Mobile Bay THE LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE FOR MOBILE AND BALDWIN COUNTIES
THE ENTERTAINING ISSUE
5 local design mavens show fashion trends
JACK EDWARDS looks back
THE ELVIS SCONE A breakfast fit for a king
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK DAVID COOPER walks us through Ruth’s Chris
DAY PEAKE + JASON MCKENZIE
Throw a Garden Party
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FEATURES APRIL 2018
REBEKAH WEBB PERCHES IN A WHITE LACE BLOUSE, DISTRESSED JEANS AND COLORFUL SLIP-ONS WHILE SPORTING BOLD FLORAL EARRINGS. PHOTO BY MATTHEW COUGHLIN
VOLUME XXXIV / ISSUE 4
Let’s Do Brunch Tips, tricks and crowd-pleasing recipes for hosting the perfect brunch, no matter if it’s homemade or straight from the grocery store shelf.
An Eye For Design Five area artists, designers and creators exhibit an array of spring looks and modern accents that show off their flair for fashion. ED — WE ASK TED O V U O Y E APRIL FOR TH ER! O C V
It was a near-dead heat for the two cover options when MB fans voted on social media. In the end, the Elvis Scone cover took the cake! Turn to page 40 for a closer look at the charcuterie runner-up. PHOTOS BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
Inspired by his hangover, British author Guy Beringer is credited with coining the term “brunch” in an 1895 article in Hunter’s Weekly. “Brunch,” Beringer explained, “is cheerful, sociable and inciting.” Learn how to entertain your own brunch crowd using MB’s tips on page 45. april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 5
DEPARTMENTS APRIL 2018
VOLUME XXXIV / ISSUE 4
LEFT Louise McCown, Bryant Wood and Lynn Cooper take on the toxins used by the unregulated personal care industry. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU RIGHT Redfish court bouillon and shaved asparagus salad decorate the plates at Day Peake and Jason McKenzie’s dinner party. PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
9 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 REACTION 13 ODDS & ENDS 15 THE DISH 16 SPOTLIGHT Advocating for Change Three local mothers take a stand against toxic personal care products.
26 TASTINGS The Cheese Cottage A cozy artisan cheese shop opens on a revitalized St. Louis Street. 28 GOOD STUFF Swinging Garden Party Sixties-inspired colors and textures make for a fab table setting.
19 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Jolane and Me Representative Jack Edwards shares favorite stories in MB’s new series.
30 BAY TABLES What’s Old is New Jason McKenzie and Day Peake host a timeless dinner with modern details.
23 COLLECTIONS A Mobile Wall of Fame Ruth’s Chris’s “Club Room” features photos from the city’s storied past.
40 GUMBO Curated Charcuterie A tasty board of cured meats and cheeses can be simple to assemble.
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68 APRIL CALENDAR 74 ARCHIVES Mobile Backyards of Old Allow Frances Beverly to exhort her opinions about the yards of Mobile. 76 ASK MCGEHEE Who was the Mobile inventor who supposedly flew a plane before the Wright brothers? John Fowler was a clock repairman turned showman with a spirited disposition. 78 IN LIVING COLOR Dauphin Street Grocer, circa 1900 Robert O. Harris poses before his grocery shop which, today, is the location of another Mobile staple.
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Mobile Bay VOLUME XXXIV
PUBLISHER T. J. Potts
EXECUTIVE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR/WEB
SENIOR WRITER EDITORIAL ASSISTANT PRODUCTION DIRECTOR ART DIRECTOR EDITORIAL INTERN
Stephen Potts Judy Culbreth Maggie Lacey Abby Parrott Breck Pappas Hallie King Gin Mathers Laurie Kilpatrick John Robertson
Joseph A. Hyland
Adelaide Smith McAleer ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Anna Pavao
ADMINISTRATION CIRCULATION Anita Miller ACCOUNTING Keith Crabtree
Frances Beverly, Mallory Boykin, Representative Jack Edwards, Tom McGehee, Jill Clair Gentry CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
Colleen Comer, Matthew Coughlin, Todd Douglas, Elizabeth Gelineau, Kathy Hicks, Chad Riley ADVERTISING AND EDITORIAL OFFICES
3729 Cottage Hill Road, Suite H Mobile, AL 36609-6500 251-473-6269 Subscription rate is $21.95 per year. Subscription inquiries and all remittances should be sent to: Mobile Bay P.O. Box 923773 Norcross, GA 30010-3773 1-855-357-3137 MOVING? Please note: U.S. Postal Service will not forward magazines mailed through their bulk mail unit. Please send old label along with your new address four to six weeks prior to moving. Mobile Bay is published 12 times per year for the Gulf Coast area. All contents Â© 2018 by PMT Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of the contents without written permission is prohibited. Comments written in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ownership or the management of Mobile Bay. This magazine accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork. All submissions will be edited for length, clarity and style. PUBLISHED BY PMT PUBLISHING INC .
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EXTRAS | EDITOR’S NOTE
The theory of the ruined table
friend once told me that the sign of a successful dinner party is a completely messy table around which everyone continues to linger. Spent wine bottles, crusts of bread, dirty plates and crumpled napkins all show that people are full and happy and enjoying each other’s company. If anyone, the host most especially, hurries to take away plates or clean up the kitchen, it makes guests uncomfortable and signals the end of the evening. But the ruined table is pure contentment. We’ve all heard talk of “love languages,” and I for one claim mine to be food. I show my love to family and friends by cooking meals and snacks of every sort, and entertaining just takes that to the next level. Whether your crew is eating on TV trays gathered in front of the latest episode of your favorite show or your dining table has been extended to accommodate 15 people for a five-course extravaganza, there is a method of entertaining for every personality, home and budget. Planning and preparation are the key. I always try to choose dishes that can be assembled as much ahead of time as possible. There’s no doubt I am not my best self when racing around the kitchen, sweating like a crazy person. Seasoned hostesses often say you should cook something and buy something. Choose one great recipe to lovingly prepare, and then buy the rest of the dinner. It keeps prep simple so the host can have as much fun as the guests! Southerners, and Mobilians especially, know a thing or two about throwing a fabulous shindig. From historic figures like Octavia LeVert to the modern day mavens we all admire, there is no shortage of cocktails and good times. This issue of MB brings you even more: elegant garden dinner parties, no-fuss brunch plans and casual tabletop goodies with a mod vibe. Take inspiration for your next fete! In the end, it doesn’t matter what you serve, but the love you put into it. Bon appétit and enjoy the love!
[LOVE THIS ISSUE] MADE IN THE SHADE WE WERE THRILLED TO WORK WITH LOCAL SUNLASSES DESIGNER MAHO SHADES, BASED OUT OF ORANGE BEACH, ON OUR SPRING FASHION SHOOT. THE HANDTOOLED DESIGNS ARE LIGHTWEIGHT AND SUPER STYLISH — I HAD TO SNAG A PAIR OF MY OWN! POLARIZED “VIRGIN GORDA” SHADES IN TROPICAL, $125.
WHO’S HUNGRY? OUR ENTERTAINING ISSUE IS FULL OF DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR THE EXPERT COOKS, AND EVEN A FEW SHORTCUTS FOR THE “PICK IT UP AND GO” TYPES. CHECK OUT THIS MOUTHWATERING BAGEL SPREAD — EVERYTHING IS RIGHT OUT OF THE PACKAGE FOR BRUNCH ENTERTAINING MADE EASY!
WE LOVE LOCAL! FOR EVERY FASHION SHOOT MB LOVES TO USE COSMETICS BY LOCAL BRAND J. EDWARD, BASED IN FAIRHOPE. ALL THE LADIES IN SPRING FASHION ARE WEARING “BABY DOLL PARADISE” BRONZER AND “LIP ENVY” LIP GLOSS.
Maggie Lacey EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Spring is here! What on earth are you going to wear? Let five local designers and artists with a trained eye for style show you the latest looks, page 54.
THE POSSIBLITIES ARE ENDLESS CHECK OUT THE CHARCUTERIE, CHEESE AND WINE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THIS ISSUE FOR SERIOUS ENTERTAINING SUCCESS!
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EXTRAS | REACTION
REGULARS MEET AT BATTLES WHARF MARKET / PHOTO BY CHAD RILEY
Tell us how you really feel...
Find additional local stories on mobilebaymag.com. Here’s what’s new on the website! Hello Festival Season! From music to food to arts and crafts, we round up the top upcoming festivals you must add to your calendar this spring.
Here Comes the Bride Our 2018 bridal issue is here! Pick up your copy on stands or go online to see photos from 22 of this year’s gorgeous local weddings.
WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
THE FEVER FIGHTERS
On February’s “Meet the Regulars”
I so much enjoyed the article on the “Can’t Get Away Club.” Reverend Tucker was my late husband’s grandfather. The city of Mobile deeded Reverend Tucker a family plot in Magnolia Cemetery in appreciation of his service during the epidemic. Thanks for giving a glimpse into how it was back then.
- Mary Ellen Miller Editor’s note: MB sends its warmest condolences to the family of Dr. C. Douglas Harrell (pictured above on far left), a Battles Wharf Market regular and beloved Fairhope dentist.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
- Gilda Nester
Super Salads DAILY DOUBLE On February’s “Well, What Do You Know?” Great issue! So many great stories and photos. The “Well, What Do You Know?” feature was fun and enlightening. Well done! - Jen Ekman
READY FOR SECONDS
On February’s “The Oakleigh Get-together”
On our March issue
Love the shot [of the Oakleigh Get-together]. I live in Church Street East Historic District and this reminds me of summer days sitting on our porch!
Your magazine presents many things to me — places and familiar names, plus happy memories. And keep those recipes coming!
- Nicole Henderson
Do you have an idea for a story or want to share your thoughts and reactions to this issue with us? Email email@example.com.
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PHOTO BY TODD DOUGLAS
It is such a pleasure to read your magazine. The recent story “Meet the Regulars” perfectly describes a group of men who meet each morning in the breakfast room here at Brookdale (retirement community). These men are not lifelong friends but moved here in the sunset of their lives. Nevertheless, they have gravitated together like they have known one another for years with the same storytelling, teasing and much laughter. It’s wonderful to behold.
On February’s “The Can’t Get Away Club”
As the weather warms up, cool down with 10 of our favorite salad recipes from the pages of MB. Whether it’s healthy wild rice salad or creamy crab salad, the possibilities are endless. Bon appetit!
Join Our List Get the latest in fashion, food, art and events delivered right to your inbox. Visit mobilebaymag.com to sign up for our email list.
Party Pics Share your event! Just fill out the Party Pics registration form on the MB website and submit your event photos to be featured in a gallery on the Web.
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EXTRAS | ODDS & ENDS
Let Us Entertain You text by HALLIE KING
or more people worldwide celebrate Earth Day each year, making it one of the largest secular holidays. According to the Earth Day Network, this year’s focus is End Plastic Pollution. Join the movement to decrease plastic use on Sunday, April 22.
April 13 is one of only two instances of Friday falling on the 13th in 2018! Beware of black cats, ladders and broken mirrors on that day and July 13.
[ 1952 ]
THE GRILL TAKES SHAPE The first dome-shaped
an unlimited amount of strength and cash on beautifying their yards, and they should be encouraged, because it adds to the morale of a town to see lovely well-kept homes…” - Frances V. Beverly, local writer of the early 20th century featured on page 74.
The Masters Tournament was originally known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament until 1938, when cofounder Clifford Roberts decided to rename the next year’s tournament, much to the dismay of cofounder Bobby Jones who found it to be too pretentious. The first Masters Tournament was played in 1939.
barbecue grill was invented by George Stephen Sr. It was created by cutting a
“Nearly everyone spends
THE NAME OF THE GAME
Watch the tournament, 80 years after this impactful decision, on April 5 - 8.
marine buoy in half, adding air vents into the portion used as a lid and standing the entire thing on legs. Grill up a feast for your entertaining table, and dress it up with pieces from Good Stuff, page 28.
of households engage in spring cleaning, according to a 2013 report from the American Cleaning Institute. The tradition of spring cleaning can be traced to
JEWISH PASSOVER CHINESE NEW YEAR OR HUMAN BIOLOGY because melatonin levels naturally decrease in the spring, making us more alert and prepared to clean.
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FOOD | THE DISH
Bite of the Bay MB’s contributing food fanatics share the local dishes that made them hungry for more.
TAYLOR HOUSER, Advancement Director, Bayside Academy
DINNER AND DESSERT AT CHAR 32 “We started with the lamb chop lollipops that come with a delicious chimichurri roasted red pepper coulis. It served four as an appetizer. Later, we finished off the meal with banana pudding, which is the owner’s mother’s recipe. Traditional banana pudding is baked with a meringue and has homemade chocolate sauce drizzled on top, almost like a banana pudding sundae. Absolutely to die for!” CHAR 32 AT POINT CLEAR TENNIS CLUB • 17107 TENNIS CLUB DRIVE, FAIRHOPE • 517-7700
SCOTT SPECK, Music Director, Mobile Symphony Orchestra
BARBECUE AT SAUCY Q “‘Saucy’ definitely describes the food at Saucy Q Bar B Que — the savory sauce is mouthwatering. They have a bell that you ring if you liked their service, and the atmosphere is casual and friendly. One time I took all the Mobile Symphony’s Composers-in-Residence to Saucy Q. They have very different personalities and different musical styles, but all agreed that it was one of their favorite things about their time in Mobile.” SAUCY Q BAR B QUE • 1111 GOVERNMENT ST. • 433-7427 • SAUCYQBARBQUE.COM
MARY STEWART NELSON, Strategic Market Director, Johnson & Johnson
CHICKEN BOARD AT RED OR WHITE “Sometimes the best lean into the weekend is meeting a friend at Red or White on Dauphin Street. I recently went for a glass (or two) of Aubry Rosé coupled with the Roasted Chicken Board, a wonderful heavy appetizer or light dinner. Expertly seasoned chicken perfectly placed on a French baguette is the base for this dish. Fresh tomato, pickles and cheese create the perfect bite. It might even lead to a third glass of Champagne and an Uber.”
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
WILLIAM W. OPPENHEIMER, President, Enveloc, Inc.
CLIPPER SANDWICH AT HEROES “You might think that Heroes is a franchise, but in fact, the locally owned sports bar and grille uses fresh ingredients and a lot of imagination to produce super sandwiches like The Clipper. Hand-sliced smoked turkey with mushrooms and bacon are complemented by Heroes’ Clipper Sauce, a tangy, mustard-based concoction. Portions are generous, so plan a light supper! You will not be disappointed.” HEROES SPORTS BAR AND GRILLE
RED OR WHITE • 1104 DAUPHIN ST.
36 HILLCREST ROAD & 273 DAUPHIN ST.
478-9494 • REDORWHITEWINE.COM
433-4376 • HEROESSPORTSBAR.COM
What dishes made you drool and left you hungry for more? Share them on our Facebook page!
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PEOPLE | SPOTLIGHT
Advocating for Change Three Bay-area moms began a journey to pursue safer personal care products for their families and found themselves advocating for legislative changes that could impact generations. text by JILL CLAIR GENTRY • photo by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
Louise’s Story Louise McCown thought she was doing a good job of keeping toxins out of her home. She cloth-diapered her children and only purchased products labeled “natural” or “organic.” But four years ago, during her third pregnancy, Louise ended up hospitalized. Her doctor told her she was having a reaction to something in her environment and explained that everything we put on our skin ends up in our bloodstream. Louise began researching the products she was using and realized the labels she trusted were just marketing — turns out, the personal care products industry is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration like other industries, and the United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the industry since 1938. She immediately began a journey to find safer products for her family.
Lynn’s Story Lynn Cooper was a busy mom of two young children when her mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She asked her mother’s physician what caused the disease. He explained that genetic predisposition is a factor but that environmental factors can trigger a disease’s development. Her world was rocked, and she began obsessively researching how she could help her mother. Lynn discovered that more than 80,000 chemicals are used in our soap, shampoo, makeup, skincare products and more, and very few of them have been tested for safety. Even more disturbing, she learned the industry
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is not required to report complaints to the FDA, and recalls of products are completely voluntary.
Bryant’s Story Bryant Wood taught middle school history and political science for eight years before deciding to stay home with her three children. She slowly began to make changes in the products her family used, and over the span of four years, it became a passion. Bryant learned the European Union has banned more than 1,300 chemicals from its personal care products industry, while the U.S. has only partially banned 30. She knew she had to speak up. A natural educator, Bryant began sharing what she’d learned with anyone who would listen.
More than Lipstick These three women’s journeys to detoxifying their homes and products led them to a company called Beautycounter and eventually to something much bigger than buying and selling safer personal care products. “A lot of people think of us as people who sell lipsticks,” Bryant says. “And yes, we do sell lipstick and eye cream, but there is so much more to this. We want you to know what you’re putting on and in your body.” Beautycounter’s mission is “to get safer products into the hands of everyone,” and it does this through education, product offerings and advocacy. “I wasn’t looking for a job and certainly wasn’t looking to do advocacy work,” Lynn
ABOVE From left to right, Bryant Wood, Lynn Cooper and Louise McCown have all made it their mission to get safer personal care products into the hands of their family and friends.
says. “But I just felt so empowered when I learned what I learned. The average consumer doesn’t have the time or knowledge to research and make sure their products are safe. I literally couldn’t sleep at night without telling everyone I knew about this.”
Advocating for Change Last month, Lynn, who lives in Fairhope, traveled to Washington, D.C. with more than 100 women to meet with lawmakers about a new bill — the Personal Care Products Safety Act. Meanwhile, Bryant and Louise, residents
of Mobile, met with staffers at Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby’s South Alabama office. “This is a bipartisan, common sense issue, like seat belts or not smoking on airplanes,” Lynn says. “More regulation doesn’t mean less commerce in this case. More regulation in this industry is what people want.” The bill, which has garnered support from companies like Proctor & Gamble, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal and Johnson & Johnson, would empower companies to bring new products to market faster, Lynn says. “Currently, companies in this industry who want to produce safe products do all their own research, which is very expensive,” Lynn says. “If the FDA did that research and regulation for the entire industry, it would streamline the manufacturing process and bring products to market faster.” Lynn says she didn’t think her voice mattered until she met with lawmakers and they actually listened. “That’s a powerful experience,” she says, “to meet with a lawmaker and potentially change the way they will vote.”
Raising World Changers Louise, Lynn and Bryant have all shared their advocacy work with their children and hope to set an example for them to follow. Lynn says her 5-year-old daughter is already beginning to understand the work her mom is doing. After Lynn’s trip to Washington, Maddie asked, “Mommy, did you change the world?” “I hope so,” Lynn replied. “We’re working on it.” MB
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HISTORY | CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
Jolane and Me Jack Edwards represented Alabama’s 1st Congressional District from 1965 to 1985. In this exclusive mini-series, Rep. Edwards reveals his fondest memories of a career in national politics. as told to BRECK PAPPAS
uring my time in the House of Representatives, it was typical for members of Congress to bring their spouses to live with them in Washington while they served. After arriving in D.C. in 1965, my wife Jolane and I bought a house in Bethesda, Maryland, right outside of the District, and we sent our children to school up there. So it was really a family affair. There must have been about 25 congressional families living within half a mile of our home in Bethesda — both democrats and republicans. We all got along and we all talked with one another, no matter the party, although sometimes it did make for awkward situations. I remember one day standing on the House floor chewing out some democrat and raising Cain with him about something only to go home and have Jolane say, “Oh, by the way, we’re having dinner with them.” “I can’t imagine But I will say that bringing those 20 years in spouses to Washington Washington without was a major key to all of us politicians getting along. Jolane, and I’m very These days, congressional fortunate she took to spouses rarely make that move for the simple reason D.C. life so well. We’ve that homes in D.C. and the been married for 64 surrounding area are just too expensive. Unless a member years now if you can of Congress has independent believe it — I think it’s income, most can’t afford to buy a home up there on a going to last.” congressional salary. Jolane being with me during my 20 years in Congress certainly led to us establishing some lasting relationships. When Barbara and George H.W. Bush came
to Congress in 1967, Jolane was assigned to be Barbara’s big sister. Back then when a new congressional spouse arrived, they were paired with a current spouse who would take them by the hand, advise them and help them find a home to either rent or buy. There might still be some of that going on today, but I certainly don’t think it’s anything like it once was. We were especially close to Betty and Gerald Ford. I served with Ford in the House of Representatives for eight years. In fact, the first vote I cast in Congress was to choose the Republican leader of the House. Ford won that vote, so he became my leader and friend immediately. He flew down to Mobile to make a speech for me during that time, knowing that he wouldn’t get back to Washington until 4 a.m. and had to be at work the next morning. He was willing to do things like that, and I think that says a lot about a person. In August of 1974, after Nixon had resigned the presidency and boarded a helicopter on the South Lawn, Jolane and I were at the White House to witness Ford’s swearing in as the 38th president of the United States and to hear him declare, “Our long national nightmare is over.” One of my favorite stories unfolded shortly thereafter, during a small dinner hosted by Betty and Jerry at the White House. We shared the table with other congressional couples, as well as with Nelson Rockefeller who, at that time, had been named Ford’s vice president but was yet to be confirmed by Congress. (Remember, this was all during the reshuffling after Nixon’s resignation.) In the middle of dinner, during a quiet moment when it seemed that everyone at the table was taking a breath, Jolane’s big earring decided at that instant to slip off her ear and clang onto the china. In a flash, a Secret Service agent flung open the door at the end of the room to check that the president was OK. When the matter was settled, Ford looked down the table and said, “Jolane, I sure hope that earring was pure gold.” The next day, Jolane went and got her ears pierced. I was also lucky to have Jolane accompany me on several state visits across the world, many of which we remember fondly.
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REP. JACK EDWARDS
PRESIDENT FORD REP. ED DERWINSKI
When President Jimmy Carter sent the first small congressional delegation to China, I was given the honor of being included in that group. Jolane was supposed to join me, but a week before we were to go, President Carter decided his son Chip would go as well. Since that required three extra Secret Service members to go with Chip, there was no room on the plane for our wives. This didn’t sit well with Jolane, so the night before I was to fly to China, while I was asleep, she filled my suitcase to the brim with chocolate Easter eggs wrapped in foil, as the trip would fall over the Easter holiday. So I got into Beijing and opened my suitcase, and these damn Easter eggs fell out everywhere. Now, Jimmy Carter’s administration was casual by his own desire, so it should have been no surprise that Chip wore blue jeans the whole time he was in China. Well, we went to the state dinner with the Chinese leaders, and Chip showed up in his blue jeans along with his three Secret Service agents in their blue jeans (because they were required to dress like him). The Chinese leaders assumed the president’s son was the leader of our delegation, and they
ABOVE At this White House dinner hosted by Betty and Gerald Ford, Jolane’s jewelry mishap gave the Secret Service quite a scare.
didn’t know what to make of the casual attire. Thinking fast, I returned to my room, grabbed my Easter eggs and put one at each place setting. By doing so, the subject was changed from Chip’s blue jeans to the significance of the eggs, new birth and the meaning of Easter — in communist China! Jolane loves that story, although I think she still would have preferred to have gone on the trip. She did get to join me on four subsequent visits to the country, back in the days of “early” China. I remember visiting the country one January and staying in a hotel that had no heating whatsoever. They had just opened the old hotel to give us a place to stay. There were twin beds in our room, so Jolane and I ended up taking all the covers off of one bed and putting them on the other, and we shared that one twin bed. The dining room had no heat either, so we all wore our topcoats to dinner. In summary, I can’t imagine those 20 years in Washington without Jolane, and I’m very fortunate she took to D.C. life so well. We’ve been married for 64 years now if you can believe it — I think it’s going to last. MB Next month, read about Rep. Edwards’ late-night fast food stop with a U.S. president in Alabama.
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GUMBO | COLLECTIONS
A Mobile Wall of Fame In the “Club Room” of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, diners can enjoy a meal among some of the most recognizable faces of Mobile’s past. text by BRECK PAPPAS • photos by CHAD RILEY
itting in the “Club Room” of Mobile’s Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, surrounded by four walls of framed local history, it’s hard to imagine this dining room ever lacking in personality. When David Cooper purchased the franchise location from Ruth Fertel in 1997, he knew the restaurant needed a stronger Mobile connection. “This location was too much like a New Orleans Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse,” Cooper says. “We wanted to put a Mobile twist on it.” An underutilized corner room, he realized, presented an interesting opportunity. “When I took over, this room had chairs and tables stacked in here — it was kind of a storage room,” Cooper says.
“I started thinking, ‘Who built Mobile? Who brought us to the dance?’” With that question in mind, he began digging through local photo archives, and the new dining room began decorating itself. “As the word got out about what I was doing, people would bring me pictures of something Mobile-related that they thought was interesting,” he says. “It’s still a work in progress.” But Cooper is quick to clarify that he has the final say on all photo-related decisions. “This is not a democracy,” he says with a laugh. “I love hospitality, I love people,” he concludes. “And I love honoring Mobile’s rich history and the families that helped make it what it is today.” TURN THE PAGE TO TAKE A WALK THROUGH THE IMAGES. april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 23
ADMIRE A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE CLUB ROOM WALL... UMS graduate Joe Bullard went on to become a star defensive back for Tulane University. The 1970 Green Wave team, whose defensive squad went by the nickname “Bullard’s Bandits,” defeated the University of Colorado in the Liberty Bowl and, just last year, that 1970 team was inducted into the university’s athletics hall of fame.
“Gus was Mobile’s culinary star for more than 50 years,” Cooper says. Panayiotou arrived in Mobile in 1924 and went on to open one of Mobile’s most legendary restaurants, Constantine’s. “His son, George Panayiotou, joined me at Ruth’s Chris in 1997 as executive chef and was promoted to Culinary Director of Cooper Restaurants Group in 2010.”
“Older people will be familiar with Shorty Price,” Cooper says. “He was an Alabama lawyer who ran for governor every time and was kind of a comedian.” When, in 1972, Price proposed shortening the governor’s term from four to two years, some asserted it was so that Price could run more often.
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GUMBO | COLLECTIONS
“My college roommate Charlie Graddick ran for district attorney at 28 years old. He won by 1,200 votes,” Cooper says. “This is a picture of us at the Press-Register as the results rolled in.” Graddick went on to serve twice as district attorney, twice as attorney general of Alabama and later serve as presiding judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Alabama.
Civic leader Alexander L. Herman, born in Mobile in 1899, holds the honor of being the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association’s first King Elexis (a royal name adapted from his own). For a period of time, he also served as manager of the Mobile Braves, a star player of which was Satchel Paige (below, left).
Before he moved to the major leagues, Mobilian and Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel Paige played for several semi-pro teams in Mobile. He is considered one of the best pitchers to ever take the mound.
“This is Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen at the original Allen Memorial Home,” Cooper says. “The home once sat across Catherine Street from Lyons Park.” Toolen served as bishop of Mobile from 1927 to 1969.
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FOOD | TASTINGS
The Cheese Cottage text by MAGGIE LACEY • photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
ost everyone who has a high-powered corporate job has thought, at one time or another, about walking away from it all. Few have the courage to take that leap and step into the unknown. In Kristi Barber’s case, the unknown was an awful lot of cheese. Barber was an oil industry executive who traveled the world for work, lived on multiple continents and made sure to try the best local food wherever she went. A little more than a year ago, as she was about to board a train in Scotland during one such work trip, Barber looked at her husband and said she wanted to walk away from the rat race and start an artisan cheese shop. “He scoffed at the idea,” she says, “but two weeks later I was home (in Houston) with a completed business plan in hand.” The couple investigated a number of Gulf Coast cities to host their startup, but Kristi’s family ties to Mobile County kept bringing her back this way. When Fred Rendfrey with Mobile Downtown Alliance sent her information about a former gas station on St. Louis Street that was up for lease, her husband made the drive to town and was ready to sign on the dotted line at first glimpse. “We picked the name after we
saw the building,” Barber says of the diminutive cottage built to house a Pure Oil Company gas station in 1937. Barber offers more than 100 cheeses of every milk and age, as well as crackers, charcuterie and accoutrements to-go, but it’s the dine-in lunch that keeps people coming back. Pressed sandwiches, fresh salads, cheese boards, sweets and more highlight some of The Cheese Cottage’s best offerings. “I love communing over shared food. Sitting around a plate of cheese and talking about what you’re enjoying brings such camaraderie.” The covered outdoor patio, complete with cafe lights and oversized picnic tables, was designed to allow slow, enjoyable moments like that to happen over and over again. The Cheese Cottage is a little bit off the beaten path, surrounded by up-and-coming businesses that now dot a revitalized St. Louis Street. The best way to become acquainted with The Cheese Cottage is to stop by for a tasting. Each week, Barber and her staff choose six cheeses to highlight, welcoming any customer to stop by for a complimentary try. She offers insight, background and details on each cheese, answers questions and makes recommendations. There’s no pressure to buy, but most people leave with a bundle of dairy deliciousness. MB
The Cheese Cottage • 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tu - Th, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. F - Sa 650 St. Louis St. • 308-8488 • thecheesecottagellc.com • Average entree price: $10 26 mobilebaymag.com | april 2018
FOOD | TASTINGS
BURRATA CAPRESE SALAD
[ ON THE MENU ]
ARTISAN CHEESE AND CHARCUTERIE BOARD Three rich cow’s milk cheeses, three cured pork delicacies, nuts, pickles, local honey, baguettes, crackers and a bacon jam, made in-house daily, round out this offering. Sharing is recommended.
BURRATA CAPRESE SALAD Thick-sliced Roma tomatoes are separated by hand-pulled burrata, a type of mozzarella that is filled with cream, making a super luscious cheese. It’s topped with a drizzle of balsamic reduction and sprinkles of fresh basil.
BASIL PESTO AND BACON MOZZARELLA TOASTIE
RED WINE POACHED PEAR DESSERT
The Cottage’s version of a panini is warm and crispy, filled with super-fresh melted mozz and thick applewood smoked bacon on multigrain bread. The bite of fresh arugula rounds out the flavors.
This dish began as a special, but was so popular it made the regular menu. A poached pear rests on a bed of whipped mascarpone cheese with a hint of cinnamon and a divine red wine reduction sauce.
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GOOD STUFF | ENTERTAINING
Swinging Garden Party A little dash of mod ‘60s glamour will add a punch1of color and plenty of natural textures to your entertaining table. DISPOSABLES STEAL THE SHOW Your picnic flatware need not be the stuff kids’ birthday parties are made of. These elegant pieces are designed and made in Italy for elegant (and easy!) entertaining.
CHILL OUT This vintage ice bucket has all the mod feels for a cool dinner party.
WILDFLOWERS • SOPHISTIPLATE DISPOSABLE FLATWARE • $15 SET OF 24
BLACK DOOR STUDIO VINTAGE ICE BUCKET • $40 PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
WHITE OUT These tumblers are deceptively simple, with double-wall insulation and an attractive finish. The cool, unbreakable plastic feels like high-quality glass. LIVING WELL • SYMGLASS TUMBLER • $12 EACH
THE LAST STRAW The rich texture of this looped straw placemat is begging to be layered with color and pattern for a luxe bohemian look. LIVING WELL • JULISKA PLACEMAT • $20
NOT YOUR AVERAGE NAPKIN Boring linens are out the door this season. Set a place at the table for color and pattern! Let these bold fabrics accent the natural touches and white dinnerware. THE IVY COTTAGE • LE JACQUARD FRANCAIS • $19
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WICKER PARK Delicate and adorable, these wicker-wrapped cups (sold as a set of four with a matching pitcher, tray and dish) are a sweet ‘60s lawn party accessory. BLACK DOOR • WICKER AND GLASS CUP SET • $175 FOR SET PHOTO BY ELIZABETH GELINEAU
A RINGER Natural cork napkin rings add fresh texture to your tablescape. The carved shape contains your linens in style. THE IVY COTTAGE • JULISKA QUINTA NATURAL CORK NAPKIN RING • $12
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE These quirky melamine plates will be a conversation starter at your next barbecue. They’re dishwasher safe and made for meal after enjoyable meal. COLLECTIVE • ONE HUNDRED 80 DEGREES MELAMINE PLATES • $27 SET OF FOUR
YOU’VE URNED IT Adorn your buffet with a classic shape in an unexpected material. A cork urn makes a stately centerpiece and a fabulously fun Champagne bucket! LIVING WELL • JULISKA QUINTA NATURAL CORK URN • $195
THIS GIRL IS ON FIRE Hand-dipped taper candles are smokeless, dripless and come in a stunning array of colors to make your table pop. THE IVY COTTAGE • CREATIVE CANDLES IN AQUAMARINE AND MANGO • $12 9-INCH SET
RESOURCES BLACK DOOR STUDIO • 456 N. MCGREGOR AVE. 304-3200. FACEBOOK.COM/BLACKDOORSTUDIOSHOP COLLECTIVE • 4513 OLD SHELL ROAD. 656-6368. SHOPCOLLECTIVEGIFTS.COM LIVING WELL • 25 S. SECTION ST. 929-3255. FACEBOOK.COM/LIVINGWELLFHOPE THE IVY COTTAGE • 9 DU RHU DRIVE. 345-1731. THEIVYCOTTAGEONLINE.COM WILDFLOWERS • 50 S. CHURCH ST. 928-6200. WILDFLOWERSFAIRHOPE.COM
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FOOD | BAY TABLES
What’s Old is New Bridging historic and contemporary is the secret to chic entertaining for one Mobile couple. text by MAGGIE LACEY • photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
n a high hill in the heart of Spring Hill sits a 1930s colonial-style gem of a home with tall white columns and a long family history to match. The original brick drive heads straight up an allée of Southern camellias to the front door of Hill House where, on any given night, owners Day Peake and Jason McKenzie are poised to welcome guests. It took a modern couple with a passion for entertaining to thoroughly bring this stately manse into a new era of chic entertaining. Jason and Day have a knack for mixing traditional Southern elements with modern vibes. The backdrop of Hill House makes a stately palette for any event, with traditional architecture and furnishings. Day is quick to pull out his family china and silver for dinners with friends. The elegant formal gardens, complete with camellias and azaleas of every variety, are often the backdrop for garden dinners and outdoor movie nights. At the same time, the pair has perfected the new era of entertaining where guests feel totally at home, often bringing the kids and making themselves comfortable. There are not many hosts that can master both sides of the coin. Before the couple met, they admit they both enjoyed playing host. However, the two together have become an entertaining power couple.
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FOOD | BAY TABLES
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When they bought Hill House in 2010, they christened it with Day’s 30th birthday party: a James Bond-themed fete that was a hit with both of their separate groups of friends, many of whom met for the first time that night. After that, the parties just began to fall into place. “Within a couple months we had some good friends get married at the house! Then a few months later a cousin wed there as well. We really love sharing the place with everyone,” Jason says. Parties big and small are a regular occurrence. They’ve been known to throw intimate get-togethers, regular supper club gatherings, weddings, birthday parties, New Year’s Eve galas, crawfish boils and festivities of all kinds over the years. And they’re not slowing down, from the looks of it. In order to execute seamless entertaining, you need a strong team with a clear division of duties. Day plays the chef by developing his own recipes, often shopping for ingredients daily and experimenting with international cuisines. Everything is made from scratch. Jason sets the scene, and as the new executive director for the Joe Jefferson Players, putting on a show comes naturally. Tablescapes, centerpieces, bar setups and more are just plain fun for the former banker turned professional actor. Day and Jason recently hosted a small garden party under the oak tree in the home’s formal side garden and invited MB along. Day knew he wanted to serve his guests fresh Gulf seafood, so he called his good friend Tripp Atkins at Southern Fish and Oyster, as he often does, to find out what was freshest. “The menu just evolved from there,” explains Day. The dining room table was carried to the yard and guests sipped cocktails while the sun set over Spring Hill. A pretty magical evening can be had with the right house, the right hosts and a good cocktail in hand. It is clear that this duo makes a good team in life, love and, more specifically, entertaining. MB TOP Guests Eric Criteser, Leigh Rendfrey, Andy Freeman, Bradley Sanders and Susan Mareno giggle with their newest addition, baby Marie Mareno (hidden). BOTTOM As the dinner winds down, Jason McKenzie and guests listen to a story from little May Gamble, snuggling with mom Allison in the HIll House garden. PREVIOUS PAGE Day Peake brings his court bouillon to the table, where his parents, husband Jason McKenzie, cousin Allison Gamble and friends are beginning to gather.
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Slippery Otter Cocktail SERVES 1 2 parts coconut rum 2 parts mango juice 1 part dark rum tonic water mint sprig and lime wedge, for garnish
1. Mix first three ingredients in a rocks glass over ice. Add a splash of tonic. Garnish with lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Recipe can be made by the batch and served in a pitcher.
SLIPPERY OTTER INSPIRATION “A small group of friends traveled to the Bahamas in 2009. We were drinking mango and coconut rum cocktails at the resort when we saw a man dancing and all laughed. We determined that his ‘dance moves’ looked like he was trying to hold onto something that was slipping out of his hands, and his legs were all over the place. Day said, ‘It’s a slippery otter!’ We tweaked it a little and made it our own, and we’ve never gone a summer without serving them since!” - Jason McKenzie
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Croydon Road Log SERVES 8 - 10 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1 tablespoon grated onion 1/2 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon chopped herb such as dill, rosemary or thyme 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1. Combine the first four ingredients in a stand mixer. Spread into a rectangular shape in plastic wrap and roll up into a log. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours for flavors to marry. 2. Melt butter in small saucepan with sugar, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Once incorporated, add nuts and warm through. Allow to cool for five minutes before pouring over cheese log. Serve with crackers.
Shaved Asparagus Salad SERVES 4 1 bunch large asparagus spears bibb lettuce Creamy Herb Dressing (see below) feta cheese blanched almonds, toasted
1. Chop tips off asparagus and reserve for garnish. Shave raw stalks of asparagus into long ribbons with vegetable peeler. Set aside. 2. Layer several leaves of bibb lettuce on a plate. Toss asparagus ribbons with dressing and feta. Nest asparagus ribbons in the middle of lettuce and top with toasted almonds and asparagus tips.
Creamy Herb Dressing 1 shallot, diced 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/2 cup Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons olive oil 1/8 teaspoon fennel powder 1/2 teaspoon dried dill or 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped 2 teaspoons honey
1. Place diced shallot in a mason jar. Add vinegar and salt and let sit for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, close lid and shake to combine. Adjust salt, if needed, and add freshly ground black pepper. Dressing can be made in advance and refrigerated.
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Redfish Court Bouillon SERVES 8 - 10 1 8 - 10 pound redfish, cleaned and cut into two fillets (snapper is a good substitute) 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste 1 pound large shrimp, shells reserved 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 onions, diced 2 green bell peppers, diced 5 stalks celery, diced 8 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons cayenne 2 teaspoons dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice 6 bay leaves 1 24-ounce can whole tomatoes 4 cups shrimp stock 1 pint oysters sliced scallions, for garnish cooked white rice, for serving homemade hot sauce, optional (recipe on next page)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place fish fillets in a roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Peel shrimp and use peels to either make a shrimp stock or customize a store-bought fish stock by steeping the peels in the stock for 10 minutes. Keep warm on stove while assembling the roux. 2. Pour oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan and stir in flour. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the roux becomes a deep brown color. Add diced onions and cook until translucent. Add the peppers, celery, garlic, spices and bay leaves and cook 5 - 10 minutes until vegetables soften. Add canned tomatoes (with liquid) and stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning. The sauce can be made to this point and refrigerated or frozen for future use. Return sauce to a simmer before continuing with recipe. 3. Pour warm sauce over fish in roasting pan, cover with foil and bake for 45 - 55 minutes. Check fish doneness to ensure it is nearly cooked through. Remove foil, scatter shrimp and oysters over fish and return to oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cooked through. 4. Carefully transfer whole fish fillets on top of a bed of white rice. Cover with shrimp and oysters and drizzle sauce on top. Garnish with diced scallions and hot sauce. april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 37
Hot Sauce (previous page) MAKES 2 1/2 CUPS 1 pound red jalapeĂąo chiles 2 tablespoons kosher salt 1 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
1. Pulse chiles and kosher salt in a food processor until a coarse puree forms. Transfer to a 1-quart glass jar, loosely screw lid and stand at room temperature for 12 hours to ferment slightly. 2. Stir in vinegar and loosely screw on the lid. Let mixture stand at room temperature for 7 days. 3. Puree mixture in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean glass bottle. 4. Keep refrigerated. It can be stored for up to 4 months. Shake before serving as the sauce may separate.
Berry Clafoutis SERVES 8 - 10
This is a regular on Dayâ€™s dinner menus, and the fruit varies by the season. 4 eggs 2/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup whole milk 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest 1 tablespoon butter 2 cups assorted berries, such as raspberries and blackberries powdered sugar, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set rack in lower third of oven. Place 12-inch castiron skillet in oven as it preheats. 2. Whisk first four ingredients in bowl for one minute. Add flour and mix to combine. Add salt, dairy and zest to the bowl and whisk until incorporated. 3. Remove hot skillet from oven. Melt butter and pour in batter. Spread berries evenly into batter and return to oven. Bake 18 - 22 minutes until golden brown, rotating once halfway through cooking. Let cool on rack for 20 minutes. It is best served warm or at room temperature the day it is made. 4. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
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PICKLED CAPER BERRIES
A DOUBLE CREAM CAMEMBERT FROM SWEET GRASS DAIRY IN THOMASVILLE, GA
MARCONA ALMONDS SALAMI ETNA, A PORK SAUSAGE WITH PISTACHIO AND LEMON
HOUSE-MADE BACON JAM
A CRISPY, CRUMBLY CHEDDAR-STYLE CHEESE FROM MILTON CREAMERY IN MILTON, IOWA WAFER CRACKERS
GUMBO | ENTERTAINING
RED WINE POACHED PEAR
text by JILL CLAIR GENTRY photo by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
LOCAL HONEY TO DRIZZLE OVER CHEESE
SOPPRESSATA PORK SAUSAGE
Searching for a way to provide your guests a culinary adventure without hours of cooking? Look no further than an artfully selected charcuterie board. Packed with flavor, variety and eye-pleasing design, this appetizer arrangement serves as a conversation piece as well as a no-fuss crowd-pleaser. It’s also great for porch, patio, pier or picnic.
CAMBOZOLA, A COMBINATION OF FRENCH TRIPLE CREAM AND ITALIAN BLUE CHEESES
Flavor and texture are essential to ensuring a delicious charcuterie board. Color, shape and height play important visual roles. Choose fruits that provide pops of color in addition to sweetness, such as strawberries, grapes and pomegranates. Stacking, smearing and crumbling various ingredients can also add visual appeal. Ramekins help contain liquids or items that roll in addition to adding height and division to the board.
CHARCUTERIE (SHAR-KOO-TUH-REE): THE BRANCH OF COOKING DEVOTED TO PREPARED MEAT PRODUCTS, SUCH AS BACON, HAM, PROSCIUTTO, SALAMI, SAUSAGE, TERRINES, PÂTÉS
Pro tip: Kristi Barber of The Cheese Cottage applies interior design concepts to her charcuterie boards, such as this one, left. “You don’t want to do a line of 10 crackers on one side, all the cheese in one corner and all the meat in the other corner,” Barber says. “Scatter the ingredients around and mix it all up until your board is completely full. You really shouldn’t be able to see much of the board.”
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GUMBO | ENTERTAINING
MEATS A charcuterie board should always include several varieties of high-quality preserved meats. Variety is key — choose a hard cured sausage, like salami, along with something soft and spreadable, like a pâté or terrine. For crunch, include a few slices of thick bacon. Don’t forget sliced meats — ham and prosciutto are common additions. For a Gulf Coast flair, try adding pickled Gulf shrimp. Pro tip: While it’s perfectly acceptable to buy charcuterie ingredients from a restaurant or gourmet grocery, Michael Lane, sous chef at Red or White’s Mobile location, says making pâtés, curing your own bacon or pickling shrimp is easier than you’d think. “Sous vide makes it very easy for people to prepare pâtés and terrines at home,” he says. Cure your own bacon by purchasing pork belly from an Asian market and finding a recipe online. Pickling shrimp takes just a few minutes.
“People are intimidated by the process of charcuterie, but it’s totally doable.” — Michael Lane
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CHEESES When considering what cheeses to include on your charcuterie board, prioritize variety. Think about taste and texture. Include a soft cheese, like brie, Camembert or chevre; an approachable hard or semi-soft cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar; and something funky — a spicy, blue or otherwise interesting selection. Another method of ensuring variety is to seek out cheeses made of different kinds of milk — cow, goat, sheep or even nut for vegan friends. If serving as a main course, be sure to have at least 3 - 4 ounces of meat and cheese per person. Two ounces per person is plenty if the board is a snack or appetizer. Pro tip: “Before you serve cheese, leave it out for at least 30 minutes,” Kristi Barber says. “Cheese is meant to be served at room temperature. Also, you can eat every cheese rind except the ones that have writing on them. The rind is part of the beauty of a cheese — don’t let it go to waste.” To store leftover cheese, Kristi says to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the vegetable crisper. The only exception is blue cheese — it should be
“Cheese is meant to be served at room temperature. Also, you can eat every cheese rind except the ones that have writing on them. The rind is part of the beauty of a cheese — don’t let it go to waste.” — Kristi Barber
ACCOMPANIMENTS Although meats and cheeses are the focal point of any charcuterie board, accompaniments often provide guests with the adventure of discovering new flavor and texture combinations. Make sure to have several savory and sweet options. Pickled vegetables, salty olives and grainy mustards complement meats. Sweet accompaniments, such as honey, dark chocolate, jam or fresh fruits, go well with most cheeses. Spicy and nutty flavor profiles add variety as well. Bread and crackers are placed on a charcuterie board simply as a vehicle for combining flavors. Toasted baguette slices or plain crackers serve this purpose well — no need to get fancy. Anything to
avoid? In general, stay away from overpowering flavors that tend to linger. Citrus, garlic and spicy peppers are a no-go. Pro-tip: Michael Lane says home cooks are often unnecessarily intimidated by the idea of preparing charcuterie boards at home. It’s easy to overthink accompaniments and worry over perfect pairings, but Lane says most people already have many ingredients on hand. “It’s really not complicated at all,” he says. “Trust your palate and look in your refrigerator and pantry at what you already have and enjoy eating. Build the board around the little bit of that jam you love t h a t’s left in the very bottom of that old jar or the ham that you have lying around.”
Pickled vegetables, salty olives and grainy mustards complement meats. Sweet accompaniments like honey, dark chocolate, jam or fresh fruits go well with most cheeses.
DRINK PAIRINGS RANDY WILLIAMS, OWNER RED OR WHITE
“With charcuterie, sparkling wine with good acidity is always a perfect choice. I like Cava Avinyó — it’s got a little more body than most sparkling wines and runs $16.99.” RED OR WHITE • 1104 DAUPHIN ST. 478-9494
TRICIA FREEMAN, SALES REP FOR INTERNATIONAL WINES
“A light and fruity red wine from France pairs nicely with charcuterie. The acidity in Dupeuble Beaujolais ($13.99) balances with the concentrated flavors of berry and violets to give structure and depth. One of my favorite (and most under-appreciated) reds.” SOUTHERN NAPPA • 2304 MAIN ST., DAPHNE • 375-2800
MARISSA WILKINS, THE SQUASHED GRAPE
“A versatile rosé is a great choice for charcuterie. With the fruity flavors of a red and the brightness and body of a white, these wines can pair with just about anything. In the case of a charcuterie board, the lighter colored the rosé, the better. I’d specifically go for a French rosé out of the Loire Valley, like Moment de Plaisir Rosé ($13).” THE SQUASHED GRAPE • 2770 S. MCKENZIE ST., FOLEY • 923-4360
ANNA TEACHEY, HAINT BLUE BREWING
“Don’t forget about beer when considering what drinks to serve with your charcuterie board. Try to create pairs with matching intensity. Haint Blue IPA is perfect for a creamy blue cheese. HAINT BLUE BREWING VISIT HAINTBLUEBREW.COM FOR A LIST OF CARRYING RETAILERS
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BRUNCH photos by ELIZABETH GELINEAU
Turns out, everyone’s favorite meal does not have to be labor intensive. This makeahead menu is just right for seriously laid-back weekend entertaining. Plus, we’ve got one menu with no cooking at all! Kick back, and enjoy the day.
COLD BREW ALMOND MILK LATTE
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CROQUE MADAME CASSEROLE
THIS NO-FUSS BRUNCH MENU DOESNâ€™T SKIMP ON DECADENCE! A CROQUE MADAME TAKES A HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICH AND TOPS IT WITH MORNAY SAUCE, MELTED SWISS AND AN OVER-MEDIUM EGG. INSTEAD OF MAKING THEM ONE AT A TIME, TRY THIS EASY CASSEROLE!
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NO-FUSS BAGEL BRUNCH No time to cook? Or just don’t want the hassle? There’s no need to sweat it when you want company to go with your next bloody mary. Try our “straight from the grocery bag” bagel bar. It’s self-serve, so guests can eat when they are ready without the host slaving over a hot stove. Just follow these tips for sure success:
Start with salmon. Smoked fish, cream cheese, capers, red onion and lemon wedges are a brunch staple. Add something sweet. Butter, jam and a few cinnamon raisin bagels will please the breakfast traditionalists. Go veg! Hummus, avocado and some sliced tomatoes are key.
Don’t forget a few extras! Mix your own “everything bagel” seasoning with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, dried garlic and dried onions. Guests will love to sprinkle it over a schmear. Lettuce always adds a nice jolt of color to the oversized platter. Luxe toppings like caviar are a sure hit!
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Cold Brew Latte SERVES 6
You can pour one latte at a time, or serve a pitcher of cold brew coffee with a few coffee ice cubes in it for self-service. 2/3 cup ground high-quality coffee 3 cups filtered water 6 cups vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)
1. In a large pitcher, stir together ground coffee and water. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 2. Strain the coffee through a cheesecloth into another pitcher to remove coffee grounds. (You may need to strain twice.) 3. Pour chilled coffee into two ice cube trays and freeze. 4. Fill each serving glass with coffee ice cubes. Top with almond milk and serve. You can easily adjust the strength of the latte by using more or less coffee ice cubes.
Praline Bacon SERVES 4
Nothing could be better than crispy, fatty bacon covered in a crunchy layer of brĂťlĂŠed sugar! Welcome to your new addiction. 8 slices bacon 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. 2. Arrange bacon in a single layer on rack. Bake 20 minutes. 3. While bacon cooks, combine brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl. 4. Flip bacon and sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Bake 10 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
Croque Madame Casserole SERVES 6
Traditional croque madames are made one at a time, but this casserole cuts the work in half. No sweat! 12 slices day-old, thick-cut white bread 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 cups whole milk 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 3 1/4 cups grated Gruyere (about 10 ounces), divided 1/4 cup Dijon mustard 12 thin slices Black Forest ham 6 large eggs nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If bread is not a day old or still feels moist, arrange slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake, flipping once, until dry to the touch but not toasted, 5 - 10 minutes. Using a 2-inch ring, cookie cutter or sharp paring knife, cut a hole in the center of six bread slices. Trim bread to fit in two even layers in a 13-by9-inch baking dish, with the whole slices on the bottom and the slices with holes on the top, forming six sandwiches. Remove from dish. 2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until light golden brown and thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, whisking, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 4 - 6 minutes. Reduce heat to very low. Whisk in nutmeg, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Whisk in 1 cup Gruyere a handful at a time.
3. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Arrange six whole slices of bread in a single layer. Spread Dijon evenly on bread. Top each slice with two slices of ham. Spread another third of the sauce over ham. Sprinkle with 1 cup Gruyere. Place six bread slices with holes on top. Spread remaining sauce over sandwiches. Crack one egg into each hole. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyere. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. 4. Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick spray. Place foil, greased side down, over baking dish, and fold to seal. Bake on middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove foil, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees, move dish to top rack of oven, and bake until egg whites are just barely set and yolks are still runny (eggs will continue to cook slightly when removed from oven), 8 - 12 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Asparagus Tarte SERVES 8 Flour, for work surface 1 sheet frozen puff pastry 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese 1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus 1 tablespoon olive oil salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface and roll the puff pastry to make a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Place the dough on a baking sheet and pierce with a fork repeatedly. Run a sharp knife around the dough 1 inch from the edge to make a border that will puff. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. 2. Rinse the asparagus, dry and discard the tough ends. Remove pastry from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Arrange asparagus in a single layer over cheese. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until asparagus is tender, 20 - 25 minutes.
The Elvis Scone MAKES 10
Inspired by the scones Jennifer Haffner whips up at Warehouse Bakery in Fairhope, these pastries are truly fit for The King! 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting 1/4 pound unsalted butter 2 teaspoons creamy peanut butter 1 small banana, diced 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips 1 cup heavy cream 1 egg
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. 2. Cut cold butter into small pieces and work into flour mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter until well-combined. Use your fingers to separate the peanut butter into small lumps and scatter over the flour mixture. Gently stir in the banana, chocolate chips and peanut butter. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the cream. Gently incorporate the cream until the dough pulls together. 3. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto the flour. Gently pat the dough together until it makes a solid form, and press or roll it out to be about 1-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter and place on a cookie sheet. 4. Put the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. You can either freeze scones in a plastic bag and save for future use or bake immediately. 5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine egg with 1 tablespoon water in a small dish. Arrange scones on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and use a pastry brush to brush the tops with egg wash. Sprinkle sugar over the scones. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown. april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 53
An eye for design
Five local tastemakers wear the latest spring looks that perfectly show off their design sensibilities.
styling by MAGGIE LACEY • text by HALLIE KING • photos by MATTHEW COUGHLIN hair by BRANDY HELTON • makeup by OLIVIA FRYFOGLE models HADLEY BINION, JENNIFER JENKINS, KELLEY OGBURN, REBEK AH WEBB and KIMBERLY ZUKLEY
RESOURCES CK COLLECTION • 320 FAIRHOPE AVE., FAIRHOPE. 990-9001. CKCOLLECTION.COM
DEBRA’S • 4068 OLD SHELL ROAD. 343-7463. FACEBOOK.COM/DEBRAS.BOUTIQUEMOBILE
ESTATE JEWELERS OF FAIRHOPE • 309 DE LA MARE AVE., FAIRHOPE. 990-8854. FACEBOOK/ESTATEJEWELERS MAHO SHADES • ORANGE BEACH. 844-MAHO-SUN. MAHOSHADES.COM
HEMLINE • 4356 OLD SHELL ROAD. 287-6875. SHOPHEMLINE.COM
SADIE’S • 5 S. SECTION ST., FAIRHOPE. 929-3222. SADIESOFFAIRHOPE.COM
SWAY • 324 FAIRHOPE AVE., FAIRHOPE. 990-2282. FACEBOOK/SWAY-FAIRHOPE
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ON KELLEY Mint green blouse (The Shirt, CK Collection). Cut-off denim shorts (Sway). Necklace and bracelet (Julie Voss, Estate Jewelers of Fairhope). Hand-tooled sunglasses (Maho Shades).
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Rebekah Webb A lifelong Mobilian turned globetrotter, Webb traveled around the South and eventually across the globe for her education, studying at the University of Alabama, The College of Charleston and Lorenzo Deâ€™Medici in Florence, Italy. Her artwork is featured in collections around the world. However, the wife and mother of two didnâ€™t wander far from home for long, settling in Fairhope to establish her career at Rebekah Webb Studio, where she creates branding, fine art and mixed media design for clients. ON REBEKAH White lace bell-sleeve blouse (Sway). Blue and pink floral button earrings (Hemline). OPPOSITE Pink cotton top with tie sleeves (Tara Jarmon, CK Collection). White jeans (Flying Monkeys, Sway). Pink translucent earrings (Hemline).
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Kimberly Zukley A graduate of the University of Mississippi, Zukley received a B.A. in Art with an emphasis in painting and graphic design. Her brand, Kimberly Z. Artwork, is noted for its animal hide and reptile skin motifs. She and her family live in Mobile, where she creates bold paintings and sells originals and prints in local galleries. ON KIMBERLY Orange pleated dress with tie waist (Sway). Print silk skinny scarf (Franco Ferrari, Debraâ€™s). Necklaces (Julie Voss, Estate Jewelers of Fairhope). Hand-tooled sunglasses (Maho Shades). OPPOSITE White lace dress (BCBG, Hemline). Turquoise button earrings (Debraâ€™s).
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Kelley Ogburn Art was a lifelong hobby turned profession for Ogburn, owner of Kelley Ogburn Studio. The talented Auburn University grad landed advertising and editorial art director jobs early in her career. Following the birth of her two children, she became a painter full-time. Since 2014, Ogburn has run her studio from her home in Fairhope, where she sells her work and creates custom commissions. ON KELLEY Pink silk chiffon blouse with flutter sleeves (Alice + Olivia, CK Collection). White jeans (Flying Monkeys, Sway). Oversized multicolored hoop earrings (Hemline). OPPOSITE Bright coral shift dress with zipper back (Alice + Olivia, Debraâ€™s). Natural raffia earrings (Sway). Bangle bracelets (Julie Voss, Estate Jewelers of Fairhope). Hand-tooled sunglasses (Maho Shades).
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Hadley Binion The Chattanooga-born mother of two always dreamed of playing the roles of artist and mom. After earning a B.A. from the University of Mississippi with an emphasis on graphic design and a minor in English, Binion moved to Mobile with her husband and opened Hadley Binion Designs in 2008. Ten years later, she still works diligently in marketing, branding and graphic design projects for clients throughout the Bay area. ON HADLEY White pleated flowy blouse (Sway). Jeans (Sway). Necklace (Julie Voss, Estate Jewelers of Fairhope). Hand-tooled sunglasses (Maho Shades). OPPOSITE White tie-shoulder jumpsuit (Sway). Yellow raffia earrings (Sway).
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Jennifer Jenkins A public relations and marketing professional and entrepreneur, Jenkins is the owner and president of JJPR, a boutique public relations agency. After earning a communication degree from the University of Alabama, she gained over 20 years of professional experience and was accredited in public relations by the Universal Accreditation Board. In 2010, she opened the firm to combine her love of family, storytelling and connecting others through meaningful relationships. ON JENNIFER Black cross-neck bathing suit (Seafolly, Sway). Tropical print cover-up (Sway). Lapis stud earrings (Sway). Oversized sun hat (Physician Indoors, Sadieâ€™s). OPPOSITE Red floor-length dress (Blaque Label, Hemline). Raffia beach bag (Pitusa, Sadieâ€™s). Gold hoop earrings (Sway).
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APRIL / MAY 2018 ON STAGE & EXHIBITS PG. 70 • MAY HIGHLIGHTS PG. 72
SPRING BIRD MIGRATION, DAUPHIN ISLAND. PHOTO BY KATHY HICKS.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
[ APRIL HIGHLIGHTS]
through april 18
april 6 - 7
Savage Ancient Seas
Community Easter Sunrise Service
Mobile Challenge of Champions Track Meet
6:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. Celebrate the holiday while enjoying the scenic views of Dauphin Island from the historical grounds of Fort Gaines.
3 p.m. - 10 p.m. F, noon - 6:30 p.m. Sa. See some of the top high school track and field athletes from around the nation.
Travel back in time examining the exotic creatures that roamed the swamps and seas during the age of the dinosaurs. Visitors will explore an underwater environment with more than 50 prehistoric marine fossils. GULFQUEST NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM OF THE GULF OF MEXICO • GULFQUEST.ORG
through april 30 Spring Bird Migration At one of the nation’s best bird sanctuaries, watch as hundreds of species of birds travel back north after heading south for the winter. DAUPHIN ISLAND • DAUPHINISLAND.ORG
HISTORIC FORT GAINES DAUPHINISLAND.ORG
FRIDAY: UMS-WRIGHT PREPARATORY SCHOOL SATURDAY: ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL MOBILECHALLENGEOFCHAMPIONS.NET
Easter Sunrise Service
Taste of Rotary
6:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. Take in the beauty of Bellingrath Gardens with family and friends on this special day. Free admission from 6 a.m. - 8 a.m.
6 p.m. Enjoy beverages, a wine raffle and tunes by musical duo Roman Street at the Point Clear Rotary Club’s fundraiser. Tickets: $75 general admission; $150 VIP.
BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME 973-2217 • BELLINGRATH.ORG
FAIRHOPE CIVIC CENTER • 601-917-5182 POINTCLEARROTARY.ORG
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april 19 Little Black Dress 6:30 p.m. Doors open. Check out the latest fashions and sip cocktails for a good cause. FORT WHITING AUDITORIUM • 694-6873 RMHCMOBILE.ORG
april 21 Bald Eagle Bash 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Top local restaurants serve up fresh Gulf shrimp and more at this fundraiser for the Weeks Bay Foundation. Live music by Johnny Hayes and the Loveseats. Tickets: $45, in advance; $50, at the gate. TONSMEIRE WEEKS BAY RESOURCE CENTER AT THE FISH RIVER BRIDGE • BALDEAGLEBASH.COM
april 21 Mobile Bay Earth Day 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Check out activities and exhibits promoting environmental citizenship and awareness around the world. FAIRHOPE PIER PARK • EARTHDAYMOBILEBAY.ORG
april 21 - 30 Rose Bloom Out at Bellingrath The Rose Garden at Bellingrath Gardens will have its first bloom out of the season, which will continue into the fall. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME 973-2217 • BELLINGRATH.ORG
april 27 Sidewalk-A-Thon 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Support this annual event aimed at raising money for new sidewalks in Spring Hill. DORN FIELD AT SPRING HILL COLLEGE THEVILLAGEOFSPRINGHILL.COM
april 29 Hope Grows Here 12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. This farm-to-table brunch, locally sourced from Baldwin County growers and producers, will benefit the new Mitchell Cancer Center’s Kilborn Clinic in Fairhope. Tickets: $125. USA MITCHELL CANCER INSTITUTE KILBORN CLINIC • 1047 FAIRHOPE AVENUE, FAIRHOPE WWW.USAHEALTHSYSTEM.COM/HOPEGROWS-HERE
april 27 - 29 Interstate Mullet Toss and Gulf Coast’s Greatest Beach Party Toss one over the line at one of the biggest parties on the Gulf Coast. FLORA-BAMA LOUNGE AND PACKAGE STORE FLORABAMA.COM
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[ON STAGE & EXHIBITS]
through april 15 Titanic: Honour and Glory 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. M - Sa, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Su. Witness the glory of Titanic, her sister ships Olympic and Britannic, and White Star Line at this exhibition. Artifacts from the ships as well as movie props from the 1997 film will be on display. MUSEUM OF MOBILE HISTORYMUSEUMOFMOBILE.COM
through june 1 Back to Havana Explore the relationship between Mobile and its sister city Havana, Cuba, in this exhibit featuring multimedia projects from 15 of Cuba’s contemporary artists. ALABAMA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER ALABAMACONTEMPORARY.ORG
through july 1 do it The Mobile Museum of Art is giving local artists, individuals, and community groups the opportunity to participate in the “do it” competition that originated in Paris in 1993. As a part of the competition, participants interpret and complete selected works from more than 250 possible instructions. MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART MOBILEMUSEUMOFART.COM
through july 8 Alabama / Texas Art Exchange This Mobile Museum of Art exhibit features the work of artists from their respective states, presented concurrently at each venue. The event was originally scheduled for October 2017, but was postponed due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. MOBILE MUSEUM OF ART MOBILEMUSEUMOFART.COM
april 1 “Cabaret” 2 p.m. Travel back in time to 1929 - 1930 Berlin and witness the romance between Sally and Cliff. Tickets: $10, $15, $20. JOE JEFFERSON PLAYERS JOEJEFFERSONPLAYERS.COM
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april 7 Sara Evans 6:30 p.m. Doors open. 7:30 p.m. Show starts. Sara Evans takes the stage alongside RaeLynn and Kalie Shorr as a part of CMT’s Next Women of Country tour. Tickets: $69.50, $49.50, $39.50, $32.50 (plus fees). MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESAENGER.COM
april 12 Larry Menefee: HMPS Lecture Series 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Doors open. Mobilian Larry Menefee will detail his extensive career in civil rights litigation. Admission: free for members; $10 for non-members. HISTORIC MOBILE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OAKLEIGH HOUSE MUSEUM
april 13 - 15, 20 - 22 “The Pot” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa, 2 p.m. Su. The Mobile Theatre Guild presents Glenn Hutchinson’s play that focuses on immigration. Tickets: $15 - $20. MOBILE THEATRE GUILD MOBILETHEATREGUILD.ORG
april 14 The Black Jacket Symphony: Guns N’ Roses Appetite for Destruction 7 p.m. Doors open. 8 p.m. Show starts. The Black Jacket Symphony takes it back to the ‘80s with this Guns N’ Roses hit. Tickets: $32, $22 (additional fees apply). MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESAENGER.COM
april 20 - 22, april 27 - 29, may 4 - 6 “Butterflies Are Free” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa, 2:30 p.m. Su. Theatre 98 presents the 1969 comedy about a blind musician who develops a relationship with a free-spirited hippie. Tickets: $18. THEATRE 98 • THEATRE98.ORG
april 21 - 22 “House Rule” 7:30 p.m. Sa, 2:30 p.m. Su. The Mobile Symphony will be joined by six-time Grammy award winner Menahem Pressler. Tickets: $15 - $75. MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESYMPHONY.ORG
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may 3 Gov’t Mule 6:30 p.m. Doors open. 7:30 p.m. Show starts. Tickets: $34 - $51. MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESAENGER.COM
may 4 - 5 Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. F, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sa. Pilots from across the U.S. light up the sky in hot air balloons. Other festivities include the World Famous Disc Connected K-9’s Frisbee Dog Show, carnival rides, Arts and Crafts vendors, and great food and entertainment. Balloon flights and displays are weather dependent, taking place only at dusk and dawn when conditions permit. FOLEY SPORTS PARK GULFCOASTBALLOONFESTIVAL.COM
may 5 - 6 Blessing of the Fleet 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Partake in the beloved Bayou La Batre and Coden tradition. ST. MARGARET CATHOLIC CHURCH FLEETBLESSING.ORG
may 9 Chicago 7 p.m. Doors open. 8 p.m. Show starts. The Port City welcomes the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers to the stage. Tickets: $60 - $100. MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESAENGER.COM
may 11 - 13, 18 - 20, 25 - 27 “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” 7:30 p.m. F / Sa, 2 p.m. Su. Sing along to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical interpretation of the favorite story. CHICKASAW CIVIC THEATRE • CCTSHOWS.COM
may 12 Three Dog Night 7 p.m. Doors open. 8 p.m. Show starts. The legendary rock band celebrates five decades of hits. Tickets: $42 - $92. MOBILE SAENGER • MOBILESAENGER.COM
may 12 Orange Beach Wine Festival Noon - 4 p.m. Enjoy more than 120 wines, craft beer, three live music acts, food from distinguished local restaurants and boat tours of the Bay. Free custom wine glass and wine bag included. 28103 PERDIDO BEACH BLVD., ORANGE BEACH WAVESOFWINE.COM 72 mobilebaymag.com | april 2018
CHICAGO THE GULF COAST HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL
may 18 - 20 The Hangout Music Festival 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Party on the beach with over 60 hit-making headliners including The Killers, Zedd, The Chainsmokers, Halsey and Kendrick Lamar. GULF SHORES PUBLIC BEACH HANGOUTMUSICFEST.COM
may 19 Thunder on the Bay 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Relive the history of the integral role of Fort Gaines in the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Mobile Bay. HISTORIC FORT GAINES, DAUPHIN ISLAND ALABAMA.TRAVEL/UPCOMING-EVENTS/ THUNDER-ON-THE-BAY#
may 13 Bellingrath Mother’s Day Evening Garden Concert 5:30 p.m. Feast on a picnic supper in the Gardens as the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra presents some of the world’s most famous classics. BELLINGRATH GARDENS AND HOME 973-2217 • BELLINGRATH.ORG april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 73
HISTORY | ARCHIVES
Mobile Backyards of Old Reflecting on her backyard and the young children who terrorized it, Frances Beverly reminisces about the fenced-off yards of her childhood. text by FR ANCES V. BEVERLY • illustration by COLLEEN COMER Frances Beverly Papers, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama
Born in 1865, Frances V. Beverly toiled away at her home on Government Street throughout the 1930s and ‘40s, writing what she hoped would become the almanac of Mobile. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Beverly died in Mobile in 1954, leaving behind piles of manuscripts hidden from the very audience whose lore and customs she so tirelessly documented for posterity — that is, until now. In this series, MB presents the Frances Beverly Papers.
ears ago [around the 1880s], everybody had their own backyard with a high fence around it and a lock on the gate, and this gate was locked every evening just as the sun went down. In the daytime it was very easily opened, for there was an iron latch which had a round hole cut just above it, large enough 74 mobilebaymag.com | april 2018
for the hand to get through to raise the latch. This ensured privacy, because all gates had a little bell fastened on them so that as soon as they were opened, the bell rang and gave notice that someone was coming. It is to be regretted that it cannot be said that these backyards were kept nicely, for they were not. Trash accumulated, leaves collected just where the wind blew them. Stables and sheds were the repository of all manner of junk which should have found its way into the garbage wagon, but there were no such things as garbage wagons then. An ordinance was made which said that each householder should keep his premises in good order, and there the matter rested, for there was no one to see that it was done. Here is a picture of the average backyard in those days: A pile of coal, perhaps a ton, was near the fence where it had been dumped
over because the driver of the wagon was too lazy to open the gate and drive in and put it in the shed where it belonged. Beside it was a pile of wood cut into stove lengths. A broken chair or two decorated another corner, and a decrepit old stove shivered on its back legs in another. A hoe, rake and spade were just where the one who used them last had thrown them. There, in another spot, was a pile of broken bits of colored china and glass, a few toys and the remains of a child’s playhouse. Often, there would be a line of disconsolate-looking garments hanging from a clothesline, and some stringy dish towels suspended from the branches of a neglected shrub, most likely to be a Chinaberry bush. There was always a large pile of trash, waiting for somebody to produce an extra quarter to have it removed to the “dump” just outside of the city limits.
This is not a pretty picture, but with all of its neglected, sordid appearance, it seems just a little better than the privacy and enjoyment of the present-day [1930s] backyard, which is not your own backyard by any means. You can only lay claim to what small portion remains undestroyed when your neighborsâ€™ children get through with it. Nearly everyone spends an unlimited amount of strength and cash on beautifying their yards, and they should be encouraged, because it adds to the morale of a town to see lovely, well-kept homes, but this cannot be done unless the legislature steps in and limits the number of children allowed in a family. Such mass production prohibits proper rearing, and in order to prove to your own satisfaction that birth control is essential to well-kept backyards, just rent a house in a bungalow neighborhood, and you will be permanently convinced. Most of the backyards in Mobile are very attractive, or at least they begin that way. But if your neighbor has a dog who insists upon making your pansy bed his repository for surplus bones, and the children next door race around your concrete walks and tumble off their bicycles and snap off the branches of your valuable azalea bushes and crush your narcissi beds to a pulp, it is rather discouraging. When they come up on your porch and carve their names on the arms of your new porch chairs and leave all of the fat from a ham sandwich on your clean steps and sticky chocolate and gumdrops on your cushions, it is more than the â€œgood neighbor policyâ€? has a right to expect. You feel murderous and wonder why there was such a hullabaloo when Herod wanted to dispose of all male children. It has happened that very infrequently, a man or a woman would venture to reprove a child, or even to very politely ask a parent to mention to their offspring that it would be better not to completely mangle a garden so that it looked like a garbage dump, but it brought no results; in fact, it seemed to bring about a combine among the parents and children, which caused the complainant to find broken windows, smashed milk bottles, tacks in their tires and, in many instances, the loss of a favorite pet dog or cat. Clothes would mysteriously disappear from the line, and doorbells would ring at all hours of the day or night. MB april 2018 | mobilebaymag.com 75
HISTORY | ASK MCGEHEE
Who was the Mobile inventor who allegedly flew a plane before the Wright brothers?
text by TOM MCGEHEE
LEFT John Fowler returned to clock repair after his final flying machine was destroyed. He was the only one who could make the mayor’s antique clock keep time. That clock stands today in the entrance hall at Oakleigh. It is no longer running. THE DOY LEALE MCCALL RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA
John E. Fowler reportedly built a plane that briefly flew over Monroe Park in 1901 — more than two years before the Wright brothers first took to the air in North Carolina. Fowler’s flight took place in Mobile’s favorite waterfront amusement park, which would later be replaced by Brookley Air Force Base and today is home to a number of aeronautical operations, including Airbus. Fowler was born in Mississippi in 1862 and first appeared in Mobile city directories in 1895, where he listed his occupation as “Sewing Machine and Clock Repairer” in his home on Savannah Street. Fowler may have arrived with the idea of building an airplane. In May of 1897,
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Mobile’s Daily Register reported that Fowler had “the only original airship of all time. If Captain Fowler had been able to make the thing fly, he would now be in the swim.” Witnesses claimed they saw Fowler fly his craft out over Mobile Bay. One recalled seeing him land it on the beach, another in the Bay — “in the swim.” What the captain is thought to have flown was a glider of sorts, since his craft had no engine.
A Curiosity at Five Cents Fowler moved his creation to Monroe Park and placed it behind a tall fence. He invited Mobilians to pay a nickel to see the airship from “8 a.m. to 7 p.m.” and advised them, “Do not come after sundown.”
Monroe Park was the creation of streetcar magnate J. Howard Wilson, who placed it at the terminus of his trolley tracks near the bayfront. Ridership skyrocketed. For over two generations, it was Mobile’s pleasure grounds, offering a roller coaster, baseball park, open-air movie theater and, for a time, the chance to meet Mr. Fowler and see his flying contraption. Mr. Wilson’s streetcars of the day were adorned with signs inviting Mobilians to “Take this car to see John Fowler’s flying machine at Monroe Park!” The nickels came in but were never enough to get Fowler what he needed: a custom-built engine for his plane. He even attempted to lure investors at $1 per ticket, but the money was never sufficient to
purchase what he required. Fowler said that the famed Wright brothers slipped into town one day and paid him a visit. In 1903, the brothers flew their first plane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Fowler firmly believed they had borrowed from his design, especially regarding the rudder and wing shape. That visit has never been authenticated. Despite the Wright brothers’ success, Fowler continued to try and perfect his craft. In 1904, he moved his machine to a lot on Dauphin Street and again offered tickets to the public to take a look, charging adults a dime and children a nickel. “Give me your patronage,” he advertised, “and I will give the people of Mobile a flying machine!” The lot was open every day except Sunday, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. On Sundays, Fowler attended a Baptist church on State Street and was known to stand up and argue with the preacher on a biblical point. Afterward, he would head to the waterfront. There, perched atop a wooden piling, he would espouse his views on biblical tracts as well as social causes.
A Mob Destroys His Machine Although described as “a quiet and considerate man,” Fowler was often mocked as he preached by the waterfront. Before he could fly his final creation, it was torn to pieces by a group of vandals. He finally gave up on a flying machine and concentrated on repairing clocks and sewing machines. Fowler was the only one able to keep the antique clock outside the mayor’s office in working order. In 1916, when a hurricane damaged the massive clock atop the Mobile County Courthouse, experts from out of state were called upon for repairs. When they could find no way to get it running, Fowler was chosen and kept it in order until the 1926 hurricane knocked it out for good. Before his death, John Fowler was invited for a ride in an airplane. When he returned to the ground, he said, “Well, I knew they would get it someday. I was just ahead of my time.” Fowler died in 1939 at the age of 77 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Magnolia Cemetery. In 1997, a group raised funds to install a proper marker noting the final resting place of “John Ellis Fowler, Pioneer of Flight.” MB
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END PIECE | IN LIVING COLOR
Dauphin Street Grocer, circa 1900 Original photo from the Historic Mobile Preservation Society, William E. Wilson Collection, Minnie Mitchell Archives • Colorization by Dynamichrome Limited
Grocer Robert O. Harris (1860 – 1917), a self-described dealer in “feed, fruit and grain,” poses with the day’s produce in this turn-of-the-century photograph. Following Harris’s death in 1917, the grocery continued to operate at the Dauphin Street address until 1927, according to the city directory. Located at 226 Dauphin St., this storefront might seem vaguely familiar to many Mobilians, as it has been home to Three Georges Candy Shop since 1973.
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