Deep South, Deep Fried
14 March, 2014
Correspondent Kate blogs from Jackson, MS
“Our editor, in his wisdom, has attempted to ban any more references to food, since this blog seems to be turning into a culinary critique, but I’m afraid I will have to disobey straightaway and tell you all about our fantastic meal in Jackson, MS. The Mississippi Academy of Ancient Music is run by the irrepressible Richard McGuinness, whose wife Jackie is a fantastic cook of traditional Southern food. We had heard from other UK musicians of the spectacular feasts offered by Richard and Jackie, so were looking forward to what awaited us on arrival in Jackson. We were not disappointed!
Every corner of the imposing house seemed to be full of delicious food: cornbread, gumbo, fried chicken, pineapple cake, greens, salads and even a fantastic vegetarian pasta dish. We ate like kings, and still managed barely to make a dent in the food. It turns out that catering for twelve hungry Brits was nothing for Jackie, who feeds about two hundred people every Christmas Eve!
Incredibly, on waking the next morning, a number of the group were so hungry that they needed to make the annual pilgrimage to the group’s favourite breakfast place: Cracker Barrel. Since our first visit to “The Old Country Store” it has become something of a tour obsession, famous for the ‘Healthy Breakfast’ that came on three separate plates!
Well, enough about food. Keen to get some fresh air after two days in the car, we headed (after several navigation errors) to LeFleur Bluff State Park, a nice wooded area on the outskirts of Jackson, then headed to downtown for a picnic lunch next to the State Capitol before driving to the concert venue.
It was great to return to St Philip’s Episcopal Church – another lovely acoustic (we have been very spoiled on this tour so far!) and to perform for such an enthusiastic audience. They were extremely welcoming and friendly, but sadly we had to make our excuses and head back to the hotel – the alarm clocks all set for a 5.45am wake-up.
Now on-board the plane to Orlando, I have amused myself/procrastinated doing the blog by colouring in all the States in which we have performed on the in-flight napkin. Still quite a few to go, although we can now add Florida to the list!”