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Mississippi Homegrown: Watermelon Cooler
Summer is winding down, but the growing season isn’t. To produce the sugar necessary for ...
Summer is winding down, but the growing season isn’t. To produce the sugar necessary for sweet fruit, melons need hot weather, which can last through the month of October in Mississippi. Melons, peaches, plums, and tomatoes are riper and sweeter than ever! Relish the last few weekends of our warmest weather poolside with this refreshing, and family-friendly, Watermelon Cooler.
2 cups lemonade
3 cups seedless watermelon, coarsely chopped
1 cup crushed ice
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Recipe courtesy of Friends of the Crosby Memorial Library Heritage Cookbook, Picayune, Miss.
Neon Pig in Tupelo Wins "Best Burger in America"
Tupelo is notable not only for being the birthplace of Elvis—the north Mississippi town is ...
Tupelo is notable not only for being the birthplace of Elvis—the north Mississippi town is also the home of the best burger in the country.
This week, readers of popular food, drink, and travel site Thrillist.com voted The Neon Pig Cafe’s Famous Smash burger the “Best Burger in America.”
The Neon Pig is an old-school butcher shop, fresh seafood shop, and food bar founded in 2012 and co-owned by three partners. Trish McCluney oversees the business operations and marketing, and Mitch McCamey and Seth Copeland are the chefs.
“We break down our own cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs. We make our own bacon and use Benton’s bacon,” said McCluney. ”We make our own buns for three of our sandwiches, pickle our own veggies, and make our own sauces and dry rubs. Basically, almost everything is made in-house and is as local as possible.”
After the Thrillist staff had sampled burgers around the country, it notified The Neon Pig in February that the cafe had won Best Burger in Mississippi. The Neon Pig went on to participate in a March Madness style bracket to compete for Best Burger in America.
Altogether, 27,000 Thrillist readers from 65 countries voted in the competition that included eateries in food-centric cities like Chicago and Austin. In the end, there were two finalists: The Neon Pig and Causwells in San Francisco. To boost votes, The Neon Pig created a #SmashtheVote social media campaign and held a voting party. It finished late Sunday night with 56.47% of the vote.
“We are so grateful and humbled by the support we received from the community,” said McCluney. “We want to thank everyone who voted for us from far and wide.”
So what makes the Famous Smash so good? This is how Thrillist describes it:
“The aged filet, ribeye, strip steak, sirloin, and Benton’s bacon blend gets a dose of savory hoisin and tangy Mississippi comeback sauce, plus melted cheddar, pickled onions, pickles, and more of that smoky bacon. It all goes on a hefty ciabatta bun that’s built to soak up all those delicious juices.”
The honor of competing for the Best Burger in America has already driven up The Neon Pig's sales. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported that in four days, the cafe sold more than 2,000 burgers and sold out of its burger for the first time in its three-year history.
Try the Famous Smash burger yourself: The Neon Pig is located at 1203 N. Gloster Street in Tupelo, open daily Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. Browse the menu at http://neonpig.net.
Photo credit of the Famous Smash: Lauren Wood / The 'Sip.
Top 3 Thrills for the Budget Conscious Family
The dollar goes a long way in Mississippi, so we’re the perfect people to visit if ...
The dollar goes a long way in Mississippi, so we’re the perfect people to visit if you’re looking for more fun and less spending. Below are our three top suggestions for budget thrills for the whole family.
LeFleur's Bluff provides a lush green spot in the heart of urban Jackson. In addition to camping, fishing, picnic spots, and nature trails, the 305-acre park features a nine-hole golf course and a driving range. Enjoy fishing on 30-acre Mayes Lake, wildlife viewing, a 1-mile hiking trail, 2 playground areas, 9-hole golf course, 18-hole disc golf. See rates here, including $3 per vehicle, $13 for primitive camping, and $18 for regular camping. Reservations are highly recommended.
Buccaneer State Park was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina but beautifully restored and reopened in 2013. The star of the 400-acre green space bordering the Gulf of Mexico is the half-million gallon wave pool. Admission is $3 per car; tickets are $13 for children under 48 inches and $19 for those over 48 inches -- around half the price of other water parks. Disc golf, playground, camping, and nature trail also available.
Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Tishomingo State Park is steeped in history and scenic beauty. Available are picnic areas with tables and grills, disc golf courses, compass course, hiking trails, playgrounds, multi-use field, vollyball court, and a swimming pool. Canoe trips and fishing are available on Bear Creek. Haynes Lake, a 45 acre fresh water lake, is available for fishing.The park also has the best rock faces in the state, with options for beginners and experts by permit. There are more than 100 documented climbing routes, ranging from 20-foot pitches to the 60-foot Jean’s Overhang.
Mississippi Book Festival Announces Author Line-Up
Plans for the inaugural Mississippi Book Festival are well underway, and organizers confirm that ...
Plans for the inaugural Mississippi Book Festival are well underway, and organizers confirm that the festival line-up includes John Grisham, Greg Iles, Bill Ferris, and Ellen Gilchrist among the more than 70 authors participating.
Holly Lange, Executive Director of the Mississippi Book Festival, shares, “We are thrilled that John Grisham will be joining a great group of Mississippi authors in Mississippi’s inaugural Book Festival. He has taken an active interest in the success of this event and plans on appearing at the festival throughout the day. Because Mississippi is so rich with writers, we have assembled authors from a wide range of subjects that will appeal to every Mississippian.”
The Book Festival line-up includes authors signing their books and covering topics such as history, short stories, poetry, civil rights, romance, sports & outdoors, children’s stories, biography, literary fiction, southern popular fiction, comics, and the civil war.
The festival will conclude with a panel that includes Greg Iles, an early supporter of the event. Iles’ new book, The Bone Tree, has received national critical acclaim.
John Evans, owner of Lemuria Books in Jackson, has been a guiding hand in the planning process. Says Evans, “Mississippi’s literary contributions have enhanced our state and national culture. Our great writers are household names; many of their stories are our stories. But before great writers put pen to paper, they were first great readers.”
The event will also celebrate the state’s independent booksellers. All of the state’s independent booksellers have been invited to participate as exhibitors, selling books and merchandise throughout the day. Additionally, self-published authors have the opportunity to participate as well.
A full listing of panels and authors can be found at www.msbookfestival.com.
For more on Mississippi art and literature, visit our See & Do section.
8 Unusual Mississippi Foods You Must Try
Mississippi is arguably home to some of the country’s best food, and, espcially to ...
Mississippi is arguably home to some of the country’s best food, and, espcially to non-southerners, also some of the country’s weirdest food. We’ve gathered a list of some Mississippi traditions that may sound a little strange at first. Don’t be afraid to taste outside the box. We’re sure you’ll find something on this list you’ll want to take home with you!
Considered a staple food in the South, grits are made from ground corn and are of Native-American origin. Although commonly eaten at breakfast accompanied by butter and cheese, grits are now infiltrating lunch and dinner and have become a real show-stopper. Some common Mississippi recipes are shrimp and grits, grits and grillades, and even deep fried grits.
Standard fare in the Mississippi Delta region, these sweet and salty pickles are a treat on a hot summer day. The task of making Koolickles is a simple one: drain the brine from a jar of pickles, add in a pack of Kool-Aid and a cup of sugar, and return the brine to jar. Refridgerate until cold.
Many hypothesize that tamales made their way to the Mississippi Delta in the early twentieth century when migrant laborers were brought in from Mexico to work the cotton harvest. In Mississippi, no two people make hot tamales exactly the same. Pork is traditional. Some folks use beef, while others prefer turkey. Some people use masa, while most prefer the rough texture of corn meal. Some eat theirs straight out of the shuck, while others smother them in chili and cheese. As it turns out, there are as many stories about how Deltans acquired tamale recipes as there are ways of making them. Check out Mississippi's Hot Tamale Trail for more ideas.
4. Peanuts and Coke
Exactly what it sounds like. Crack open a cold Coca-Cola, preferably in a glass bottle, and add a handful of salted, roasted and shelled peanuts. The two combine into a perfectly sweet and salty combination that also doubles as an afternoon snack.
5. Pig Ear Sandwich
With the flavor and consistency of bacon, this chewy and crunchy sandwich has been through four generations of Jackson, Mississippi’s Lee family. The Big Apple Inn has welcomed patrons for more than 100 years in their downtown location. The ear is cooked to perfect temperature, slathered with spicy mustard, and slapped between two soft buns for a truly down-home, Mississippi experience. Another popular item on their menu is “the smokes”, a smoked sausage sandwich.
6. The Slugburger
According to Mississippi legend, the term “slugburger” comes from the slang word for nickel. This deep-fried burger is made up of two ground meats, usually beef and pork, and an extender of soy grits. Visit Slugburger Café in Corinth for the total experience.
These deep-fried balls of cornmeal, flour, milk, sugar and onion usually accompany Mississippi’s signature dish: fried catfish. The batter is mixed well and dropped a spoonful at a time into hot oil. The bread is fried until crispy golden brown, then cooled.
8. Biscuits and Gravy
This typical southern breakfast is sure to fill your stomach. Often served during the colder months, Mississippians bake fresh, from-scratch biscuits and top them with a white, flour-based gravy, sometimes called sawmill gravy, and freshly ground black pepper. Many add ground pork sausage to the gravy. Some even make a chocolate version, using cocoa, flour, milk, sugar, and vanilla.
Find much more on Mississippi food, restaurants and bars.
Win a Mississippi Resort Getaway For Two!
Beginning July 8, 2015, you can enter for a chance to win a trip for two, including a two-night ...
Beginning July 8, 2015, you can enter for a chance to win a trip for two, including a two-night stay at a Pearl River Resort Casino and Hotel, dinner for two at Phillip M’s, and a round of golf for two at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club.
You and a guest will enjoy the experience of Pearl River Resort, a blend of casino thrills, family-style fun and live entertainment with down-home Southern hospitality and warmth.
Escape to the rolling hills of Choctaw, Mississippi and engage in infinite diversions, from world-class casinos, the award-winning golf courses and marvelous restaurants to timeless and comfortable accommodations and an exquisite spa.
Offering fun in every corner, Pearl River Resort is tucked among the towering pines and oak forests of Choctaw, Mississippi and is owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
You’ll discover you have everything you need for the perfect getaway at the South’s premier gaming and family vacation destination… And all you have to do to win this free trip is register!
Prize package (valid through Dec. 30, 2015):
- 2 nights' stay at the Silver Star or Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, both Pearl River Resort properties
- 1 round of golf for two at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club
- Dinner for two at Phillip M’s Restaurant
- Limit one entry per person (over the course of the contest)
- Must be 21 years of age to enter
- Required info: Name, email, and phone number
- Entry period: 10 a.m. July 8 – 11:59 p.m. August 6
- Winner drawn August 6, announced on or around August 7
- Winner will be notified by email or phone
Details and Restrictions:
- Offer valid through Dec. 30, 2015
- Credit card required for room deposit. Credit card will be charged if reservation is not cancelled a minimum of 24 hours in advance. Room released at 6 p.m. unless guaranteed by a valid credit card. Based on availability. Based on double occupancy. $10 per each additional guest. Maximum of four per room.
- Reservation required
- No cash value
- Must be 21 or older
- May not be combined with any other hotel offer or package
- Holidays and blackout dates excluded
July 4th - Mississippi Style
Mississippians love finding reasons to celebrate, and the Independence Day holiday is no exception. ...
Mississippians love finding reasons to celebrate, and the Independence Day holiday is no exception. From the Hills to the Coast, you’ll find events, festivals and get-togethers sure to be fun for the whole family. Below are some of our Fourth of July celebrations from across the state.
- The Canton Balloon Glow & Patriotic Fireworks Spectacular will be held at the Canton Multi Purpose Center on Saturday night, July 4th. See the full schedule of events for the Mississippi Championship Hot Air Baloon Fest.
- Hernando Independence Day Celebration - July 3, 6 pm. Join us as we celebrate Independence Day at the Hernando Civic Center (Baseball Field Complex). Bring your lawn chairs for a night of entertainment.
- July 4th Fireworks Spectacular in Horn Lake – Bring picnic baskets and blankets, enjoy children’s activities and entertainment, all with free admissions. Food vendors will be available and the fireworks finale begins at 9 p.m.
- Laurel’s Annual 4th of July Fireworks Show – Bring lawn chairs and blankets, and your family and friends, to enjoy fireworks from Sawmill Sqaure Mall parking lot and surrounding areas.
July 4th Celebration - The City of Meridian will host one of the areas largest July 4th Celebrations featuring a free concert and spectacular fireworks display over beautiful Bonita Lakes. Gates open at 3:30, concert starts at 6:00, and the fireworks begin at 9:00. Join us for an evening of family fun.
- Fireworks over the Mississippi River in Natchez - Join in the fun as Natchez residents line up all along the bluff to watch a spectacular firework show over the Mississippi River. The show will take place around dark and is free to the public.
- Ocean Springs 4th of July Fireworks Show – Do not miss celebrating America's Independence Day the Ocean Springs way. Bring your blankets and chairs, play volleyball, kids can enjoy the splash pad and everyone can end the evening with a BANG as fireworks lightup the night sky.
- 16th Annual 4th of July ‘Celebrate Your Independence’ Fireworks Festival in Olive Branch – Music at 6 p.m., fireworks at 9 p.m. in Olive Branch City Park. This event is free and open to the public. Enjoy Kids Zone, great food vendors and more.
- Celebrate America Balloon Glow in Ridgeland - This annual Independence Day celebration in Ridgeland is a crowd pleaser. Come for the live musical entertainment, hot air balloons, and fireworks.
- Vicksburg Independence Day Fireworks Extravaganza - Celebrate the 4th of July in downtown Vicksburg! The fireworks extravaganza on the mighty Mississippi will follow live music by Mustache The Band at 7 p.m. and the fireworks at 9 p.m. The fireworks will be shot behind the Old Depot Museum, 1010 Levee Street.
- Southaven Patriotic Parade - July 3, 10 am at City Hall. After a short patriotic ceremony at City Hall, everyone parades around the lake in Jim Saucier Park, next to City Hall. Afterward, M. R. Davis Public Library provides everyone with refreshing lemonade and cookies at the Gazebo.
- Red, White, and You - July 4, 4-10 pm at the Waveland Pier. Waveland, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, entered a national competition to win itself an all-expense-paid Fourth of July bash, complete with BBQ, entertainment, and fireworks, worth $50,000. Live entertainment, food, activities and games! This is a FREE event.
Jenny Breaux's Beer Battered Onion Rings
Bring your onion rings to the next level by adding an aged oatmeal stout from Prohibition Brewing ...
Bring your onion rings to the next level by adding an aged oatmeal stout from Prohibition Brewing Co. to the batter. The bubbles from the beer will add a lightness and body to the batter, while the smoothness and slight sweetness of the oatmeal stout complements the onion's natural taste.
3-4 sweet onions
1 cup flour
1 cup Southern Prohibition Brewing Co. Hipster Breakfast oatmeal stout
Heat about 3 inches of vegetable oil in a large fryer to 365 degrees.
Slice onions and soak in ice water.
Mix beer and flour to a pancake batter consistency.
Dredge the onion slices in the batter and place in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on paper towels.
The Band Perry to perform in Cleveland
GRAMMY Museum© Mississippi and Bolivar Medical Center recently announced The Band Perry will ...
GRAMMY Museum© Mississippi and Bolivar Medical Center recently announced The Band Perry will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 29, at the Delta State University Football Field in Cleveland.
GMM Executive Director Emily Havens said, “With The Band Perry coming off of a huge win of their first GRAMMY©, we are so excited to be able to make this happen. Their music combines a little rock with some country and appeals to people of all ages. Their show is elaborate and quite entertaining.”
Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Neil and Reid, the band has notched a string of hit singles, including the quadruple-platinum “If I Die Young” and “Done,” the platinum “You Lie” and the gold-certified Country #1 “All Your Life.” Their recent GRAMMY© win was for Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind” for Best Country Duo/Group Performance. They’ve also enjoyed sold-out tours and a showering of honors, including multiple ACM, CMA, and CMT Music awards, as well as GRAMMY©, Teen Choice, AMA, ACA, and Billboard Music award nominations—all of which has cemented the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history.
All proceeds from the concert will benefit the construction of GRAMMY Museum© Mississippi. GMM is owned and operated by the Cleveland Music Foundation, 501C3 non-profit. Any donations are tax-deductible and sponsorship opportunities are still available.
For ticket information, visit www.yourdeltatickets.com or call the Bologna Performing Arts Center box office at 662-846-4626.
For more information on Mississippi music, click here.