One bite into a cool, crisp wedge of watermelon takes us back in time. We’re kids again, parked at a picnic table or barefoot in the back yard, melon juice running down our chins, trickling between our little fingers. And we don’t have a care in the world.
“I see you,” Scott Enlow grinned, triumphantly plucking a stray squash bug from a plant thriving with bright yellow and green zephyr squash. Then, before heading back to the house where he grew up, the genial Columbus man cast vigilant eyes one last time across rows of summer vegetables in a garden like no other in the Golden Triangle.
The vegetable garden is starting to produce. It took longer than I expected, but this past weekend we harvested our first edamame (it was a little too early), and I have cut two beautiful pristine okra pods. I’m not sure if there were ready; they are the size I like but not as deeply green as the ones I bought from Phil Lancaster at the Farmers’ Market. Nonetheless, they are like an ugly baby, beautiful in their momma’s eyes.
Eating out in Columbus and Starkville is less and less about wolfing down Southern staples. Three recently established restaurants in the cities offer food or experiences that may be new to people.
For 21 summers, peals of laughter from children attending Camp Rising Sun have echoed through the tall pines surrounding Camp Pratt in western Lowndes County. For a few days each June, fishing, archery, arts and crafts, rock walls and talent shows help round out a traditional camp experience for youngsters who have already had to deal with some very untraditional stress in their young lives.
Two pretty, young ladies wait in a hushed hallway in the Mississippi University for Women Culinary Arts Institute Friday afternoon. Nervous energy bubbles beneath the surface. They carefully look over their cart one more time to be sure nothing essential has been forgotten. Egg whites, sugar, half-and-half, mixing bowls — all there.
It’s been recorded that the ancient Greeks crowned their heroes with dill and laurel. Mint was credited by long-ago civilizations with mystical powers to neutralize the “evil eye.” Yes, man’s fascination with medicinal, ornamental and aromatic herbs can be traced through the ages, surfacing in romance, religion, food, health and superstition.
The sweet smell of pastries and soothing aroma of tomato soup filled the air last week at the Mississippi University for Women’s Shattuck Hall as camouflage-clad members of the Mississippi National Guard scrambled to hone their culinary skills.
Except for the look of the vehicles steadily pulling in and out of the roadside lot, the scene at Don and Linda Beard’s open-air produce and curb market at 5731 Military Road, where Wolf Road intersects, could almost have been plucked from the fictional community of Mayberry.
Every morning around 8:30 a.m., 92-year-old June Kettinger relies on the phone to ring. The daily reassurance call from volunteers with CONTACT Helpline is one small but vital link that helps the Columbus resident continue living on her own.
For beef lovers, few aromas can rival the enticing lure of a flavorful, tender steak expertly grilled. There will be plenty of temptation to go around as the Lowndes County Cattlemen’s Association prepares nearly 3,000 ribeye steaks May 8-9 on grills set up at the Kroger parking lot on Highway 45 North.
Nothing says “feed me” like 75 hungry teens bent on staying awake all night. And when it came to satisfying those robust appetites, the mood was decidedly Oriental as youth pastors Pat Davidson, Aaron Lane and Tim Bentley joined forces recently for a Wok In with their respective youth groups from Evangel Church and First Assembly of God, in Columbus, and First Assembly of God in Amory.
The kitchen, it is often said, is the heart of a home, a central place of gathering and sharing. To get it “just right,” to create that place of comfort and welcome, is always an aspiration. And who doesn’t enjoy a glimpse into how homeowners, designers and builders turn the vision into a reality?
It’s an unlikely place for a bidding war, but the action in the church fellowship hall has everyone riveted. Back and forth the spotter’s attention flies, following competition spurred on by a shrewd auctioneer. The dollar amount increases; delighted gasps rise from the crowd.
For imaginative visitors, a stroll through the gracious antbellum dining rooms of Columbus Pilgrimage homes on tour through April 11 just may inspire romantic visions of belles, beaus and balls of a bygone era. What few of us give much thought to, however, is the fare that may have filled those sideboards and tables of old.
In an innovative blending of tastes — and a sterling example of non-profit and commercial collaboration — popular Girl Scout cookie flavors inspired three new Jubilations cheesecakes this month and are featured on Harveys’ dessert menus in Columbus, Starkville and Tupelo.
Where is it written that diabetic diets must be bland and limiting? With resources and products available these days, those living with diabetes — almost 350,000 in this state alone, according to The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi — shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor.
The revelry of New Orleans’ Carnival season isn’t confined to the Big Easy. On Monday, with beads and moon pies flying, Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students celebrated Mardi Gras with a parade, a musical “second line” and a surfeit of high spirits.