Monday, December 19

Taste of the South

January 6-8, 2006
Taste of the South
Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee

Events include a reception, tasting dinner, cooking demonstration, Maple Cottage Luncheon, Jack Daniel Chef’s Night Out dinner, a regional culinary adventure, a silent auction and reception, and the Gala Dinner benefiting the Southern Foodways Alliance oral history program.

Participating Chefs:
Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta, GA
Sean Brock, Capitol Grill, Nashville, TN
John Besh, Restaurant August, New Orleans, LA
Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY
Sam McGann, Blue Point, Duck, NC
Maggie Davidson, Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN
Host Chef John Fleer, Blackberry Farm, Walland, TN

Participating Vintner:
Guest Vintner Mat Garretson,
Garretson Wines Paso Robles, CA

High Cotton Package includes exclusive access to all of the weekend events and Saturday evenings Gala Dinner. $800 per person plus lodging, taxes and service charges.

Down Home Package includes the Gala Dinner, Silent Auction and Reception on Saturday evening for Blackberry Farm guests. $100 per person plus lodging, taxes and service charges

Taste of the South Package includes the Gala Dinner, Silent Auction and Reception on Saturday evening for guests not staying at Blackberry Farm. $150 per person plus taxes and service charge.

For reservations and information contact Sarah Elder by calling 1.800.557.8864 or 865.380.2626.

SOS Sharpies -- Pickles for a Purpose

SOS Sharpies are available on Ebay. Bid on jars autographed by John T Edge and John Egerton. Every dollar goes to support the Pickle Relief Fund. Help us help others -- bid today! Click on the title of this post to be directed to the page for bidding.

SFA's Pickle Relief Fund has raised more than $15,000 thus far, and over 90% of that money will be spent on restaurant relief projects. So when you bid on a signed jar of S.O.S Sharpies, you're not only getting some choice hot pickles, you're helping where it hurts, and where it counts. Also, winners will receive a descriptive accounting of all funds raised and spent.

Thursday, December 15

Barnwell County Collards

From Jeff Allen, presenter at the 2005 symposium, comes the recipe for the dish that had everyone salivating:

Barnwell County Collards

Serves 8-10

three quarts water
one small ham hock
one medium red onion, halved and finely sliced
half cup cane syrup
one-third cup apple cider vinegar
one teaspoon kosher salt
two teaspoons black pepper
one teaspoon red pepper flakes
one-quarter cup dark brown sugar
one large bunch collard greens

Rinse the ham hock under running water. In a large saucepan or stockpot (big enough to hold all of the ingredients), place the hock in enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain and return the hock to the pot with three quarts of clean water and the sliced red onion. Bring this mixture to a bare simmer and allow to cook covered for 2 or 3 hours, or until the ham hock is falling from the bone. Remove the hock and allow it to cool. Reserve the remaining liquid as this will become the delicious potlikker.

Clean and prepare the collard greens while the ham hock is cooking. Trim the stems from each stalk of greens where leaves began to form. Take each leaf (consisting of a stem with two wings on either side) and stack them in layers of fifteen to twenty leaves. Roll each stack of greens into a cigar shape and cut them into wide strips, about the width of a thumb. Place the cut greens in a deep sink of water and allow the sand and sediment to settle at the bottom of the sink. Very dirty greens may need two, or even three, rinses.

Add the remaining ingredients (excepting the collards) to the reserved ham hock liquid and bring to a boil. Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Add the collard greens to the pot slowly, allowing successive additions to wilt down first if necessary. Slow the cooking to a bare simmer, cover, and cook for approximately two to three more hours until the collars have become reasonably tender.

Remove the meat from the hock, separate it into bite sized pieces with your hands, and return the meat to the pot of greens. Allow the collards to cool somewhat and refrigerate them overnight, if possible (they are much better the next day). Reheat them over a very low flame for one to two hours, until once again at a slow boil and serve.

Food Focus at Feb 23-26 Natchez Lit and Cinema Fest

The 17th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, in Natchez, Mississippi, will explore Southern food. Titled Biscuits, Gumbo, Sweet Tea, and Bourbon Balls: Southern Food and Drink in History, Literature, and Film, the event will be Feb. 23-26, 2006, at the Natchez Convention Center.

Speakers include, among others, John Egerton, Jessica Harris, Amy Evans, Robert St. John, Martha Foose, Gayden Metcalfe, and Kenneth Holditch.

Most of the NLCC is free of charge, in part because of funding by the Mississippi Humanities Council and a matching challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Information is available by calling toll-free 866-296-NLCC (6522) or 601-446-1289; emailing or visiting the web site:

Wednesday, December 14

Make Your Voice Heard!

New Orleans is in trouble and we need your help. The New York Times wrote Sunday that the nation is about to lose New Orleans: The moment is upon us when a major American city will die, leaving nothing but a few shells for tourists to visit like a museum.

These are sobering words for those of us who love New Orleans or make our life here. I urge you to take a couple minutes to email Congress and tell them that YOU CARE about the future of New Orleans and that we need their help rebuilding, restoring and repopulating our great city.

To make your voice heard, go here:

Matt Konigsmark

Monday, December 5

A Christmas Wish List to Support New Orleans

Gift Ideas compiled by the SFA's New Orleans Field Trip Committee

Like those tasty little treats from Creole Delicacies?

Louisiana Seafood
Support the Louisiana seafood industry by adding Louisiana oysters to Christmas stuffing or boiling a pound or six of Louisiana shrimp.

Louisiana Satsumas
Recently boarded onto the Slow Food Ark of Taste, Louisiana Satsumas are juicy as all get-out. Lester L'Hoste has some of the few available, the only organic ones. Lester will ship 11 pounds of Satsumas for $30 anywhere in the U.S. (except California-- where, of course, you can't ship citrus). Fruit can be ordered by phone, 504-231-9625, or by mail, L'Hoste Citrus, 6397 Hwy. 39, Braithwaite, LA 70040.

Abita Restoration Ale
$1 from every six-pack goes to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Fund.

Bird Brining Kits
Want a juicy bird? You'll need some help.

Gift Certificates to New Orleans Restaurants
Our friends and colleagues need your patronage. Buy a certificate now; cash it in when next you head south.

Restaurant August,
Long Branch, (985) 871-8171

Progress Grocery
They have great muffulettas; 'nuff said.

Community Coffee
Put a little chicory in your pot.

The Roman Candy Company
Get your stocking stuffers here.

Paul Prudhomme's Spices, Gift Baskets, Cookbooks
The man from Opelousas gave away 20,000 meals in the aftermath of the storm.

Gourmet Food Mall
A portion of the money made from the merchants on this website will be donated to the Red Cross. Purposely, there are no New Orleans merchants on this list, as they are the ones that need the help in the first place. By the way, this is the company that our own Brooks Hamaker works for.

The Crescent City Farmers Market
One of the best markets in the country -- and the focus of an SFA oral history project. Some of these vendors ship.

Doberge Cake from Gambino's
A butter cake filled with custard, made from a secret family recipe.

Zapp's Chips
That green been casserole? Lay on a blanket of Spicy Crawtators, instead of fusty canned onions.

Hubig's Pies
The hardest working little pie shop in New Orleans is selling T-shirts and auctioning pies.

Savvy Gourmet
Selling cookware, staging classes, they're back and badder than ever.

Southern Food & Beverage Museum
Get your SOFAB gear. Snazzy stuff.