SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK
Druthers: Preferences regarding one’s state of existence; what a person would prefer (would rather) to have occur… as in “If I had my druthers, there’d be no mosquitoes, no mean people, and the grass would cut itself.”
HERBS AND HERBED SALADS
Kitchen gardens featuring herbs and leafy veggies have been a mainstay of Southern life since the first European settlers intruded on the region’s original residents, who considered the entire landscape their kitchen garden. There is something incredibly enticing about the prospect of picking a few fresh leaves of mint or basil or thyme to use in preparation for a savory meal.
Oxford’s harsh climate and strange mix of clays and gummy, sandy soils could defeat most novice kitchen gardeners. Despite success in other locales, I had been unable to maintain any herbs in my Oxford garden until last summer, when I stuck herbs in large containers in partial shade, and in the corner bed inside the sheltered west wall of my inner courtyard. I kept them away from the harsh afternoon sun, protected from the ever-present neighborhood deer, and watered them regularly, without allowing them to dry out completely. Read more →
In just several months, the Lamar Lounge’s burger has become a relative overnight success. And it didn’t take long for the Travel Channel to catch wind of Chef Charles Owens’s beefy specialty.
The Travel Channel program Burger Land, hosted by George Motz, will air its episode “Ole Miss Burgers” at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 20 and again at 11 p.m.—plus two more times on May 22 at 7:30 p.m. and May 23 at 2:30 a.m. — Tad Wilkes
Angelo Mistilis continues a family food tradition begun nearly 90 years ago in Oxford.
Amy Evans, oral historian with the Southern Foodways Alliance, wrote in 2004:
“Tom Mistilis arrived in the United States from Greece in the early part of the twentieth century. After making his way through a steel mill up north and a bus station café out west, he eventually made his way to Mississippi. With a fellow countryman at his side, Tom Mistilis came to Oxford and quickly set up shop. From a café on the campus of the University of Mississippi in the late 1920s, to his son Angelo’s own restaurant forty years later, the Mistilis family has blessed Oxford with some memorable recipes. Angelo became known around town for his smothered hamburger steak, and he can still be found filling hungry bellies.”
Though Angelo Mistilis doesn’t operate a restaurant anymore, his chicken salad remains a popular delicacy in Oxford. It’s available at Lindsey’s Chevron, at 321 North Lamar Boulevard, by the container or in sandwich form. In addition to its rotating hot plate lunch options, Lindsey’s runs an everyday lunch special: a chicken salad sandwich, chips, and a medium fountain drink for $3.99.
The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Its mission is to “set a common table where black and white, rich, and poor—all who gather—may consider our history and our future in a spirit of reconciliation.”
A member-supported non-profit, based at the University of Mississippi, SFA stages symposia on food culture, produces documentary films, collects oral histories, and publishes compendiums of great writing. In the Atlantic Monthly, Corby Kummer dubbed the SFA “this country’s most intellectually engaged (and probably most engaging) food society.” — Tad Wilkes
SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK
(Looks Like) Something the Cat Dragged in: That person’s seen better days or better moments in the same day. Guaranteed to look bedraggled or savaged. (Think Cool Hand Luke after the hard-boiled egg wager or Bruce Willis at the end of one of his Die Hard movies, or Mark Sanford when facing his then-wife after declaring to the world he’d met his soul-mate—who was NOT at that time his wife.) Rooted in our English idioms, this is a particularly delightful expression for us Southerners. After all, why merely state the obvious when we can explore the English language by describing a person or situation? Read more →
Oby’s menu describes its muffuletta as “the New Orleans original only better,” and you’ll be hard-pressed to top it. It’s packed with salami, pepperoni, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, topped with mayo and Oby’s Italian olive salad, served on six-inch French muffuletta bread.
“We make our own olive salad—from scratch, with celery, green olives, vinegar and oregano—and that makes a difference,” says co-owner Ayers Spencer.
Oby’s is at 1931 University Avenue and is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. — Tad Wilkes
Volta Taverna’s novel Hotty Toddy Balls would appear to be mere balls of mashed potatoes dropped into a fryer. And they aren’t much more complicated than that, but their popular flavor owes to the fact that there’s more to the mix than mere spuds.
Volta Owner Brooke Boral says the Hotty Toddy Balls are made with garlic mashed potatoes, mozzarella cheese, and bacon, coated in an egg wash, and dipped in ranch-seasoned flour. The finished product is served with ranch dressing for dipping. Usher it along with a Volta margarita, follow it with a lamb and beef gyro, and I believe you’re full. Go home. Lie down. Smile.
Volta Taverna is located at 710 North Lamar Boulevard. — Tad Wilkes
City Grocery, located at 152 Courthouse Square, posted its new spring dinner menu (below) on its Facebook page this morning, and here it is. Lamb shank confit, anyone? — Tad Wilkes, Nightlife & Lifestyle Editor
Click the image to enlarge:
SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK
Gooder’n grits: It doesn’t get much better than this. Think graduation week — and you are getting to make that walk across the stage. AND you have a job waiting.
GOOD MORNING, AMERICA. IT’S TIME FOR BREAKFAST
We’ve all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it breaks our fast from the hard work done by our internal organs to repair and rejuvenate our bodies during a night’s sleep. With occasional exceptions, breakfast should NOT consist of a few toaster pastries, a bagel, or Krispy Kreme donuts (even though the Old Bride loves ‘em hot from the assembly line at the company’s original Stratford Road location). We should be consuming a combination of proteins and complex carbs in the form of fruits, whole grains, and meats.
Of course, the easiest and always tasty breakfast for folks on the go is a homemade parfait composed of yogurt layered with fresh berries and topped with granola. But why opt for the obvious? This week we have three dishes that add variety to the standard American, Southern Country, or Continental breakfast fare. Serve all of them with fresh fruit and juice of choice. Read more →
By Laurie Triplette
SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK
Put a lid on it. Better bottle up that behavior right now or you’re gonna spill out every which way and someone else will have to clean up your mess. Now’s not the time to get fractious and frisky. We have another two weeks before exams are over and spring commitments have been completed.
HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO WEEK, AMIGOS!
Cinco de Mayo is largely an American holiday celebrated on May 5 to commemorate an event in Mexican history. Although Mexico’s official national Independence Day is September 16, Cinco de Mayo also is a holiday in the states of Puebla and neighboring Veracruz, and is a national Mexican school holiday. Read more →
Walking down Lamar Avenue the colors and textures of the Double Decker vendor’ artwork grab your attention, but the aroma leaves your mouth watering.
Just as in year’s past, food has taken center stage on the event’s 18th anniversary. Local favorites like Rooster’s Blues House and Proud Larry’s are a main staple around the courthouse, but there are some new faces like Petra Café leaving a mark on the mouths of Double Decker visitors.
“It’s great coming out here and having all of these options to choose from for places to eat,“ said Ole Miss student Eric Villarreal.
The true test of how the food tastes can be seen in the long lines at every food vendor stand. You can get anything from Asian to fresh baked goods to the gourmet cuisine of Bouré. Local residents and visitors alike could not wait to get their hands on some grub.
But this year, the food created a bit of a controversy before the festival began. Organizers instituted a new policy requiring vendors to use locally sourced ingredients in their food offerings.
For some vendors, like Honey Bee Bakery, this new rule was no big deal since the restaurant’s menu already features locally grown food, but for others this new rule made preparing for Double Decker more of a challenge.
In the end, however, the vendors filled the courthouse circle with plenty of delicious options, including chicken kabobs, corn dogs and homemade lemonade. — By Brittani Acuff, senior broadcast journalism major, and Deb Wenger, associate professor.
SOUTHERNISM OF THE WEEK
Pig in a poke: What one gets when ordering grits in Oregon or chicken salad in California … we just don’t know what’s coming out. Think the current farm bill in Congress.
THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHICKEN SALAD
Hooray for April. It’s that fabulously gloriously gorgeous time of year in north central Mississippi and west Tennessee when the landscape is brilliant green, dusted with lavender, pink, misty white and yellow. It’s when the weather, the land, and the sky conspire to give us a reason to continue living here despite the harsh conditions of our climate (floods, tornadoes, occasional extreme cold and ever-present high humidity). Read more →
We want to see how you show your Ole Miss Spirit! Send us pictures to email@example.com with "Ole Miss Spirit" as the subject.
John Hailman’s Wine Tips of the Week
The Chickasaw –– Spartans of the Mississippi Valley