Browsing: Food & Dining

Explore the foodie paradise found in Mississippi. Tasty recipes, where to dine, and more.

I am fond of telling people to cook and eat where you are. Do you know what I mean? If you want really good sushi, go to Japan, want a great hoagie, better head to Jersey or NYC. Want goulash? Your best bet is going to be Hungary.

I have waxed poetic before on the many health virtues of chicken soup, not to mention it being so very, very delicious when prepared properly. Mine is not a scientific opinion, I have done no medical research, but it is an opinion formed over many years of getting to feel better by taking  small doses (1 cup or so) every hour or two. 

You might think of fried chicken as being about as Southern as it gets, but in fact the East Africans have been frying chicken in palm oil for generations before the Europeans came to the America’s.

They say the true measure of a chef, or an accomplished home cook for that matter, is in their skill in creating sauces. There seems to be some magic touch required that not just everyone has. Even the simple ones, like aioli, can be contrary, and if you are attempting something more complex, like hollandaise it can be a demanding task indeed.

Summer is about to begin! Memorial Day Weekend provides the opportunity to gather with loved ones and host a  cookout to kick off the summer season. You can still enjoy a seasonal shindig without sacrificing nutritious food choices.

Every good biscuit is made with love. And every Southern family has that one person with the secret touch. They can get that bowl of flour and work in their fats and make a perfectly fluffy and flaky biscuit. Whether you add jam, jelly, bacon, or sausage or top it with gravy, there is no argument that buttermilk biscuits are a staple in Southern cuisine. Since 2008, there has yet to be an argument that Natchez, Mississippi, is the Biscuit Capital of the World and home to the Queen of Biscuits. 

Have you ever wondered about Lyon, Mississippi? This charming town, nestled in Coahoma County, with a population of just 259, is a world unto itself. We are not just ‘Lyon.’

The small town is named after the French city of Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. With Clarksdale nearby (approximately 2.5 miles away), there’s not much to do in the tiny town of Lyon. However, they have still made their mark in The Magnolia State with delicious carnival food and a giant Sponge Bob sign that can be seen for miles off Highway 61. 

Charlie’s U-Pik is part of many people’s summer traditions. The farm started in the ’90s when Mr. Charlie planted too many tomato plants and advertised in the paper for people to come pick them. There are two locations of the U-Pik farms, one in Lucedale (the original) and a second location in Wiggins. Lucedale is a 100-acre farm and serves the Leakesville, Meridian, and Mobile, Alabama area. The Wiggins farm is 50 acres and serves the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, and Louisiana.

More people are discovering the wonders of truly good olive oil. Occasionally you will find a pretty good oil at the grocery (Rouses has a good one that is an unfiltered oil from Sicily), but the best way to shop for olive oil is online, where you will find countless great oils to choose from.

Tacos are always a good idea. They are a hit with kids and adults (even the picky ones). Tuesdays are routinely Taco Tuesday at my house and the whole family looks forward to it each week. A taco bar is also a great way to feed a crowd and allows for each person’s taco to be customized to their taste. Many people will flock to their favorite restaurant for Cinco de Mayo festivities this month, but a quick, nutritious, and cheap home based celebration is within your reach.

 A South Mississippi spring is the perfect time for a picnic. There are so many good spots to choose from, like the Gulf Shores National Seashore Park in Ocean Springs, or just about anywhere along our miles of white sand beaches. 

To be honest, I sometimes mourn the fact that most of today’s kids will never have the opportunity to regularly dine at a place where everyone knows their name, their favorite dishes, and their latest accomplishments (and debacles) at school and church. Sadly, they are missing out on some great memories. 

But luckily for my grandkids (and for me), there is a special family-style restaurant in the Blue Springs community called Ray Ray’s.