37 October Events – Mark Your Calendar!

Looking for something to do while you’re enjoying this beautiful weather? There’s no shortage of events going on in the Oxford area and the rest of Mississippi in October. Along with the cooler weather comes an assortment of fall festivals, BBQ cook offs, holiday cooking conventions, tailgating classes, chili competitions, Halloween balls and much, much, more. Below is a list of food-related happenings that’s sure to keep you busy all month long.

Let your taste buds explore what Fall brings to the South and don’t forget to send photos of yourself having fun to liz@eatingoxford.com (we may use your pic in a new project we’re creating!).

Happy Fall Y’all!

–Rashell Dawsey, freelance writer, EatingOxford.com

 

October 1-12 — Mississippi State Fair — Jackson Fair Grounds, Jackson

October 2-4 –Hog Wild BBQ Festival — Historic Downtown Corrinth — Corinth

October 2 — Moonlight Masquerade “Feeling Groovy” – Biloxi Civic Center —  Biloximargarita class

October 3 — First Friday at LAZY MAGNOLIA - Lazy Magnolia’s brewery — Kiln

October 3-5 — North Mississippi Fall Fest – Horn  Lake

October 3-5  – Mighty Mississippi Blue’s Festival — Warfield Point Park — Greenville

October 3-5 — Holy Family Seafood Festival — Pass Christian

October 4  – Sunset on the Bay — Bay St. Louis Community Center — Bay St. Louis

October 4 – Loblolly Festival - Downtown Laurel —  Laurel

October 4 — Downtown Vicksburg Fall Fest – Vicksburg

October 4 — Octoberfest – Olive Branch

October 4-5  – Highway 61 Blues Festival- Warfield Point Park – Lelandblind wines

October 4 — A Day in the County Festival – Madison

October 4-5 — Mississippi Peanut Festival – Mitchell Farms — Collins

October 5 — Bachtoberfest – Pascagoula

October 6 — Margaritas and Guacamole classOxford

October 9 — 3 Blind WinesOxford

October 10-11  – Octoberfest – Downtown Cleveland — Cleveland

October 11 — 11th Ever ShedHead Blues Festival and BBQ Competition — Ocean Springs, Ms

October 13 — Fall Pilgrimage – Historic Natchez, Ms

October 16-18 — Deep Blues Festival — Shack Up Inn’s Juke Joint Chapel —  Clarksdale

October 16-18 — Delta Hot Tamale Festival – Greenville

October 16-19 — Fear Fete Horror Con & Film Festival (includes a ZOMBIE pub crawl!) — MS Coast Convention Center — Biloxi

October 17-25 — South Mississippi Fair – Laurel

October 17-18 — The Bukka White Blues Festival – Tenn-Tom Waterway — Aberdeen

October 17-20 — Great Mississippi River Balloon Race — Natchezballoon race

October 17 — Paint the ‘Burg Purple and Gold block party music festival (18 or older) – Downtown Historic Vicksburg — Vicksburg

October 18-19 — Mullet and Music Fest — Gautier

October 18 — St. Rose de Lima Heritage Festival — Bay St. Louis

October 18-26 — Jackson County Fair — Pascagoula

October 21 — Extreme Tailgating Cooking Class – Gulfport

October 22-25 — Celebration Village — Tupelo

October 23 —  Holiday Hobnob  —  Gulfport

SFA-logo1October 23 — 17th Southern Foodways SymposiumOxford

October 25 – Frogfest and Deer Creek Chili Cook off - Leland

October 25 — Fall Fest on the Roost – Old Towne — Olive Branch

October 31 – November 3 — Hambone Festival — Clarksdale

Did we miss your favorite food-related Mississippi-based event in October? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to the list!

Mississippi Food Events – September

mississippi mapLooking for something to do in Oxford and beyond? Fortunately, there’s no shortage of events happening in the next few months throughout the state. I’m always perusing various sources for the latest food-related happenings, and now you can benefit from all of my research.

Check out what’s on the schedule for September and send along photos of yourself having fun (we may use your pic in a new project we’re compiling!).

Note: Click on each event name to find out more….

Fri./Sat. Sept. 5-6 – Fire & Feast BBQ Competition & Festival – Yazoo Festival

Sat., Sept. 6 – Our Team Our Town Community-Wide Tailgate – Oxford

Sun., Sept. 7 – NW Mississippi Farm Tours – Ashland, Tyro, Coldwater

Sat., Sept. 13 – Muscadine Jubilee – Pelahatchie

Sat., Sept. 13 and Sun., Sept. 14 – 33rd Annual Biloxi Seafood Seafood Festival – Biloxi

Tues., Sept. 16 – Flaming Desserts Class – Oxford

Wed., Sept. 17 to Sat., Sept. 20 – Alcorn County Fair – Corinth

Fri., Sept. 19 – Bash to Benefit Junior Auxiliary of Oxford – Oxford

wing dang doodle festival

Credit: Wing Dang Doodle Festival

Fri., Sept. 19 – 24th Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon – Cleveland

Fri., Sept. 19 to Sun., Sept. 28 – 158th Annual Mid-South Fair – Southaven

Sat., Sept. 20 – The Wrecking Ball – Marshall County

Sat., Sept. 20 – Front Porch Jubilee – Hernando

Sat., Sept. 20 – 37th Annual MS Delta Blues & Heritage Festival – Greenville

Sat., Sept. 20 – International Gumbo Festival – Jackson

Sat., Sept. 20 and Sun., Sept. 21 – 5th Annual Mississippi Gourd Festival – Raleigh

Tues., Sept. 23 – Oxford Art Crawl – Oxford

Tues., Sept. 23 – Taste of Long Beach – Long Beach

Fri., Sept. 26 to Sat., Sept. 27 – Bodock Festival – Pontotoc

Fri/Sat, Sept. 26-27 – The Great Ruleville Roast & Run – Ruleville

Fri/Sat, Sept. 26-27 – Tallahatchie Riverfest – New Albany

Fri., Sept. 26 to Sun., Sept. 28 – Nourish- Reclaim Real Food – Starkville

Fri., Sept. 26 to Mon., Oct. 13 – Fall Pilgrimage – Natchez

Sat., Sept. 27 – Wing Dang Doodle Festival – Forest

Sun., Sept. 28 - 32nd Annual Chefs of the Coast Food and Wine Gala – Biloxi

 

–Liz

EatingOxford.com

 

Win My Food Press Trip! Nourish – Reclaim Real Food

homestead 1

Photo: MS Modern Homestead

Mississippi Modern Homestead in Starkville, Mississippi, will present NOURISH – RECLAIM REAL FOOD, Friday, September 26 to Sunday, September 28.

Registration is open until September 8, with just 20 spots available.

I’m unable to attend, but the Nourish event coordinators have agreed to let me pass my invitation along to ONE lucky Eating Oxford winner! The winner will receive a full weekend of education, meals and housing (a $290 value). The catch? We just want you to have a good time, snap some photos, and tell us about your trip for a post on the Eating Oxford website. Email me at Liz@eatingoxford.com and tell me why YOU should win. We’ll choose a winner this Friday, August 29.

Event/Retreat Description from website:

Chef Marion Sansing cuts through the bombardment of the latest health craze and brings participants back to the traditional kitchen for real nourishment. Participants will become confident in the kitchen and in making healthy food choices that will impact health for the rest of their lives.

True nourishment is not just about what we eat; it is also about the quality and source of our foods, and how you prepare them. Learn the kitchen crafts of the past, preparing in-season, wholesome, locally and sustainably grown foods for your well-being. You will gain a good understanding of: nutrient-dense foods, beneficial fats, fermentation, bone

SONY DSC

Photo: MS Modern Homestead

broths, pasture raised meats and eggs, proper preparation of seeds like legumes, grains, etc., and about health risks in industrial food. We will also cover general kitchen skills like: making the most out of nutrient dense ingredients, making the harvest last, fitting traditional kitchen crafts into a modern life style and the art of the perpetual meal. Feel confident to make good food choices for a healthy lifestyle and learn to make sense of all the nutrition information you hear about every day.

Registration is $245 to $290 (this price includes meals, housing, and workshops)

Schedule of Events:

Friday Evening:

3-5 pm Check-in, relax, find a bunk and meet your retreat-mates.

5:30pm  The best part of our weekend retreat is by far the meals. Chef Marion Sansing rolls out 6 all-star meals throughout the weekend. Join her for dinner and fellowship.

7 o’clock Setting Up Your No Waste Kitchen

Saturday

8 o’clock  Farm Fresh Breakfast

9:00am-12:00pm  Canning and Drying

12:30-1:30pm  Fresh and Local Lunch

1:30pm  Condiments

3 o’clock  Healthy Fats

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Photo: MS Modern Homestead

5 o’clock  Dinner is Served

7:30pm  Hot cocoa and visit by the fire

Sunday

8 o’clock  Farm Fresh Breakfast

9-11am  Fermentation/Culturing

11 o’clock  Final luncheon, clean-up and farewells

Find Tickets Here

 

Family Cooking Night: Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m.

kid cookingEating Oxford Institute: Family Cooking Night with Good Food for Oxford Schools

Family Cooking Night invites parents and children (max 4 per family) to a night of cooking with Sunny Young, director of Good Food for Oxford Schools and Richmond Smith, a former chef of the New Orleans Saints and current nutrition services director for the Oxford School District.

Tickets are not available at the door. Please pre-order via Brown Paper Tickets to secure your place to this limited-seating class.

Attendees will create a salad, dressing, and shrimp dish utilizing ingredients from our local Oxford City Market.

The class will be held at Della Davidson Elementary School on Tuesday, August 12, at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $30 per family (4 per family max).

Find the Facebook event page here.

Eating Oxford Institute is a monthly food-centric class hosted by EatingOxford.com, in partnership with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and the Oxford Parks Commission.

 

Summer’s Bounty (Oxford Citizen column June 27)

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Summer of Seafood June 21 to August 15

seafoodtrailimgPlanning a trip to the Mississippi coast this summer? If you love seafood, you’ll want to check out the Summer of Seafood 2014, happening June 21 through August 15.

Created to promote restaurants that serve wild-caught, genuine Gulf seafood, the Summer of Seafood 2014 is the official launch of Mississippi’s first seafood trail of restaurants, established by the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association.

With more than 40 participating restaurants along the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s 62 miles of coastline, the Mississippi Seafood Trail makes it easy to dine at a different restaurant each day/night of your trip!

Find out more and peruse the list of participating restaurants here.

 

Class Wrap-Up: Juicing for Health and Energy

IMG_5027Our first class in the Eating Oxford Institute series was held Wednesday night at The Powerhouse.

Attendees learned the benefits and techniques of juicing from Melody Sharp, owner of Living Foods (formerly Local Flavor).IMG_5096

Melody showed the difference between styles of juicers, how to get the most bang for your buck out of fruits and vegetables, tips for any fruits that need to be peeled/cored before juicing, and more.

The class sampled fruit and vegetable juices, participated in questions and answers, and all departed with a full-size juice, recipe card and coupon.

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We loved having Melody share her knowledge at a fun evening of culinary learning!

Check out the great write-up by LaReeca Rucker in today’s Oxford Eagle, too!

Don’t miss next month’s class, Southern Foods Done Light, taught by Tim Woodard on July 15 at the Activity Center. Details Here.

 

***Eating Oxford Institute is a collaboration between EatingOxford.com, the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, and the Oxford Park Commission.

(Thank you to Giana Leone IMG_5021of the Daily Mississippian for sharing her photos from the event.)

Good Food for Oxford Schools: Interview with Sunny Young

A couple of weeks back I posted pics from my Oxford Elementary cafeteria lunch visit with Sunny Young, program director of Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS). Today, Sunny offers additional insights into the program that is working hard to bring healthier options to Oxford schoolchildren. Check out what she has to say about this program that has the Oxford school district ahead of so many others.

–Liz

gfos 2

By far, the most adorable garden I’ve ever seen!

Sunny Young: Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) is an initiative of the Oxford School District to improve cafeteria menus and simultaneously educate students and their families. We are bringing local foods onto lunch trays, doing more cooking from scratch, and serving much more fresh foods.

We work with teachers in the district to implement school gardens to get students the hands-on experience with their food that is currently missing from many of their lives, and bring farmers into the cafeteria and classroom as well. This allows students to make connections with their food which gets them eating better.

We also reach out to the community via cooking classes for families and events, such as our annual Gospel Choir Showcase.

Combining the efforts in the cafeteria, classroom, and community allows GFOS to affect gfos 1change in the health of our students, their families, the local economy, and the environment.

When was the program started, and why? 

The district started GFOS in January of 2013 when we received a planning grant from the USDA Farm to School program. The idea for GFOS came from the district’s Food Services director, Richmond Smith, who wanted to make these improvements and reach students through Farm to School.

We are all aware of the dangerous statistics facing our children in Mississippi, such as a 30% overweight/obese rate (the highest in the country), or the CDC now saying that this generation of children may die at a younger age than their parents. Something drastic must happen to reverse these problems. GFOS is starting that drastic change, led by Mr. Smith, myself, intern Lauren Williams, and the GFOS advisory committee made up of farmers, chefs, the school board president, pediatricians, parents, and community leaders.

How have children and parents responded to the program?

The response has been fabulous… We are all about making good food exciting and not bashing bad foods, and that has kept a very positive image around this project. Parents have come out to volunteer at our events, and students are changing eating habits at home. The response is better than I ever could have asked for, and I am so grateful to have all of this support in Oxford!

How often is local food introduced to school lunches and how are children encouraged to try it?

Our megfos 5nus have been gradually changing since January 2013. As often as we are able, we do taste testings with the students and hand out samples. We’ve been holding a Harvest of the Month featuring a local food each month (like the strawberries last month). This is a great way to talk about the importance of eating locally. When we can afford it, we give samples of the Harvest of the Month to all students (whether they get a school lunch or bring one from home), but we really need more students eating cafeteria lunches more regularly to keep this program running.

What has been your biggest challenge?

There have been many challenges along the way—but even more successes. I would say our biggest challenge has been getting the word out to parents that the meals are changing. They are different and delicious! We have a really good new stir fry that is made from scratch, a new chicken pot pie, and even a salad bar at the high school! We need students giving these meals a try, and parents are always welcome to come see/eat for themselves as well.

What goals have you already achieved and what are your future goalgfos 3s with the program?

We have been able to achieve so much in the past year and will be producing an annual report soon to show the community just how much we have been able to do. We have gone from a 30% cooked-from-scratch menu to 75%, fresh fruit available at schools every day, a local feature on monthly menus, and gardens at four of the six schools.

Some of our future goals that will happen are: even more food cooked-from-scratch (including trying out some new menus), a salad bar for every school, a garden for every school, and an increase of our classroom and community outreach, including more cooking classes for families and events for students.

The future holds so much promise. It’s really up to you! We want to hear from the Oxford School District community about what changes you would like to see, and what would get your kids eating school lunches.

(Photos provided by Sunny Young)

Setting a Local Table in Oxford

In honor of last week’s Earth Week and the second season of Oxford City Market, I asked Betsy Chapman from Yokna Bottoms Farm to submit a post about Oxford Farms and Farmers. Check out her post below, and say hi the next time you see her at the farmer’s market. –Liz

We’re All in This Thing Together

betsyBy Betsy Chapman

It might come as a surprise, but there’s not a whole lot of “mudslinging” among Oxford’s community of growers and producers. Mud, yes. Slinging, no.

Despite our differences in philosophy and farming practices, the prevailing theme among local farmers: We’re all in this thing together

Whether we’re all under the big tent at Oxford City Market or side-by-side at Midtown, there’s a strong sense of mutual respect, support, and admiration. We know better than anyone the tremendous amount of hard work, time, and dedication it takes to bring thousands of pounds of food into town twice a week to feed our friends and neighbors.

Sure, more farms mean more competition, but it’s healthy competition and that competition is what will drive the market as we work together to build a strong local food economy. Simply put: No farmer wants to sit alone at the market….Fewer farmers means fewer customers.

That said, let me introduce you to the Multi-Farm Dinner my family and I enjoyed after last Tuesday’s first Oxford City Market (OXCM) of 2014:

On the menu:

yokna post 3

Yokna Bottoms spring salad mix with mild, crisp radishes from Charlie Dawson of Canebreak Farm tossed with Yokna Bottoms Green Garlic Vinaigrette – sweetened with Mardis Honey.

Sauteed kale from Will and Amanda Reed of Native Son Farm mixed with Yokna Bottoms collards, seasoned with Yokna Bottoms green onions and spicy peppers, slow-smoked on the farm.

Yokna Bottoms Chow Chow deviled eggs with the farm’s green onion and smoked sweet peppers and my freakin’ awesome homemade chow chow from neighbor and friend Stacey Sanford of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.

Delicious homemade whole wheat bread from Christy and Marie of M&J Farm.yokna post 2

Peas from Bost Farm of Mid-Town Market, frozen from last year – still really good!

Iced sweet tea with Yokna Bottoms mint and Mardis Honey.

Dessert: Native Son strawberries with M&J Farm chocolate sauce!

See what we just did there? We made an incredible meal from the collective efforts of several local growers….

What’s on your local plate?

yokna post 1

Betsy Chapman works at Yokna Bottoms Farm and cooks up a storm in her tiny, ill-equipped Oxford, Mississippi, kitchen. Find her and her farmer friends at OXCM Tuesdays from 3-6:30 p.m. on West Oxford Loop and Saturdays 7-11 a.m. at Mid-Town Market, in the Sears parking lot off of North Lamar. For more information on Yokna Bottoms, give Betsy a call at 662-380-2367.

 

***On the subject of our community of local farmers, Will and Amanda Reed (Native Son) are facing a tough time. Their baby Magnolia Jane was recently diagnosed with a rare cancer and is undergoing treatment at Lebonheur in Memphis. Find out how to help support these incredibly hardworking Tupelo farmers: Thoughts and Prayers for Magnolia Jane.

 

May 21: Michael Pollan at Nutt Auditorium

michael pollanIn partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA), Square Books will present an evening with Michael Pollan on May 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Nutt Auditorium on the University of Mississippi campus.

On tour for his paperback release of Cooked, tickets to the event are free with the purchase of a copy of the book from Square Books. A limited number of student tickets are available through the SFA at info@southernfoodways.org.

Pollan’s writing has received numerous awards. He is the author of  Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (available in paperback April 29) and of New York Times bestsellers: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001). The Omnivore’s Dilemma was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by both the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

EVENT GUIDELINES
- Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Event begins at 6:30 p.m.
- This is a ticketed event. Tickets are free with a purchase of the paperback edition of Cooked from Square Books (limit two per individual).
- Michael Pollan will sign immediately following the event at Nutt Auditorium. Books will not be sold at Nutt Auditorium.

Is Composting in Oxford’s Future?

composting bin

Photo: Victoria Burgos, Ole Miss

A friend of mine mentioned to me today that she was going to start composting, and it made me wonder how many people–and possibly restaurants–around Oxford may already be doing this.

It turns out that Ole Miss began a pilot composting program last fall and has been seeing beneficial results, reducing both waste and the University’s carbon footprint. Find out more about the program’s progress here.

I also came across a video today, which highlights a program in Charleston, South Carolina, where restaurants are enrolled in a composting program, cutting down on massive amounts of waste and providing healthy soil for area residents. Check out the inspiring story and video at The Local Palate here.

What do you think? Could Oxford successfully develop a composting program that cuts down on the waste produced by residents and restaurants while at the same time providing healthy soil for new plantings?

It may only be a matter of time.

–Liz

 

Open: New Cafe and Market on College Hill Rd.

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Opening: Fresh Seafood, Beef and Specialty Beer Store

indianola fresh market 1Story and photos by Leah Hawkins

Indianola, Mississippi, native Will Adams is bringing fresh seafood to Oxford with his new store, Indianola Fresh Market, located at 2000 West Jackson Avenue, next to Edward Jones, which will offer an assortment of fresh seafood as well as fresh cuts of beef and specialty beer.

As far as seafood goes, Adams says he will have a large assortment of Gulf catches such as tuna, grouper, redfish, speckled trout, and whole flounder just to name a few. He also says to be on the lookout for red snapper some weeks. Shrimp, oysters, crawfish, and farm-raised Mississippi Delta catfish will also be available.

Steak specials will include filets, ribeyes, NY strips, and sirloin. Adams says he wanted to extend his business to Oxford stating, “It’s good people, a good town, and I want to bring good products at good prices.”

Indianola Fresh Market will offer weekly specials, which you can find featured on the store’s Facebook page. T-shirts and logo stadium cups are also coming soon.

Indianola Fresh Market will have its grand opening on Monday, March 24. For more information call 662-887-5444.

Hours:

Monday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tuesday- CLOSED (Fresh seafood pickup day)
Wednesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (Fresh seafood day)
Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

 

P.S. Next time you pass through Indianola, stop into Adams’ original location at 503 Hwy 82 East, Indianola, MS.

 

7 Things You Need to Know About My Michelle’s

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My Michelle’s Introduces Lunch Buffet

my michelle buffetHave you been to My Michelle’s/Nations’ Best at 1308 N. Lamar to try the new lunch buffet?

If you’ve been looking for a healthier option for lunch, look no further. Today’s buffet featured fresh salad; fruit and dip; white chicken chili; three bean soup; meaty pasta bake; BBQ chicken; twice-baked sweet potato casserole; smoked turkey breast; garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus; spinach; baby carrots and squash; mushrooms; and red onion medley.

The buffet is available from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and each day’s menu is posted on My Michelle’s Facebook page here.