Genie Jones

Visit Natchez

Natchez, Mississippi, is your getaway full of fun, safe, and socially distant activities to get you out of the house and into something new. We know precisely how much cabin fever everyone has developed, and we invite you to visit responsibly and discover the very best of our pandemic-sensitive places, events, and spaces.   High …

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Five Tupelo Favorites Making Waves in Southern Cuisine

Road tripping along the Natchez Trace can build up quite a hunger. Luckily, this legendary route cuts straight through Tupelo, Mississippi. Famous for being the birthplace of Elvis, Tupelo has been steadily building a reputation for its thriving epicurean scene. Key to the fresh tastes coming out of this part of Hill Country: collaborations where …

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Discover Greenwood, Mississippi Where The Spirit of Food, Music and History Lives On

  We’re one of those cute blogger couples you follow on Instagram.  I cover food. Ines covers travel. We write about restaurant openings and trending hot spots. We used to think our job required flying to big cities and foreign countries. Then, the pandemic hit and suddenly the American passport was useless. So, we rented …

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Filling the Table

Driven is a word used to describe many successful people, and it’s no different for Robert St. John. Most chefs have their plate full with a restaurant or two. Robert St. John has eight in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and all eight are good–very good, with the emphasis on serving great food and treating people right. St. …

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10 Inspiring Reasons to Visit Clarksville, TN this Fall

From a bustling downtown to relaxing country drives framed by extravagant fall color, Clarksville, Tenn. is a favorite mid-south fall road trip. If your getaway wish-list includes off-the-beaten-path but convenient, affordable with plenty to do, natural beauty and not too crowded, Clarksville checks all your boxes.   Let these ideas inspire you to start planning …

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Eli’s Coming

The tradition of Southern Blues-Rock is in great shape, in the capable hands of Eli Cook of Nelson County, Virginia. Located west of Charlottesville, Nelson County is farm country, home to orchards and vineyards, as well as traditional crop farming. But young Eli had different plans. He started guitar at a young age and by …

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It Takes a Village

Two men sit at a picnic table on a sunny day. The contrast is striking. On one side sits Craig Martin a white, fifty-something producer at the helm of a TV show called The Good Road, here to document life in Alabama Village. Across from him sits a young African American man, Da’Cino Dees, describing …

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Grassroots Gaming

Rockbridge Guitar Company co-founder and luthier, Brian Calhoun, sits at a 2013 Thanksgiving party suffering an unanticipated gauntlet of boardgames with friends and their preteen children. He slaps bubbles, rolls dice, moves pieces along rote cardboard routes—all the while feigning enthusiasm, biting his tongue. But the frustration is mounting.   “This was supposed to be …

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Southern Comfort

After more than a decade working with some of the best Southern chefs around in Charleston and Nashville Chef Cole Ellis decided to return to his roots.  He moved back to his hometown of Cleveland, Mississippi and in 2013 opened Delta Meat Market in the heart of town as a butcher shop and boutique grocer …

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Native Son

Sonny Landreth plays a mean slide guitar. From his humble beginnings in Mississippi to stages around the world, he has managed to stay grounded, his roots firmly set in the South. Oddly enough, his first instrument was the trumpet, guitar came later.    Guitar was my first love.” Landreth is on the phone from Lafayette, …

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Jupiter Unbound

I wanted coffee to start my morning. I gave a whiff of the stuff in the hotel lobby and decided that coffee could wait. I struck out down I-95 and figured I would find a shop on my way to Gilliard Farms. I settled for a Starbucks and ordered two cups of dark roast. As …

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Among Friends

Outfitted in the camo baseball hat he often wears, Chef David Bancroft kneels down and pushes lettuce between a space in the wire fence separating him from two hogs and a wiggly pack of piglets. “Hey girl.” He’s addressing a black sow who gladly and greedily devours the offering, the large curly green leaf disappearing in …

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Seasonal Inspiration

Growing up as the youngest of five kids, south Louisiana native Scott Serpas helped his mother cook family meals from an early age. His memories of eating the simple, yet flavorful and memorable meals his mother prepared in their kitchen – red beans, seafood, crawfish, po-boys and shrimp boils – were the inspiration for keeping …

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New Life at Pontotoc

Driving from Llano to Brady, Texas along TX-71 you might miss the roadside hamlet of Pontotoc. It’s not a large place. From edge to edge it’s about the length of a long, par-5 golf hole and there’s not much commerce happening to catch your eye. No billboards. No storefronts with neon. Not even a gas …

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Enduring Traditions

Cowboy Culture in the Mississippi Delta   At the 2016 Christmas parade in Cleveland, Mississippi, I had an epiphany of sorts. Finishing up the end of the parade was a small group of African American cowboys. Their presence instantly struck me. My entire life, I had failed to consider the diverse history of cowboy culture. My …

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JUST PEACHY

Growing up in Fort Valley, Georgia, Stephen Rose never had a bad peach. Eating succulent peaches right off the tree in the heart of Georgia’s peach country was de rigueur for him in summer. “When you bite into a perfectly ripe peach, it should surprise you with its sweetness,” Stephen claims. “You should have to …

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Fall Festivals Full of Friends, Family and Fun!

While Fredericksburg, TX boasts over 400 festivals and events annually, the fall season brings a few signature celebrations that many loyal visitors simply refuse to miss.   This year Fredericksburg’s Annual Oktoberfest, running October 4, 5 and 6, will celebrate 39 years. It’s the festival of all festivals in Fredericksburg, setting the standard for German-style …

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Smothered in Okra

It wasn’t easy being uprooted from the seafood-laden waters of south Louisiana and moving to the mountainous land-locked mill town of Dalton, Georgia. My momma, Doris Helen Richard, met and married my father, William Martin Sapp, Jr. in 1945 in Alexandria, Louisiana. With that single move, she not only encountered cultural and religious differences – …

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Top It Off!

Whether you consider it a décor decision gone awry or a hobby that got out of hand, the allure of this mug covered cabin is unmistakable.   Located at the end of a dirt and gravel road, this cabin in the woods is not the expectation for rural North Carolina.  Well, maybe anywhere. While visiting …

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Grilled Mahi Mahi with Field Pea & Carolina Rice Hoppin’ John and Fried Okra

With summer produce at its peak, Chef Mike Davis of Columbia, S.C.’s Terra is spotlighting the South’s bounty in this simple, yet crave-worthy dish. Using all locally sourced produce, this dish is expertly crafted to let the ingredients shine and is a guest favorite.   The recipe begins with perfectly cooked field peas from Yandle’s, a small produce market located right in the heart of Columbia. The field …

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The Planter Poet

Part poet, part farmer, Bryon Herbert Reece was a riddle to the small mountain community in which he grew up.   Born in 1917 in a one-room cabin on Wolf Creek near Blairsville, Georgia, Reece was destined to be a farmer like his father before him. His family grew potatoes, beans, corn, rye, apples, chickens, …

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Forging Ahead

During a kindergarten visit to a living history museum in Staunton, Virginia, Jed Curtis first fell in love – he was entranced by the blacksmith. This passion was destined to grow alongside him. Even now, he dreams of fire and sparks and shapes that emerge from the flames.   As a kid,” Curtis says, “you …

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The Ol’ Nut Job

Ragged Branch Distillery was born from an idea Alex Toomy had with friends and now co-owners, Russell Nance and Chris Sarpy during the financial downturn in 2003. The trio embarked on a journey to establish a distillery at a farm in central Virginia on Ragged Mountain near Charlottesville.    After seeing David Pickerell, the former …

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Growing a Dream

The line of people stretched out the door of Tri-County Family Ministries. Third-grader Katie Stagliano helped to serve the more than 275 guests who waited for what might be the only meal they would have that day.  It forever changed her life.   Backtrack to early 2008 when Katie’s class participated in the Bonnie Plants …

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Carolina Troubador

Caleb Caudle explores new musical territory and in the process reaffirms his country roots. The result is the best record of his career.   On the surface Caleb Caudle would seem to be a puzzle. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Caudle is a rising country star who absorbs a world of diverse musical influences, …

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Heirloom

“My Grandmother was the major inspiration for my business,” explains Ashley Schoenith. “I grew up with all things made-from-scratch – it’s all I knew.  I was always cooking and baking with her and my mom.”   Schoenith was looking for a way to spend more time with her Grandmother, who was a wonderful seamstress; they …

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Lauri Jo’s

Never did Lauri Jo Bennett think that the love of canning would lead to a successful business. She spent many hours in the kitchen with her husband’s grandmother, Nita, canning the fruits and vegetables from the farming community where they lived. After his grandmother passed, Lauri Jo and  Mike moved back to her hometown of …

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Rock Show

It all started with an unwanted boulder.  New road construction near the small community of Hollywood, AL. left a boulder deposited on the property of farmer Leonard Dawson. But as he looked at the boulder and pondered what to do with it, he saw a rooster take shape, instead.   Deciding to move it in front …

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Tastes of Winter

At Circa 81 in Beaufort, NC, Chef Clarke Merrell believes the cocktail is king. With over 30 cocktails on their menu at any given time (including seven different mojitos) they are always pushing the boundaries.  What better way to celebrate the Holidays than with these cocktails that highlight the tastes of Winter and are as fun …

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The Dead Rosetti

Through a nondescript wood door lighted by a single, wrought iron lamp, Micah LeMon and his staff pour their latest libations at James Beard award-nominated restaurant, The Alley Light, in Charlottesville, Virginia. Reminiscent of a speakeasy, the team works with Prohibition-level creativity to quench the ongoing cocktail renaissance. Cooler months usher in holidays with citrus …

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Guitar Men

Back when their guitar-making business was still in its infancy, when they couldn’t afford to turn down even the most bizarre orders, Mark Dalton and Jeff Huss got a call from two guys who identified themselves as members of the LRORRSCS.   The Loyal Rectified Order of Ridge Runners and Skunk Callers Society,” says Huss, …

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Into the Woods

Near a cascading waterfall at Lula Lake on Lookout Mountain, Georgia, a long stretch of rustic gray wooden tables is tucked in a blissfully shady corridor between two high rock walls, waiting for the 150 guests who’ll be here soon. Late-afternoon shadows and patches of sun bathe the metallic gold tableware, bottles of wine, and …

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Annie Hanks Ceramics

Katherine Hanks McAlister and Stephanie Anne Martin originally met as neighbors in Chattanooga, TN and spent most of their time together rock climbing and attending weekly pottery classes. It was at those pottery classes where they recognized their love and talent for ceramics could be a forever-hobby or they could work to create something more permanent …

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Fright Night

Q & A with Author Bryce Gibson   Bryce Gibson is a farmer by day, writer by night. He’s lived in South Carolina his entire life, grew up on a farm, and when he’s not writing, that’s where you’ll find him. Though he was a voracious reader as a teenager, he doesn’t really remember any …

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Out of This World

Born in 1908, outside of Buena Vista, Georgia, a small community near Columbus, Eddie Owens Martin ran away to New York City in his early teens, where he worked odd jobs, delved into the drag queen scene, was a merchant seaman and even studied dance. While it’s quite the combination of experiences, nothing compares to his adventure with the …

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Sharp Passion

As they so often say, necessity is the mother of invention; and that was certainly true for Jared Thatcher as he tossed aside knife after knife when they’d dulled into uselessness during the course of fabricating a deer back in 2012. Breaking down a doe is a challenge in itself, but when your knife is actually …

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The Bees Knees

“It’s intoxicating,” Justin Hill says as he leans over an open bee box and inhales deeply while 40 or so bees buzz around his head and his constant companion, Jake the hound dog, bounces around behind him, chasing cloud shadows across the grass. The perfume of still-curing honey, a slightly more floral fragrance than harvested …

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Okra Pancakes

It goes without saying, that if you put a basket of okra in front of us, we are going to make something – anything!  We love okra anyway you fix it.  But of all the ways to prepare it, frying must top the list. Jason Smith of Cog Hill Farm shared this recipe for okra …

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Vietnamese-Styled Breakfast Sandwich

Bánh Mì is typically a meat filled Vietnamese sandwich.  Usually made with French bread, our version substitutes English Muffins and our good Southern bacon made extra spicy with Sriracha for a great twist on this Vietnamese staple.   [columns_row width=”third-and-two-thirds”] [column]Ingredients 4 toasted English muffins 8 pieces Honey Sriracha Bacon (see below) 4 large eggs …

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Tomato Pie

Summer means tomatoes.  Lots and lots of tomatoes! Who doesn’t love them?  Paired with fresh basil and cheese and baked as a pie, you have the perfect Southern lunch.  Use your favorite type or mix them.  You can’t go wrong.  In her recipe, “Peanut” Belk from Wild Hope Farm in Chester, SC uses Greek yogurt …

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Pork Soda

The Blind Pig Supper Club followers & fans of the Primus album Pork Soda clicked the ticket link immediately, as if Les Claypool himself would be the entertainment. They knew that the affordable price would go farther than paying for a meal, even if that meal was more stellar than any one restaurant would provide. [dropcap …

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Lessons From the Past

Q & A with Author: Augustus Jenkins Farmer A self-proclaimed “plantsman,” Augustus Jenkins “Jenks” Farmer began growing his own plants as a young boy after stealing some seeds from the nuns at a convent, near where he went to school. “I think I was sitting there with my Scooby Doo lunchbox and I saw some …

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The Dexateens

Formed in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the late 90’s, The Dexateens have since been redefining the sound of Southern rock n’ roll. They’re one of a handful of bands in the Southeast currently coupling the mix of country and rock, made famous by originators like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band, with punk rock influence …

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Runaway Chef

Food has consequences. To sustain our lives with nourishment, something else must perish. Plants are cut and harvested, animals are butchered. All of it comes to the table for our sustenance. It sounds like a clichéd trope, but the taking of life to sustain life is truly the “circle of life.” Over time we’ve lost …

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A City in Bloom

Andalusia, Alabama Much like the flower of the Southern Magnolia, Andalusia, Alabama, is a city in bloom. Nestled between the pine boughs and cotton fields of South Alabama, Andalusia is situated at the confluence of the Wiregrass and the BlackBelt. Mirroring the contrast of the milky white magnolia blossom against the waxy green leaves, Andalusia’s …

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Museum For Dummies

To say Vent Haven is the only museum of its kind in the world would be an understatement. In this unique place you will find over 800 ventriloquist figures or “dummies”. Lining its walls are hundreds of publicity photos of vents (short for ventriloquists) and their dummies. It also houses a vast collection of vent-related books, some of which …

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Lauren Rogers Museum

Laurel, Mississippi The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art opened as Mississippi’s first art museum in 1923 and is nestled among the live oak trees of Laurel’s beautiful historic district adjacent to downtown.  Founded by the timber family, which settled the town, the museum boasts nationally known collections of American and European paintings, Native American baskets, …

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It’s Pudding Time

Whole Hog Pudding, Mustard Pommes Puree, Oyster Mushrooms, Fresh Tomato and Soft Egg This dish, named after the Primus song, is inspired by a traditional Irish breakfast. With oats and grains often in plentitude, they carry the pork well. White Pudding has been a popular cultural staple across much of England, Ireland and Scotland with variations …

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