractions. Thank you for the fine publication that you and your team provide for the State of Mississippi. Ed Hughes Mayor, Town of Tylertown

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Now At Bravo!

SOCIAL HOUR

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{contributors} JULIAN BRUNT is a food and culture writer from the Gulf Coast whose roots run more than three hundred years deep in Southern soil. He is deeply concerned with culinary and cultural traditions and thinks no man worth his salt that cannot hold forth in tall tale and willingly endure the heat of the kitchen.

LISA LAFONTAINE BYNUM is a freelance writer from Grenada. Her work has appeared in several publications in Mississippi. She is a graduate of Delta State University where she received a BA in Marketing and her MBA. In her free time, she enjoys food writing and photography. She currently resides in Brandon. Photo by Alisa Chapman Photography

JO ALICE DARDEN is a book editor and freelance writer. A former lifestyles editor for the Greenwood Commonwealth, she is a regular contributor to its quarterly publication, Leflore Illustrated. She grew up in Greenwood, graduated from Delta State University with a major in English, and now lives in Cruger with her husband Bob, also a writer, on his family’s farm.

12 • JUNE/JULY 2017

KELSEY WELLS LAMBERT is a news writer at Lawrence County Press in Monticello. She is a graduate of Southwest Mississippi Community College where she served as editor of The Pine Burr. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Communications at William Carey University and served as a staff writer and life editor of The Cobbler student newspaper until she became managing editor her senior year. She and her husband currently reside in the Divide community where she is active in her church and community.

SUSAN MARQUEZ lives and writes in Madison. She has a degree in RadioTV-Film from the University of Southern Mississippi and had a long career in advertising and marketing before stumbling into a freelance writing career in 2001. Hundreds of published articles later, Marquez still loves to tell the stories of the interesting people, places, and events throughout the South.

KATHY K. MARTIN is an Ole Miss journalism graduate who currently lives in Collierville, Tennessee with her husband and two children. She works as a freelance writer and chairs her church’s Christian writers group.

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.

KATIE HUTSON WEST is a freelance writer from Tupelo. She is a graduate of Mississippi State University where she earned a B.S. degree in Marketing, Communications, and Business Psychology. An avid traveler, when home she resides in Leland.

MEGAN WOLFE is a freelance writer and photojournalist from San Francisco. Her work can regularly be found in the Collierville Herald, The South Reporter, and other mid-South publications. She is currently based in Holly Springs, where she spends her free time creating multimedia projects to promote community events and the local arts.


JUNE 10 , 2017

5PM-8PM

TOWN SQUARE PARK, DOWNTOWN HATTIESBURG GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS $35 | VIP ADMISSION $70 DD GENERAL ADMISSION $5 | DD VIP ADMISSION $25

HATTIESBURGCRAFTBEERFEST.COM TICKETS AVAILABLE ONLINE 21 and over only | VIP admission 4PM

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 13


{ what's hot }

Simple, Healthy Summer Snacks

A

s temperatures climb and summer sets in, a slight change in diet can help maintain energy without overfilling on hot days. Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming a popular trend, but many people are also opting to be semi-vegetarians, also known as the flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet but can still reap the health benefits associated with plant-based diets. Plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are chock-full of nutritional benefits from diseasefighting phytonutrients to cholesterol-lowering fiber. They’re also an excellent way to add low-sodium and low-cholesterol protein to your diet that can leave you feeling satisfied but not

14 • JUNE/JULY 2017

stuffed. Light finger foods and dips are ideal summer snacks. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seeds), makes for a quick and easy treat by itself or paired with health-conscious options like air-popped chips, whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. You can also create simple summer snacks using hummus as an ingredient. These vegan Cucumber Cups are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon, and they’re stylish enough to serve to guests at an upscale cookout. For a cool and creamy summer appetizer, try these vegetarian Southwestern Snack Bites made with hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt. edm


Southwestern Hummus Bites

Cucumber Cups

Yield: 30 pieces

Yield: 16 pieces

1 package (7 ounces) whole-grain bagel chips 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus 2 cups pico de gallo 1 cup guacamole 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt 4 green onions, sliced (optional)

2 English cucumbers 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus 1 teaspoon paprika 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Top each bagel chip with 1 tablespoon hummus, small spoonful of pico de gallo, guacamole and small dollop of yogurt. Garnish with slices of green onion, if desired.

Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact. Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each cucumber with hummus (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 15


{ fabulous foodie finds }

Frozen Treat Nothing beats the sweltering heat of Mississippi summertime quite like a refreshing, frozen treat. We’ve found some unique and fun products to help keep you cool when the temps are not.

Zoku Polar Pop Molds, $19.95 Williams-Sonoma, Ridgeland

Chill Factor Ice Cream Maker, $15.99 Viking Cooking School Retail Store - Greenwood

Sweet Magnolia Gelato, flavors vary Various retail stores across Mississippi

16 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Fun KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker, $99.99 The Kitchen Table - Hattiesburg Mariposa Ice Cream Scoop, $44 The Everyday Gourmet Ridgeland

Hawaiian Shaved Ice and Snow Cone Machine Party Package, $44.99 Amazon

Color Changing 5.1 ounce Gelato Cups, $5.99 for 10 Color Changing Spoons, $3.99 for 10 Frozen Dessert Supplies - Etsy

see page 80 for store information

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 17


Taylor Hicks, host of State Plates, and Courtney Johnson cook up something with a kick at Tara Wildlife. Taylor Hicks hits the mighty Mississippi with legendary fisherman Paul Hartfield.

18 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Taylor Hicks Gets a Taste of the Magnolia State for Upcoming Episode story by Susan Marquez | photography by INSP network Imagine a plate full of the best food a state has to offer. That’s exactly what Taylor Hicks is serving up on the upcoming second season of State Plate on the INSP network. Hicks is best known for being one of the most popular winners of American Idol. After winning season five of the show, he went on to prove himself as a successful recording star. Hicks has performed on Broadway in the hit musical Grease before joining their touring show for 18 months, and he’s had two residencies in Las Vegas at both Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas before scoring an exclusive commitment to Caesar’s Palace. He now performs in Caesar’s venues across the country. Hicks is also a successful entrepreneur with his restaurant Saw’s BBQ and Juke Joint in his hometown of Birmingham. After the first successful season of State Plate, Hicks’ contract was extended to do another season. In the first season, Hicks explored the food scene in thirteen states, visiting farms, manufacturing facilities, as well going out on lobster boats in Maine, and making beignets at Café du Monde in New Orleans. “I’m not afraid to get in there and get my hands dirty,” laughed Hicks, who had just left traveling around the state of Mississippi on his way to a show

at the FloraBama on the Florida and Alabama state line. The premise of the show is that Hicks will visit several places to assemble a plate filled with food that is most associated with that state. In the process, he uncovers customs and cultural insights behind each state’s unique food traditions. “I love learning about the cuisine in each state,” said Hicks. “But just as much, I love learning about the history and folklore. It’s the stories behind the food that makes it really interesting to me.” Social media plays a big part in where Hicks will go in each state. Those who follow the show make suggestions on where and what to eat on the show’s social media sites. Like many Southern men, Hicks was exposed to cooking in his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen. “Food is love,” he stated. “That’s why I’m enjoying this so much. I see how much love and care people put into their food in all parts of the country.” Hicks has also visited markets and festivals across the country and, in talking to the people there, has uncovered more stories and legends behind the food people eat and sell. Hicks’ visit to Mississippi included eating tamales in the Delta and dining ten stories above the Mississippi River in eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 19


20 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Vicksburg. He also visited Tara Wildlife before going shrimping in the Mississippi Gulf. Hicks’ popularity combined with his down-home charm, as well as his experience as a restaurateur, has made him the ideal choice as the host for the show. When asked if there’s been anything he has not wanted to eat, he quickly said “No! I’ll try anything once, and yes, I’ve had to try some pretty crazy things on this show. But there hasn’t been much that I wouldn’t want to eat again.” In season two of State Plate, Hicks will visit thirteen states from Oregon to Vermont, including, of course, Mississippi as well as his home state of Alabama. The show will air on the INSP network, which is available nationwide to more than 83 million households. The network celebrates the American spirit with original programming as well as classic shows that honor timeless traditional values. Visit www.insp.com for more information as well as air date and time. edm

Taylor Hicks helped plant (black-eyed peas) on Jerry Foxworth’s family farm, and even stuck around for some post meal music.

Taylor Hicks helps Jerry Foxworth get some planting done.

Taylor Hicks stopped off at Rowdy’s Family Restaurant in Vicksburg for a good meal. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 21


DEEP SOUTH DISH Food. Family. Memories.

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

22 • JUNE/JULY 2017

Cool Off This Summer with a Refreshing Salad BY MARY FOREMAN

I

t’s summertime and with that you can bet on one thing for sure. I’m consuming my fair share of tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers! Juicy, fragrant, vine-ripened tomatoes, simply sliced with salt and pepper and a dab of mayo, or sandwiched between slices of Bunny bread, made into a fresh tomato sauce for pasta, stewed and made into gravy with biscuits ― it’s like heaven on a plate after a fall and winter without. There’s also a steady flow of sweet watermelon, cut into chunks and tossed with a pinch of kosher salt, along with fresh fruit and berry salads, and lots of green summer salads. I sure do love the produce of summer. In these hot and humid South Mississippi summers, I tend to get easily overheated, and all of those are water-rich, cooling foods, that help chill my internal thermostat quickly. In the summers of the Deep South, they are a regular and almost necessary part of the Southern diet, and I certainly eat them in some form all summer long. With our long growing season, I’d be willing to bet that most of you reading this grow at least a few of those in your own backyard gardens, but if not, they are certainly plentiful and less expensive this time of year, even at the grocery stores. I’ve kept a simple, small patio garden for years based on the square foot gardening method ― never had the energy for those huge gardens some folks manage to cultivate. I just plant what I love to eat, and I am especially fond of the idea of walking right out the back door to snip some herbs or pick a tomato, cucumber, squash, or bell pepper right off the vine. I even plant some Kentucky pole beans and purple hulls on homemade vertical frames along the back wall of the house because they’re my top two favorites. With South Mississippi heat, I’ve had my successes and failures along the way with above ground and container gardening, but last year I discovered fabric, above-ground 4 x 4 and 4 x 8 beds and pots, and had the best yield of cucumbers and tomatoes that I’ve ever had since I started gardening. A backyard cucumber sure beats its grocery store counterpart any day in flavor, and because they aren’t waxed for preservation purposes and aesthetics, you can feel comfortable eating them unpeeled, scoring the benefits from the fiber of the skins. When I use them unpeeled, I often peel away alternating lengthwise strips or drag the tines of a fork down the sides of it before slicing for a pretty presentation in my salads. If you don’t grow a garden of your own, make your way to a local farmers market in your area for the best tasting local produce in town. Cucumber salads are fairly forgiving, so you hardly need a recipe really, though ratios do come in handy if you happen to find a combination you love and want to recreate it the same way every time. I make a variety of them during the summer, with just some minor variations in the additional ingredients, methods of preparation, and dressings. Some are peeled, some unpeeled, some sliced very thin, some sliced thick. Some are dressed with a boiled sugar and vinegar mixture, some mostly vinegar, some iced for extra crispness, some tossed with a fresh homemade Italian dressing, and some with mayonnaise or a mixture of mayonnaise with sour cream. Some include tomatoes, some don’t. This spicy, sweet and sour Fire ‘n Ice Salad, gets its name from the contrast between the thin red onion and green bell pepper, horseradish, and jalapeños, and the cool, crunchy cucumbers with sweet, juicy tomatoes. I like to dress this one with a flavor punch from a combination of red wine and apple cider vinegar along with mustard and celery seed. I’ve used this same concept to make coleslaw, squash salad, and watermelon salsa. Most folks don’t think cucumbers have any nutritional value, but they do! Besides the fact that a serving can provide about 1/4 of your recommended daily intake of water, they also contain potassium, anti-inflammatory substances, and Vitamin K. So, get in as many as you can during the hot Southern summer. edm


Fire ‘n Ice Summer Salad ©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish

For the Dressing: 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish 1 teaspoon celery seed 1 teaspoon mustard seed For the Salad: 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips 1 small red onion, cut in half and sliced thin 1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped fine 3 large tomatoes, cut into chunks 2 medium cucumbers, peeled or unpeeled, sliced thin Combine both the vinegars with the sugar, salt, pepper, horseradish, and celery and mustard seeds in a small

saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil, boiling for 1 minute. Set aside. In a large glass bowl, combine bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno and tomatoes. Pour the hot vinegar and sugar mixture over the vegetables, gently toss and set aside to cool. Add the cucumbers, stir, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings before servings and use a slotted spoon to drain excess liquid away. Cook’s Notes: The combination of the red wine and apple cider vinegars is what makes this salad, so I would encourage you to try it first before substituting other vinegars. I prefer using red onion for the extra zing and color, but sweet Vidalia will work just fine too, and since I always have pickled jalapeno in the fridge, I usually use that.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 23


pop brothers photos by julian brunt

A Pop-ular Treat

24 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Gourmet Ice Pop Shops Are Popping Up Across the State

N

story by Susan Marquez

ever has there been a better treat on a hot Mississippi day, or any day of the year, really, than a frozen ice pop. Popsicle ® ice pops are the granddaddy of them all, available in such classic flavors as cherry, grape, orange and banana. (Popsicle ® is a registered trademark of the Unilever Group of Companies and can only be used to identify the frozen confection products of Unilever.) But a new and different ice pop is elbowing its way onto the frozen treat scene, and consumers are eating them almost as fast as they are made. Gourmet frozen pops have become quite popular (pun intended!) in the past few years, and ambitious entrepreneurs have been selling the pops from carts at festivals and farmers markets before storefronts started popping up (yes, we know!) around the state. The pop makers offer the flavors you’d expect in a pop, but the real fun comes in the innovative flavor combinations such as strawberry balsamic, pineapple jalapeno, buttermilk lime and dozens of others. Octavio and Shannon Arzola opened Pop Brothers in Gulfport around the first of June 2015. “We both quit our jobs and jumped into this feet first,” said Shannon. The couple had years of restaurant experience. Shannon had the desire to be closer to her family in Gulfport and the couple’s desire to have their own business led them back to something they had considered for a while. “We were in Birmingham where my husband was in a meeting for a large restaurant group he worked for. During the break, he noticed a line at a little shop next door to where the meeting was being held. He went inside and realized they were selling frozen pops. There was no explanation, really, just a list of the flavors available and people were buying them like crazy.” The business was Steel City Pops and the concept of making gourmet pops really appealed to Octavio. “He said he knew he could make them.” After a couple of years the couple decided to make the plunge and they ordered the equipment from a company in Brazil. “With my brother, Chuck Kelly, as our business partner,

we opened the business in June 2015 after spending several months perfecting recipes,” explained Shannon. The team agreed on the name Pop Brothers and began selling their frozen treats from a cart. Shannon used guerilla marketing tactics, such as delivering pops to area banks, offices and even radio stations. “I was reinventing myself with the business, so I had to do all I could to make it work!” Soon the business grew and two more carts were added. The current storefront in Gulfport was initially intended to be the manufacturing facility only for the pops, but Shannon said people would wander in wanting to buy one. “We had to regroup and redesign the building to add a customer area in the front. We also created a seating area outside, building picnic tables from pallets.” The business has done well, expanding into Ocean Springs with a store that opened in November 2016, borrowing the industrial-look design from the original Gulfport location. Deep South Pops in Jackson is the brainchild of Jake and Kristy Franklin, parents of four homeschooled children. “I wanted to start a business we could run as a family,” said Jake, “and something that would give us more time together.” The business opened in 2015 after the Franklins spent a full year to

deep south pops photos by christinafoto eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 25


figure out the science of what makes a good pop. “My wife and I created about 90 percent of the flavors we make, but we’ve added some great kitchen staff over the past year and we’ve given them the creative freedom to come up with new flavors.” Unlike Pop Brothers, the Franklins’ business also offers coffee, craft beer, and treats to eat. That works out well for them, since the business is located directly across the street from Millsaps College in Jackson. He’s experimented with the pops and beer and has created a very popular float. “We also pair pops with coffee, which people really enjoy.” Deep South Pops has recently expanded to a second location in Highland Village in Jackson. “Both stores are doing really well,” said Jake. “We source our ingredients locally and we’re constantly changing up what we offer, except for the favorites that we’ll always have, including creole cheesecake and buttermilk. And of course, we’ll always have flavors kids love, like strawberry.” Clay Mansell of Clinton has introduced gourmet pops to his town through his newest business, Brick Street Pops. Opened in August 2015, the shop has taken off. “People just love these pops,” said Kristen Jordan, who serves as marketing manager for the company. “We were interested to see how people would respond to some of the more unique flavors such as pineapple cilantro, and it turns out they love them! Of course, flavors including sea salt caramel and chocolate milk are always big sellers, but people like the more exotic flavors as well.” In Tupelo, Chance Beck has created her own pop history with the business she opened with her boyfriend, Blake Whitehead, in summer 2014. After a rough go at finding a job, the couple agreed that pops would be their thing. “We were inspired by Steel City Pops in Birmingham, and after talking about it for a while, I did some research and realized we could do this!” The business, which they named PoPsy, got its start in a cart filled with treats that was

wheeled out at events and anywhere people gathered. The debut of PoPsy was at a baseball tournament in Tupelo where one thousand of the $2 pops were sold. Business has been good, and Chance and Blake have had great success with wholesaling their pops to businesses in North Mississippi and over to the Delta. “We’ve got vendors in Oxford, Starkville, New Albany, Baldwyn, and Greenwood,” said Chance. “We have also had success with catering, including several weddings, birthday parties, and events like employee appreciation days and such.” A big leap will come this month with the opening of their first storefront in Tupelo. “We got a space downtown and couldn’t be more excited,” Chance said. “We’ve already moved our kitchen and we’re almost ready to open!” All the pop merchants interviewed said they use local, fresh ingredients. “We buy a lot of fruit from a farm in Pontotoc,” said Chance. “And I believe our creamy pops are so good because we use cream from the Brown Family Dairy in Oxford. We’ve run out of cream and I’ve had to get some from the grocery store, and honestly, the pops don’t taste the same.” Jake Franklin said he also sources his ingredients locally and takes pride in producing seasonal offerings as different produce comes into season. A post on the Pop Brothers Facebook page shows fresh pineapples in the company’s kitchen with a list of pops they will be used for, including pineapple lemongrass, pineapple jalapeno and just good ol’ fresh pineapple pop. “We use all fresh ingredients combined with herbs and spices to create some of the most innovative and delicious pops anywhere,” said Shannon Arzola. While most all the pop merchants in the state are local mom and pop shops, Frios Gourmet Pops in Meridian and Starkville are franchise stores of the Frios company which is based in Gadsden, Alabama. The company plans to open an additional location in Oxford soon. edm

brick street pops photos by christinafoto 26 • JUNE/JULY 2017


photos this page courtesy of popsy eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 27


Cool Down Patriotic Frozen Pops Are the Perfect Treat to Celebrate and Escape the Heat This Summer

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ith backyard barbecues, pool parties, and patriotic celebrations in full swing leading up to the Fourth of July, kids are constantly on the go with summertime activities. For long summer days in the sun, a cool treat is the perfect way to help keep kids energized for all of their summertime activities. These homemade red, white and blueberry frozen pops are the perfect patriotic summer snack for active kids. Made with wholesome ingredients like fruit and milk, they’re a great way for moms to add quality nutrition to snack time with flavors their kids already love. Plus, with milk as an ingredient, this delicious recipe is a creative way to help the whole family get added nutrients they need, like calcium and protein. Whether celebrating Independence Day or relaxing following an afternoon in the sun, this tasty and nutritious summertime snack is one the whole family can enjoy together. edm

Red, White and Blueberry Frozen Pops Courtesy of Milk Life

Servings: 10 1/2 cup granola 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup 3/4 cup reduced fat milk 6 ounces fat free vanilla Greek yogurt 1 cup whole strawberries, tops removed Water 1-1/4 cups blueberries, divided In small bowl, stir granola and brown rice syrup until combined. Using end of wooden spoon, press approximately 3/4 tablespoon granola into each frozen pop mold. Granola should be packed tightly into bottom of molds. In another small bowl, stir together milk and yogurt; set aside. Using small food processor or high-powered blender, puree strawberries until smooth. Stir water into each puree so they are pourable, about 2 tablespoons each, more if necessary. Set aside 30 blueberries and puree remainder. Add water, as needed, to make pourable. To layer pops, start by pouring, piping or syringing 1 tablespoon milk and yogurt mixture into each mold, covering granola layer. Put each mold in freezer until firm, at least 1 hour. Layer 1 tablespoon strawberry puree on top of frozen yogurt layer in each mold. Cover top of molds with foil, insert sticks and freeze again until solid. Remove foil, add another layer of yogurt and freeze again. For final layer, add 1 tablespoon blueberry puree and 3 blueberries to each mold. Freeze until solid. Keep frozen pops in molds until ready to eat. Run each mold under lukewarm water for approximately 10 seconds to loosen and remove frozen pops. Pops can be made 1 day in advance. Tip: For clean lines between frozen yogurt layers, use small syringe. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 29


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI

DID YOU

DINING GUIDE - DINING GUIDE

www.eatdrinkmississippi.com

Visit our website for Mississippi culinary news, recipes, cooking tips, culinary events, and more!

Southern-Inspired. Seasonally-Crafted. Devilishly Good.

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

KNOW?

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

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

www.msfoodnet.org 30 • JUNE/JULY 2017


612 UNIVERSITY DR. • STARKVILLE 662.324.6126 WWW.EATLOCALSTARKVILLE.COM MONDAY-THURSDAY 11AM-12AM FRIDAY-SATURDAY 11AM-1AM SUNDAY 11AM-10PM

Taste is a gourmet bistro specializing in sandwiches, soups, salads, daily chef-created entrées, and ready-to-heat cuisine. We use the finest, freshest ingredients in all of our dishes and prepare a variety of delicious foods for you to enjoy at our table or yours! Taste is the exclusive carrier of Buttercream Bakery’s fabulous, scratch-made, small batch desserts. Come in and enjoy a treat in house or order something fabulous for your entertaining needs. No catering event is too big or too small! 5419 HIGHWAY 25, STE. L, FLOWOOD • 769.235.6232 WWW.TASTEBISTROANDDESSERTS.COM

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 31

DINING GUIDE - DINING GUIDE - DINING GUIDE • DINING GUIDE - DINING GUIDE

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.


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B

esturger

[in|mississippi] B&B Burger at B&B Meat Market and Deli in Mendenhall

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B&B Meat Market and Deli in Mendenhall Earns Best Burger Title from Mississippi Beef Council

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story by kelsey wells lambert photography by mississippi beef council

n a state like Mississippi, where culinary traditions run deep and great cooks are a “dime a dozen,” to be named the “best” at making a certain dish is a high honor. The ordinary hamburger, a beef patty on a bun with toppings, has long been a convenient, easy-to-make fast food item. Over the years, restaurants and chefs have worked to create their special takes on the classic hamburger. To recognize their efforts, the Mississippi Beef Council hosts an annual Mississippi Best Burger contest. The council sends contest forms to Mississippi restaurants to encourage participation. Through online voting, the public gets the chance to participate in the contest. Social media, print advertising, and contact with participating restaurants promote the contest to those eating in local restaurants, encouraging them to go online and vote. The Top 10 finishers from the online voting are visited by judges, who taste the burgers and score based on taste, appearance, degree of doneness, and presentation. The judges’ scores and online votes are combined to determine which creation will bear the title of Mississippi Best Burger for the year. Burgers must be made of 100% beef to be eligible.

Top 10 finishers are promoted through social media, advertising, and recognition at the annual Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson. Each of the Top 10 also receive a plaque celebrating their accomplishment. This year, the “Best Burgers in Mississippi” were determined to be those made at B&B Meat Market and Deli, located on Highway 13 in Mendenhall. The market is owned by Chris and Tanya Baeuerle. At the market, beef for these prizewinning burgers is ground by hand daily. Their famous B&B Burger is made from ground chuck and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, and their special Tucker sauce. The contest showcases the hard work and dedication that local chefs put into making their products the best that they can be. It also highlights the important work of the Mississippi Beef Council to provide restaurants with high quality beef that results in a delicious products. To learn more about the Mississippi Beef Council or the Mississippi Best Burger contest, visit www.msbeef.org. edm

Mississippi Beef Council President Joe Johnson presents Tanya and Chris Baeuerle of B&B Meat Market and Deli in Mendenhall with a plaque at the Dixie National Rodeo for 2017 Mississippi Best Burger. Also pictured are members of the Baeuerle family and members of the Mississippi Beef Council. 34 • JUNE/JULY 2017


A Bold Take on an American Classic

When it comes to feeding family and friends on the Fourth of July, nothing pleases guests more than fan-favorite American bites fresh off the grill. Cheeseburgers are a tried-and-true classic for summer grilling season. Give your burger recipe a bold, sweet kick this Fourth of July with honey barbecue sauce and the finishing touch of delicious, smooth-melting cheese.

Bold Honey Barbecue Burger Servings: 4 1 pound ground beef 1/2 cup chopped green onions 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 3-4 tablespoons steak seasoning 4 hamburger buns 1/2 stick melted butter 3/4 cup barbecue sauce 1 tablespoon honey 4 slices Borden Cheese American Singles 8 slices thick bacon, cooked until crispy 8 frozen onion rings 4 slices tomato Fresh lettuce

Combine ground beef, green onions, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; form into four patties. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with steak seasoning. Cover and chill. (Patties can be made several hours in advance.) Brush buns with melted butter; set aside. In small bowl, mix barbecue sauce with honey; set aside. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill burgers to internal temperature of 160 F, about 4-6 minutes per side. Two minutes before burgers are finished, grill buns, butter-side down, until golden brown. Place cheese slices on burgers to melt. Serve each burger on buttered bun topped with two slices bacon, two onion rings, honey barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato.

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{ mississippi made }

36 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Aberdeen Couple Fashions Precious Metals Into Functional Works of Art

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by Susan Marquez | photos submitted

ith delicate twists and swirls, the handles of a ladle or spoon made by Don and Louis Coulson can be deceiving. “These utensils are very utilitarian,” states Louise. “They are meant to be used, over and over again, for generations to come!” Using gleaming copper, bronze, and silver, the skilled artisans use a variety of metalworking techniques to produce a wide array of “functional art” for anyone who appreciates beautiful, useful utensils. The Coulsons’ company is called Kingfisher Designs, named for the kingfisher who hangs out near the water in their backyard in Aberdeen. “I’m inspired by nature, but mostly by the ever-changing nature of nature,” laughs Louise. “I love to see how a leaf starts out small in the spring, becomes full and robust in the summer, then turns brown in the fall, finally deteriorating in the winter.” The Coulsons are an interesting couple, now in their seventies and still going strong. She worked as an elementary school teacher and he as a civil structural engineer. While living in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the couple decided they wanted to live on a boat, so they purchased and re-built a 50-foot boat that eventually brought them South to Mississippi before they settled in Aberdeen. “We’ve moved 48 times in 43 years,” said Louise. “They’ll have to blast me out of this place!” Their “place” in Aberdeen is a home Louise and Don built by hand. They do metal work in their shop on site. Louise has always been creative, spending years as a weaver and a spinner. “But you can’t carry a big weaving loom on a boat, so we got rid of that.” While working various jobs and living in a camper, Don and Louise started doing wire wrapping. “It was something small we could do sitting at the table. We did a lot of jewelry.” But as they worked the craft show circuit, they noticed there was a

lot of jewelry. They began to expand their knowledge of metal working and began making kitchen utensils designed with a jeweler’s eye. “When there’s a show with lots of jewelry, a shiny copper ladle really stands out!” Much of their work is experimental, stretching the limits of the metals and trying different techniques for different results. “Each piece is a journey,” said Louise. “Every trip into the studio is an adventure!” The latest in their line of products is wine glasses, coated in copper and inlaid with colored glass “jewels.” Those will be added to their new libation collection, which includes a full line of barware including tongs and an olive ladle for getting one single olive out of a tall olive jar. “We’ll be using a muscadine leaf design on the bar collection,” said Louise. They also have a line of enamel ware that includes bowls, platters, and other serving pieces. The Kingfisher Designs line now includes over 80 different products. “This may sound surprising, but our work really speaks to minimalists,” laughed Louise. “Think about it. We all have drawers full of gadgets we don’t use. But if you have one really beautiful ladle or spoon you use all the time, you don’t need all that other stuff.” The Coulsons are members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi and their work is shown in the Craftsmen’s Guild gallery in Ridgeland, as well as in the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi, the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, and in showrooms in New Mexico and beyond. Items from Kingfisher Designs are for sale in those galleries, as well as on Etsy. Kingfisher Designs www.facebook.com/ KingfisherDesignsMetals www.etsy.com/shop/KingfisherDesigns

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 37


Summer’s

Bounty Recipes Featuring Fresh-From-the-Garden Vegetables By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum Nothing tastes more like summer than just-picked fresh fruits and vegetables. Now is the time to take advantage of the season’s bountiful harvest. Head out to the garden or your local farmers market and stock up on your favorite produce. Then, try any of these recipes that are perfect for a picnic or light summer supper.

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Roasted Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

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Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad Serves 4 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce 2 cups cucumber, thinly sliced 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumber and onion. Toss to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Salad is best when chilled for several hours before serving. Toss once to redistribute the dressing before serving.

Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad Roasted Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing Serves 4 5 ears fresh corn, in the husk 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped 1 small cucumber, seeded & finely chopped 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 tablespoon 1/4 cup olive oil 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 avocado, diced into 1/2-inch pieces Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Place the corn in the oven, in the husk. Roast until husks start to char and the corn is tender inside, about 20 minutes. Corn can also be cooked on the grill in the same manner. Remove corn from the oven and allow to cool. Remove husks. Using a sharp knife, slice the kernels from the cob. Place kernels in a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, cherry tomatoes and cilantro. In a liquid measuring cup, combine lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir until salt is dissolved. Pour the dressing over the salad. Stir to combine. Salad is best when allowed to chill for several hours before serving. Just before serving, toss the avocado in the remaining lime juice. Gently fold the avocado into the salad. 40 • JUNE/JULY 2017

Strawberry Peach Crumble Serves 4 For the filling: 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon) 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 pound medium strawberries, halved 1-1/2 pounds yellow or white peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced* 1/2 cup light brown sugar Topping: 2/3 cup all-purpose flour 2/3 cup old fashioned style oats 1/2 cup sliced almonds 1/4 cup light brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside. For the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch until smooth. Add the strawberries, peaches and brown sugar. Gently toss until the fruit is coated. Pour the fruit mixture into the prepared pan. For the topping: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, oats, almonds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until mixed. Add the butter. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture over the filling and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is slightly golden. Cool the crumble for 5 minutes. Spoon the warm crumble into bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream. *The crumble can also be made using 1 pound frozen whole strawberries and 1 pound frozen peach slices. No need to thaw beforehand.


Strawberry Peach Crumble

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42 • JUNE/JULY 2017


{ community }

Hattiesburg Teen Helps Feed Hungry with Sweet Treats

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story and photography by julian brunt

adyn Cunningham is a busy young lady. Besides the school work that you’d expect from a smart fifteen-yearold, she is also involved in track and soccer. But that is just the beginning of the creative and challenging things that fill this young girl’s life. She is also an aspiring pastry chef and has a growing list of accolades to prove how accomplished she already is. She started out watching her mom, Lakeisha, make pound cake and was fascinated by the process. She has an amazing creative streak and had to find out how it was done. Once the pound cake recipe was accomplished, she moved on to other things, but not the simple cupcakes you’d think a kid might be interested in. She is a big fan of Food Network and loves watching cooking videos. Her mom says that “Once an idea pops into her head, she wants to express it,” so she is self-taught as well. Now she makes cakes, an almost sugar free banana pudding, brownies, and cookies, but her favorites are red velvet cake, vanilla bean, and chocolate cakes. But wait a minute, this story gets even better. Besides being an accomplished pastry chef, Cunningham is also an entrepreneur. She has started her own at-home business called J-Bird’s Sweet Treats, and you shouldn’t bat an eye to know that on her business card (How many fifteen-year-olds have a business card?) she calls herself Chef Jadyn. Chef Jadyn sells her pastries to neighbors and friends, but she also works baby showers, weddings, bridal showers, and birthdays. That’s pretty impressive, but Chef Jadyn is also a philanthropist. Through her talent as a pastry chef she has raised $1,000 for the No Kid Hungry campaign and $1,000 for Extra Table in Hattiesburg. Cunningham also became a student ambassador for People to People, an organization founded by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose mission is to “enhance international understanding and friendship through educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities.” She raised enough money from selling her baked goods to fund a trip to Europe, with stops in London, Paris, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland. By the way, she was only ten years old at the time. J-Bird’s has one or two orders a week, but she is quick to tell you that “My favorite part is the creative aspect.” This is not a young chef who is sitting still,

she is taking on new challenges all the time. In the kitchen, New Orleans beignets are next on the list. If you ask her about her future, she will tell you she is going to be an architect. She says she will never give up baking, but she has plans to build bigger things. If you ever have the chance, like I did, to sit across the table from the bright young lady, see her flash her brilliant smile, and listen to her confidently articulate her ideas and passions in a way that belies her young years, you will be duly impressed. I have to tell you, I am not sure I have ever met a fifteen-year-old that impressed me more. I’ve just got one thing to say, “Go, Jadyn, go!” edm

The Cunningham Family Steven, Kailyn, Biscuit, Jadyn, and Lakeisha eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 43


{ memory lane }

How My Best Friend, Rose, Inspired Decadent Ice Cream Recipe by janette tibbetts

I

was no longer a child, but not yet a teenager when I received the coveted Jones County 4-H dairy prize for successfully raising, exhibiting, and judging dairy cows. The Laurel Kiwanis Club purchased a registered Jersey heifer from Ed Conliff ’s outstanding herd and gave her to me

44 • JUNE/JULY 2017

as my reward. Her name was Rose. She was weaned when she came to live on our farm as my special 4-H project, but she was still a calf.      Thinking back, it seems we had much in common from the day we met.     Rose became my best friend on our somewhat isolated farm. When out of her stall, she followed me similarly to the way my cousin’s puppy followed him. I walked with her to the clover patch and paused while she grazed. I delighted in brushing Rose’s beautiful rosy-red coat marked in white and it was obvious she enjoyed me pulling the soft horse-hair brush down her sides and through the cow-lick above her large brown eyes.  My mother had given me a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, A Child’s Garden of Verses, for my sixth birthday and I memorized many of the verses. Sometimes I repeated Stephenson’s lines to her,  “The cow all red and white, I love with all my heart.” Rose was always tall for her age with a straight back which was strong enough for her to gracefully walk on her long perfectly-shaped legs. Because she had enjoyed following me, we were a natural in the ring. Even though the entrance rules required all animals to be haltered and led, the narrow leather strap I slipped over Rose’s head and gently pulled around her neck was only to meet the requirement. I never led her, as usually she just followed me. The first show in which I exhibited her, she made both of us appear as pros. The facts that, as a child, I was short, awkward, and wore my hapless thin white hair in a Buster Brown cut accentuated Rose’s height, agility, and beauty.  We were always moved ahead of the taller more mature girls with their hair perfectly coiffured to the winner’s circle and I knew it was because they were not being followed by a calf named Rose. Nearly 70 years later, I now realize the smiling judges must have been amused at our “odd couple” appearance as they winked when handing me our first place ribbons. Being familiar with Rose, the ideal prototype bovine of the Jersey breed, also gave me an advantage in the Jersey Cow judging competition. I no longer had to remember all the rules for judging.  I just placed the cow appearing the most like Rose first and the remaining lesser ones in descending order.  The professional judges never marked me wrong and Rose was the only one with whom I shared my secret.          


When Rose became a grown cow, her rich, sweet milk radiated a golden glow from its butterfat count that was high enough to cast a rainbow. Her thick, heavy cream was the inspiration for the delectable ice cream recipe I developed to eat with apple tart. After nearly doubling a milk cow’s life expectancy, Rose passed away almost 20 years from the day she became mine. Although thinking of her 50 years later brings a lump to my throat, adding (still) to Stephenson’s line brings a smile and I’m almost able to see Rose and smell her sweet clover breath as: “She (still) walks among the meadow grass,  And eats the meadow flowers.” edm

Heifer International The Kiwanis Club’s gift taught me more than how to accept responsibility and the value of a superior addition to a herd. Their generosity led me to Heifer International. Their world-wide effort is to help end hunger and to teach recipients how to care for the farm animals and fowl. Heifer International ships around the world and it is my favorite secular charity. For more information, see their official site at www.heifer.org.

RAINBOW CREAM The extremely knowledgeable salespersons at the Kitchen Table in Hattiesburg introduced me to KitchenAid’s inexpensive ice cream attachment for stand mixers. With just three ingredients, but no ice or salt, this amazing “no fuss” freezer makes delicious soft ice cream in 30 minutes. One teaspoon of vanilla extract may be added to unfrozen mixture; however, some purists appreciate the sweetened taste of eggs and cream. This rich recipe may also be soft frozen in traditional ice cream freezers. 3 eggs 1 cup sugar 1 quart heavy whipping cream Prior to making cream, place KitchenAid ice cream bowl in freezer for 12-18 hours. (I find it more convenient to

keep bowl stored in the back of freezer.) Beat eggs until light yellow. Gradually add sugar and 1 cup cream. Blend well. Heat on stovetop on medium heat in top of double boiler. Allow mixture to steam 3 to 5 minutes (or until it begins to thicken). Remove from heat. Add remaining cream and beat with electric mixer. Chill. Adjust paddle and start mixer before pouring chilled mixture into KitchenAid freezer bowl. After adding mixture to bowl, cream starts freezing instantly and should be soft frozen in 30 minutes. This is perfect for serving in cones or with tarts. Amazingly, if Rainbow Cream is served in chilled dessert stemware and with metal spoons, stirring with spoon will refreeze the cream in the dish. If home freezer temperature is set to freeze down to 10 degrees, soft frozen Rose Cream will freeze harder. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 45


SUGAR COOKIES With few adjustments, I have been baking sugar cookies by this same recipe for almost 60 years. It was printed on the inside box lid in which, as a young bride, my first set of Christmas cookies cutters were packaged. I have found this the most delicious sugar cookie recipe, which is also firm enough for cutout cookies with indentions that hold up for frosting and decorating by little hands as well as for hanging or serving with ice cream. Makes 3 dozen 1/2 cup Crisco shortening (plus 1 tablespoon for baking sheet) 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 tablespoons cream 1 tablespoon Watkins vanilla extract 4 cups Swans Down cake flour (Only 3-1/2 cups if substituting all-purpose flour) 2 teaspoons baking powder Pinch salt 1 cup confectioners sugar Cook’s Note: High quality cake flour bakes into a more delicious wafer-thin cookie. Cream together shortening and sugar; continue beating until light and fluffy. Beat eggs well before adding cream and vanilla; beat until smooth. Combine egg mixture with creamed shortening and sugar. Mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture. The final stage of mixing this heavy dough may require kneading.

(I was able to complete the mixing with a KitchenAid stand mixer set on stir by slowly adding flour. Mixing with hand held mixer may place too much stress on motor.) Rub 1/4 teaspoon shortening in palm of hands before kneading dough. Divide dough in thirds. Dust three saucers with powdered sugar. Place each 1/3 of dough on a saucer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Thinly spread 1 teaspoon of shortening on heavy baking sheet. Lightly dust cutting board covered with parchment paper or marble with confectioners sugar. Working with 1/3 of cookie dough batch, roll dough to 1/4inch thickness. Dip cookie cutter in confectioners sugar each time before cutting cookie. Place cut-out cookies on baking sheet. Dust tops of cookies with powdered sugar and allow cookies to rest two minutes. (This will help dough hold indentions.) Bake 8-10 minutes or until delicately brown. Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight glass container. Repeat process for each batch. If wrapped tightly, dough will keep in refrigerator for two days or may be frozen for weeks.

ice cream CONES With a little patience, ice cream cones are easy to make. They are fresher and more delicious than most available brands and while sizzling on the stovetop, they create the distinctive ice cone aroma. Think very thin pancakes rolled while still hot into the shape of a cone. 1/4 cup butter 2 eggs 1/2 cup superfine sugar 1/8 cup milk 1 teaspoon Watkins vanilla flavoring 1/3 cup Swan’s Down cake flour Pinch salt 2 tablespoons canola oil Melt and cool butter. Mix together eggs and sugar until pastel yellow. Add and mix butter, milk and vanilla. Gradually add and whisk in flour and salt. 46 • JUNE/JULY 2017

To cook the cones, use a griddle or Teflon pan. Start each cone while griddle or pan is cold. Place 1 teaspoon of oil in pan and spread. Pour 1/4 cup of mixture in pan. Heat on medium. Brown and turn over to brown both sides. Remove from pan and place in corner of parchment paper square. Wear two pairs of dish washing gloves. Using parchment paper, roll cone with paper while it’s still warm. Pinch end together and hold until cool. Gently slip out paper. Rest on wire rack.


APPLE TART 4 Gala apples 1/2 lemon 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoons butter 1 pie crust Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core, and cut apples in quarters. Make five thin complete slices from each quarter. Discard (eat) chips. Place sliced apples in bowl. Start squeezing lemon as they are sliced. Add brown sugar and vanilla. Gently turn. Butter a pizza pan, tart pan, or any large round baker. (I

use my great-grandmother’s flat iron skillet with a rim.) Pie crust may be purchased or made. Place crust in baker and turn up edge. Start at the outer edge and arrange apple slices in a spiral on crust by slightly over-lapping each slice. Pour sweetened juice over slices. Bake 18 minutes in top rack of oven. When edge is brown, cover with aluminum foil collar. When done, remove from oven and allow to rest 10 minutes to absorb juice before serving. Tart should easily slide onto serving platter. If serving casually, I just allow tart to remain in heavy pan to keep it warm. Serve with whipped cream, Rainbow Cream, or purchase favorite ice cream.

PIMENTO & CHEESE Although pre-grated cheese is a time-saver, the secrets of this recipe which Marge Allen, along with her husband Howard who owned and operated Lake Walkaway near Heidelberg, shared with me many decades ago is freshly grated cheese and rich dairy cream. 1 pound red-rind mild cheddar cheese 4 ounce jar pimento 1/2 cup Hellmann’s mayonnaise 1/4 cup heavy dairy cream

Remove rind and any fibers which may remain from cheese. Grate cheese with hand grater. Add cream and gently turn until cream is absorbed. Drain pimento and add. Add mayonnaise and mix. Best if made four hours before serving. Refrigerate in glass container. Spread on bread for sandwiches or add 2 tablespoons of cream and serve as dip.

CORNBREAD & MILK Because June is National Dairy Month, I’m sharing a treat from my childhood. In the day before well-stocked grocery stores with dozens of varieties of cereal were conveniently located, we

crumbled hot, crunchy cornbread into our ice cold milk and ate it with a spoon. It tastes better and is more crunchy than cornflakes!

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 47


{ from mississippi to beyohnd }

Storyteller of the South D

By Kathy K. Martin

enise Gee may be cooking up her successful Southern-themed cookbooks while living in Dallas now, but her earliest memories of Southern cooking began in her hometown of Natchez. She vividly remembers as a young girl smelling the pungent aromas wafting from the screened door of her grandmother’s jelly kitchen, which was housed in an old carriage house behind her large Victorian home. The strong smells of vinegar and peppers that blended to make hot pepper jelly and the apple and pineapple preserves mixed with hot mustard for Jezebel sauce brought Gee running inside to help her grandmother, Freddie Bailey. Living in the heart of Natchez’s garden district and its many antebellum homes provided the perfect backdrop for Gee to live and learn everything Southern. Whether she was helping her grandma cook or leading a home tour while wearing a hoop-skirted dress during the Natchez pilgrimage tours, she said that she paid close attention to every detail. Those details revolved around the food, drinks, and décor of the grand parties hosted by fascinating and eccentric people. “It was in those places that I’d learn the difference between mahogany and rosewood, coin and sterling silver, and columns 48 • JUNE/JULY 2017

with Doric or Corinthian-style capitals.” These memories inspired and fueled Gee’s love of Southern storytelling. “I’m certain that these early experiences inspired my love of storytelling, but the notion that I might one day channel my love of Southern stories, style, foods, and traditions would coalesce over time.” Her first step began when she helped test and type recipes for her grandmother’s first nationally-published cookbook, Aunt Freddie’s Pantry, followed by helping to write and style her cousin, Lee Bailey’s, acclaimed food and entertaining book, Southern Food & Plantation Houses, which ultimately won a James Beard award in 1991. Her experience had developed as she grew up helping her grandmother decorate gift boxes for her assorted line of Aunt Freddie’s jellies and sauces, while also working in her family’s clothing boutique, Tot Teen & Mom. She remembers sending the canned goodies to locals, tourists and many celebrities such as Lucille Ball and Bob Hope, who she said would place large orders. “Otherwise, my world was much more of a downhome one and my grandmother was a bundle of energy and charm who loved having me at her side to help accomplish her many creative projects.”


She earned her journalism degree from Louisiana State Gee and her husband. Of course, one of those books will University and landed her first job as the lifestyle editor of again feature their hometown of Natchez. “This book will Natchez’s daily newspaper. She worked toward her goal of feature Natchez in a fun way, so stay tuned,” said Gee. edm producing stories for more far-reaching outlets and managed to land a job with Southern Living. From that experience she became managing editor of Coastal Living, where she oversaw its food and entertaining stories, and then years later she became senior home design editor and regional writer/stylist for Better Homes and Gardens. Early in her career she met and married a photographer, Robert Peacock , who also grew up in Natchez. “Neither of us thought we’d ever marry someone from our own hometown since we’d set our minds on traveling and living life to the fullest, but we’ve done that together.” As they continued their careers with newspapers and magazines in Florida, Texas, and Alabama, they worked as a duo on numerous food and entertaining articles. By 2007, they published their first cookbook project, Southern Cocktails, with most of the photography and styling done in Natchez. After that project, they went on to complete more books: Porch Parties, Sweet on Texas, Southern Casseroles, and their most recent, Southern Appetizers. They have also worked on countless other projects as a couple and also separately. She says that people in Dallas and Natchez are similar in many ways, especially their personable manner. “While we love the region’s Tex-Mex fare, we miss the ability to pick up a “meat-and-three plate,” with say fried chicken, collard greens, blackeyed peas, and macaroni and cheese. We can cook all that if we want to, but it’s nice to eat it in a more deeply Southern setting such as Natchez.” Since Texas summers are so hot, Gee prefers cooking anything that doesn’t turn their kitchen into a giant oven. She enjoys sautéing fresh okra until it’s crisp and serving it with fresh peas and thick-sliced tomatoes. She and her husband also freeze melon and use it in blender-based drinks such as cocktails with Mississippi’s Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. “When I do heat up the oven, I love baking my mother’s cheese straws, which I’ve fashioned into a more voluptuous nibble for our latest book.” Early in her life, Denise Gee worked in her family’s clothing boutique, More cookbooks are planned by Tot Teen & Mom, in Natchez. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 49


50 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Honeysuckle-Watermelon Refreshers by Denise Gee

Serves 8 8 cups seeded, cubed watermelon or honeydew, plus wedges for garnish (optional) 2 cups lemon-lime soda 1 to 1-1/2 cups honeysuckle vodka 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice 1/4 cup light honey, agave nectar, or sugar 1/2 cup cointreau or other orangeflavored liqueur (optional) Ice cubes Mint sprigs for garnish (optional) In a blender or food processor, purée the watermelon cubes until smooth. Strain the watermelon pulp through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, using a spoon to squeeze out as much juice as you can. Discard the remaining pulp. Stir in the lemon-lime soda, vodka, lime juice, honey, and Cointreau (if using). Stir gently and pour the drink in cocktail glasses filled with ice. Garnish with watermelon wedges and mint sprigs, if desired, before serving.

Fanciful Cheese Straws by Denise Gee

Serves 8 to 10, about four straws each 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (see cooking notes) 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more for dusting (optional) 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for dusting (optional) 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the cheese until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, 5 to 7 minutes. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, and garlic powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the cheese mixture, mixing well to

blend them thoroughly. When the dough is smooth, stir in the remaining 1 cup cheese. Spoon the dough (which will have a putty-like texture) into a large piping bag or cookie press fitted with a large star tip. Slowly pipe 3-inch-long strands of dough, shaping them curvaceously if desired, onto the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 1-1/2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove the cheese straws from the oven and, if desired, dust them with additional cayenne (for added heat) or paprika (for color and subtle depth). Place the cheese straws on wire racks and let them cool for 7 to 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container, with parchment paper in between the layers to protect from breakage, for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Cooking notes: Butter softens faster when cut into slices and placed on a warmed plate. Thinner portions of cheese straw dough bake in less time, so watch the oven. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 51


{ from the bookshelf }

Food, Health, and Happiness By Oprah Winfrey Published by Flatiron Books

H

by kelsey wells lambert

er name will always have a place in Mississippi, and worldwide, fame. Oprah Winfrey, longtime host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, philanthropist and media leader, is lovingly claimed by the Magnolia State as a source of pride. Born in Kosciusko, she grew from a poor child who only wanted to enjoy the pleasures of a steaming bowl of Campbell’s soup to a name known around the world, where she has invested her wealth into the lives of others and can dine on any dish she pleases. As a celebrity in the spotlight, Winfrey’s struggles to maintain a healthy weight are also well-known. Fad diets, fasts and other quick fixes helped her to drop weight, but she admits to hiding her daily stress and problems by reaching for food to comfort her. The vicious cycle of losing and gaining kept Winfrey bound until 2015, when the Weight Watchers program finally changed her perspective of food. Winfrey has since learned how to balance her activity and eating and has learned to eat “with pleasure, ease, and maybe even a hint of joy.” She learned the importance of caring for herself and that each person must realize that they “deserve to be healthy.” True to her giving nature, Winfrey now shares some of the healthy recipes that have revolutionized her way of eating and living. Her latest volume is titled Food, Health, and Happiness. So much more than just a cookbook of recipes, Winfrey shares her journey, personal thoughts and photographs from throughout her life and career in this heartfelt volume. Each of the 115 recipes in the book is carefully detailed and includes a section outlining preparation and cooking time, along with the number of servings the recipe produces, calories per serving, and the Weight Watchers SmartPoints per serving. Photography shows off the color and texture of the dishes and entices the reader to give these fresh, healthy dishes a try. Winfrey also includes stories of the chefs who have impacted her life, a guide to some of her favorite tools that she uses in her kitchen, and an index to help readers find their favorite recipes easily. Rather than begin her recipes with the traditional appetizer section found in many other cookbooks, Winfrey begins this 52 • JUNE/JULY 2017

volume with a food she desired as a child and now frequently consumes as an adult- soup. She includes simple pleasures such as Basic Tomato Soup and more intense recipes like Red Pepper, Sausage and Fennel Soup. A small subsection includes garnishes which add even more flavor to the recipes. “What are You Really Hungry For” offers alternatives to traditionally high-fat, high-calorie favorites. Skinny Cornbread, Mashed Cauli-Potatoes and Art Smith’s Unfried Chicken all help Weight Watchers participants enjoy great flavors while sticking to their daily allotment of SmartPoints. She also offers sorbet recipes and a limited number of dessert options. “The Faith of a Mustard Seed” gives recipes for TeaSmoked Wild Salmon and Miso-Glazed Cod, and its subsection of “Morning Glories” give the day a healthy kickstart with Bana Walnut Oatmeal and other tempting options. “A World of Possibilities” explores healthy options from far away with Indian Pumpkin Curry, Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Basmati Rice and Japanese Brown Rice with Kale, Avocado and Edamame Salad. “A Healthy Indulgence” focuses on entertaining and celebrations, offering heartier dishes such as Pasta Primavera, Twice-Baked Potatoes and Crab Cakes. She also includes drinks and snacks to offer guests for special days. Winfrey offers this advice when serving these dishes: “Make these dishes special. Share them with someone you cherish. Be sure to savor- really savor- every single bite. Stop yourself from eating past the point of comfort. And do not, under any circumstance, allow yourself even a second of regret.” Winfrey ends this volume with many different ways to prepare fresh, healthy and flavorful greens. Brussels Sprout Salad, Romaine Hearts with Warm Mushrooms and Truffle Viniagrette and other recipes show the versatility and tastiness of these healthy, natural foods. For Winfrey and many others, eating and weight management has been a daily struggle and, for some, a dangerous denial. With her newfound joy in consuming healthy but delicious meals, Winfrey and Food, Health, and Happiness can help anyone learn the enjoyment that comes from eating well. edm


Brined and Roasted Chicken 2 fresh thyme sprigs 2 fresh rosemary sprigs 2 quarts water 1 rib celery, chopped 1 small carrot, chopped 1 small yellow onion, chopped 1/2 cup peeled and smashed garlic cloves 1-1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns 1 bay leaf 1/3 cup fine sea salt 1 (3-1/2 pound) chicken, neck and giblets removed teaspoon extra virgin olive oil Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen twine to make an herb bundle. In a large nonreactive pot, combine 1 quart of the water, the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf, herb bundle, and salt, place

over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt. Immediately remove from the heat, add the remaining 1 quart water, and cool completely. Pour the brine into a nonreactive container large enough to hold chicken. Add the chicken to the brine, submerging completely. Refrigerate to brine at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the brine, discard brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Place chicken on a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack and rub oil over the chicken. Place the pan in the middle rack of the oven with the legs facing back. Roast the chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of thigh registers 160 degrees F. Remove chicken from the oven; let rest for about 20 minutes, then carve and serve.

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 53


{ raise your glass }

Summer Refreshment

Fruit Tea Punch by Lisa LaFontaine Bynum

Serves: 4-6 Makes 1-1/2 gallons 2 cups granulated sugar 1 cup water 2 cups strong brewed tea, cooled 1 cup lemonade 2 -1/2 cups orange juice 2 cups pineapple juice 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries 1 quart ginger ale Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Continue to simmer until sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens into a thin syrup. Remove syrup from the heat and allow to cool completely. In a large container, combine syrup, tea, lemonade, and juices. Add sliced strawberries and ginger ale right before serving. For more of Lisa’s delicious recipes, visit www.cookingbride.com. 54 • JUNE/JULY 2017


-

Bellazar’s Boyle

-

Steak by Southaven Melissa The Hills

The Delta -

BiStarkville n 612 The Pines

- Drago’Jackson s-

-

Capital/River

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

Jack’s byPascagoula the Tracks -

Coastal

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 55


The Hills

Steak by Melissa 4975 Pepper Chase Dr., Southaven • 662.342.0602 • www.steakbymelissa.com

56 • JUNE/JULY 2017


The Hills story and photography By Megan Wolfe

T

he one and only female World Champion Pitmaster has opened a steak restaurant in Southaven. With Memphis a stone’s throw away, you might expect a BBQ master to compete here, but you might be surprised to find her in a restaurant kitchen, grilling filets so tender you can cut them with a fork. But Pitmaster Melissa Cookston is all about bold surprises. Walking into Steak by Melissa, your eyes are first struck by the large, bronze bull centered in the vast, open dining room. He charges through industrial decor, and faces an expansive wall of reclaimed wood. The Melissa Cookston word “STEAK” illuminates out from the wall, backlit by vibrant red light. Steampunk-inspired fixtures dangle over tables below to accentuate the masculine theme. Once seated, diners will appreciate the upbeat soundtrack and ample elbow room. The menu is presented on a large clipboard, where, at first glance, the deliciously marbled Ribeye, Black & Bleu Filet, Sesame Salmon, and Broiled Crab Cakes stand out. Plate lunches are available during the day, and serve up heaping portions of fried chicken, meatloaf, and fried pork chops. If the clipboard seems curious, return to Steak on another day and you may discover that Cookston has premiered a new creation after a 3 a.m. epiphany. “We don’t wait for grass to grow around here,” she laughs. And she doesn’t. When she first started competing on the BBQ circuit twenty years ago, it never occurred to Cookston to buy pre-made sauces and alter them to become her own. So, she doesn’t do that here, either. From sauces to rubs, and even the butter, everything is mindfully made from scratch. She’s always pushing herself to the next level and in the process has published two cookbooks. Cookston’s second cookbook, Smokin’ Hot in the South, inspired Steak by Melissa, her fourth restaurant.

“My roots have been in BBQ, and that’s really what I’m known for,” says Cookston. “I’ve won Memphis in May twice, and my first cookbook was about BBQ. It was about cooking low and slow; smoking. My second one was about grilling, and cooking hot and fast.” Cookston partly credits her BBQ obsession with the smoked meats of her Delta upbringing, and remembers her first foray into BBQ competitions. It was cold and raining in Greenwood, and she was seven months pregnant. They lost

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 57


The Hills Calamari

Cheese Skillet

the poles for her tent on the drive down, so her husband and brother cobbled together some odds-and-ends. Her smoker was retrofitted with a propane tank, and she spent the night turning it away from the wind. When she slept, she curled up under the firebox for warmth. Cookston placed 5th out of forty teams, and she was hooked. Today, she continues to compete, but has her sights set on ‘Kansas City Style’ competitions, where a competitor’s placement is the summary total of several scores. In Memphis, the best ribs simply win ‘Best Ribs’.

58 • JUNE/JULY 2017

Sesame Salmon

“It’s more about consistency throughout all four categories,” she says. “I feel like I’ve proven myself in the Memphis Style circuit, so I want to see what I can do with the Kansas City Style, so I’ve been dabbling a little bit.” When asked what her favorite steak on the menu is, Cookston personally prefers the juiciness of a 20 oz. ribeye, but she encourages patrons to try a few different things. “We don’t do things the standard way; I always want to do something unconventional,” said Cookston. “I have to tell people all the time, try something a little new. You might like it.” edm


The Hills

Strawberry Cake

Brownie Brulee

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 59


The Delta

Bellazar’s 114 Gaines Hwy., Boyle • 662.846.8949

Stuffed Pork Chop 60 • JUNE/JULY 2017


The Delta

Story by Jo Alice Darden Photography by Devan Bastari and Sara Bufkin

N

o detail is overlooked at Bellazar’s Inc. in Boyle. Floors gleam, and corners are dust-free. Glassware twinkles. The bar surface shines. Guest tables don’t wobble. Salt and pepper shakers are filled. The kitchen is spotless. Service is impeccable. Entrées are cooked to order with precision. “The servers laugh at me, but I can spot a staple on the floor from across the room,” said John Nassar, chef-owner of Bellazar’s for 15 years. His streamlined menu offers what he loves to cook and eat—primarily steaks and seafood—and he does all the grilling, over charcoal. “I have always wanted to run my own business, and I always wanted to own a restaurant,” said Nassar, 53. “My family didn’t have a lot of money, so going out to eat was really special, and I want my customers to have that same feeling when they come here.” Bellazar’s started as a service station decades ago and was converted to a restaurant later. Nassar, who had worked for years selling and servicing auto laser/GPS machine-controlled systems for Spectra-Precision, bought the shuttered restaurant in October 2001 and began the remodeling with a friend during his free time. Bellazar’s opened in March 2002. The restaurant’s name is a curiosity. “I made it up,” Nassar said. “I wanted a one-word name that didn’t say or mean anything.” Nassar brought pieces of his old airplane memorabilia collection to use as wall art. With low ceilings, soft lighting and a cozy bar just upstairs, it’s easy for guests to imagine they’re dining in an intimate post-World War II bistro. While Nassar cuts and preps all the meat and works the grill, Gwen Carter, who has been with Nassar for 15 years, makes everything else on the menu. Josh Clemons has been bartending at Bellazar’s for 12 years. Nassar appreciates such loyalty in an industry known for its high turnover rate. And he depends heavily on Sara Bufkin, the restaurant’s manager, to keep things running smoothly. Probably 95 percent of the wait staff, Nassar said, comes from Delta State University in Cleveland, a few miles north of Boyle. He trains the staff to high standards. “I wouldn’t trade one of my servers for five from anywhere else,” he said. The food is unfussy; ingredients are high-quality; and portions are generous. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 61


The Delta

Oysters Thibodeaux Grilled Mahi Mahi

62 • JUNE/JULY 2017


The Delta “Most restaurants don’t ‘feature’ their hamburger steak, but ours is different,” Nassar said. “It’s a full pound of 89/19 ground chuck, charcoal-grilled to order and smothered in grilled onions and gravy.” Nassar said at least 85 percent of his business is steaks—8ounce and 14-ounce filets and 16-ounce and 26-ounce ribeye steaks. “It feels good when people from Kansas City and Texas— ‘steak country’—tell me my steaks were the best they’d ever had,” Nassar said, “and when folks from south Louisiana praise my seafood gumbo.” Other exemplary seafood dishes include Bourbon Street Shrimp, which is shrimp sautéed in Cajun seasoning with lemons, garlic, beer and spices—“very brothy,” said Nassar—

Filet with Twice Baked Potato

and Stuffed Mahi Mahi, filled with a crabmeat stuffing and topped with a creamy crawfish sauce. Other seafood selections available are tuna, salmon, catfish, redfish and snapper. Burgers, chicken grilled and stuffed with four kinds of cheese, and pork chops round out the entrées, and the list of appetizers is ample. “There’s a sign on the door to the kitchen that says ‘Employees Only,’ but I love it when people get up to leave and walk back to the kitchen to tell me how much they enjoyed their meal,” Nassar said. “Working in a successful restaurant is like hangin’ out and having fun all the time—while you are making a living,” he said, shaking his head in amazement. “What is better than that?” edm

Dirty Martini

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 63


The Pines Bin 612 Burger - beef patty, hickory smoked bacon, garlic aioli, lettuce and tomato, served on focaccia with choice of cheese

64 • JUNE/JULY 2017


The Pines

Bin 612 612 University Dr., Starkville • 662.324.6126 • www.eatlocalstarkville.com

F

story by katie hutson west | photography by matt dorroh

or Chef Ty Thames, keeping it real and keeping it local is a motto he’s built an empire on. With four restaurants in Starkville, Bin 612 is the one that’s best known for its gourmet comfort food and fresh, local flavor. With a cool atmosphere, the best ‘people-watching’ porch in the Cotton District, and an inspired menu, Bin 612 is the place to be. It boasts prime real estate on University Dr. and is within walking distance to MSU and great shopping. Sharing a family tree with Restaurant Tyler, The Guest Room, and City Bagel, Bin 612 opened in 2005 when Thames and business partner, Brian Kelley, decided to add another restaurant to their repertoire. They had a vision of an intimate wine bar serving elegant, complementary dishes. But thanks to the Mississippi heat popping wine corks and the fickle college crowd, a wine bar just wasn’t meant to be. “Bin has definitely evolved,” says Chef Ty. “When we first opened, we were cooking on the back-patio because the

kitchen was so small.” A native Mississippian, Chef Ty traveled for his culinarily education throughout the northeastern U.S. to as far away at Italy. His enthusiasm is infectious and has turned him into a local celebrity, with publications all over Mississippi and the South, including Southern Living. Chef Ty brings a freshness and love of homegrown goods to each of his restaurants. They all serve made from scratch everything. “The sauces, the breads, the paninis, it’s all of the highest quality,” says the chef. When it comes to the menu at Bin 612, you can expect southern style fresh. “Ninety-five percent of what comes out of here is made by us or locally sourced,” Chef Ty says. “We like to make it special and fresh.” His favorites include the Italian pizza, queso burger, salmon sliders, and avocado fries. “But the cheese fries have taken a life of their own,” Chef says of the fan favorite that even has its own Twitter page. Another big crowd pleaser at Bin 612 is the drunken chicken. It’s roasted in a Big Green Egg out on the back patio and sets everyone’s mouth to watering mode. “The best thing about this is there’s no waste - we use the whole chicken,” explains Chef Ty of their method for cooking the bird. Apps at Bin include gourmet versions of classic comfort foods like hand breaded chicken tenders, made from scratch cheese sticks, and nachos topped with pulled drunken chicken. As the premier place to get a panini, Bin 612’s grilled sandwiches are made to order and come in styles like Italian, Philly cheese steak, and chicken club. There’s also a Cajun Gulf Shrimp Poorboy on French bread. The entrée menu offers creamy chicken Alfredo, grilled

Atlantic Salmon with Grit Cake and Sautéed Spinach eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 65


The Pines

Spinach Florentine Pizza with Saffron Sauce salmon over grits, and chops slathered in local honey butter ― which our contributor, Jay Reed, describes as the “best boneless pork chop I’ve ever eaten”. Burgers at the Bin are served on fresh hemp potato or focaccia bread and come home-style with bacon and garlic aioli or the southwestern way – topped with avocado and pepper jack. There’s also the fan favorite queso burger and the veggie burger, which has been called the best in Starkville and is made with red beans and rice. The pizzas at Bin 612 have a thin crust and traditional Italian flavor. The BBQ chicken is made with saffron cream sauce and the Carne is a meat lover’s dream. There’s the spinach Florentine that’s covered in artichoke hearts and a Farmer’s pizza topped with mixed garden greens and fresh tomatoes. Open for lunch, dinner, and late night daily, Bin also has light snacks like tacos filled with seafood or grilled chicken and sautéed shrimp topped with sriracha and avocado. The icing on the cake is definitely desert. There’s homemade all-from-scratch bread pudding and Mississippi Honey Crème Brûlée. “An amazing dessert, the Bin 612 S’more, has the usual characters plus some peanut butter sauce and is served in a giant martini glass,” says Reed of his pick.  Chef Ty and crew are constantly coming up with new, fresh ideas when it comes to how they run their business and what types of food they put out. “We don’t take shortcuts,” Chef Ty says of their philosophy. “We have the same ambitions and goals and believe in the same things.” They are definitely doing something right. “What is most impressive is the number of chefs who have come through that kitchen,” Reed says of the talent. “It seems to be a training ground for local power chefs.” edm 66 • JUNE/JULY 2017


The Pines

Salmon Sliders on House-made Focaccia Bread eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 67


Capital/River

68 • JUNE/JULY 2017


Capital/River

Drago’s

Seafood Restaurant 1005 E County Line Rd., Jackson • 601.957.1515 • www.dragosrestaurant.com

story By Lisa LaFontaine Bynum photos courtesy of drago’s at hilton jackson hotel

T

he rise of Drago’s Seafood Restaurant is the epitome of an American success story. It starts with an immigrant who fled his war-torn homeland after WWII and, through hard work, built a flourishing business in America. Drago Cvitanovich was born in what is now known as Croatia. After surviving WWII, he wanted to flee the new Communist government. He was caught trying to escape and was jailed, but would later escape to Germany. There he was hired by the U.S. Army Labor Department and served as a military police officer. Cvitanovich later immigrated to Canada, but hoped to join family in New Orleans. During his 10 years in Canada, he met and married his wife Klara, also a Croatian. Finally, in 1964 Cvitanovich, his wife, and their two young sons, Tommy and Gerry, were granted visas into the United States. Cvitanovich quickly engrained himself into the New Orleans restaurant scene. He started out working in his brother-in-law’s restaurant, later moving to the iconic Acme Oyster House in New Orleans. Cvitanovich had dreams of owning a restaurant of his own. In 1969, his dream became a reality when the couple opened Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in Metairie. Anyone who has ever opened a restaurant will tell you, it’s not easy. The Cvitanovichs were no exception. In addition to raising two small boys, Klara Cvitanovich was employed full-time at a local travel agency and worked in the restaurant at night. Tommy Cvitanovich remembers camping out at the local laundromat with his parents after closing so the couple could wash tablecloths and napkins for the next day. The couple often stayed up until midnight folding laundry. “I remember my brother and I sleeping in the backseat of the car or playing in the laundromat,” Tommy remises. “I used to do homework at the bar after school and get help from the patrons. The parking lot was like our backyard. We would to go out there and play catch.” While younger brother Gerry went on to become a eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 69


Capital/River

Tommy Cvitanovich

successful physician and current Jefferson Parish coroner, older brother Tommy never considered a career outside the restaurant industry. “I love the people. I love talking to people,” he says. “The restaurant is like my living room. People are always coming and going. I enjoy watching guests come in and enjoy the great food and the atmosphere.” In fact, Tommy is credited for creating the restaurant’s signature dish – the original charbroiled oysters. “I am not a chef. I am a ‘restaurant brat,’” he says. “One day I was messing around in the kitchen and wondered what oysters would taste like if we cooked them on the grill in the same way we prepare our redfish. Twenty-five years later, it is our most popular dish. We sell about three million chargrilled oysters a year.” Under Tommy’s direction, Drago’s opened their second location at Hilton New Orleans Riverside in 2007. Currently, it is the most profitable restaurant within any Hilton chain worldwide and one of the highest grossing restaurants in New Orleans. In 2014, Tommy was approached by Blake Brennan (of 70 • JUNE/JULY 2017

the famous Brennan family in New Orleans) and Skipper Westbrook, general manager of the Hilton Hotel in Jackson, about opening a third location in Jackson. “We were looking for a new concept to go into a building we already had,” explains Westbrook. “Blake approached me and said, ‘Instead of a new concept, why don’t we bring in an old concept that is solid?’ That’s when he mentioned the idea of bringing Drago’s to Jackson.” While the proposal itself was appealing, there is another little-known connection that inspired the Cvitanovichs to open their first restaurant outside of Louisiana. “Andrew Cvitanovich and Mary Cvitanovich Mahoney, who owned Mary Mahoney’s in Biloxi, are my father’s first cousins,” Tommy reveals. “While my father was in the process of opening his restaurant, he ran out of capital. That Easter, we were invited to Mary’s house for lunch. Before we left that day, Mary pulled my father aside, handed him $4,000, and told him to go finish his restaurant. Without that loan, Drago’s might not have succeeded.” If you pay a visit to the original Drago’s in Metairie, you’ll notice a mural of Biloxi’s Back Bay painted on the wall. Two


Capital/River

Drago’s Mixed Grill - Half charbroiled Maine lobster, a petit filet, and blackened shrimp with corn maque choux

of the boats in the mural are named the Mary Mahoney and the Andrew C. in honor of Cvitanovich’s Mississippi cousins. After Drago passed away earlier this year, Mary Mahoney’s restaurant added a boat named the Drago C. to the mural in their restaurant. “We’ve always had an affinity for Mississippi,” Tommy adds. Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in Jackson opened in December 2014 to great success. In addition to chargrilled oysters, the menu features all the restaurant favorites including burgers and po’ boys, creole specialties, and, of course, fresh seafood brought in fresh from the gulf every day. Tommy makes a personal effort to oversee each of his restaurants and can frequently be found walking through the dining room in Jackson, meeting and attending to customers. When asked what has given Drago’s its staying power after nearly 50 years, Tommy replies, “It was all the hard work and perseverance on my mom and dad’s part. They were not willing to fail. They wanted to succeed and they were willing to do whatever it took to make it happen.” edm

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 71


Coastal

Jack’s by the Tracks 709 Krebs Ave., Pascagoula • 228.334.2337 www.jacksbythetracks.com

story and photography by julian brunt

P

ascagoula may not be famous as a dining destination, but you just might be surprised at what you will find. There are a handful of good places, but if you want a funky place to go with as quirky a menu as you will find anywhere, plus live music, there is no place to go like Jack’s by the Tracks. If you think you’ve seen a quirky menu before, think again. Jacks offers tapas, Southern-inspired sushi, tacos, and a killer good roast beef po-boy. No kidding. This place has been around for five years, and owners D.J. and Mark Garrison have got this place, what they like to call a contemporary juke joint,

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nailed. The Garrisons studied the art of making sushi under Marisa Baggett, a Sushi Academe of America grad, and they learned their lesions well. The sushi is artfully made, beautifully presented, and just delicious. One of the secrets D.J. insists is that, as she says “We don’t try to be Asian.” A closer look at the menu makes that perfectly clear. Check out the Jackimo: fried shrimp, cream cheese, crawfish, and spicy mayo. Another great example is the Red Widow, made with soft shell crab, or the Mango Tango, made with yellowtail, mango, cream cheese, and jalapenos.


Coastal

Fried Crawfish Balls

My friend Scott Letherman and I started this culinary exploration with an order of fried crawfish balls, and to tell you the truth, they were so good I could have ordered a cold beer and another plate of these delicious, crunch balls and been a very happy man indeed. This appetizer was loaded with crawfish, coulis, crab stick, and spicy mayo, and I loved every bite. Next on the hit list were two tacos, spicy shrimp with a great and indeed spicy jalapeño relish and Korean BBQ pork, made with fermented peppers, cabbage, pickled vegetables, and cilantro and lime aioli. Again, these tacos were good enough to

have doubled the order, along with another beer or two, and it would have been a very fine afternoon. But we didn’t stop there. We could just not resist a plate of Jack’s best sushi, and we selected the aforementioned Jackimo, the Bob Marley Roll (yellowtail, avocado, cream cheese and jalapeño, topped with hot sauce and sesame seeds), and, as if that wasn’t enough, the also previously mentioned Red Widow. If Southern inspired tapas, tacos, and sushi don’t inspire you, go for the Jacks Special, a spectacular looking roast beef po-boy, covered in gravy and with the interesting option of

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 73


Coastal

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Coastal adding cheese. If you get this po-boy, get a roll of paper towels to go with it. Although there are plenty of other options on the menu, I’d recommend the Vancleave Special. This is an old Biloxi recipe that came from Rossetti’s, a longtime now-defunct Point Cadet favorite. This po-boy, loaded with crab cake and processed American cheese on top, is a Gulf Coast classic. So next time you find yourself on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and want a contemporary juke joint atmosphere, head to Jack’s for great food, music in the evenings (see their Facebook page for listings), friendly service, and a menu you’ll just love. edm

LEFT: Assortment oF sushi TOP: Korean BBQ Taco ABOVE: Shrimp Taco

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 75


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{ featured festival }

Get a Taste of the Gulf at Crab Fest in Bay St. Louis L

by kelsey wells lambert | photography by sea coast echo

ocated on South Beach Boulevard in scenic Bay St. Louis, Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church is famous for its annual Crab Fest. Now in its 33rd year, the festival brings the community together to enjoy delicious seafood and experience live entertainment and artistry. At the head of the Crab Fest for 20 years, Mrs. Pam Metzler, known as “The Crab Lady,” has a huge undertaking as she plans and schedules the event each year. The festival is traditionally on the weekend closest to or containing July 4th, and thousands will flock to the Coast to experience the sights, sounds and tastes. At the heart of the festival is its namesake, crabs, along with other types of fresh seafood prepared by parishioners. Over 5,000 pounds of crabs and 3,000 pounds of shrimp are prepared during each festival. For those who do not prefer the taste of boiled seafood, many other options are available. Fried shrimp po-boys, jambalaya, and the festival’s famous crab-stuffed potatoes are in good supply. Over 100 crafters will display and sell their works during the festival. Since commercial or imported goods are not allowed for sale, you can be sure that the crafts are original works that will make special additions to your home. Live music is also a big part of the three-day festival. Three bands perform each day during the three-day festival. Those who attend are encouraged to attend the concerts and to sing and dance along to the music.

A $15,000 drawdown gives visitors a chance to leave the Crab Fest with a little extra cash. What draws people to the Crab Fest, Metzler explains, is the family atmosphere. Every visitor can find a different aspect of the weekend to enjoy. The festival is truly an “of the people” event. Parishioners cook and freeze dishes for the festival well in advance to make sure that those in attendance will have plenty of good food. Even those who do not attend Our Lady of the Gulf get into the spirit of the festival, making it a continued success. It is truly a community event, said Metzler. This year’s festival will be held Friday, June 30 - Sunday, July 2, with food, fun and music available throughout much of the day and into the evening all three days. If you have a craft product that you would like to sell, an application is available on the church website at www. olgchurch.net. Vendor spaces are available on a “first come, first served” basis and the application and payment should be mailed no later than June 5. All are invited to visit the scenic Gulf Coast and enjoy all that the Crab Fest has to offer as this community tradition celebrates 33 years of great seafood and great fellowship. edm Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Fest June 30th - July 2nd www.olgchurch.net

eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 77


Food Festivals & Events is held at the Historic Train Depot in Downtown Hattiesburg and takes place during FestivalSouth, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival. The festival showcases the art and artists behind craft beer with the purpose of supporting and expanding the ever-growing craft beer movement in Mississippi. For more information, visit www. hattiesburgcraftbeerfest.com. •••

June 3rd

Ocean Springs Red, White and Blueberry Festival The Annual Red, White & Blueberry Festival is a community, family-fun event held in conjunction with the Ocean Springs Fresh Market featuring numerous vendors, blueberry recipes, free vanilla ice-cream topped with blueberries and strawberries, entertaining cooking sessions and more. For more information, visit www.oceanspringschamber.com or call 228-875-4424. •••

June 17th

Washington, D.C. Mississippi on the Mall Hosted each year by The Mississippi Society of Washington, D.C., this event offers fried catfish, drinks, fellowship, live music, and more at the northeast corner of the Lincoln Memorial. For more information, visit www. themississippisociety.org.

June 10th

Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival The 5th Annual Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival is sponsored by the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. This event 78 • JUNE/JULY 2017


July 13-15th

June 24th

Crystal Springs Tomato Festival The Crystal Springs Tomato Festival kicks off annually on the last Saturday in June with a kiddie parade that includes bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and wagons decorated in red to honor the tomato. Centered around the railroad tracks, the event features plenty of arts and crafts and typical festival food, plus plenty of tomato-related food including fried green tomatoes and BLT sandwiches. The event also includes a 5K run/walk and 1 mile fun run and Tomato Queen contest. For more information, visit www.cityofcrystalsprings.com or call 601-892-2526.

Corinth - Slugburger Festival Highlights of the annual Slugburger Festival include a slugburger eating contest, live entertainment, green market, and more. For more information, call 662-287-1550 or visit www. facebook.com/slugburgerfestival. •••

•••

June 30th - July 2nd

Bay St. Louis Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Fest The Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Fest features incomparable food, live music, arts and crafts booths, rides, raffles, crab races, and much more. Food items include boiled crab and shrimp, shrimp and catfish po-boys, gumbo, crab-stuffed potatoes, biscuits, and more. For more information, call 228-467-6509 or visit www.olgchurch.net.

July 14-15th

Mize Mississippi Watermelon Festival Enjoy two full days of music, fun, arts and crafts, and all the free watermelon you care to eat. The festival will feature a 5K run, and a great car and truck show hosted by the Smith County Cruisers. Be sure to join in the fun of the watermelon eating contest and the seed spitting contest and don’t miss the biggest watermelon contest. For more information, call 601733-5647 or visit www.mswatermelonfestival.com.

To have your food festival or culinary event included in future issues, please contact us at info@eatdrinkmississippi.com. All submissions are subject to editor's approval. eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 79


Recipe Index

Advertisers Index

Apple Tart, 47 Asian Marinated Cucumber Salad, 40 Bold Honey Barbecue Burger, 35 Brined and Roasted Chicken, 53 Cucumber Cups, 15 Fanciful Cheese Straws, 51 Fire ‘N Ice summer Salad, 23 Fruit Tea Punch, 54 Honeysuckle-Watermelon Refreshers, 51 Ice Cream Cones, 46 Pimento & Cheese, 47 Rainbow Cream, 45 Red, White and Blueberry Frozen Pops, 29 Roasted Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing, 40 Southwestern Hummus Bites, 15 Strawberry Peach Crumble, 40 Sugar Cookies, 46

Bin 612, 31 Bravo, 11 Christina Foto, 11 County Seat, 31 Crazy Cat Eat Up, 30 Etta B Pottery, 6 Hattiesburg Craft Beer Festival, 13 McEwen’s, 31 Mississippi Children’s Museum, 3 Mississippi Food Network, 30 Mistletoe Marketplace, 83 Ridgeland Tourism, 11 Sanderson Farms, Back Cover Saltine, 9 Taste Bistro & Desserts, 31 The Kitchen Table, 6 Thurman’s Landscaping, 81 Tupelo, 2 Visit Jackson, 4

STORE INFORMATION from pages 16-17

Amazon www.amazon.com Frozen Dessert Supplies www.etsy.com/shop/FrozenDessertSupply Sweet Magnolia Gelato Co. 1540 Desoto Ave. #4 Clarksdale, MS 38614 662.313.6551 www.sweetmagnoliagelato.com The Everyday Gourmet 1270 E. County Line Rd. Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.977.9258 www.theeverydaygourmet.com

Follow us on Instagram to see some of the tasty, local bites we’ve discovered! 80 • JUNE/JULY 2017

The Kitchen Table 3720 Hardy St. Ste. 3 Hattiesburg, MS 39402 601.261.2224 www.kitchentablenow.com Viking Cooking School Retail Store 325 Howard St. Greenwood, MS 38930 662.451.6750 Williams-Sonoma 1000 Highland Colony Pkwy. Ridgeland, MS 39157 601.898.8882 www.williams-sonoma.com

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www.eatdrinkmississippi.com Landscaping • Irrigation Waterfalls • Lighting Outdoor Kitchens & Patios Iron & Brick Work

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601.270.8512 eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 81


Till We Eat Again

BILL DABNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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

82 82• •JUNE/JULY JUNE/JULY2017 2017

Kitchen Gadgets Handy When Actually Used BY JAY REED

I

f the worldwide interweb is to be believed, March was National Flour Month, Frozen Food Month, and Sauce Month. Boooorrrrrinng. Good thing National Nougat Day was up in the middle of that or we’d have all fallen asleep.   But wait - did you see that March 26th was “National Make Up Your Own Food Holiday Day?” That was an opportunity not to be missed, but when I looked back at what kept me busy in the kitchen that month, I discovered it really wasn’t a food at all.  Not even nougat. March was all about getting my gadgets on.   I like being prepared, but that can work for or against me. There are times I can see the future with near-prophetic vision, then proceed forthwith to the building supply or grocery to procure whatever equipment or ingredients might be needed for said project. Then one of two things happens: 1) I hit the ground running upon my return from the store, or 2) I just hit the ground, and start 6-12 months later.   But I’m ready.  Weeks ago I bought a bag of onions because an Ethiopian recipe required a dozen. A few days later I found the Berbere spice I would need to authentically complete the dish. Have I made the zigny? Of course not. But I’ll buy bags of onions over and over again until I do. When the mood strikes and the calendar clears, I will be ready.    Gadget accumulation is worse, because gadgets don’t spoil. I’m prone to cook something, realize how much better (i.e., easier) it would be if I just had a proper thingamajig, put that thingamajig on my Father’s Day/birthday/Christmas list, receive it (gratefully, even if I bought and wrapped it myself), then three or four months later open the box and actually use it. Compare that to my brother-in-law, aka Uncle Eddie, who visited us from Florida for Christmas. Mrs. Santa gave him an inflatable hot tub (it’s a real thing) on Christmas morning, and by Christmas night he was on my back porch soaking in it.   A Christmas or three ago I decided it was time to get a Kitchen Aid mixer for those three or four times a year I baked something that required mixing in an expensive red machine. And of all the attachments available, I settled on the meat grinder, with visions of homemade sausage dancing in my head. After my son harvested his first deer, I got the bright idea of processing it myself, having never done it before. That sounds smart, right? But we made some venison burgers and I was thankful for the grinder. In March, I decided to dust it off. I had beef and some bacon that needed to be cooked soon. I ground the bacon, mixed it in with the beef, and made some of the best burgers I’ve ever cooked. And I know this because my daughter liked them, and she only likes burgers prepared in expensive restaurants or by the baseball coach at Auburn. Home run for the grinder.   All my food processors came out that month, too.  I have three: a tiny cheap one I got via credit card points, a hand cranker from Pampered Chef for jobs that require precision, and a big ‘ol Cuisinart for the heavy lifting. Lately, I have been intrigued by the idea of making sweet potato hash brown waffles, but I hate to shred the darn things. It wears me out. Then I remembered there was a disc in that pile of Cuisinart parts that would do the shredding, and doggone it, it worked. The easily-shredded sweet potatoes went into the chronically under-used Belgian waffle iron and, well, I’m still working on that recipe - but I’m not giving up. The big food processor also helped me make my own almond milk. I don’t particularly crave it, but I was out to make a healthy coffee creamer free of dairy, and also free of a dozen other ingredients I can only spell because I went to pharmacy school. (Except sugar.  I can spell that ten different ways.) After pulverizing the almonds, I used a “nut milk bag” which I bought at the hardware store under the label, “paint strainer,” and I used it within 24 hours of purchase. There is hope for me yet.   March is now officially National Get Your Gadgets Month. I have declared it.  And you have nine months to prepare.  edm


eat. drink. MISSISSIPPI • 83


Sanderson Farms chicken has always been 100% natural with nothing added. That’s why folks across the nation have been making it part of their family meals for decades. We’re proud to say our chicken is just as fresh and delicious today as it was the first time you tasted it. And we hope that’s something you’re proud to pass down from generation to generation.

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Profile for Eat Drink Mississippi

June July 2017  

Our June/July 2017 issue features simple and healthy summer snacks, gourmet ice pop shops across the state, the best burger in Mississippi,...

June July 2017  

Our June/July 2017 issue features simple and healthy summer snacks, gourmet ice pop shops across the state, the best burger in Mississippi,...

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