Vegetables and sides

Vegetables and sides

By
Brad McDonald
Contains
8 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978 1849497206
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Hines grocery at wolf lake

I spent my childhood up in Yazoo City, Mississippi, on a fault line defined by that eponymous river. On one side of the line were rolling hills covered by oak and pine, completely given over to the kudzu’s appetite, leading towards the ‘big city’, the state capital of Jackson.

On the other side, across the Yazoo River, the land stretched out flat across the alluvial plain known as the Mississippi Delta, where the cash crops for many decades have been cotton, corn and soya beans.

As you crest the top of the new bridge, much like the anticipatory first climb of a rollercoaster, on Highway 149 heading north towards the Delta, you give in to a culture and landscape that are breathtaking. The feeling casts a lightness over you that only the comfort of returning home can give. Not far past the bridge, another mile or so, lies a country store, Hines Grocery. In there, and in many other stores like it across the Delta, you’ll get a detailed look into the Southern larder and daily life.

The importance of these country shopping centres is paramount to Southern culture, as they provide a cultural focus of sorts. It’s here you can do your daily gathering, whether it’s for food and other general sustenance, fuel, news, gossip, policy or politics. The lights are always on early, and the staff are almost always the same. A few of the stores may even become restaurants in the evening. Some of them may sell only one or two speciality items. But all of them provide stopping points and a meet-up place to pass time with others in the area, an essential element in keeping a sound cultural nexus from one generation to the next.

Recipes in this Chapter

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