When the Starkville Community Market opens bright and early on Saturday mornings, Chef Chris Pierce is usually resting up from a busy night in the commercial kitchen of Restaurant Tyler. But when the Market asked him to put on a culinary demonstration Aug. 3, Pierce was pleased to take advantage of the opportunity to get to know his new community a little better.
When I was a child, I thought like a child, I ate like a child: PB&Js, BLTs and grilled cheese sandwiches made from slices of Velveeta melted to gooey perfection between two slices of skillet-toasted white bread.
Elmer's glue, check. Backpack, check. Hand sanitizer, check. Yes, it's that time of year, when the rustle and hustle of parents armed with school supply lists and uniform specifications crowd the stores, and kids can't wait to see friends they waved goodbye to in May.
One of the earliest French culinary imports to make a dent in America was the crepe. As a kid in New York during the '60s, I remember dining with my family at quite a few creperies. I also remember the black steel crepe pan my folks bought, a token of their desire to make crepes at home every once in a while.
When I was growing up in Virginia, one of the signs of summer I anticipated most was the appearance of fat green tomatoes on the vines in our garden. We picked them well before they started to blush, dipped the thick slices in egg and milk, dredged them with cornmeal, salt and pepper, then fried them in a skillet.
"Here, just taste this," said Gordon Parker, holding out a fragrant peach Monday afternoon at the Hitching Lot Farmers' Market. "Really good, isn't it?" Parker is justifiably proud of the Early Haven peaches he's hauling to the Columbus market these days (along with squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet corn and blueberries).
Even though fruit and cheese tend to go together like soup and sandwich, the first time I saw watermelon and feta cheese paired up on a menu it struck me as very odd.
So, you've been too busy washing sand out of vacation swimsuits to plan much for the Fourth of July. Or, maybe you've been putting in so much extra effort at work so you can actually be away from the office tomorrow you've not had time to dream up a holiday menu. Perhaps you just need a little special something to take to a gathering of family or friends. Well, don't fret.
Summer days begin early for Rissa Lawrence of Caledonia, especially when her near 500 Kiowa blackberry plants come into their full glory. That's when the retired educator opens her Victorian Place Garden for pick-your-own enthusiasts to enjoy the harvest.